I’d love to paint you a picture of how easy my life is. I mean, it should be easy by all accounts. Financially, we do okay. Our house is new and large. We live in a quiet town with good schools and we drive nice cars.
I am fortunate and I remember that every day of my life, even when I’m complaining about petty little things (like how crowded the grocery store is on a Sunday evening or how there’s too long of a wait for a table at the sushi restaurant in town).
But I do have a big problem that seems to just be bigger than me. And that problem is spelled L-A-U-N-D-R-Y.
Laundry is the bane of my existence and I can’t figure out how to make it easier or better. But here are some of my thoughts. I’d love to hear your advice for how to make this dreadful task less dreadful.
Laundry Problem #1: Getting the laundry downstairs
Back in the day, most houses were built with laundry hookups in the basement. I get it. That’s just where it went. We were lucky enough to actually have a laundry chute in the house where I grew up. In addition to putting our laundry down there, it also made for some interesting story lines with our Barbie dolls.
But new houses like mine? No excuse. The laundry room should be upstairs, you know, WHERE ALL THE LAUNDRY IS. Instead, some bozo designed my house so that I have to walk downstairs through the family room and through the kitchen to squeeze in to the tiny laundry room. I’m lucky if I have room to open the doors.
Laundry Problem #2: I have too many clothes.
I realized just the other day that my favorite shirts often sit in my closet while I wear something else because I’m “saving” my favorite shirt. For what? If I didn’t have so many clothes (and they’re not even good clothes – usually something super cheap I picked up on clearance), I’d just wear my favorite clothes, wash them, and then wear them again instead of suffering through clothes I don’t really like.
Laundry Problem #3: I can wash the clothes. I just can’t fold the clothes.
Any schmuck can cram them into the washing machine. And it’s pretty easy to throw them in the dryer. It’s even pretty easy to take them out of the dryer. But folding them, hanging them, and putting them away are all my downfall. As a result, they sit in the dryer for a long time while I keep “fluffing” them over and over and over until I’m convinced that this time I’ll actually put them away. Or sometimes, I just put them in a basket and pull them out as needed. It’s why you’ll often find me in wrinkled clothes.
Laundry Problem #4: I refuse to handwash anything.
Sometimes I forget to look at the label of something before I buy it. As I’m checking the label and putting it into the washing machine, I’ll often see one of two dreaded phrases: “Hand wash only” or even worse “Dry clean only.” I can tell you that neither of those things will ever happen. I’ve lived in my town for almost three years and don’t even know where a dry cleaners is.
I actually translate both of those to mean “Wash gently and hang to dry.” Which is also why my clothes always look their best the very first time I wear them. Because once they hit the wash cycle, they are never the same again.
Laundry Problem #5: Hang to dry makes me hang my head.
Yes, I know I mentioned that hanging to dry is my way of getting around dry cleaning. But I really hate hanging to dry. Why is it that there isn’t a single article of men’s clothing that requires hanging to dry but women require some strange and magical fabric that does? So sometimes I’ll buy big and just wash and dry anyway. Sure, there’s shrinkage but belly shirts are making a comeback, right?
Laundry Problem #6: The missing laundry cup
You know that cup you use to measure out the right amount of laundry detergent? It’s always missing. It’s either fallen somewhere out of bounds in the laundry room or it’s been washed and dried and is now sitting in the bottom of someone’s laundry basket. Probably my husband’s. When I do laundry, I “estimate” the laundry detergent. I pretty sure I’m either overwashing or underwashing my clothes.
Laundry Problem #7: Other people’s clothes
Here’s where I’m going to sound really spoiled. I don’t do my husband’s laundry. He does his own. It’s cool though. He doesn’t mind doing laundry. And I don’t mind him doing laundry – just not mine. Because every time he tries to “help,” I end up with a shirt sized 2T. I do, however, do my son’s laundry. How can one child produce so many clothes? It feels like he needs laundry done literally every day. So his takes priority and always gets down and always gets folded and put away. Maybe because his clothes are smaller?
So now you know my spoiled suburban life and how laundry keeps me from laying on the couch, watching soap operas, and eating bon bons all day. I hate it. I loathe it. And I really wish I had a laundress. Or at least an upstairs laundry room.