Mt. Never-rest, Mt. Washmore, Mt. Kill-a-mom’s-back-o

Thanks to Istockphoto for the comp picture. I buy all my photos from

Regardless of your favorite moniker for the workout most people call laundry, that’s the topic du jour.  If you are one of those people who never has more than a basket of laundry to fold at any given time, this post really isn’t for you.  If you have two children and do a load every other day, dry, fold, and put away out of the dryer, this will probably give you heart palpitations.  If you wash all towels together, all sheets together, all hang-ups together, and all t-shirts together etc., you’re probably going to want to skip this post.  On the other hand, it might just make you happy to see that you’ve “arrived” in areas that others can only dream about!

In our house, Jenna does the “switches.”  This is Havig terminology for taking clothes out of the dryer, putting the clothes from the washer in the dryer, and adding new clothes to the washer.  She does this several times a day.  She also takes the clothes out of the house to the laundry room and brings them in to be folded.  She does not have to fold at all.  This is the bulk of her daily “jobs.”  It works well for her.  🙂  In our family, whites are washed separately (occasionally with bleach but not always) and everything else (unless it’s known to bleed) is tossed together.  I’d prefer to see jeans go in a separate load, but since I’m not willing to be the one to do it, I don’t require of Jenna what other adults in our house do not do.  *insert whistling here*  However, now that we do have a specific laundry room, I may consider having a “jean basket” that she can dump jeans into until it’s a full load.  Hmmm… thinking… thinking…

However, it also means that several times a day, she dumps a large laundry basket full of washed clothes at the corner of my couch.  Now, if I’m not lost in the forests of Wynnewood or wandering through the undulating prairie grasses of a world like which we’ve never seen, I call Andra, Ethan, and Lorna in, and they fold and put that basket away.  Takes five minutes tops if it is just one basket.  Alas, I am often lost in my own little imaginary worlds and don’t pay attention.  Then, bedtime comes and there are six loads piled up in huge baskets, blocking access to the light switch on the corner lamp.

Here’s where it gets interesting.  I have a choice at that point.  I can write a note for them.  It usually says, “Have the laundry folded and put away before I get up.”  Nothing too snazzy, but it works.  However, frankly, I like to help out when I can.  So, I have created a “system” for cutting a huge pile in HALF in relatively little time.

Since folding clothes is a sore point with me –it would be indiscreet for me to name names (older girls), but some of the members of our family like to dig through a basket of folded clothes and leave the rest tumbling everywhere or to dig through a fresh basket for a few days and then declare them incapable of being decided if they are clean or dirty and toss them back for rewashing (not a fan), I take care of the “big stuff.  I start by pulling out all the towels and folding as I go.  I fold every towel, blanket, sheet, and all other big things.  The second that I can dump one basket into another, I do it.  Then, as I find jeans, buttoned down shirts, dresses, skirts, and every other “hang-up” that we own, I dump it in that basket as I get to it.  I often fold my own clothes as I get there, but not always.  Just depends on how I feel at the time.

This usually takes me about fifteen to twenty minutes tops.  At the end, the pile that looked like a kindergarten rendition of the leaning tower of Pisa, in fabric form, is reduced to about level with the couch arm.  While I work, I try to hold myself in T-tapp form.  If you don’t know that form, go to her website and check it out.  I guarantee, you’ll get a good laugh out of imagining me in my “This IS my happy face” t-shirt, standing with feet, shoulder apart, knees bent and pushed outward, bum tucked under, and shoulders back… all while trying to fold laundry.  NOT easy and quite comical too.  Hey, I aim to please.

Does this solve all laundry woes?  Nope.  The kids still get their, “Fold and put away laundry before I get up,” note, but it’s not so daunting to see two baskets piled high as it is to see five… PILED HIGH.

Yes, I know, we’d cut our laundry in HALF if we’d reuse towels and such instead of getting a fresh one every time.   Well, I’ve learned that reminding reusers that even a freshly washed body has dead skin cells that schluff off in drying and other unsanitary things usually produces objections like mad.  So yeah, they can assume that they’re using a clean towel on a clean body and ending up with a clean towel, and I’ll be happy with my fresh one that I know hasn’t dried my bum thank-you-very-much.  😉


One thought on “Mt. Never-rest, Mt. Washmore, Mt. Kill-a-mom’s-back-o

  1. Here is something new at our house… so far it’s working… but that’s because it’s new.

    i have a chart…. one kids looks through the basket of laundry, then he calls the next kid in, they look through get their stuff, fold put it away, then calls the next kid. They sort, fold, put away, then call the next kid… I’ve lost track… is that 5 yet?

    We start a new kids every time, so it’s not the same kids just looking through their stuff at the bottom of the basket. That’s what the chart is for – so make sure a different one starts each time.

    So – it’s working… grandpa is paying them actually – a dollar a week if they do the laundry sorting, folding and putting away each time they are asked.

    it doesn’t work on busy days.
    or lazy days
    only on days when I’m on top of things… then i could probably be doing this all by myself anyway… but they like getting paid a $1 each week.

    Wonder how that started? Grandpa visited on a day when I had 6 loads of laundry waiting to be folded in the hallway. (oops)

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