Tips&TricksFamily laundry rules spark debate. Empowerment or excess?

Family laundry rules spark debate. Empowerment or excess?

Laundry in her house is done by everyone.
Laundry in her house is done by everyone.
Images source: © Instagram | sallyhepworth

3:01 PM EDT, April 28, 2024

In Sally Hepworth's home, laundry is everyone's responsibility—including the children. She champions that learning to look after one's things should start early, promoting a shared responsibilities system where parents and kids know their roles. Failure to comply means wearing the same clothes again.

In her arrangement, five laundry baskets are strategically placed, each marked with a family member's name. Ownership of clothes is clear-cut: they belong to whoever's name is on the basket, teaching that chores don't magically complete themselves and that parents are not the household servants. Hepworth's approach has garnered mixed reactions, highlighting the divide in opinions on her parenting strategies.

Laundry is everyone's business

Sally Hepworth's strategy counters a common scenario: kids leaving clothes strewn around, expecting their mom to pick up after them. Unlike many, Sally stands firm on the principle that laundry is a collective task. Non-participation means contending with unwashed clothes. So, how does this household maintain order?

Outside the laundry room, five baskets await, each named for a family member. That’s where all dirty laundry must go. Sally won't scour their rooms for stray items if the kids or her husband don't contribute their share. Laundry is a joint effort; clean clothes are returned to a communal basket for retrieval. Each child organizes their clean laundry as they see fit—Sally doesn't micromanage how things are folded. This tactic ensures equal responsibility and eliminates blame directed at Sally for any laundry mishaps.

Putting an end to constant questioning

This household system has effectively silenced the never-ending "Where's my...?" Sally's rules mean everyone understands where their belongings should be. Misplaced items are the owner's problem, fostering a sense of accountability. This clarity maintains peace and extinguishes the notion of Sally being overburdened by her family's needs.

Online feedback on Sally's method has largely been positive, with many lauding her approach as a creative method to instil independence in youngsters. However, some critics argue it could foster neglect, suggesting that not permitting children to wear dirty clothes might be an overly harsh lesson. A critic even suggested that Sally's system overcomplicates family life.

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