Friday, October 17, 2008

For the Laundry Impaired

Once again it has been over a week since I did laundry. OK, a week and a half. 5 days is still considered half a week, right? If you are equally nonproficient, you might enjoy my laundry guidelines and expectations:
  1. The person in charge of laundry should always own at least one less pair of underwear than the rest of the household.

  2. If your children fold their own laundry, expect 75% to go directly into the dirty clothes hamper. That explains why, after putting 8 pair of underwear and 5 pairs of socks into their folding pile, they claim to have no underwear or socks the very next morning.

  3. On a related note, just after you put in your last load, expect your kids to magically find several hampers of dirty laundry they must have hidden somewhere under their bed or in their closets. If you carefully searched those places, expect to find out your husband forgot to clean out his suitcase until the evening after you're finished.

  4. (My brother taught me this one, it has been invaluable when I have to gather my children's laundry) If you smell it twice, it's clean. This applies especially to socks and underwear. You must learn this because the other 25% of clothes you give your children to fold end up directly on their floor.

  5. The only time you will splatter bleach is the time you risk it while wearing "good clothes".

  6. Chances are very high your children will spill, wipe, or snort something onto your favorite pants/shirt right before you leave the house. If it is the last of your clean (and not out of style) pants/shirt, the probability rises to 99%. Just learn to leave the house a little dirty or out of style.

  7. You should expect to loose 20% of all socks you wash. Combat this by only buying one type of sock per person, loosening your "that matches" standard, and making your family wear sandals whenever feasible. If you keep the lone socks for future matchmaking, expect to eventually fill an entire room.

  8. Boys' idea of "clean" is not the same as yours. When they start wearing jackets, remember to check underneath the jacket.

  9. Kids will eventually decide bedtime routines are easier if they dress over their pajamas (no need to interrupt what they're doing to change, just strip off the top layer). This can lead to very smelly PJ's. Watch for it.

  10. Putting clean clothes on your bed because it will force you to sort it will not work, it will result in rolling a huge pile onto the floor come bedtime.

  11. Do not start a load in a Hot Water cycle right before you get into the shower.

  12. A 2 year old will open your dryer mid-cycle at least once per laundry day. Try to catch it within 5 hours.

  13. Can't find a clean towel? Check the dryer (hope you don't need to check the washer).

  14. If, when you sort laundry, any children only have one pair of underwear, make them bathe immediately.

  15. If they claim (and it can be substantiated) that they have bathed and/or showered recently, try not to gag when you explain they can NOT put back on the same underwear. Try to emphasize that, unlike T-shirts or dress up, it is wrong to have a favorite pair of underwear.
That being said can I tell you the part I *gasp* like about laundry? I like watching the huge, room usurping pile of dirty laundry get neatly sorted into baskets (whites, lights, darks, reds, jeans, and towels in my house). I like re-stacking the empty baskets as I put each load into the washing machine. I like watching the now huge, room usurping pile of clean clothes get sorted neatly into 8 baskets (one for each family member). I like to make order out of the chaos. Then I ignore that laundry exists until it is a huge chaotic mess again.


  1. I HATE folding laundry. I don't mind gathering, sorting, or anything, but I hate, hate, hate to FOLD! Ahh! Before I had Abe, Ken always did the laundry and I loved that...

  2. I think you are my laundry twin. I woke up this morning to find my laundry all folded on the couch (Thanks to my Landon Laundry Man). I'm I horrible because all I see is a bunch of laundry that I have to put away now? When it wasn't folded it was all confined to one place. AUGH laundry is just one of those never ending jobs.

  3. I am going on two weeks with no laundry (and by no laundry I mean I have only washed whites ;) I might add a few comments though like it doesn't matter how many pockets you check, you will miss the only marker with no lid on it, and then there is the whole pretreating issue (can't seem to remember to do it, plus I HATE touching dirty laundry so to have to turn a dirty shirt right side out just to pre-treat it is SO not worth it to me)

  4. The three of us must be triplets! Pretty much every point you made, I could make too. I do enjoy doing laundry in a wierd way. It just takes so long. Our dryer must be going out because it takes 2 cycles to get the clothes dry. And, if I leave it up to my children to put their own clothes away, I find matched socks in the laundry the next time. I have to watch them put their clothes away.

  5. Today just happens to be laundry day at my home. My husband had to wear socks that did not match this morning. They were both black and very similar but not an exact match. I decided I better actually do some laundry.
    I identify very much with #'s 6, 10, 13 and totally agree with #1.

  6. That made me laugh - thanks, Charlotte! Ummm, is it ok to wear the same dress socks twice (2 separate days)? They're nice socks . . . Susan says it is gross!?!

  7. Em is obsessed with helping me do the laundry. Luckily, she can't get the dryer open yet, but I do find dirty dish rags in lots of unlikely places. I'm sure the dastardly deeds will just get worse as she gets older!

  8. Cire- If you can stand to smell them twice, it is good enough for me. (I just figured out your screen name. It only took me 3 months)

  9. I'm pretty slack about dirty clothes. I've worn the same pants every day this week (and only 2 pairs of socks). Yeah its kinda gross, but we have less laundry :)

  10. You're crazy. I can only handle one or two loads of laundry a day so I can't let it pile to room usurping proportions. I have the opposite problem from you. Mine is a family of clothes horses who find it necessary to change clothes a minimum of 3 times a day. And mange to find a spec of dirt on each outfit, deeming it ready for laundry. Maybe we should switch kids for a couple days.

  11. My comment above refers to rule #4 (if you smell it twice, it's clean), not to accuse anyone of stinky feet.

  12. I HATE LAUNDRY!!! The only thing that gets me to do it is the fact that I HAVE to do it on Monday. By then all our laundry recepticals are overflowing onto the floor, anyway. And having Netflix has helped me get the folding done, I just watch a show or movie to pass the time.

  13. The "If you can smell it twice" rule works for many things: milk, food, clothes, diapers, etc.

  14. I never smell to see if it is dirty. GROSS especially underwear and socks. I love to do laundry. I guess I am weird but I love to make things clean. Oh and try tide to go for those times when clothes get dirty as you go out the door. It really works. Dad spilled root beer on is temple coat and I used tide to go on the way to the temple and it actually worked. Good luck with the laundry.