Thursday, April 02, 2009

Dirty Laundry

I hate doing the laundry. Hate, hate, hAtE, HaTe, HATE doing the laundry. I loathe collecting laundry baskets from the bedrooms. I am irritated with sorting (who knows what I may unknowingly put my hand into!). Spot checking and prewashing bores me to no end. I am pained to put the filthy loads into the washer and transfer the wet ones into the dryer. I detest folding and hanging the endless mounds of cloth and stitching. And finally I can't stand having to lug these armloads of bright, fresh and clean garments up the stairs, across the house and into the closets and drawers of my family members who are just going to wear them, dirty them and toss them back into the *%$#@& laundry baskets tomorrow!!!!!

I am not quiet about my abhorrence of laundry. I complain loud and often to my family members who throw clean clothes into the laundry because they "fell off the hanger" or whatever other lame excuse they may come up with when I know it was just because it was easier to toss it into the basket than to hang it back up or place it back into the dresser. Nothing chaps my hide faster than a once used bath towel--hang it up! that's what the hooks in your room and the bars in the bathroom are for! It dries, you use it again, my laundry load is diminished--it's magic!

I used to try to numb my aching laundry-hating soul by watching TV while folding clothes. Throughout the day I would pile all the laundry on the couch and when my favorite show came on I would sit and fold, and fold and fold. However I didn't always have a show to watch every day and sometimes I just didn't have time to watch and fold and then, before I even realized it, my laundry was spilling off the couch. And then the kids were sitting on the laundry to watch their favorite shows. And then the clothes were being spread or moved or worse--being thrown back into the laundry without ever being worn---AAAACCCCCHHHHHH!

Even if I did manage to get the clothes into nice neat piles I still had to put them away. Sometimes they would make it all the way into the bedrooms and into the drawers. Sometimes they made it to the room but on top of the dresser waiting to be put away. Other times the piles didn't make it off the couch and then they were being moved, pushed aside or sat upon. It never worked out in my favor. It was like my family didn't care about all the work I was putting into this. It was like they didn't care about me and were trying to make my life difficult. The universe was working against me!

Ewww--must take a breath----Ahhh, emmmm, ahhhh, emmm, ahhh. Big Breath. In, out. OK--

I had to take matters into my own hands. I knew I would never love laundry but there must be something I could do to make it not so detestable. Not so time consuming, pointless and neverending. Something that wouldn't leave me questioning the love and devotion of my family and feeling drained, spent and useless.

What I really wanted to do was to hire out all the laundry but really is that dreaming! Or I could limit everyone to two pairs of clothes. You know, like the Ingalls in Little House on the Prairie. They had everyday clothes and Sunday clothes. They did laundry once a week and it was done! That would be soooo awesome (I have to do 3 loads a day to keep up with my fam). My husband didn't agree with me. He said he needed more clothes than that. He's such a drag.

So I decided to eliminate the most frustrating, annoying parts of laundry that wouldn't sacrifice a job well done. Now I fold my loads straight out of the dryer. No more piles hanging out on the couch, bed, table. No moving, scooting or sitting on laundry anymore. No more eyesore in my living area. I hang the shirts, skirts, sweaters, pants, everything that is worn to school, to church or anywhere besides the backyard (playclothes) on appropriately sized hangers. And hang them on a rack right there in the laundry room. I fold everything else, underwear, socks, pajamas, and playclothes, and place them in the appropriate bin/pile on top of the washer, dryer or the folding shelf above the machines.

I love my laundry system---but I still hate laundry. HATE, HaTe, hAtE, hate, hatE it. I hate that I still have to collect clothes and take care of them and put them away when they're all clean. But I like that I don't have piles of clean clothes all over the couch. I like having a place to sit down and I really really REALLY LOVE having a door on my laundry room!


  1. I am sorry to admit that you and I are polar opposites. I am the freak that LOVES laundry. I love watching the huge pile systematically go smaller. I absolutely cannot wait for the first day of 65 degrees accompanied with a slight breeze......because this means that I can be totally fulfilled in my wifehood/motherhood....I can HANG MY CLOTHES ON THE LINE. That is the cheapest ( I mean the most FRUGAL) thing that I do. It is FREE to hang out the clothes. God allows the wind to do its thing and I get to save my money instead of paying PSE. It is a win/win situation. I also have all of my kids who are over the age of 10 sort/wash/dry/and fold all of their own clothes. Laundry these days involves sorting, putting them into a machine, pouring detergent and pushing a button. That is it....any 10 year old can do it. If they forget to wash their clothes.....bummers for them....they don't have clean clothes to wear. It doesn't take long or many instances of not having clothes to make them managers of their own selves. I am a MEAN MOTHER. Of course, I still wash Dave's clothes. I truly don't mind.

  2. I am so with you Dani!! I hate laundry, too. I made the transition to hanging clothing straight from the dryer a few years ago. I purchased one of those rolling clothing racks to use to hang up shirts and dresses. I fold all pants except dress pants, mostly because there's not enough room in the closets for the shirts and pants. I make the kids put away all the shirts on the rack that are theirs. I also make them put away all the folded laundry.

    I tried for a while to have the kids do their own laundry, and I still do from time to time, but time is such an issue with laundry, and between school, mutual, scouts, and going back and forth to their dad's house, it just resulted in piles of laundry on the little couch in my bedroom. I'm trying to teach them a few good habits, but it's tough.

    One thing I do with my laundry that makes "sorters" cringe is that I wash every colorfast piece of clothing together, except for the whites, all in cold water. If I have multiple larger loads, I sometimes sort, and I sort my own clothes because I have so many delicates.

    My biggest issue is socks! We have a little basket full of socks, and I hate matching them and so do the kids, so every morning they are in there digging through the socks. It makes me feel like a bad mom, but there are only so many hours in a day, and with all the other things there are to do for me as a single mom, I just haven't figured out a way to improve the system. I'm open to ideas!


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