Friday, October 13, 2006

Laundry, Laundry, everywhere…

I subscribe to the Flylady. Yes, that’s right! I get about sixteen emails a day from the lovely ladies at Flylady, who with many a ‘LOL’ and :) tell me we’re all going to be OK and we just need to take a deep breath, lace up our shoes and take on the CHAOS one baby step at a time.

I love her. Get a little tired of the endless testimonials (“ooooh, I just love my feather duster LOL it’s so awesome LOL and you’re awesome LOL and I’m awesome LOL I just love it all so much LOL!”) (oh gak!), but overall I love the method and appreciate reminders about things I tend to forget all about…like washing the kitchen trash can and sweeping off the porch once in a while.

One of the things she recommends is doing a load of laundry every day. This, she insists, will keep the CHAOS (can’t have anyone over syndrome) away.


See, normally, I do laundry once a week. Pick a day, do the laundry. It doesn’t have to be Thursday or anything like that – as long as it is between five and eight days of the last laundry day, we’ll be fine. Six is ideal.

So on Laundry Day, I go through the house and toss down all the dirty stuff. Sheets, towels, hamper contents…down it goes, into a big pile in the hall by the laundry room. How big a pile? About…like this:

Be afraid…be VERY afraid…

That’s about five days worth of towels, sheets, socks, dresses, jeans, and business attire, friends. Scary, huh? Yeah. And yeah, before I brought it all downstairs, the ‘laundry storage areas’ were getting a bit on the hairy side. But it isn’t really as horrible as it looks.

It took me about five minutes to do a fast sort of the clothing into “stuff that will benefit from warm water wash” and “stuff for which cold is the only option” and the tiny pile of “stuff that must be washed on Uber Delicate and/or Line Dried”.

That whole pile will make about five loads, in my New! Wonderful! Uber! Ginormous! Washer-that-I-love-so-much-it-is-slightly-obscene!

Throughout the day, when the dryer beeps I take about a ten minute break from whatever else I was doing. Rotate the loads, fold the dry stuff, sorting as I go into Final Destination stacks. Neatly folded stacks, as far as the eye can see! When the last load comes out of the dryer, I’ll take an hour to really handle the issue. Take each stack upstairs and put it where it belongs, whether on the foot of the bed for an older child to put away with her own lily-white hands (yes, yes, yes!!) or into my own closet or what have you.

Meanwhile, the iron heats up so I can iron the wrinkly things QUICK! (I can get one of my husband’s shirt done every ninety seconds…and yes, I clocked me…) and hey! Lookit that!!

It’s all done. All of it. And I don’t have to worry about it for another five days, minimum.

But then the Flylady tells me a load a day is the way to go and I thought to myself, thought I, Self! Give it a try! Who knows, it might be GREAT!

Or…it could end up that…there is always a load of sodden things in the washer, a wrinkly nightmare in the dryer, and clean clothes I haven’t gotten around to folding and/or putting away piled all over my dresser. And somehow, I never got around to the ironing at all, so now I’ve got this closet-jamming pile of work shirts and linen dresses (!) that need a good ironing. And they’re extra wrinkly, because they sat in the washer overnight, and then the dryer overnight. Plus, I feel like I've been doing the laundry ALL WEEK, and yet there are NO. CLEAN. SOCKS. IN. THIS. HOUSE!!!


It doesn’t work for me.

Which is the point of my sermon today. There’s a lot of advice out there, good, bad and indifferent, on every subject from how to fold a t-shirt to how to make a zillion dollars overnight on the Internet without even owning a computer!. There’s perfectly good advice that is bad for you personally; and bad advice for the general population that might actually be the best thing that ever happened to you.

Take the advice for what it’s worth. Give it the old college try if it makes sense to you. If it works, hallelujah! If not, don’t worry about it. Move on. Don’t think the problem is in you, somehow, and that you’re either a lost cause or just not ‘getting it’.

If the ‘batch method’ of laundry works for you, cool. If a ‘load a day’ floats your canoe, fantastic.

The important thing, what I want you to remember and take away with you today, is that having clean socks and underwear available when you want them, regardless of what laundry method makes them possible, makes the world a better place for all concerned.

So. Get to the laundry, friends, in whatever fashion gives you the most inner peace. Together, we will make this world a better place for all! One crummy sock at a time...

1 comment:

Kayten said...

I, too, subscribe to The Fly Lady, and feel the same about all the testimonials. I have to admit that certain areas in the house are getting better, at least intermittently. I was raised in a house where I had to put my toys away before going to the bathroom, and have rebelled against that concept ever since. Now that I'm 55, I figure I'm due for some sort of middle ground, but since we moved our 4 bedroom house and my mom's 3 bedroom house into a 140 year old 4 bedroom colonial this year, it's slow going. Despite the fact that we disposed of over 6 TONS of stuff prior to the move. We have a 3 bay detatched garage which is pretty full, but I'm not allowing anything else into the house unless it has a place to go. I read your site daily, and get a big kick out of it. I'll be starting my own blog soon in conjunction with a website for my home yarn/fiber dying business. I hope to chronicle the adventures of the people and animals that reside here. I'll let you know when it's up.