How Laundry Balls Changed Our Cleaning Routine & More Household Chore Hacks

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We’re generally pretty good about keeping things tidy, but it’s the actually cleaning part of cleaning that does me in.

I’m all for saving the planet and being eco-responsible, but I haven’t quite taken the step toward making my own detergent and line drying my clothes yet. I did, however, purchase a set of six wool laundry dryer balls for 8 bucks, and immediately saw the benefits of doing away with single use dryer sheets.

Yes, I’m still hoping to save the planet, but the immediate benefit that was revealed to me was: my tween daughter suddenly ran to the dryer every time she heard it ding. Just like that, she was doing the chore on her own without being asked to do it.

Why, you ask? Because her humor still revolves around boobs and farts (so does my husband’s, now that I think of it) and those wool dryer balls became affectionately known as “booby balls” in our household. She does the same thing every time: 1) Pulls all the clothes out of the dryer. 2) Starts the scavenger hunt for the six balls. 3) Proceeds to stuff them into shirt. 4) Prances around laughing like a maniac. 5) Repeats with the next load.

So, any misogyny aside, we found the trick to making a boring chore fun. What else could we do?

In the kitchen, we bought matching $5 chefs hats, and we address each other as “chef” and “sous chef” while cooking. I also bought a pair of $9 kid-size cut-resistant gloves so my daughter could do her chopping with confidence.

For gardening, we bought a few pairs of cute kids’ gloves and gathered a basket of small tools from second hand stores. You can also find small versions of rakes and spades, often in bright colors.

Repairs around the house? Nearly every hand tool comes in a small, mini, or stubby version. You can put together a real toolkit with extras you have around the house or from secondhand stores, or buy a 32-piece set for $25.

And finally, we picked up a used sewing basket and I tossed in a few spools of thread and various sewing supplies. Now when we sit down to do a quick mending project, my daughter practices on scrap pieces of fabric.

So move over, Marie Kondo—Mary Poppins has it goin’ on over on Cherry Tree Lane: “In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. You find the fun and snap! The job’s a game.”

Maggie and her family roost in the Pacific Northwest and share their travels, homeschool field trips, curriculum ideas and lifest‌yle tips from a city-based homestead. Maggie is a cooking enthusiast and avid student of history and science. She's also mother to an "old soul" tween daughter. 

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