Monday, July 6, 2009

459 Words About Laundry

Not long ago, our son woke from a nap wailing, “I don’t want to do laundry!”

I don’t know where he gets it.

For three people, we generate a ridiculous amount of dirty clothing. Bob has more costume changes in a day than Cher. Between the potty accidents, novice level eating utensil skills and the general boy-ness of it all, we’re looking at about 5 complete changes every 24-hour period. It takes mere minutes for a fresh fitted sheet on our bed to resemble the Shroud of Turin. The dog and cat both sleep with us in the bed. The level of fur and dirt and half eaten snacks hiding between the sheets proves that Daisy and Pearl are not sharing our bed - we are sharing theirs.

I was on the lookout for some way to make the laundering process cheaper, efficient, and more pleasant. I turned to my guide, the internet. Trent the blogger over at The Simple Dollar is semi-obsessed with making his own laundry detergent from scratch. He is convinced that it saves him a bunch of money. His original post about make-it-yourself detergent then spawned 5 or 6 subsequent posts and a heated debate among his readers. There are over 500 comments on the original post alone. More reasons I love the internet.

We have a front loader and need to use a low-sudsing soap so I won’t be trying Trent’s bucket of home-made slime. However, in the name of green and money saving, I have gone back on my dryer loving word and have resolved to line dry some of the laundry during the summer months. I know lots of people do it and it’s not like I’m churning my own butter here but the full clothesline does have a pioneer quality about it. As a bonus it gives the backyard the feel of a set from a high school production of West Side Story.

On the web, I found volumes of laundry strategies and systems. As efficiency goes, I tried the Mon-Whites/Wed-Darks/Fri-Sheets-and-Towels, The Load-A-Day-Every-Day, and The Do-It-All-On-One-Day-Only-Once-A-Week. While the idea of a set template appealed to my OCD, my search brought me back to the conclusion that with laundry, like much else, there is no hidden magic. The only way to get it done is to just shut up and do it.

For now, I will be sticking with the Throw-A-Load-In-When-I-Think-Of-It method that I have come to rely on. My goal will be to try to keep the clean stuff coming before Bob has no choice but to dress in an ill-fitting Christmas themed pajama top and we are all wearing bathing suits as underwear. Not that this has ever happened… too much.


  1. Throw it in and hope he hasn't stuffed crayons in his pockets.

    I love the smell and feel of line dried sheets.

    Now excuse me, I have laundry to do.

  2. hey Bob, let's run through the sprinklers with our clothes on! - hey Bob, let's run through the sprinklers again with our clothes on! -hey Bob, let's run through the sprinklers again with our clothes on! - hey Bob, let's run through the sprinklers with our clothes on some more!


    rinse, repeat

  3. Foodiewest - Always chiming in with a unique problem solving pitch. I like it.

  4. OMG I completely know what you mean - we are exactly the same way - I do laundry every single day - every day - ridiculous!!!! There just seems to be this overload of dirty underwear that gets flinged across the bedroom by Mr USA and it lands on pieces of furniture - much to his delight and my disgust - my sons ever dirty everything and my own mess due to working with horses every day........I have given up and just throw everything in the damn machine. Every day. Without fail. I am a washer-woman. Just call me Sadie.

  5. At least you have the luxury of the washer and dryer being inside your house. A few days ago, I went to go throw a load in the community washer at my apartment building. I was welcomed with hair. And then a little bit more hair. Did I mention hair? I don't know where it came from and I don't want to know. It disgusted me so much, I surprised myself. I put all the hair in a baggie and attached a note to it:

    1) Clean up after yourself
    2) Be considerate to your neighbors
    3) Don't leave your HAIR in the washer and dryer.

    I could have been more mean. Pain in the hairy arse, my hairy neighbors. Which reminds me of a hairy story....