Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Family Load

"Family load" is an infamous phrase in my family, and not in a good way. As a matter of fact, if my mother reads this blog she is going to call my phone no matter the hour. She may even slip into a mild depression and feel that she has failed as a mother. Laundry is that serious to us.

I have struggled with keeping the laundry washed, folded and most of all, put away. It obviously is a job that just never ends, and with six people in my home, one of whom wears enough clothes each day to suit most men (oops, did that give him away?) for a week, I stand no chance. I've tried pretty much every laundry method I've heard about and still I have the biggest piles of laundry ever, all over my house.

A couple weeks ago I read about a lady who does her family's laundry one person's at a time. She just gathers the hamper from their room, throws it all in and ta-daaa, it's done. My nose crinkled. How could she? Jeans with blouses? Socks with pillowcases? Underwear with . . . well, anything else? No. Not happening.

Meanwhile, my talented, amazing, hard-working husband announced that the time has come! He's officially building me a laundry room to beat all laundry rooms! Ohhh, I have to tell you, this makes me smile. Right now it's about midway finished - the walls are up and drywalled. Yet to come: cabinets, black and white checked floor, shelving for all of my boxes of fabric and holiday items, a counter where I can fold and sew . . . it's going to be absolutely wonderful!!

Only one problem: do I want mountains of laundry in my gorgeous new laundry room? No I do not! Do I want laundry piling up in our bedrooms, bathroom and hallway? Most certainly I do not. Something has to give.

I sauntered casually in to my new laundry room. I looked around and no one was watching. I turned on the washer, cold water . . . added half a scoop of Purex laundry detergent. Ooh, a little rush! I was about to do something terribly naughty. Then reckless abandon: I grabbed a plaid button-up shirt and threw it in. Then another. Then a pair of red socks (I know, Mom, you can hardly bear to read this) and (ohhhhhhh nooooo, *I* can hardly bear it!) a pair of jeans. I fill that washer, all with Alif's clothes. I cannot and will not bring myself to combine his colors with his whites, but the colors are all becoming acquainted in a radical new way. A bit later, I threw all the shirts, socks and soccer shorts into the dryer and hung the jeans. A bit later still, I folded up all of Alif's clothes straight out of the dryer, into ONE PILE! I asked a boy to take them to the closet and woahhhhhhh Nellie, Alif had A BUNCH of clean clothes!

That was it. I was addicted. I've been washing family loads for over a week now. There are certain lines I will not cross - as mentioned, whites and colors never shall mix in my washer. Jeans won't mingle with delicates. New red shirts will have to fly solo. But as for the rest, it's reckless abandon (and folded and put-away laundry) all the way, baby.


  1. LOL..you slay me girl! I do one person at a time and I wash darks/colors together and whites/lights together.. all in COLD water ( my energy bill has gone way down from that alone)...

  2. rofl
    I have a huge pile right now...from deciding to strip every bed and every couch on the same day in order to rid my life of germs...so the rest of my laundry suffered.
    I wash by colors....with delicate (instructions say hand wash) done seperately (but also by colors on gentle cycle)
    I try to wash in decending or ascending colors...that way if necessary I can mix the dryer....
    I always wash in cold
    In my "dream laundry room" I would have 2 dryers...unless of course space allowed 2 of each....
    My greatest laundry downfall is when I have to wait for the dryer...I loose all wash motivation.

  3. I never realized you should wash it any other way. I ALWAYS do 3 loads Darks, Lights and towels. My towels happen to be red, so if there is something new and red, it goes in with the towels. Everything on cold and everything (except the 2 wool sweaters we own) in the dryer. If it gets messed up, it wasn't worth having :) Saw that you checked out Gretchen's site. Glad you're going to check it out.

  4. You are a wild laundry woman! I am so jealous of your new laundry room, it is going to be awesome!