Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Removing The Laundry Obstacle

Laundry has always clouded my ability to feel like an accomplished housekeeper. Over the years when Josh and I lived in apartments (for about 6 years) that didn't have a washing machine, we would take our laundry to the laundromat in trash bags. I know, we were super classy. Imagine me literally lining up 8 black trash bags and filling an entire row of machines. It pains me to even think about those days. We finally rented a house that had a tiny apartment sized washing machine, I had such visions of it changing my life, but I kept on with my same bad habits. Sometimes I would just load up all the laundry and hit the Laundromat for old times sake, how pitiful.

This may be the appropriate time to blame my mother for my struggles. MY MOTHER IS THE MOST AMAZING LAUNDRY GODDESS. Her whites are whiter than when they were opened fresh from the package. She can fold a Queen fitted sheet to fit into a sandwich bag. Her stacks of folded laundry look straight off the page of a professionally styled photo shoot for Martha Stewart Living. She washed, dried, folded, and promptly put away. Laundry didn't sit in my home growing up. It was just done with precision.

On the other hand? My style is to let a mountain of laundry pile up, do a load, and usually forget about it. I open the machine a day or two later, take a few extra whiffs, notice it may smell a bit rank, so I have to wash it again. On the second go around it gets to the dryer in an appropriate time frame, where it lingers in a ball to wrinkle up, long after the permanent press beeps have ceased. The other method to my madness is to do all the laundry in a day, like 8 loads. Put all of the dried clothes on a flat pile and watch Netflix and have a folding marathon. Everyone has their own laundry basket and I toss them in the appropriate room when I am done. Sometimes I get around to helping the girls put their laundry away, but more than likely they just get dressed from the laundry basket.

Cue, laundry shame.

On days when the girls need particular clothing like soccer uniforms or ballet leotards and I have to search piles and laundry baskets or the drying rack or the dirty laundry pile to find them? 20 minutes later I feel so incredibly frustrated because I am such a disaster about the laundry...

Cue, laundry shame.

On December 28, 2013 I decided to fight my laundry complacency. I washed all the laundry in the house, including sheets and blankets. I paired every sock possible with deep searches under beds, dressers, the couch, and at the bottoms of every closet. I threw away all the unmatched socks, we said good bye to them once and for all. I promptly folded all the laundry and then put it away. Of course before I could successfully put away all the laundry, I had to reorganize all the closets and dressers for the entire family. I pushed on through the task at hand and ultimately concluded I would tame the laundry beast once and for all.

A mere 10 days later and I have maintained my commitment to keeping up with the laundry. The girls had ballet this week, leotards and tights were folded and easy to access in their dressers. I've been throwing in about a load or two every other day. I do one load of darks and one of lights/whites. I can't believe how incredibly freeing it is to have a handle on such a everyday task that felt like such a heavy burden for so many years.

When I committed to nurturing my family and my home, I had no idea laundry would be the first obstacle I removed in 2014.