Laundry - The Never-Ending Cycle

Laundry is like a bad penny - it just keeps turning up!

Sometimes you find it on the door knob, and sometimes it comes in the form of socks that magically reproduce at the foot of your daughter's bed.

Occasionally, you do actually find it in the hamper. But you never find it pre-sorted and ready to wash. And it certainly never folds itself or puts itself away. It is a household monster of the most dreadful kind- perpetual.

It is a fact of life, and to deal with it, you simply have to have a routine.

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Develop a Routine

Our grandmothers had homes that were tidy and organized. Part of the reason was because many of them were home every day to tend to the household duties.

Part of the reason was that they did not have near the amount of "stuff" to maintain that we have today. Most significantly, though, was their way of doing things.

Remember those old flour-sack towels that were stitched with the days of the week? It wasn't just cute, it was because Grandma changed them out every day. (Those gals did not have paper towels, mind you.) It was part of a routine.

Grandma did certain things on certain days, such as going to the butcher, washing the floor, doing the ironing. Laundry was no exception.

Whether you decide to designate one day of the week as laundry day, or throw a load in every day when you come home from work, choose a routine and stick with it.

And this is key: get it folded and put away, no exceptions. There is no load of laundry that takes longer than fifteen minutes to fold and put away. Do not live out of laundry baskets. It's disorganized and unsightly, and does not create for you the mental picture of a peaceful home.

Get Your Family Involved

You will have to have a bit of help from the family to keep in routine. Prompt them ahead of time with, "Tomorrow is laundry day, make sure I have it all," or "I am washing whites when I come home from work, so get them in the hamper before you leave for school."

Have a laundry basket for each of family member, and if possible, a different color for each. Sort from the dryer into the baskets by person.

Everyone who is old enough (spouse, too) should be responsible for folding and putting away his or her own things. Little ones can manage putting balled socks away, and perhaps even small piles of folded clothing as long as they do not have to go very far carrying them - they might even think it is fun to help.

To be sure all of the putting away is complete, ask everyone to return the baskets to the laundry area when finished. If you see the blue basket is missing, it's time to ask its owner to shake a leg!

Ironing...

If you have ironing to do on a regular basis, or use dry cleaning services, make these aspects of laundry a part of your routine as well.

Iron on a certain day while watching your favorite TV show and get it all done at once, or do it as soon as it comes out of the laundry- match it to your laundry routine.

As for dry cleaning, make a certain day of the week, such as a Monday or Friday, the pick up/drop off date instead of making separate trips for each.

This will not only help you to remember to take it in, but you will not be scrambling at the last minute because you forgot to pick up the cleaning.

Finally...

Lastly, consider making this a part of your laundry routine: investing in the latest clothing technology as you replace worn out items.

Several national companies, such as Land's End and Eddie Bauer now offer stain and wrinkle-resistant clothing, even office attire, that can go through the wash. And it is made of breathable cotton, of all things.

Dress shirts come out of the dryer with crisp creases down the sleeves, and coffee beads off of khakis instead of ruining them.

Many such clothing lines are reasonably priced, and you will be amazed that they really live up to their claims.

There's no denying that you are just plain stuck with laundry, but you don't have to be stuck in a rut. Turn it into a routine, and it will become part of the rhythm of your week, the same way some folks eat fish on Fridays.



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