Polk Moms

Connecting moms in Polk County, Fla.

We have four kids and it's a battle everyday for them to pick up dirty clothes off of their bedroom floor. They are old enough to do this one thing but for some reason, we can't get through to them.

We had the same problem with two of our kids, even after we made it perfectly clear that if their clothes were not in the laundry basket, they were not going to be washed. The third, a boy, did not care if his clothes were dirty and wrinkled. Finally, I bought each one of them their own personal laundry bag which made it easier on everyone anyway. All they had to do was get it to the laundry room each Saturday. My husband put up two hooks on each of their doors for the bag. For the one son, since he loved basketball, he made it into more of a hoop where he could try to make a shot with each item. The clothes laid around until the last minute but once his dad played a few rounds of horse with him, it worked great. - S. K. in Dayton, OH


This is one of those age-old challenges that seems simple to the parents but kids will sometimes just not understand the importance of picking up their clothes and getting them to the laundry room. Depending on the ages of your children, you could possibly teach them how to wash their own clothes and make it their own responsibility. Parents are a little reserved in this area for fear that certain items may be ruined in the wash. But, if they're around nine or ten, they can certainly learn to do it properly. In your case, it will take a lot of teaching over and over, so print out some basic rules and also give them examples of exceptions to the rules and put them up in the laundry room. Supervise each child while they're doing each load, including what goes into the dryer. They probably won't like this solution so you will hear a lot of complaining. However, they will either get their laundry to you on time after having them do it for a while, or surprise you and actually like doing their own laundry. For the younger kids, they may hear so much bellyaching from the older ones you'll most likely see their clothes picked up off the floor right away. It'll be your decision on whether or not you are comfortable with the older ones washing and drying their own clothes or not. It may just be a lesson for them or you may enjoy this one chore being passed on to them.


My 14-year-old twins, one girl and one boy, think they know everything. It's impossible to try to talk to them about almost anything without them rolling their eyes and saying that they already know about whatever it is I'm trying to explain. It's one thing for them to do this to me but they are now doing it to their grandparents and I don't like it one bit. How do parents get through to their teens and put an end to this mess once and for all?

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