Wednesday, April 21, 2010

What the H is the deal with laundry?

I am incapable of staying on top of the laundry.

Yesterday, I told my dad that when he came over to watch the kids and had to step over a pile of dirty clothes and several piles of clean, folded clothes on the laundry room/pantry floor to access the juice boxes.

"I'm just not capable of keeping up with it, so I'm just going to do the best I can and if everyone has enough clothes to wear at any given time, then I'm doing fine, right?"

He sort of laughed and we talked about something else for a while and then I went to work. To my gloriously clean office where the pens stay in the drawer day after day and people wear one outfit per day.

But this morning, when I was back at home, where all four people wear more than one outfit per day, and some of us, three or four depending on how quickly I can strip them when they run out the back door. And where some of us manage to do disgusting things to their beds that necessitate near daily linen changes on a frustratingly regular basis (Thanks for NOTHING Target Pull Ups, you assholes). And despite doing what feels like ten loads of laundry every day, I couldn't find one measly pair of socks for myself. Anywhere.

And then Ryan was treated to a very becoming tantrum that rivaled the one Wes was having about not getting more milk after feeding his to Rossby. There were lots of whispered swear words. Classy.

On the way to take Charlie to school I ran into Labmama and we commiserated about the laundry situation. She is familiar, but I get the sense, since I've never once impaled myself after tripping over a pile of size four underpants at her house, that she is doing a better job than me.

So when I got home I sucked it up and folded everything I could find and started two new loads (one that was full of Charlie's bedding. forehead vein, throbbing). Then I made some snickerdoodles and mopped the kitchen floor.

So it is better, mostly because of the snickerdoodles, but I still have to put everything away and I still have no socks. And I haven't done the adult laundry, yet. And the only time I can put away clothes is when kids are sleeping which means during Wes's naptime I can put Charlie's away, but Wes's usually live in a laundry basket in the hall outside his door. Facepalm of exasperation.

Someone tell me the secret, please!


Erin said...

I don't think there is an answer! So sad! I've finally found a "method" that kind of works...which is ALL our laundry goes into ONE BASKET. One tall basket. (I have one husband and one toddler, by the way.) When it is full, I set it near the washer and fill up another one. Then I do laundry on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. All the clothes get done M and T, and linens and towels on W. But my kid still wears diapers to that makes it so that I only have to wash sheets once a week. If I'm feeling motivated. Anything not done by W doesn't get done. Except for diapers. I wash those pretty much every. day. I find that having all our laundry in together helps, and I don't worry about folding during the day. I just wash it and plop it on my bed so that when my son goes to bed we can sit and watch TV and fold. Then I quick put my son's laundry away in the morning when he's first awake and is running around before breakfast. But it all gets done by Wednesday. Or I go crazy doing it every day. You could always put the dresser in the hallway. Haha.

That was probably the most boring comment EVER.

Sarah said...

I have the secret!! First of all, it cannot be your chore alone even on the days you SAH. It's too much for one adult. Second, It must be done everyday. If you skip a day you're screwed. Third, you have to change your definition of done. If it's not put away, it's not done. We never have a laundry problem, and we spend about 20 minutes a day on it. Here's how: whoever gets up firtst does the first load as soon as they get out of bed, and Ben usually starts the second on his way out the door. If it's an at home day for me, I sometimes fold and put away during Jack's nap. 20 minutes tops. Otherwise ben folds and puts away after dinner. If it's a work day for both of us, we fold and put away after the kids go to bed. We stack the stuff that goes in their room and ben puts it away in the morning while I feed the boys breakfast. We do 1-3 loads a day-- more when we change sheets. We never have piles of dirty or clean clothes and we only spend 20 minutes a day dealing with it. Team work!!

Rima said...

I have clean laundry, but no snickerdoodles. So, you win!

Bonnie Y said...

When there are 2 adults in the family, then both should participate.
And couldn't the kids help carry folded clothes from one location to another?
Make it a family project.
My husband says he loves to fold underwear. It's a great thing to do in front of the TV.

Meika said...

I so live where you live on this one. Laundry is truly the bane of my existence.

However! Sarah, you've inspired me to go start a load right now. :) And I really appreciate someone saying it's not a job for one person alone - that makes me feel a lot better!

justwondering said...

Sadly, it is never done! When it was just my husband and I, I did laundry every other week. Now I can't keep up doing laundry every other day. It's crazy!

Kim said...

I think you need a laundry schedule. Either every day or a few set times a week (unless there is a bed-wetting or something).

I do laundry twice a week, on the weekends and on Wednesdays usually. Wednesdays I wash everyone's clothes and on the weekends we do clothes and linens. As clothing comes out of the dryer, I fold it and put it away. It is pretty much all me, with sporadic help from Sam when he has time. We both do the same thing though -- as soon as a load comes out of the dryer, we fold it and put it away.

I think getting the kids involved is a good idea! Have them bring their dirty laundry to the washer/dryer and have them help you put it away. They can even help you fold -- sometimes A&Z like to hand me stuff from the dryer as I fold it. (Kind of nice because then my lazy butt doesn't have to bend down as much!)

Jodilynn said...

I have to be honest, even though some may think I'm evil. I simply refuse to do my husband's laundry. Something had to give and he's a big boy, so he needed to deal. And that little change alone really gave me room to breathe.

For the rest of us, I have a basket for each of my girls (they are 3 and 5) and sometimes I'm on top of it and sometimes I let the baskets get jammed full, but keeping their clothes separate just seems to up my sanity about 20% on any given day. When one basket gets full, I run the load. I also keep spot stuff (you know, spray & wash or whatever) in the baskets (since the girls are older) or in a kid-proof place near the basket so I can spray as I shove stuff in to keep stains at a minimum. I tend to fold at night when I am supposed to be relaxing or grading (I am an adjunct Eng Prof so there is always grading) The folding is sort of an escape! When the girls are in the bath playing, my husband will sit with them while I try to put the folded clean stuff away.

My own laundry is on a "catch as catch can" basis, but this too also works for me since I will often throw in a few items with the girls' stuff.

On an unrelated topic: your blogs ( and Sarah's and and a number of the others linked to your site) have really made a difference in my days. Just hearing from someone else with similar circumstance, and seeing how you try to be conscious and conscientious of family, faith -- as well as fashion ;o)-- really helped me feel less alone in the madness. AND, I've taken to actually caring about what I wear. It's a miracle!

Dr. Maureen said...

I'm going to guess that Labmama has a laundry room with a DOOR on it. That's my guess. The piles are just out of sight.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Maureen....yes we do have a door but the piles of laundry (clean unfolded and clean folded and just plain dirty LOL!) are all hidden upstairs! Keeping friends, neighbors and family safe. And by the time I go up there, I am too exhausted to care LOL! :)

See when I complain I forget about the important stuff. Like the kids helping!!! We do that a lot too. We fold the laundry upstairs and the kids are given piles of tshirts, pants, etc to put in their proper drawers. We have been trying to do this more, but sometimes it is just easier to do it the way I said this morning. The oldest folds the kitchen rags and towels and puts those away and the youngest can handle sorting the kitchen towels from the rags and can put the rags away. (We don't fold those.)


Anonymous said...

Ha ha! I told Charlie that I'm not the only one! Thanks, Becca!

Oh, and we just buy lots and lots (and lots) of socks and undies so we always have the essentials on hand. And while some people prefer to sort laundry BEFORE washing, we tend to sort laundry AFTER washing. If we don't need it for awhile, it goes on the floor by the dryer. If we might need it soon and don't want to lose it, it goes on top of the dryer. If we need it within a day or so, it stays in the dryer so we can fluff/de-wrinkle it before wearing. I'm a total slacker. But I also have a door to the laundry room... :)

Rebecca said...

I do all the kids laundry together [my kids are the same ages as Charlie and Wes]. I don't have a laundry schedule, per se, but I wash whenever I have enough to make a load. I do fairly well staying on top of the laundry...ironing is another story!! Just find your groove and go with it! I do agree that it is only 'done' when it is put up, that is the only way I will ever be 'done'!!

Amy said...

The kids all have separate baskets in their rooms and Josh and I share one. I usually do laundry twice per week -- kids one day, ours another. My problem is I dump it on the chair in the living room and it sits. And sits. And sits. Then I fold like a madwomam right before Josh gets home for the weekend. Then it all sits in the baskets for a few more days.

I can't imagine doing laundry everyday. I would die.

sarah said...

Laundry's gotten easier for me since we moved to a one-story house. On the east coast, I had to go up & down 2-3 flights of stairs with Ethan (as a baby) trying to follow me. It was impossible and so it just never got done (no, really--so many trips to Target just to buy more underwear so we could get through the week and I could do laundry on the weekends while Husband occupied Ethan).

Now that we live a one-storied existence, I throw loads in all the time and it doesn't matter that my kid is STILL following me everywhere I go. I've gotten much better at it, but I still DREAD things like sheets because for the life of me I cannot fold a bottom sheet. My mother would be horrified.

Kyla said...

Wow, laundry is a hot topic! LOL.

It depends on my week, whether it is done or not. At least one night a week I'm putting on a load we need by morning at 11pm or so. Also, we DON'T fold towels/washrags and put them away, they just go in the clean basket in our bedroom...saves time. We fold the kids jammies and keep them in our room instead of taking them to their dressers. We use them constantly and they dress down here. We cut corners...sometimes things don't get on the hanger for a few days, but we aren't running around naked. I call that success. ;)