I would love to write about something wonderful like an adventure out in the wilderness or a camping trip to somewhere beautiful. But today I’m going to talk about the thing that never ends at my house. Laundry. I love a good “life hack” or “pro tip” when it comes to house/mom life because let’s be honest, there are things that some of us are NOT good at that others seem to be rocking. I follow a few awesome women who provide such content that inspires and pushes me to try things a different way. One of the ladies, Allie Casazza, suggests that in order to keep laundry from becoming overwhelming (I think my Instagram story is like 80% pictures of laundry baskets or with laundry folded in the background) all you had to do was do one load of laundry EVERY DAY. Having grown up hearing people talk about “laundry day” as though it was a once a week thing I liked the idea of one load a day. So I tried. We had NO clean clothes. Everything was dirty. The hampers were overflowing. I was so confused. And then I decided to catch up one day and counted the loads of laundry that were waiting. I stopped counting loads at 11 because I was so sad.
I have a big beautiful dining room table, which often becomes a laundry table. And the clothes sit there for days and days. Or I fold while I watch tv and then every surface of the couch is covered in laundry. My family is so used to it they aren’t even fazed when they sit down and a pile of towels leans over their heads or a stack of toddler underpants topples to the floor. (Then they do what helpful kids everywhere do…they put anything that’s on the floor in the washing machine. Just to start the whole process again!)
I liked the plan of one a day…but in execution that barely washes half of the clothes worn in that day by my family. Forget sheets and towels. Or accidents. I had to supersize the plan for our family of 7. I have recently decided that I’m going to stay on top of the laundry battle by doing three loads of laundry per day. Not including sheets and towels. I am so used to being in a constant state of keeping up with the laundry that one afternoon, day three of my 3 loads-a-day plan, I walked past the laundry room and realized I had turned on the dryer despite there being no clothes inside of it. My body just assumed there were more clothes to wash. I was on laundry auto-pilot.
Life gets like that sometimes. The day-to-day things become so routine that we don’t think about them, we just do them. One of my mom’s favorite stories to retell was about a newly married woman who was making a roast and began by cutting off both ends of the meat and discarding them as she had seen her mother do her whole life. Her husband asked why she was getting rid of the ends of the meat and she said “I don’t know. My mom always did.” So she called her mother and asked why. Her mother replied the same way, “I don’t know. My mom always did.” So the mother called the grandmother and asked “Mom, why do you cut the ends off of a piece of roast before cooking it? Does it help it cook evenly? Make it more moist?” To which the grandma replied “My pan wasn’t big enough to hold the whole thing, so I had to cut off a little from each end to make it fit.” The way they had always done something was so much a part of how they did it that no one stopped to ask why.
So I’m trying something new. I’m sticking to 3 loads a day because after a week it still seems to be working. And laundry was even caught up for Spring Picture Day for the kids and everyone was able to wear the outfit they had been hoping was clean! Well, one of the kids had worn their shorts for about 15 minutes the day before, and put them in the hamper…so they weren’t so much “cleaned” as they were “thrown in the dryer for a half cycle to shake any wrinkles out”, but, you know, mostly clean. It’s a laundry miracle!