A typical laundry process for me:
“Oh crap! My favorite jeans are too filthy to rewear for the 20th time. Guess I’ll have to actually launder them.” Wash a full load of darks. Mid-day, transfer laundry to dryer and/or drying rack.
Two days later, retrieve laundry out of dryer and fold it while watching “The Bachelor” on hulu. (Emily, stop talking about Courtney. Enough already. Clearly, Ben does not like this. And Courtney- you are going to be embarrassed when you see how often you purse your lips like that when you talk. Just sayin’.) Leave laundry in basket because kids are napping, so I can’t put it all away anyway.
Over the next couple of days, pull clean, folded laundry out of the basket as needed. Jeans included.
Once in a blue moon, I actually do the whole laundry thing from A to Z in one day. I consider those days a success. It feels good to have it all put away at the end of the day, instead of sitting in the basket or mildewing in the dryer (hate it when that happens).
This post is not about how I’ve mastered my laundry schedule by having one appointed laundry day (my sister’s method, at least back in the day. It was Thursdays, if I remember correctly). Or how I have motivated myself to finish the whole process instead of stopping at the dryer part or the folded laundry part.
Nope, this is a post about WHY this laundry rarely gets done from A to Z in one day for me.
I take no credit for this revelation. It came from my sister-in-law, who was in town for our monthly “cousin day” on Friday. She brought some clothes with her to pass on to my two kids, who take great joy in wearing their cousins’ hand-me-downs. I saw some pj’s that I remember her son wearing recently, and asked if he had outgrown them already. Nope, he had not. She was just paring down their clothing. Her laundry routine had gotten annoying and she thought this might help.
She explained that she frequently got to the “laundry is clean but not put away stage” because, really, there was no need to put the clothes away. She stalled out there because it didn’t matter if she put those four clean pj’s away- there were still three more pairs that were clean and available in her son’s drawer.
So her clothes sit on the couch for a few days, waiting to be folded. And in the meantime, two more baskets of dirty laundry accumulate.
This makes me want to go through my own closet and my kids’ again, and get rid of the excess. I know what my daughter likes and doesn’t like to wear, and frankly most of the time I don’t care that much what she wears. So there’s not much point in hanging on to those extra pants and shirts that she doesn’t like, now is there?
Also, like I said in my little ditty about cloth diapers, I like looking around and seeing that we have everything that we need and our things have a purpose.
My daughter’s roughly seven extra pairs of pants and jeans that she never wears are currently serving no purpose at all. My son’s extra church clothes (read: anything that’s not a t-shirt) serve no purpose. He doesn’t need 11 little button-down toddler shirts. Probably three or four would work just fine.
I am applying the same mentality to my stash of maternity clothes. Every time I lend them out to a few friends, they breed and make more maternity-clothes babies in the form of oversized white shirts and button-downs. (I never wear button-downs. And there is nothing worse than wearing maternity clothes that are too big for you. As if I didn’t feel large enough already).
Hey- anything to move this laundry process along a bit. That stalling-out thing is annoying.