Widgets Magazine

Aug 1, 2011

Laundry...Again

The dirty laundry -7/31/2011

I think I told you a couple of days ago that I’m still inundated with laundry from our month of camping/vacation/playing before school starts. It’s SOO frustrating! I can’t seem to make any real progress on the unending pile. It didn’t help that Prima Donna and Sport both cleaned their rooms last Thursday.

The clean laundry-7/31/2011
I’ve been complaining about the lack of bath towels in my bathroom for a couple of weeks. After she hauled two baskets of laundry to the mudroom, the Prima Donna stopped by to chat. “You know how we haven’t been able to find any towels lately?” she suggested. I sprinkled the soap and closed the lid to the washer for the sixth time that day. “Yeah,” I sighed. “Well, I found 23 of them in my room!” She dumped them in my to-do pile. “I hope you took all of your clothes down to the kids’ laundry room!” I responded. I tried pushing the pile of towels into a smaller pile, one that didn’t cover half the mudroom floor. “I did!” she answered cheerfully as she headed back to her room.


Sometimes I think laundry is the story of my life. It doesn’t matter how much I do, it ALWAYS comes back again. Even if by some miracle I did get to the bottom of the pile, as soon as the kids undressed for the night I would have a couple of loads to do all over again. It hasn’t always been that way…I could have avoided laundry for most of my life except… Wait, let me back up a bit and I will tell you the whole story.

Picture credit
I’ve told you before that my mom was very frugal. Raising 8 kids on a teacher’s salary couldn’t have been easy. She pinched pennies everywhere she could, including laundry. I watched her perform this ritual many times. The washing machine was in our kitchen and the dryer was in the basement, but Mom rarely used the dryer. She put the clothes and the soap in the washer. When they were finished sloshing around, she stopped the washer and pulled the wet items out one by one, hand-wringing each piece and placing it in a bucket.

Me and Sweetie- Engagement picture
Then she added more clothes and turned the washer back to begin the cycle again. Since there was still water in the machine, she simply added more soap and it was off and running. She completed three washings in the same water, then transferred the clothes back in to spin. Then she took all the wet clothes and usually hung them outside on the clothesline if we had nice weather. If the weather was bad, she hung some things in the bathroom and some downstairs on the clothesline in the furnace room. She did laundry pretty much every day, and it forced her to stay near the washing machine all the time.

Needless to say, when I got married, I was terrified of doing laundry! I was in college at the time, so of course I had to go to class. I couldn’t be sitting around all day watching the washer. Besides, the laundry room was several buildings away… It was a dilemma. But my sweetie jumped in and offered to be in charge of the laundry. He had been away to college on his own, so he knew how to wash his own clothes. I was so grateful!

In front of our first apartment
For almost a year, he faithfully executed his duties by taking care of all the laundry (at least the washing and drying part, I still got to fold it). I spent some time with him, just watching, because it didn’t seem like he was doing it the same way that Mom had. We didn’t even own a bucket! After a while I realized that there was definitely an easier way. Then one night when he had a late lab, I decided I could finally run a load on my own. I wanted to wear something that he hadn’t gotten around to washing yet. That was one of the dumbest mistakes I ever made. The chore that I had avoided for nearly a year suddenly became mostly my responsibility. Over the years I’ve done thousands of loads of laundry…but I still let him scrub the shower.

10 comments:

Lacy@uphillandsmiling said...

I was just feeling sorry for myself and the amount of laundry I have with FOUR kids... wow, it's all about perspective and possible the number of teenagers currently residing in your home. You are amazing!
I loved the story about your Mom.
And your engagement picture is SO cute!

Saimi said...

Holy cow girlfriend, I think you should at least have more than one washer and dryer, that's just craziness right there!!

I shall never complain again!!

Sara Bell said...

I'll never complain about our laundry again!

Kiasa said...

Hey, I was just reading the Larsen family newsletter and saw you have a blog. I'm so excited to see what you guys are up to here. You are an inspiration! I'm exhausted with 3 little ones! *hugs* from NYC

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

Oh goodness. I have the twins in cloth diapers, so I know about laundry woes, but I can't imagine washing for such a big family!

We have retractable clothes lines in the kids' rooms and a drying rack in our room, so we don't have to use the dryer quite as much. Still, it takes time to hang all those clothes, even if it is simplified by hanging in the rooms where they go.

prima donna said...

i hate laundry!!! i have 2 hampers full of my clothes to do ii should do that soon...

Natalie Ockey said...

You know, I love that hang-dried laundry so much that I strung a clothes line in my yard and one in my laundry room for rainy days! I insist that my jeans never go in the dryer (though I do dry pretty much everything else).

And where did you get that pic of the family? I've never seen it. A few people are noticeably missing. Any idea why?

~R

Cindy said...

Wow that's a lot of laundry! I celebrated the day our girls started doing their own. That left me more time for the towels and sheets and curtains and rugs....

GrumpyJaxMomOf3 said...

I totally understand the laundry thing.... We have 7 in our household and the laundry NEVER stops coming.... I do about 3 loads a day, and that is only if everyone is healthy which rarely happens. I do NOT like germs, so if anyone is sick all the bedding finds it's way to the front of the laundry line.... Since our dryer is broken we have been attempting your mother's method of not using a dryer.... not a fan! It takes 3 days for clothes to dry inside and it has been raining outside.... hmmmmmm. We are trying to get a 2nd washer and dryer in our next house.... that way if this happens again we will have a back up :) We are so spoiled about how easy laundry is... yet I complain everyday. My laundry pile looks like yours only all mine is clean laundry..... I hate folding and hanging clothes!

mommeeof10 said...

I hate laundry, as I am the only one who sorts it. Yes we have two hugh front loader whirlpool washers and matching dryers. Only one set is working currently. If the plumber ever has time when he is not working another side job, he can add the other hook ups for the second washer. The kids run the washer and dryer when I am at work. But they do not sort laundry and mix everything together when washing clothes. I'm trying to convince them it would be much easier if, say the boys, bring down their clothes on the same day and wash them separately from everything else. It would be much easier to sort them if it was only a few people stuff together, not a whole mountain covering the dining room table. I would like to eat at the dining room table again...

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