It’s Habit Forming

I’m about to air some dirty laundry.

Well – actually it’s clean laundry – but that’s the problem.

You see – I have a few pet peeves – and this is one of them:

We spend time gathering dirty clothes, sorting them, washing them, drying them and folding them into nice piles for each child – only to have them dumped in front of their dresser.

Yes – the same dressers that we bought for each child, moved in and helped them organize.

Some kids would leave days worth of clean clothes on the floor – and just dig through it to find what they wanted to wear.

But not anymore.

This momma made a new rule.

By the time our home school starts in the morning – all laundry must be put away.

Of course one of the children asked, “But what if it isn’t?”

I just smiled and said, “You’ll see.”

I checked every day – and I’ll have to admit that the kids did great. It took two weeks before someone forgot. But when they did – I was ready.

I slipped in, grabbed the offending clothes and hid them – saying nothing. Yep – I kidnapped the clothes!

Several days went by. This child looked a little confused – and started wearing some interesting combinations – but said nothing.

Finally when the poor kid had to wear shorts to bed in January because they couldn’t find any more jammie pants – I stepped in.

“Are you missing anything?” I asked – oh so sweetly.

“Um…no. I don’t think so,” replied the offender.

“How about some jammie pants? Or socks?” I volunteered.


I required a ransom to be paid for the safe return of the missing clothing. They offered a piece of chocolate – but no – I had other ideas.

My upstairs bathroom is now sparkling clean and with all the grunts and groans I heard in the process – I don’t think this child will become a repeat offender.  🙂

Mission accomplished.

Next on my list of pet peeves – making their beds and hanging up the towels in the bathroom.

You know this is kind of fun – and I just hope it’s habit-forming!

10 thoughts on “It’s Habit Forming

  1. Great idea! I’ve done something similar in the classroom when the kiddos don’t pick up their things (gym shoes, coats, books, etc…) I usually make them pay their ransom with either their Superhero bucks they’ve been saving or some minutes off of recess. Works like a charm!


  2. Just wanted to drop by and let you know that I posted your Hot Chocolate Cookies yesterday. They were such a hit. I have made them twice and had people hiding them!


  3. What a great idea! I know the frustration of washing, drying, sorting, and folding clothes–only to have them stacked up on the floor. I like your solution, and I might just have to try it.

    The question, though, is whether I can remain cheerful through the “Mooooo-ooommmm!” whining part.


  4. I LOVED IT!!!! When my son was younger (in High School) I had the same problem. I took the clothes away & locked them in my closet. Soon he had only his “nerd” clothes & I had his attention. These types of lessons are better learned than just told. GOOD FOR YOU!!! Now, do you think it would work for husbands? Since when did the kitchen chair become the place to hang your clothes you just took off? :0


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s