Good Laundry…

Finding the good in laundry - can you do it?

I did a quick (and inefficient – I really need a better search widget) search of my blog just now for posts that contain the word ‘laundry’. I was slightly embarrassed, but not really surprised at how many posts showed up.

Laundry is my nemesis.

It is the thing that haunts my waking hours and even slips into my dreams every now and then.

The other night I had a long and recurring dream that I had to wash all the laundry, and hang it and fold it and put it away. There was a lot of laundry and there was no way I was ever going to get it all done in time. I was panicking… over laundry. It was a horrible dream. And every time I woke up, calmed down and went back to sleep… there is was again.

A laundry nightmare – that sums up my life very well.

But I’m going to change that.

No, there is no new laundry system that is going to magically make it all more manageable. I am not going to hire someone to do it all for me (unless you could the dollar I gave each of my girls for folding and putting away 5 baskets of washing last weekend). I will still have to do the damn laundry, day in, day out… but I am going to love it instead of loathe it.

Yep… I think my biggest problem with laundry is how much I hate it.

I loathe the time it takes me to hang the darn washing. I detest the monotony of folding it. I cringe at the thought of putting it away, or hearing everyone else in the family complain about putting their clean washing away. I crumple at the thought of those mornings when I discover there are not clean school pants. I really, really don’t like laundry… and that makes doing it ten times worse.

I told one of my kids the other day that ‘nothing is all bad’ and it’s time to take some of my own advice.

Focusing on all the bad stuff makes doing the laundry so much worse than it has to be. It’s time to start looking at laundry in a new way. It’s time to get all airy fairy woo woo and embrace the moment, even the moments of laundry. It’s time to find the good in laundry.

There is good things about laundry… really there is;

Laundry gets me outside. Even in bad weather I have to go out into the fresh air to put on or take out a load (we’ve not built our laundry yet so the washing machine is on the back deck). In good weather I am outside even longer to hang it on the line… and to enjoy the sunshine, breathe in the fresh air, hear the birds. Being outside is good therefore laundry is good.

Laundry is easy. When everything else is difficult, when I am not sure how to tackle the next big problem, I can always do some laundry and know that I can at least get that right. Easy is good, therefore laundry is good.

Laundry is mindless. I don’t have to think much when I do the laundry… and that gives me time to think about other things. To let my mind wander, to dream, to think about all the things I usually don’t have time to ponder. Dreaming is good, therefore laundry is good.

You see where I am going here right?

A change of attitude is my goal… I am going to love the living crap out of laundry and make it all good… or at least better.

How many of you think I will succeed??

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Read the comments or scroll down to add your own:

  1. debbie says

    its the folding putting away part i hate but today its raining so i taking your advice putting on a dvd and fold away then when movie is done ill put away hope this works

    • katef says

      How did you go?
      I have to confess that I still have a HUGE pile of folding to do… new attitude or not I just can’t find the time this week!

  2. says

    Oh laundry .. I think this is one of the worst chores that us Mum’s have to do.
    I am Mum to 6 children at home + 1 husband.
    And the laundry is never ending – except when I get my “system” working properly and down pat.
    It is doable .. we can beat the laundry “fear” …
    I’ve a few things in place and so far so good.
    You’ll have to watch for my blog post about the same damn thing lol !

  3. Lauren Burke says

    um, I actually like doing laundry!! sometimes the amount makes me cringe (if we have a busy week) but the process of cleaning our clothes and sheets and towels, I don’t know, it does something, makes me feel accomplished! I am a complete ocd-freak when I hang things up! I hate double-handling! I fold things as I take them off the line (or rack in winter) and then straight into piles, then away. done. I’ll even take all of my daughters things off first for that pile, and so on. and I group things too! my hubby is used to it now, and he’s even coming around to the shake it and hang it so it gets the most air! cits a bit mediative too. love a sunny day – hanging out fresh sheets and bringing in the ‘smell’ of sunshine. crazy, but true!!
    Lauren
    :)

    • katef says

      You like laundry??? You are insane!!! LOL

      But I do kinda get the accomplished feeling bit… I feel that way when I cook for my family and make things from scratch. I don’t enjoy cooking just for the sake of it like some people but it makes me feel proud of what I can accomplish and do for my family.

  4. leah says

    Ok I do like the laundry but when I am in a bad mood with it, I think about our foremothers and what laundry meant to them!! It was not pretty, was hard hard work. And in places in 2013 where you don’t wear clean clothes all that often, they are poor, and have a lot less creature comforts than we do. Our clothes and our manner of washing them and our standards of hygiene are such luxuries, it kind of elevates the mundane. For a few hours of work a week, we live like kings and queens! Yay!

    • katef says

      This is what I’ve been thinking lately too… I should feel grateful to have clothes to wash, to have water to wash them in, to have electricity so I am not having to stand in a river and beat them on a stone….

      I’m trying to be more gracious….

  5. says

    Can totally emphasise with this post Kate – I have a love/hate thing with the laundry as well…love being outside to hang it out, especially when you feel the beautiful winter sun on your face (our clothes line is right down the back away from the trees, the only part of the yard which gets the sun in winter…I probably wouldn’t get to experience that lovely sun if it wasn’t for hanging the clothes out)…there is something so restful about it…hate seeing it piling it up and finding myself inwardly grumbling about how it never seems to get smaller…like Lauren I fold it as I take it off, it makes a big difference, the clothes are less wrinkled and much easier to do the putting it away part of it.

    • katef says

      Ok for all of your who fold as you take things off the line… How do manage the folded things?

      Do you make individual piles for each person? Then take them inside one at a time to put away?
      Or do you fold into a basket and then what? Have to sort them later?

      I’ve tried folding as they come off the line but I just can’t make it work.

      • says

        Kate, I just start with one member of the family and take all of their clothes off folding as I go and then move onto the next members clothes, they go on top of each other in the basket. When it comes time for putting away, the washing is piled in some form of order which allows for a quick and easy transfer to their drawers/cupboards. I’d rather be outside in the fresh air doing the folding and I find the clothes get back into the cupboards much quicker. I also do my husbands clothes on a different day to mine and the kids. We also have room in the house which is for all of our cupboards/drawers/change room so putting them away is not so bad because it all goes into the one room.

  6. says

    Oh I feel your pain. The mundaneness and the monotony of housework nearly does my head in sometimes. I quite enjoy hanging them on the line – something about the fresh air thing – and i fold them at the line too – but it’s the putting it away thing I’m not so good at. Good luck with your new way of looking at it with the glass half full approach.

  7. Granma Jill says

    The daily drudge of laundry has always been the bane of mothers. My way of dealing with it was to get it out early. That is I put the washing on as soon as I got out of bed. Then did breakfast school drop off etc. By then the first load was ready to hang out.

    I then developed an OCD trait of making visual pictures with the washing. Matching colours and pegs to satisfy my aesthetic sense. Absolutely mad I know but I would stand back and be pleased with what I had created. What’s worse I still do it!

    Finally I hang clothes that will be folded as they come off the line with those they are going to put away with. Cuts down the handling.

  8. kichante says

    I was going to cheer you up saying YES it was just a matter of attitude…but Lauren wrote exactly my comment … :)
    And also…I like the clothes to be really dirty before I wash them hence less laundry

  9. says

    I hear your struggle and feel your pain. My positive spin on laundry is the sunshine too. Also I love the smell of laundry powder. …but I find little positives in folding and putting it away. Have to work on this one.

    • katef says

      We don’t have a dryer… well actually we do, but we have not used it for the past 7 years as we’ve had no laundry and no where to put it. Plus they eat electricity… so it is all hanging washing for me. Which isn’t so bad when the weather is good… though time consuming and I think it is the time part that bugs me the most.

      But that sign is perfect for me.. can’t tell you the last time I ironed anything!

        • katef says

          Yep no laundry room…

          When we moved here this house had a laundry tub and a spot for the washing machine that was half in front of the back door… not very useful!
          When we started renovating my washing machine was moved out onto the back deck and that is where it still is… it works fine, but no tub, no storage, no drier… just me, the washing and the freezing winter air LOL
          Hopefully soon the rest of our renovations will be done and I will finally have a decent laundry!

  10. Doll says

    Laundry was one of my most hated things until I decided that if I was going to have to do so much laundry I was going to spend some money to make my life easier on this front… We didn’t spend that much money in the end but all the little changes made a massive difference…

    This I changed:
    * bought new pegs, Reva brand – as all the others were rubbish, falling apart or flinging off… small change but effective, even if it was just all in my head
    * bought a laundry cupboard with two sections for lights and darks and now everyone sorts their own into the holes http://www.ikea.com/aa/en/catalog/products/S19894636/
    * hung a hanging shelf above my laundry sink to hang clothes to iron straight from the washing machine on hangers to dry; its mounted so that all my clothes baskets can fit on top of it when not in use http://www.hsw.com.au/index.php?product&id_prod=852&id_cat=3&id_dept=14
    * installed a fold down clothes line in the garage so that rainy days no longer matter, and if I know I’m not getting home before dark the clothes can stay there all day long. Can be folded out of the way when not in use http://www.daytek.com.au/clothesline_fold_down_single.html
    * installed hooks behind my laundry door for the clothes airer and ironing board so they no longer randomly fall down

    As I said small changes but it has made it easier for me… and that’s what counts!

  11. says

    I totally think you will succeed!! I detested laundry, and as a result was always behind and it was always this horrible thing that I had to do…and then, like you, I had a complete attitude change and I actually dont mind it now. I enjoy pegging the washing out as I can be outside for a bit and just think while I peg it out, then I fold it while watching a movie with the kids..iv been up to date for months now and i have to admit im pretty impressed with myself!!!!!!

    • katef says

      wow. Up to date for months is incredibly impressive. I get excited if I see the bottom of the basket… ever! LOL

  12. says

    Darn it, winter just means more. I don’t honestly like your chances with this one, Kate. Like most things that hang around (geddit) relentlessly and never, ever change and never, ever give back – laundry is mighty hard to love. x

    • katef says

      LOL… love your honest and… if I am honest.. you are dead right. I have avoided the laundry so far this week, so my new attitude lasted all of … oh… ten minutes??

      Time to try again!

  13. says

    I love the phrase “airy fairy woo woo”. Might have to use that one myself. I have always found laundry fairly benign and even satisfying. However, I hate doing the dishes. Time to employ some airy fairy woo woo, I think.

  14. says

    One of my fav tricks – being mindful while doing the chores :-) I try and tell myself I’m saving myself from having to do a yoga or meditation class if I do my chores mindfully.

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