Wednesday, March 26, 2008


I don't know about any of you but I will confess.....I HATE doing laundry. I just need to vent for a minute. When I was single I could get all my laundry in one day and kept it under control for a week or so. When I first got married it was just about the same....I could spend one day doing laundry and feel accomplished that I had completed our laundry for the week.

Now having me, a husband, and two kids it just never seems to be completely done. I ALWAYS have a load in the washer, a load drying in the dryer, a couple of piles of clean clothes that need to be put away and of course there is always a pile of dirty clothes in our room and each of the kids rooms and occasionally a pile in the bathroom.

The laundry seems to be never ending. I am OK with getting the clothes washed and dried, it's the putting away I seem to have a huge problem with. It just seems so discouraging because every time I turn around the dirty clothes piles seems to be multiplying and replenishing more work for me to do!!! ARRRGHHH..go away dirty clothes!!!!!

Does anyone have any good laundry tips on how to stay on top of things?? Or do any of you feel my pain?? I would love to hear what you all have say about this matter!!!!


Rosie said...

for me, its dishes. They never, ever end! I, however, got lucky enough to con my husband into a prenup of sorts whose only terms were "I'll cook, but you do the dishes." Now its more like "I'll cook and nag and you'll go the dishes." My mom had a seperate "clean laundry" basket for each kid (they were even labeled). All our folded laundry went in them and they got put in our room. It was our responsibility from there. I don't know if your kids are big enough for that, but its a thought...

Bridget said...

Maybe I'm just a slacker, but my strategy on keeping laundry down is to be really judicious about what goes in the dirty clothes box (or whatever you call it) in the first place. In our house, it has to be visibly stained (and badly - some of Miriam's clothes get away with a few little stains) or really stinky or otherwise really, really dirty.

Underwear is, of course, the exception.

I think some of this habit comes from living in places/countries with substandard laundry facilities, if any. I'm sure Nancy would concur :).

Nancy Heiss said...

Actually, yes. We probably don't wash our clothes as often as other people do...

In Russia sometimes your clothes were better off dirty than washed. And in Jordan, well, we tried to wash as little laundry as possible.

And I guess we still do that here.

I do have a pile of "wear agains" and a dirty clothes basket and then clean clothes, which I try keep to put away, but I think that it's easier with just three of us. Four might be overwhelming.

Nancy Heiss said...

"which I try keep put away"

What does that even mean?

Joy said...

I know how you feel... My solution is to put them all on the bed after I wash them (which is almost always a Tuesday; Tuesday is the day I do laundry and nothing else). That way I can't go to bed until all the laundy is done and put away. It's a pain, but it almost always gets done-and I now have 2 kids as well.

Rob and Marseille said...

I guess having to do laundry at a laundry mat is a blessing. If it's dirty, it leaves the house, if it's clean, it stays there. In 2 hours my laundry is done for a week. (we have a weeks worth of underwear, usually Christopher has a weeks worth of clothes, but for some reason he got alot of hand-me downs in his current size, so he's like us, he has lots of choices.)
I let Christopher (practically 3yrs old) put away his clothes that I dont' mind if they're folded.(pjs, underwear)and then I put away mine and my husbands. It only takes 5minutes if it's already just gotta do it.

Anonymous said...


I'm with Rosie. It's definitely the dishes for me. And it seems like it's gotten worse lately. Anyway, I don't know if you've heard of FlyLady, but she had a great laundry system. It's not that it's all that revolutionary, but if you stick to her plan, it works. And when I stick to her plan, it works (when being the operative word). Her basic premise is to do one load of laundry a day and you'll never have a "Mt. Washmore" as she calls it. You know, where the dirty clothes pile gets so big that your kids could climb on it and play. :) Her system: You start a load of clothes in the morning, say, before you hop in the shower. The load finishes its washing cycle as you're finishing up getting ready for the day. Before you leave the bathroom (I say this because my washer and dryer are right by my bathroom), you move the clothes to the dryer. The clothes are done drying by, like 10am or so. You take 20 min. to fold them, another 10 to put them all away, and you're DONE with laundry for the ENTIRE DAY. You don't have to think about it again at all that day. You don't have piles of dirty clothes, or piles of clean clothes that you so painstakingly folded, only to get jumbled and smashed...and then you wonder if they were clean or dirty to begin with and you end up washing them again...Anyway, Heather, I feel your pain. I hate it when I have to spend a whole day or weekend doing laundry. But try this system out. See if if works for you. If you do a complete (i.e. wash, dry, fold and put away - you have to do all 4 steps for it to work) load a day, you might find it's not such a burden.

Echoing some of the other comments that have been made - when I lived in France, it was a SHOCK to see my host mother in the morning wearing the same clothes she had had on the previous night. We're not talking about some dumpy housewife wearing sweats day after day. These were upper middle class folks wearing nice, polished outfits. But she didn't have any qualms about wearing the same outfit more than once, and two days in a row at that. I ended up seeing that a lot during my time in Europe. I think we (Americans) have issues with laundry. Just because you've worn it once doesn't necessarily mean it's dirty.

One other thing (sorry for the novel!). I heard once that you should be happy about having piles of laundry and piles of dishes to do (at the time, I thought this was perhaps an overly optimistic viewpoint - who in the heck is happy about laundry and dishes, but now I think it has some merit) because that meant that your family was living and thriving and being active. I don't think I'm doing the thought justice, but basically, be happy that there is laundry to do and dishes to do because that means that you are surrounded by people you love. And be happy that you have the means to do the laundry and dishes (clean water, soap, machines that do most of the work for you inside your own home, a dryer. In France, we had no dryer. Only a tiny little washer. I will never forget how towels and sheets feel after being air dried. Crusty. Not comfortable.)

Hope I didn't come across as being preachy. Not my intention. I just totally understand your frustration!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Hope you find something that helps!

Bonnie Parks said...

I don't mind laundry. Never have. But the dishes (I know, not original) I don't like so much.
Still, laundry can become overwhelming. I also do the put-the-clean-laundry-on-the-bed thing but more because I don't know where else to put it in our little house. That's just what works for me. The great thing about it in my house is Matt is more likely to start folding laundry that he sees on the bed than just about any other cleaning thing. He just doesn't see the other work that needs to be done as much as the laundry that is preventing him from his wonderful sleeping place.
On a not-as-happy note about laundry, any ideas how to convince your husband that just because it is easier for HIM to just throw something in the hamper because he is not sure if it is clean or dirty (my clothes or Amy's) doesn't mean it's easier for ME to wash something again when it isn't dirty. Still working on this one.

Heather B. said...

Thanks for all our tips. I am going to take some of them into consideration and hopefully get a system down that will work for me.