I tried to teach my oldest (6) to do the laundry, including things like putting it in and switching it to the dryer. Unfortunately, the washer is just too deep for her to effectively reach the clothes. I *could* have her put stuff in the washer and get stuff out of the dryer. But it's also hard for her to carry a full load up the basement stairs. So right now I just have her fold loads of kid stuff and carry it in a small, kid-sized laundry basket, up the stairs by person. She still puts stuff in the wrong people's drawers *all* the time, though, drives me crazy. But yeah, she's 6. By the time she's 18, I would *hope* we'd have all these things ironed out.
She needs a long-hangled tongs!
And at 6, she really can be better at categorizing. Maybe some more coaching and a reward/penalty if she gets it right?
Maybe she can invent some system for helping her remember? (like, one stripe on the white socks for the oldest male; add a stripe for each person down the age spectrum; a white circle or dot for the oldest female?)
And maybe she doesn't put it in the drawer but on the bed?
The clothes all have little label tags with their sizes. Her 2-year-old sister wears 2T, her 4-year-old sister wears 4T, and she is 6 and wears size 6. The problem is mostly that she's daydreaming while she does it, so she'll mix up which pile is which, or she'll put the piles too close to each other and the clothes will topple into each other. I'd also rather not have her put the clothes on the beds, because then there's an extra step to put them away. Plus, her clothes would then have to go on a top bunk and the 2-year-old's in a crib, which would be hard to do. I don't really mean that all of clothes are wrong, just that almost every time she puts them away, she manages to put at least one wrong outfit in each person's drawers. She also takes forever doing it, and you can't chat with her or keep her company or she'll get so distracted it'll take her an hour. What I really need is, as you've mentioned, some sort of inducement for getting them all right (or penalty for getting them wrong). But that would require me going through everything and checking it all, which cuts down on the benefit of having somebody else fold the clothes to begin with. I'll have to see what I can come up with.
Speaking of vacuums that are fun, I have this Dyson vacuum that the base is sort of like a ball shape. Instead of just going back and forth in a straight line, it can roll on the ball so that you can basically push it any which way easily. I *love* this vacuum. It's like a grown-up vacuum toy!
Plus, it's a canister vacuum. I've never had one before, but I love that I can just dump the canister and don't have to worry about emptying a bag and keeping new bags on hand. It's also much easier to glance through the stuff in the canister before dumping it to make sure no LEGOs have been sucked up.