Dealing with the Monster of Laundry
Published March 02, 2005
There’s a monster in our house.
It keeps growing, and at this rate it may consume my house by next month. I don’t know if my homeowners insurance will cover this.
It’s my laundry. It won’t go away.
I make an honest effort. But with all the things I need to do every day, and with a 6-month-old who needs my attention every two-and-a-half minutes, the laundry spends a lot of time just sitting.
Here’s what I don’t like about laundry. No matter how much of it I wash, it will never get done. Even if I stay up all night and wash everything in all the clothes hampers, my family members will get up in the morning, take off their jammies and put them in the hampers. By 6:30 a.m., I will have another load to wash, dry, fold and put away.
My life with laundry didn’t begin until I was a freshman in college, when I found myself in the laundry room of my dorm with a month’s worth of dirty clothes, a jug of Fab in one hand and a phone in the other as my mom dictated laundry instructions from 500 miles away.
I quickly discovered, as most freshmen do, that you don’t really have to do laundry until you run out of underwear. So my solution was simple: I just kept buying underwear. At one point I had 63 pairs. I think I did laundry four times my senior year.
Then I got married and had babies.
Let me tell you something about babies. They are basically just very cute laundry-generating machines. If you don’t believe me, see what happens when a baby sneezes with a mouthful of Gerber peas. You’ll be washing the clothes of anyone who was standing within a five-foot radius.
I know I’m not the only laundry-challenged mom out there, so I thought I’d pass on my weekly laundry schedule that I have been perfecting for the past several years:
SUNDAY: Do no laundry. Sunday is a holy day of ordained rest.
MONDAY: Panic because you did no laundry the previous day and your child has nothing to wear to school. Grab something off the top of the hamper and put it on her.
TUESDAY: Put a load in the washer and start it. Get clean clothes out of the dryer and dump on the living room floor with every intention of folding it.
WEDNESDAY: Direct your husband to the pile when he asks where his socks are.
THURSDAY: Oops! The load you put in the washer on Tuesday is still in there. Wash it again.
FRIDAY: The entire family gathers by the clean-clothes pile in the living room to get dressed.
SATURDAY: Your baby has an Armageddon-style diaper and gets poop on her outfit, the blanket she was lying on and her socks. (How do they get it on their socks?) Thursday’s load is still in the washer. Wash it again.
You have now used a third of a laundry detergent bottle on one load. When it’s done, put that load in the dryer and the baby’s poopy clothes in the washer. Close the lid. Maybe the clothes will just go away.
SUNDAY: Holy day of rest again. Go buy some underwear.
Deana Nall’s column appears every Wednesday. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.