Sunday, April 26, 2015

How to Do the Laundry, with Kids, in 22 Steps


Laundry is my biggest housekeeping foe. I always seem to over-sort and wash too many things separately. I wish I could be like my husband and throw everything together and just hope for the best. I’ve tried to do that but my clothing seems to suffer. As for my kids, they go through more wardrobe changes than the Kardashian family. They also like to soil freshly washed sheets. And that makes for a lot of laundry.  

So here’s how the laundry process goes in my house, give or take a few steps (and perhaps a little exaggeration thrown in). 

1). Sort laundry: Gross, really dirty, and dirty. Then separate by lights, darks, red/pinks, and fuzzy (see I told you I over sort). Remind myself not to purchase fuzzy pajamas or clothing.  Say thanks to three-year-old who insists that the white shirt belongs in the red pile.

2). Take clothes that say 'dry clean only' and 'wash separately' and put those off to the side in the ‘Yeah right’ pile. Those are going to sit there for a long time.  Laugh at myself for buying too many ‘high maintenance’ clothes. 


3). Go around the house and pick up stray clothing...underwear that missed the hamper, rogue socks under the sheets, and the clothes my three-year-old took off and threw on the ground, because that’s just what three-year-olds do.  


4). Return to sorted clothes to find my little angel has thrown a pile of the ‘really gross’ laundry into the air.  


5) Just grab the clothes and bring them out into the laundry room.


6) Remind myself to organize the laundry “room” (if you’re like me, the laundry room is just a fancy name for the section of the garage that houses the washer and dryer).


7) Stain stick clothing.  Heck, who am I kidding?  Just rub the stain stick all over everything. As you know, kids are messy! 


8) While small child clings to my leg, put really gross and dirty laundry into washer and wash on hot...pray all clothes are pre-shrunk.  


9) When laundry is done, put in the next load, and the next load, and the...wait that’s enough...because who wants to put away all of those clean clothes in one day. I know they'll just end up wrinkled again from sitting in the laundry basket too long.




10) Ding!  The last load is done.  Bring clean clothes in from the dryer!

11) Face palm!  I missed a spot or spots.  There’s a green stain on that new light blue shirt I bought, an oil spot on a black shirt, and, ew, what is that?


12) Toss the light blue shirt back into the dirty clothes and hang up the black shirt..because no one will probably notice...or I’ll wear it as a house/workout/pajama shirt….who really cares, it’s technically clean. 


13) Now to sort  the socks.  I have 50 socks and only 22 matches.  Even though I followed through with my New Year’s resolution to only purchase white socks, there are still other leftover colored socks, different sizes of socks, and different styles.  Soccer socks, boot socks, holiday socks.   


14) Decide what to do with mismatched socks.  Sock puppets?  Dusting mitts?  Get frustrated and toss socks into empty drawer.  Get used to the fact that, unless I throw out all my old socks and purchase all new ones, I will be wearing mismatched socks to bed and under my yoga pants for the rest of the year. 


15) Hang up clothes and fold towels, intermittently while dealing with sibling rivalry, spilt milk (literally), homework, dinner


16) Put older child’s clothes on bed for them to put awayhopefully.


17) Encourage three-year-old to put away his underwear.  Laugh when he puts it on his head. 


18) Smile!  All the laundry is done! Okay fine….. MOST, of the laundry is done.


19) Wait, what’s that mound of laundry in the hamper?


20) Oh, realize that’s the laundry that’s accumulated while I’ve been doing the laundry. Wait, What?


21) Start again at number #1.  


22) Or, go to bed!  It will still be there in the morning.

So how many loads of laundry do you usually do in a week? Do you sort too much or just throw everything in together?


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