You should have seen how devastated my mother-in-law looked recently when she spent all day getting through our mountain of laundry, only to have me throw a freshly-messed kid shirt into the empty basket she was triumphantly replacing in the bathroom.
It doesn’t end. It’s never going to end.
I moved out of home very young, and by 20 I’d been doing my own laundry singlehandedly for more than four years. I remember looking into the washing machine once that year, thinking nobody is ever going to do my washing for me ever again. This is it, for life. Just me and the suds, til death do us part.
I’m not great at remembering to hang the washing out before it gets festy, despite my ample experience. This morning I was ferreting around everywhere trying to cobble together a warm outfit for each of the girls, given that I’d ignored the washing over the weekend. You don’t do laundry on Mother’s Day, do you? It’s a deliciously sunny day and while I normally do minimal housework on Mondays (the only day my kids are at day care and I have the whole day to cram a week’s worth of computer work in), today I’m staring down the barrel of several baskets needing my attention.
If I’m bad at hanging the washing out on time, I am worse at folding it and putting it away. What a horrendous task! I’ll do just about anything else ever needed in life rather than do that. I can’t quite explain why I loathe it so much. It’s only really now that I can get through it without toddler overlords getting involved. They couldn’t hang with me while I did it, because they would just pull all the neatly-folded stuff off the bed and fling it on the floor, and they couldn’t play unsupervised while I kept it from their grotty hands, because they were too little. Someone (I’m looking at you, Pepper) would take the opportunity to draw on the walls/eat cat food/find a knife from SOMEWHERE/put all my shoes in the bin, etc etc. So it would pile up (hell, it still does), and I’d tackle it when their dad got home. I shut the door, watch some Blackadder on iView, and wonder how many pairs of leggings are too many.
When I was growing up, I considered people rich who used Cold Power or some other name brand that made your clothes smell nice. When I was earning a decent wage, I bought that shit and revelled in my fancy pants washing. Now I just use either home-made stuff or whatever eco-friendly product happens to be on special that week. I’ve also used soap nuts too, and they seem pretty legit. I also Napisan like it’s my best friend. The spray, the powder in with the whites and lights – I heart it much. (Grey whites were another thing you have to deal with when you’re poor and you buy cheap clothes/wash with cheap washing powder. When I could afford it, I was never going to have grey whites, goddammit!)
Now, though, I’ve realised getting stuff dry during a Melbourne winter will be a new challenge for me. AND I have to go outside to get to the laundry. The horror!
So I’d like to nose around your laundry habits.
- What laundry powder/liquid do you use?
- Do you wash in hot or cold water? (I’ve only ever used cold because A. I was always poor and it was a cheaper option, and B. I heard it was better for the environment? Who knows. Hot water washers, get at me. It sounds good to kill germs in your bedding, for example).
- How do you get your stuff dry in a cold, wet winter? Do you have an indoor rack? What sort do you recommend?
- Do you hate laundry too?
- Are you fanatical about how you hang stuff? I’ve heard of people only using matching-coloured pegs on an item. Is that you? YOU FREAK!
(This was a fun read recently – a must for anyone who wants to know the most efficient way of getting your stuff dry!)