Wash It, Dry It, Fold It, & Put It Away
I have an issue with laundry.
Actually, I hate laundry.
I honestly don’t know why. My mother LOVES laundry – doing it relaxes her – so you’d think over the 18 years I spent living with her, her vibes would have rubbed off on me. But, apparently not. If there could be one chore that I could make go away forever, it would be laundry. I don’t even want to discuss matching socks. Before I disciplined myself, I’d let the socks pile up until I just couldn’t take it anymore, then pay Kaylee 5 cents per pair or something like that to match them for me.
Gregg, who knows me and loves me anyway, has even gathered undone laundry and taken it to a pay-by-the-pound laundry place to have it done for me when he knows I’m getting overwhelmed.
It’s a bit ridiculous, if you ask my analytical side. It’s a chore. Chores simply have to be done. We wear clothes, so we must wash clothes. We want a neat, clean, organized environment, so we fold laundry and put it away.
The way I battle this absurd distaste of this chore is to strictly schedule my laundry. Certain days have certain clothes that get washed. Period. No putting it off. I do not allow myself to lax in that area or it will pile up and be out of hand. While I may skip a day with housework, I know full well that I’ll make it up the next day. With laundry — not so much. It may be a full week before I get to that specific laundry need again.
My system works for our household, too. All three children have these utility bags.
They’re incredibly spacious, made from heavy canvass. In the morning, dirty clothes come down in them.
In the afternoon, they’re full of clean clothes that get taken up to bedrooms and put away.
Their clothes must get put away every day.
I help the boys do their clothes, only because they’re 3 and 5. But, over time, they’ll put away their own clothes and fill their totes with dirty clothes without my help.
As I fold, I put away the towels, sheets, and Gregg’s and my clothes.
Recently, our weather finally changed to cold. We’d had a couple of cold spells in late September – teasers, really – but then the weather would go back to 80-90 degrees. It allowed me to procrastinate rotating out warm weather clothes for cold weather clothes. But, finally, I couldn’t put it off any longer.
It took me an entire day to sort through the hand-me-down clothes for the boys. We are blessed beyond blessed with friends and family who give our boys clothes – so much so that we don’t really have to buy them any. I had about eight boxes and bags to sort, and filled another eight or ten boxes and bags with hand-me-downs to go to a little boy in our church. I was doing this on a Thursday, which happens to be a heavy laundry day for me.
Because I was drowning under a sea of the hand-me-down clothes already, all I did was throw clothes into the washer, into the dryer, and into the basket.
I finished the seasonal change-over in the late afternoon. On Friday morning, I had several unexpected errands to run in the city and didn’t get home until late afternoon. Saturday was busy for whatever reason. By Monday, I woke up to six loads of laundry that had not been folded, and another scheduled heavy laundry day.
I was incredibly annoyed at myself. Not only did I have six loads of laundry to fold, I now had to iron several things I otherwise wouldn’t have had to iron. Many things, especially the clothes labeled “wrinkle-free” will look just fine if they’re hanged up immediately upon removal from a hot dryer. But, if they’re pressed down under three other loads of laundry and allowed to cool in that crumpled state, they’re going to be too wrinkled to ignore.
It could not be ignored. Doing so would only cause laundry to start piling up around me – and that is, historically, disastrous. So, I lost my Monday morning to folding and ironing laundry.
Thus reinforcing my steadfast own rule: Wash it. Dry it. Fold it. Put it away. Without exception and without putting it off. It is the only way to efficiently and effectively do laundry in a household this size.
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