Laundry Day

About a year ago I had a “brilliant” plan to start doing all of my laundry in one day. I absolutely hate doing laundry and I absolutely hate Mondays. Why not put them together?

What the heck was I thinking?

I spend Monday mornings racing up and down the stairs changing batches. By evening I’m tired and I’m stressed out trying to get the mountain of clothes sitting on my bed sorted and folded. By bedtime I’m normally in way over my head and my husband has to help finish.

But I bring it on myself. I purposely fold the clean clothes on my bed so I am forced to finish before nightfall. Unless I want to sleep on the couch, I HAVE to get it done. I hate laundry. This is one of the only ways I can motivate myself to get it done.

Why do I loathe laundry? Because it is never-ending. Even if I wash all of the clothes in all of our baskets, unless I do the laundry naked, I still have dirty clothes.

Lately I have become completely obsessed with washing all of our clothes, except the ones we are wearing, in one day. I find serous satisfaction in seeing all of our hanging laundry baskets empty – even if it only lasts until bedtime when we change into our pajamas.

I’ve always been bad at doing the laundry. My mom taught me how to clean, she taught me how to cook, but somehow I managed to skip out on the laundry lessons.

My husband tried to help me our first year of marriage — especially when it came to sorting the batches — but I still was horrible at washing our clothes.  Sometimes I’d forget about a batch at our apartment complex’s laundry center, and we’d have to break into the center in order to have clean underwear for the next day.

I still stink at doing the wash, mostly because I refuse to invest time and energy into something I hate. But I have found some tricks that help me get through my dreaded Monday chore. Here’s what helps me.

First, we have four separate hanging laundry baskets, one for each of our major batches. I spend a couple of minutes each night sorting the clothes we have dirtied that day into each of the hanging baskets. That way I don’t have to sort clothes on Mondays. The baskets also keep them in nice out-of-the-way piles.

Second, when I am really crammed for time, I play what I call laundry “hide and go seek.” While my boys are hiding I “count” in my room. I count slowly, giving myself extra time to fold some clothes while they find the perfect hiding place. Then, while I am “finding” them, I bring a stack of clothes with me to put away. It’s an easy way for me to play with my kids, while doing one of my least favorite chores.

Finally, I try extra hard to get the clothes out of the dryer and folded as soon as they are done drying. Because as much as I hate doing the laundry, I hate ironing the laundry more. I still find myself ironing pants or skirts occasionally for Sunday, but no more.

In retrospect, my laundry-all-in-one-day plan has some major pros and some major cons. But I am such a creature of habit that I will probably keep up the Monday-laundry madness. At least I get it all done in one day. That way, unless we have an emergency, I can go on a six-day laundry strike.

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