Looking Back: The Laundry – Part 1

December 10, 2015

Oh my goodness.  I remember there being baskets of clean, unfolded laundry everywhere back when my kids were small.

The washer and dryer were in the basement of our first house.  In spring (and summer and fall), it was normal for there to be water on the floor.  We even had a channel of concrete running through the basement to hold the water as it made it’s way from one side of the house to the other.  It wasn’t nearly wide or deep enough.  

We kept those huge, man-sized, yellow, rubber boots at the top of the stairs.  Walking up and down the old stairs wearing them was a trick.  Add a overly full laundry basket to my arms and I’m pretty sure it could have been a circus act.  Send in the clowns.

The washer and dryer had to be protected from the water so they were situated on wood pallets.  I’m 5’1” tall.  It’s hard enough getting into an old, top loading machine when it’s on the floor.  To get the items from the bottom I had to jump up and lean over into the machine, feet dangling in the air.  Imagine it with the big, yellow, rubber boots.  More clowns, please.

Obviously, the basement wasn’t a place the kids could go at all.  So each time I went down to do laundry it was a race to get back upstairs before the kids realized I was gone and proceeded to cause as much chaos as possible in my absence.   

Back then all the clothes went upstairs in a heap.  I’d fold and sort on the couch while the kids played.  Well, I mean fold, sort and try to defend my precious folded piles from children knocking them over, jumping over them, looking through them or just messing them up in general.

Then, with a little luck, the folded piles would make it back to the bedrooms… not necessarily into drawers… but, hey,  a laundry basket is sorta like a dresser with one drawer, right?!

It was about this time that I realized that time was precious and if I didn’t find some ways to cut corners, things were going to continue to be out of hand all the time.  The first to go was sock matching.  The twins’ socks all went into a drawer together and we matched them as they needed to wear them.  Ditto for Adrian.  Ditto for myself and my husband.  It saved me loads of time and headache getting the clean laundry put away.

The folding of the underwear was next on the chopping block. You’d have to know my mother-in-law and how she keeps house to know what a hard time my husband had with these new policies. I spent months learning how to fold shirts ‘correctly’ like his mom, you know, like in the displays in the store.  Still. Those extra few minutes add up and no one is likely to notice if your underwear is wrinkled.

And so the endless parade of laundry went.

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