Over on The Happy (atheist) Homemaker, Desiree posted about how she does her laundry. It is a cute post and worthy of your time.
Well as I began to answer her post, I realized I had more to say than a comment. So. here is my post in answer to her post:
As your kids get older and have more responsibility you may find that they don't put their clean laundry away like you requested. And you may find they do not keep their rooms as clean as you would like, but it is their responsibility to do these things and sometimes you feel like natural consequences must follow from their actions or lack thereof.
So when, you tell them to get their laundry; you might just find they have lumped last weeks' clean laundry with this weeks' dirty laundry and it all lands next to the washer.
Naturally, they have done their 'chore' and are off to whatever they do when released from their cages. Which is anything and anywhere 'old people' who have no lives but to clean and force them into slave labor are not going to be.
You head for the laundry room to do the weeks' laundry. It is a 'chore' that you enjoy doing since there is nothing nicer than to smell of clean clothes hanging in the proper closet or folded into the cupboard or drawer.
As you bend down to start to sort the piles of clothing, you notice that some of the clothes are still folded from the week before. Folded, but covered in pet fur and giant dust bunnies. "WTF!"
Now, you will either shake your head and understand they are just kids and this is normal. Or you will shake your fist and begin ranting to the heavens about how YOUR children, whom you thought you had trained well, are nothing but giant, ungrateful slobs who have no idea of how to do anything you ask and are going to grow up to be the death of you and will never be able to get a job or have a relationship because they are too thick-headed and lazy to be of any use to the world and you waited 10 years for them to come along or alternately have no idea of how you pushed for seven hours to get their gigantic heads out of you and ruined your figure for all eternity! This is depending on your mood going into this debacle.
Okay, relax, calm with a deep breath, center. You will have two options:
Option 1: Push the offenders' laundry to the side. Allow them to do their own sorting (we do not wash clean clothes in this house) and their own washing and drying. Natural consequences. You don't do a job right; you will do over, yourself and do it right! BTW, this laundry must be finished before you go to bed tonight. No leaving clothes in the washer or dryer.
Option 2: Sort out the clean, but dusty and furry clothes, and put them on the offenders' bed for them to put away. You do the laundry.
Option 2a: Since the offender probably didn't clean their room to house standards: you will pick up everything on the floor and put it on their bed along with the clean clothes. Then you will vacuum the floor to your standards and close the door their room.
Either way, you will have a conversation that goes like this:
"Dear sweet child of mine, it looks like you forgot to put your clothes away last week and somehow they got mixed in with your dirty laundry.
I just want to remind you to put your clothes away every week."
"Now, is that a promise this won't happen again?"
"Okay, fine, whatever."
"Really, I mean it. Put your clothes away. Oh, and it wouldn't hurt if you cleaned your room."
"Okay, what did you do to my room? All my stuff is on the bed! I had that stuff organized and now it is a mess!"
"I needed to vacuum the carpet. I thought I smelled maggots."
"That's gross! There was no smell in my room!"
"Well, Honey, your dad crawled under the house looking for a dead cat. Then, we figured it was coming from your room and we didn't want an infestation."
"So, you went through my stuff?"
"No, we just smelled the different piles and bags until we found the rotting meat under your bed. Then, I vacuumed and cleaned the carpet."
"Yuck my carpet is still wet! Where am I going to store all my stuff until it dries out!"
"You could try putting the 'stuff' away. You know, that's what drawers, shelves, and closets are for."
"Fine. I'll clean my room!"
Door slams, the entire house shudders.
"Well, that went better than I thought."