Patience is not one of my strongest virtues.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
I hesitate to even write about this for fear that I will start to receive all sorts of unsolicited advice on how to manage my housekeeping chores.
I like to say that my house is often in some state of disarray because of choices I make to serve and volunteer in the community. Namely, I spend vast amounts of time helping at the kids' school. I am where they are and I have a clear impact on their education.
This is partially true. But the fact mostly is, I am not great at getting things done around the house, and I hardly think that quitting all of my involvement would help that.
One ongoing bane of my existence is the laundry. Growing up we didn't often have a washer and never a drier in the house. Laundry was done once a week. My mom would wash it at a laundromat and bring it home wet to hang dry on a large white and orange metal rack. So I never did a whole lot of laundry as a kid. The once a week thing was all I knew.
I tried that when we were first married. I tended to end up with huge piles of clean, wrinkling laundry in baskets or on floors, waiting to be folded. It was a hassle, and I always thought that if I could only find the right day, that things would magically fall into place. I tried Mondays, Fridays, Saturdays, and I think even Wednesdays. No difference.
My dear husband offered several times that his mom had done a load or two of laundry each day, and that it seemed to work well for her. I tried that, and the only outcome was that after a week of going crazy, I was back to once per week.
Things improved slightly on moving into our current home. Our washer and drier are in a closet which is in our downstairs secondary family/office/guest room. I'd always get a good start (and here for some reason I've been better about folding laundry right away), but I'd run out of steam, and laundry would get stretched into a 3 or 4 day event which by the time I'd finish was almost time to start again.
In December, I decided to try something new. Each person would have their own laundry day. #1 is Monday, #2 is Tuesday, etc. until Larry and I get our laundry done on Friday. There are several things about this routine that make it successful. The first is that I have changed the way I sort the laundry. Instead of the light, dark, red thing, I go strictly by person. This way I can generally be done in any given day after only one or two loads. It's easy to fold as all the clothes have the same destination. I haven't noticed any trouble with bleeding colors. There was one time that I washed a new pair of dark blue jeans, and that load I did keep separate. I also still separate delicates, which is now also the only clothing group that does not go into the drier.
The second factor is that drier. I have residual drier issues after growing up without one with a mother who turned that fact into a moral stance. But I am over them, largely. We dry our clothes in a drier. And life still runs pretty well. Laundry goes more quickly. With a family of six, that multiplies out into a significant amount of time.
Lastly, it is much easier to get help from the kids with cleaning their clothes. They know their day, and they have some responsibilities regarding ensuring the task gets completed. If they don't, then they are the only ones suffering with a lack of socks.
It's been nearly three months, and it's gone very well. There have been a couple of times when I've gotten behind, but catching up seems much easier with this new system. And boy, that only took me 14 years of marriage to figure out. I hired out the bathroom cleaning a year ago. Two down, so much to go ...