If you want to feel superior or at least not inferior, you can go look at the picture here.
But this is the same basket (that wasn't even visible in the first picture!)
Progress, am I right? However, true progress would probably involve not leaving the laundry basket out in the living room all week for all and sundry to see, but let's not get crazy here. It needs to be there for intermittent loads of laundry I occasionally do during the week, usually when C begs me to wash some article of clothing that she HAS to wear before the next laundry day. (As you can see, most of the laundry is done at one time, on the weekend.) L never asks me to do this; he's a 4th-grade boy, he wouldn't care if his clothes ever got washed. I am annoyed that he often puts perfectly clean clothes in the dirty clothes hamper because he doesn't want to fold them, but that's another post. (Spoiler alert: he will soon be doing his own laundry, or at least a good portion of everyone's, depending on how I decide to divide it up.)
I can't believe I am writing about my laundry procedure, but I do like hearing about household systems and how they work (or don't work) for other families, so here goes.
Way back when I was a young SAHM, I did a load of laundry or two a day because we HAD to stay on top of things or the children would have been running around naked. Which they did anyway, because toddlers, but I digress. Once I began working again that was no longer optimal, as I was usually too tired on a weeknight to remember to put the wet clothes into the dryer and you know how that goes. If you are thinking my husband should have helped, let me just say that he is happy to help, he just apparently lacks the ability to remember that a certain task needs to be done. And since I was not able to remember, the laundry had to be done on the weekend, when it was impossible to ignore.
The laundry system in our house has evolved into the following
- Sometime after breakfast on Saturday morning, I remember it's time to start the laundry.
- I sort the laundry in the master bedroom laundry hamper into piles.
- I yell at the kids to come sort their laundry. Not yell in a mean way (yet) but because they literally can't hear me since they are plugged into their various devices.
- I yell in a mean way for the kids to come sort their laundry.
- I start a load that doesn't depend on their clothes, because this is going to take a while.
- The kids sort their laundry. Sometimes they do a good job. Other times could be what is optimistically called "a teaching opportunity" but let's be honest, I don't take the opportunity because it's Saturday and I would rather be doing an infinite number of things other than laundry.
- Yes, I know I choose to do it this way. Shut up.
- As each load is finished, it is
placed with tender loving carethrown willy-nilly into the laundry basket. The laundry basket is only for CLEAN clothes. It just is. If you put something in there dirty expecting it to be washed, well, you're just going to be disappointed, that's all.
- Yes, I realize that allowing clothes/sheets/towels to be strewn all over the living room floor may render the idea of "clean" negligible. I also accept that we are a wrinkled people. And again I say: unless you are going to come over and do my laundry, shut up.
- Laundry day is always Saturday unless there is some compelling reason to move it to Sunday. It must be done by Sunday or the children will have no school uniforms and Justin will have no jeans. (I could get by for a while.) We strive to have the laundry folded by Sunday night. This didn't happen this week, which is why the pile of laundry looks like it was attacked by wolves.
- The worst part about laundry is putting away the clothes. Here's how we do it (not necessarily recommended). Justin and/or I redistribute the clothes to each family member by hurling them in a different corner of the room assigned to each person.
- We call to the kids to start folding. Usually C will start folding and L will flop on the floor next to his pile of clothes (remember I said he throws a lot in the hamper?) and act like we just asked him to climb Mount Everest.
- We all fold our clothes in a peaceful, timely fashion. Or rather, all of us except L fold our clothes while he stares at the TV or dust motes in the light, pesters the dog or his sister, or kicks a soccer ball incessantly against the couch OH MY GOD JUST FOLD YOUR CLOTHES ALREADY.
- Finally the clothes are put away! (Except for the pile on the ironing board in our room that I will put up later. Definitely later, almost certainly before the next laundry day.