I was reading my best friend’s blog (http://astayathomeworkingmomstale.blogspot.com/) about her laundry habits. This made me laugh. She does the laundry, folds it and puts it away!! I know this is how most of America does their laundry, but for me, and the thousands of bachelors in this country, this is how we do laundry (minus the bachelors from Jersey Shore).
I separate my laundry into two piles. One darks,one lights. I do it all in cold water. I dry it on the highest temperature setting and when it is done I pull it out, wait three days, and then (unlike a bachelor) sort out the clothes into the four rooms they belong in. Mine or my three daughters. Now here’s where my laundry habits have changed in the past few years. I used to stuff, not fold, my daughter’s clothes into their drawers.That’s not to say I don’t have a system… I have a system…jeeze I’m not a total domestic idiot! We have drawers! One drawer for tops, one for pants, one for pj’s, and one for socks and undies, oh and one for dance clothes. We all dance. But in the last 2 years I have taken to throwing my oldest and center child’s clothes on their bed or floor (if their bed is crowded with too many clothes) and let them put it away. I still put away my youngest’s clothes.
But I still just stuff the clothes into whatever drawer they belong. I think this laundry habit came from being yelled at about my clothes keeping habits as a kid…or maybe it is because I am lazy. Whatever. I don’t have time for these petty little irritations. I feel accomplished when I actually get it stuffed in the correct drawers. Lately, I”m really proud when I get the right clothes into the right rooms. Between my two oldest girls, I am always screwing up jeans and undies. To take the time to fold the clothes and put them away just to pull them all out and throw them on the floor when I am trying to find something to wear seems like a gigantic waste of time. Imagine how late I would be if I had to fold, then toss, then RE-fold all of my drawers every time I get dressed. It makes no sense to me.
I remember one time my best friend wasn’t allowed to go out until she organized all her drawers. Her mom came into her room and dumped all of her drawers and made her fold all the clothes and put them away nicely. Underwear too!!!Maybe that is what scarred me? This girl folded her undies!!! Now, I have attempted to be this organized. I do get this organized like 4 times a year. I will dump all the clothes in everyone’s rooms and go through them to see what is shot and what is outgrown and what I do not approve of them wearing and I get rid of it and THEN I fold all the clothes and put them back nicely. That whole scenario takes me at least 3 days. And another 3 days of admiring my work and then it’s back to the wash and stuff.
I got a new washer dryer this past summer and I thought then, this may be where I turn over a new leaf! Nope. It is just to time consuming. I can’t do it. I tried, but I can’t. And ironing seems like a march to the chopping block. Ironing takes alot more mental preparation than one would think. I have tried to make ironing as easy as possible. I keep the board, the iron and the squirt bottle behind my bedroom door there by eliminating the excuse of “it’s all the way downstairs…whine whine whine…” I will examine my clothes in fifty different ways in fifty different lights, put them on take them off and put them on again before I actually decide that they really need to be ironed. And then I just iron to get the wrinkles out or put creases in. I have no particular system to ironing like some people do.
About 10 years ago my dad, who was meticulous about his clothes and always, ALWAYS looked like a million bucks, shared a laundry secret with me. He told me to wash the towels separately and not use fabric softener because fabric softener makes towels less absorbent. I just put this trick into my repertoire last month. He was right. Now I have three piles. Darks, lights and towels. It’s kind of messing with my head, but everyone needs to step out of their comfort zone sometimes.
This bad habit of mine has not a thing to do with the way I was raised. My mother is still the queen of getting out stains. She can get a stain out of any fabric no matter if it has already gone through the washer and dryer. My grandma line dried clothes and they were always folded and SOFT in the drawers. I have line dried for years and my clothes are as stiff as cardboard when I bring them in. Try stuffing cardboard into a jam-packed drawer of clothes. I actually cut myself on a pair of line dried capri pants last summer.
Anyway, I love my best friend and I learn so much from her about how abnormal I really am. I am far from the domestic divas I admire so. But I am also very content with my choices. This is me. Doing laundry like a frat boy with a car full of trash, single mom who can only laugh at the fact that my life is far from average. Awareness, acceptance action….at least now we are getting dry when we towel off!!!