My Love Hate Relationship with Laundry

laundryLaundry, who likes doing it?  Sure it feels great when you’re loading it into the washing machine.  You feel like you’re accomplishing something, the big wad of dirty clothes on the floor is no more until it’s now a wad of clean clothes on the couch or bed or ironing board waiting to be folded and put away.  We’ve all seen laundry mountain; the big pile of clothes mounted on your couch that’s three loads worth of clothes.  You walk by the pile and grimace a little knowing that it’s waiting for you to fold it.

Laundry Mountain


I think everyone approaches laundry differently, and I think I’ve tried just about every technique trying to find something that would grow my relationship of hate to one of love, or at least get me motivated to do it!

  • There are those that leave it in the washer and dryer as long as possible, picking one item out at a time but that leaves you will stale or moldy smelling clothing.
  • Laundry Day.  This is having a day, or two consecutive days, of doing 5 to 7 load of laundry getting it all done in this span of time.  The thought behind this technique is you won’t spend your week doing laundry everyday.  Having a family of 6 I found you might take this approach if you would like to lose a day or two of your week and put everything else on hold.
  • Do a load of laundry every day.  This is a small manageable amount of laundry and you get it done and it’s done for the day.  Until you forget to do a load and then you find yourself doubling up, tripling up, and then you’re back to the Laundry Day with 5 or 7 loads to be done.

Picture from “11 Essential Laundry-Room Organizing Ideas” on the Martha Stewart website.

Then there is the decision of where to fold the laundry — upstairs, downstairs, in bedrooms, hiding in the bathroom from kids, or in the “laundry room”.  Yes, because we’re all fortunate enough to have Martha Stewart laundry rooms (Despite my jab, I really do love Martha.  And if you click on the link there are some great tips on laundry.).  I have a washer and dryer in the basement which is also my children’s playroom.  If I attempted to fold laundry downstairs (and unfortunately I found out the hard way this doesn’t work) it would end up as batting practice or a fort to play on.  I personally like to fold laundry on the couch because with nap schedules I can put it away as the child is awake, versus bringing the laundry into a bedroom to fold, put the child to bed and then you’ve just lost 2 hours of laundry time because you forgot to pull the laundry out of the bedroom before putting the child to bed.   And since I tend to side on the technique of Laundry Day I typically end up with a couch full of laundry by the weekend and then my husband ends up putting it away.  I just said, “my husband puts it away”, do I need to say more other than this isn’t a good thing.

Then it occurred to me, I’m approaching this all wrong.  I’m annoyed with a task that needs to be done by someone, and that someone is me (with the occasional child helping me bring the piles upstairs).  I’m trying to make this into a science, trying to do laundry this day, fold that day, separating the laundry, laundry on Monday but not Tuesday.  But guess what? Laundry comes as it comes and you get it done when you can get it done.  Someone needs something so you throw a load of whites on and it’s as simple as that.

Another little tip that has helped me is I pick a short show on Netflix or Hulu, put it on my iPad and watch while I fold.  I really don’t ever watch TV, mainly because I don’t have time.  I’m giving myself a little gift.  I have 20 minutes to fold and put away a load of laundry while watching a show.  I set the kids up with an activity and ask them not to bother me.  I’ve essentially carved a little period of time out for just me, but the bonus is I just got a load of laundry done!

Finally, I realized I should be grateful that I’m doing laundry for a family of six.  I’m blessed to have these four wonderful children that wear three outfits a day.  They’re wearing those three outfits because they had a great day full of playing outside, eating great food, or doing arts and crafts at our kitchen table.  Knowing that my child had a fun filled day helps make those endless piles of laundry a little more easy to manage.

I can’t say my laundry relationship has turned from hate to love but I certainly don’t mind doing it and I kind of like now.


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