Laundry Hell

by Samantha on March 9, 2011

I have been relegated to laundry hell for all eternity. Or at least it seems that way. Perhaps “Hell” is not the place where I find myself. Perhaps it is a Laundry Limbo of sorts; at least with this option there is hope of future salvation.

Between twin boys who have not yet learned the  advanced skill of aiming for the mouth – and succeeding; a school-aged girl who through her creative actions manages to cover most, if not all of her clothes with either mud, a rainbow of paint colours, glue and/or all of the above, and two adults who seem to effortlessly add to the burgeoning pile daily, I have my work cut out for me. Oh yes, the “adult” pile is comprised of two sets of my own clothes – work and casual – to further complicate matters (Read: “dry cleaning” and “hand-wash only” items). Did I mention that I work full-time outside the home as well?

I equate laundry with cockroaches: they both proliferate at incredibly fast speeds.
To use another analogy, like a stealth bomber, both will sneak up on you before you know it and boom – once you realize it, it is too late

The resulting effect in both instances is chaos…though with the laundry scenario, one will be experiencing the situation in something my mother always worried about: wearing dirty clothes. This is just not acceptable (as I hear her voice in my head).

And as sad as it may seem, laundry is the bane of my existence. It burdens me during the day and it haunts me at night. It is at once a familiar friend and an indomitable foe. At times I am ironically comforted by the banality of yet another load; it allows me time to daydream while cleaning out the lint drawer. Similarly, there are other moments when the burgeoning pile of clothes is so overwhelming, abhorrent and downright infuriating that I struggle to stop myself from striking a match and turning the blasted mound of clothes into a manageable pile of ashes.

Having 5,000 kids, laundry is a big part of my life.

Yet I can’t seem to get on top of it (figuratively, not literally). Despite my best intentions and no matter how hard I try, the pile gets the better of me. As a matter of fact, it does better than that. It takes over the house.

At any given time, pick a room. Any room. There’s laundry in it. Surprise!

This fact alone drives me crazy.

So…with this long-winded preamble, I’ll put it out there to you all in the hopes that there is a secret to getting on top of (again, figuratively) this pile. Help!

Are you, too, languishing in laundry hell?

How do you “get on top of” the ever-growing loads of laundry in your household?

What are your tips for “managing the mound?”

really look forward to your feedback!
Images courtesy of www.akadesigns.comwww.imedia.brookes.ac.uk and www.danpontefract.com
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{ 67 comments }

chubskulit March 9, 2011 at 4:29 am

Hi there, found you through TTBH. Now following and hope you can drop by at one of my sites below and follow back. Thanks a lot!
Etcerera Etcetera
Spice Up Your Life
Nostalgic Marveling
Obstacles & Glories
Opinion Channel

chubskulit March 9, 2011 at 4:29 am

Hi there, found you through TTBH. Now following and hope you can drop by at one of my sites below and follow back. Thanks a lot!
Etcerera Etcetera
Spice Up Your Life
Nostalgic Marveling
Obstacles & Glories
Opinion Channel

Holly Ann March 9, 2011 at 5:44 am

The goal is for everyone to have something clean to wear each day. If that goal is accomplished, I am generally satisfied. I feel your pain!

Holly Ann March 9, 2011 at 5:44 am

The goal is for everyone to have something clean to wear each day. If that goal is accomplished, I am generally satisfied. I feel your pain!

Samantha March 9, 2011 at 12:05 pm

@chubskulit
Thanks for visiting! I will check out your sites :)

Samantha March 9, 2011 at 12:05 pm

@chubskulit
Thanks for visiting! I will check out your sites :)

Samantha March 9, 2011 at 12:06 pm

@Holly Ann Thanks, Holly! Yes – seems like a simple goal but often the dirty clothes pile seems to get the better of us! Any tips you may have, please pass them on!

Samantha March 9, 2011 at 12:06 pm

@Holly Ann Thanks, Holly! Yes – seems like a simple goal but often the dirty clothes pile seems to get the better of us! Any tips you may have, please pass them on!

Michelle March 9, 2011 at 6:24 pm

Good one Sam! Love the laundry, cockroach comparison. Having 5,000 kids of my own and a hubby who can't find the laundry basket, I have simply given up on 'keeping up'. My biggest problem is not the washing and drying of the clothes, but the folding and putting away part!

Michelle March 9, 2011 at 6:24 pm

Good one Sam! Love the laundry, cockroach comparison. Having 5,000 kids of my own and a hubby who can't find the laundry basket, I have simply given up on 'keeping up'. My biggest problem is not the washing and drying of the clothes, but the folding and putting away part!

Mom Went Crazy March 9, 2011 at 9:34 pm

Oh, I'm a mount washmore victim. The ONLY way I've ever been able to keep it in check is by doing a load every day (That means, wash, dry, fold and put away. I used to forget the putting away)

Mom Went Crazy March 9, 2011 at 9:34 pm

Oh, I'm a mount washmore victim. The ONLY way I've ever been able to keep it in check is by doing a load every day (That means, wash, dry, fold and put away. I used to forget the putting away)

Samantha March 10, 2011 at 1:39 am

@Michelle
Michelle – I agree! It's no problem putting the clothes in the wash…it's the sorting and folding and putting away that takes forever. Which is probably the reason that it often doesn't get done. I see I'm not the only one with this problem!
Thanks for commenting :)

Samantha March 10, 2011 at 1:39 am

@Michelle
Michelle – I agree! It's no problem putting the clothes in the wash…it's the sorting and folding and putting away that takes forever. Which is probably the reason that it often doesn't get done. I see I'm not the only one with this problem!
Thanks for commenting :)

Samantha March 10, 2011 at 1:40 am

@Mom Went CrazyMount Washmore = very witty!
I also try to do a load or two a day…again, I don't seem to manage to actually fold and put away the clothes…I guess there aren't enough hours in the day. It's definitely a work in progress!
Thanks for your comment.

Samantha March 10, 2011 at 1:40 am

@Mom Went CrazyMount Washmore = very witty!
I also try to do a load or two a day…again, I don't seem to manage to actually fold and put away the clothes…I guess there aren't enough hours in the day. It's definitely a work in progress!
Thanks for your comment.

Hello! I'm Kate. March 10, 2011 at 2:35 am

I can't get my laundry under control-with a blog, an online business, activities for the kiddo, spending time with the husband, making time for me…laundry takes a backseat!

Samantha March 10, 2011 at 4:34 am

@Hello! I'm Kate.Glad I'm not the only one! The problem is: life takes precedence and the laundry pile keeps growing…it's a work in progress, I guess.
Thanks for you comment.

Samantha March 10, 2011 at 4:34 am

@Hello! I'm Kate.Glad I'm not the only one! The problem is: life takes precedence and the laundry pile keeps growing…it's a work in progress, I guess.
Thanks for you comment.

championm2000 March 10, 2011 at 1:06 pm

Found your blog via Blog Frog/M&M…

I love your humor. If you drowning in stinky clothes, at least be able to laugh about it!

We struggle here, too, and there's only 4 of us. Who knew little clothes could take up so much room?

We have hampers in each room. Whenever I get a free second, I grab a hamper,wash. Another sec, throw in dryer. Yes, I sometimes have to re-wash because free seconds are nonexistent. I've already washed one load this morning. Before I shower, it will go in dryer.

I don't take it out of dryer without folding. I only own one clothes basket because anymore promotes leaving them in baskets for days.

We have also organized closets so everything has a place.

No magic solution, that's for sure. Good luck!

championm2000 March 10, 2011 at 1:06 pm

Found your blog via Blog Frog/M&M…

I love your humor. If you drowning in stinky clothes, at least be able to laugh about it!

We struggle here, too, and there's only 4 of us. Who knew little clothes could take up so much room?

We have hampers in each room. Whenever I get a free second, I grab a hamper,wash. Another sec, throw in dryer. Yes, I sometimes have to re-wash because free seconds are nonexistent. I've already washed one load this morning. Before I shower, it will go in dryer.

I don't take it out of dryer without folding. I only own one clothes basket because anymore promotes leaving them in baskets for days.

We have also organized closets so everything has a place.

No magic solution, that's for sure. Good luck!

carishepard March 10, 2011 at 4:25 pm

Hi! Found you through BlogFrog. My efforts at taming Mt. Washmore is pretty simple. One load a day (either whites or colors — very basic sorting there). Dump the load in the washer first thing in the morning, do my morning routine, transfer wash to dryer and go about my day. (I just fluff the clothes once I have a chance to sit down and fold them.) The other trick I use is I've taught my boys (now 9, 11, & 17) to wash their own clothes. The life-saver for that procedure is I have them use the Purex Laundry Sheets — 1 sheet per wash (and it goes into the dryer too). The boys get the clothes out of the dryer and I fold them, then they put them away. The boys have been putting their own clothes away since they were about 3 years old. (Make sure their drawers are defined by clothing type — makes it so much easier for them.)

carishepard March 10, 2011 at 4:25 pm

Hi! Found you through BlogFrog. My efforts at taming Mt. Washmore is pretty simple. One load a day (either whites or colors — very basic sorting there). Dump the load in the washer first thing in the morning, do my morning routine, transfer wash to dryer and go about my day. (I just fluff the clothes once I have a chance to sit down and fold them.) The other trick I use is I've taught my boys (now 9, 11, & 17) to wash their own clothes. The life-saver for that procedure is I have them use the Purex Laundry Sheets — 1 sheet per wash (and it goes into the dryer too). The boys get the clothes out of the dryer and I fold them, then they put them away. The boys have been putting their own clothes away since they were about 3 years old. (Make sure their drawers are defined by clothing type — makes it so much easier for them.)

Melanie March 10, 2011 at 8:58 pm

I try to do laundry throughout the week, rather than waiting until the weekend to get it done. I find it's way too overwhelming to do over the weekend and honestly, a little depressing to be doing chores on the weekend. Whereas, for weeknights, it just feels like I'm getting a jump on things and doesn't feel like a big ordeal.

Melanie March 10, 2011 at 8:58 pm

I try to do laundry throughout the week, rather than waiting until the weekend to get it done. I find it's way too overwhelming to do over the weekend and honestly, a little depressing to be doing chores on the weekend. Whereas, for weeknights, it just feels like I'm getting a jump on things and doesn't feel like a big ordeal.

Samantha March 11, 2011 at 1:45 am

@championm2000Sounds like you have a good system going, eliminating the baskets and folding the clothes at the source. If I could get to them when they were first dried, that would make a huge difference. It's when the wrinkling sets in that it starts going downhill ;)
Perhaps I'll try the multiple hamper strategy and see how it goes!

Thanks for commenting :)

Samantha March 11, 2011 at 1:45 am

@championm2000Sounds like you have a good system going, eliminating the baskets and folding the clothes at the source. If I could get to them when they were first dried, that would make a huge difference. It's when the wrinkling sets in that it starts going downhill ;)
Perhaps I'll try the multiple hamper strategy and see how it goes!

Thanks for commenting :)

Samantha March 11, 2011 at 1:48 am

@carishepard
Hi Cari,
There seems to be a common trend regarding managing the laundry. One tip is to have the kids help, and the other is to do at least a load a day. I'm doing the latter, but should start having my daughter participate more. I think getting kids in the hang of helping out is a good idea and teaches them responsibility as well as the fact that families need to pitch in with chores. Since you were successful with your three-year-old, I don't have any excuse!

Samantha March 11, 2011 at 1:48 am

@carishepard
Hi Cari,
There seems to be a common trend regarding managing the laundry. One tip is to have the kids help, and the other is to do at least a load a day. I'm doing the latter, but should start having my daughter participate more. I think getting kids in the hang of helping out is a good idea and teaches them responsibility as well as the fact that families need to pitch in with chores. Since you were successful with your three-year-old, I don't have any excuse!

Samantha March 11, 2011 at 1:50 am

@Melanie
Sounds like you have things under control, Melanie! Agreed that weekends could be better spent doing other things. Unfortunately laundry seems to rear its ugly head often around these parts. It's a work in progress, as I mentioned before!

Samantha March 11, 2011 at 1:50 am

@Melanie
Sounds like you have things under control, Melanie! Agreed that weekends could be better spent doing other things. Unfortunately laundry seems to rear its ugly head often around these parts. It's a work in progress, as I mentioned before!

Skiba March 13, 2011 at 8:31 pm

Yes laundry is a necesary evil that consumes way too much time. It becomes even more unpleasant during the toilet training stage, with several sets of soiled clothing that await you each evening. The loads can not be put off because of the stink they are letting off. You feel a sense of panic that you must stay ahead of the the pile as you may soon run out of any clean clothing. The whole laundry ritual involves feelings of anxiety, loathing, resentment and on occasion relief and gratificaton. On those rare days when all the clean laundry has been put away and the hamper is empty, it feels good; too good to last! What can you do but, keep calm and carry on in the quixotic quest against dirty laundry.

Skiba March 13, 2011 at 8:31 pm

Yes laundry is a necesary evil that consumes way too much time. It becomes even more unpleasant during the toilet training stage, with several sets of soiled clothing that await you each evening. The loads can not be put off because of the stink they are letting off. You feel a sense of panic that you must stay ahead of the the pile as you may soon run out of any clean clothing. The whole laundry ritual involves feelings of anxiety, loathing, resentment and on occasion relief and gratificaton. On those rare days when all the clean laundry has been put away and the hamper is empty, it feels good; too good to last! What can you do but, keep calm and carry on in the quixotic quest against dirty laundry.

Samantha March 14, 2011 at 2:24 am

@Skiba
Agreed that laundry is a necessary evil, ever more so during the dreaded toilet training years. I think you've hit the nail on the head about the sense of panic that ensues when trying to keep ahead of the looming pile. It often seems like a losing battle, doesn't it? Those rare occasions where all is done and no laundry is looming also cause anxiety because you know that it is just a matter of time before the pile overtakes the house again.
I've never thought of fight against dirty laundry in “quixotic” terms – it makes it sound so poetic and almost bearable!
Thanks for commenting.
Samantha

Samantha March 14, 2011 at 2:24 am

@Skiba
Agreed that laundry is a necessary evil, ever more so during the dreaded toilet training years. I think you've hit the nail on the head about the sense of panic that ensues when trying to keep ahead of the looming pile. It often seems like a losing battle, doesn't it? Those rare occasions where all is done and no laundry is looming also cause anxiety because you know that it is just a matter of time before the pile overtakes the house again.
I've never thought of fight against dirty laundry in “quixotic” terms – it makes it sound so poetic and almost bearable!
Thanks for commenting.
Samantha

Skiba March 14, 2011 at 3:29 am

Quixotic because it is totally unrealistic, but definately not romantic. However the idea of having no laundry is slightly arousing and should it ever actually occur, could manifest into some actual romance!

Skiba March 14, 2011 at 3:29 am

Quixotic because it is totally unrealistic, but definately not romantic. However the idea of having no laundry is slightly arousing and should it ever actually occur, could manifest into some actual romance!

Zoey April 5, 2011 at 2:05 am

I can hardly keep up with laundry for just me! I don't know how you do it!!

Zoey April 5, 2011 at 2:05 am

I can hardly keep up with laundry for just me! I don't know how you do it!!

Samantha April 5, 2011 at 2:27 am

@Zoey
Hi Zoey,
I don't do it – that's the problem! It always gets the better of me, hence the complaints about being in my own circle of laundry hell. I'm hoping that I can escape sometime in the next few years but frankly, the odds aren't looking that good ;)

Samantha April 5, 2011 at 2:27 am

@Zoey
Hi Zoey,
I don't do it – that's the problem! It always gets the better of me, hence the complaints about being in my own circle of laundry hell. I'm hoping that I can escape sometime in the next few years but frankly, the odds aren't looking that good ;)

Vera April 5, 2011 at 5:26 pm

Thank you for visiting LuxuryReading! I stumbled your post

Vera April 5, 2011 at 5:26 pm

Thank you for visiting LuxuryReading! I stumbled your post

Stephanie April 5, 2011 at 10:50 pm

Hi, stumbling you back!

I have no good advice here other than act downtrodden and try to get your husband to take over (that's what I did). :)

Stephanie April 5, 2011 at 10:50 pm

Hi, stumbling you back!

I have no good advice here other than act downtrodden and try to get your husband to take over (that's what I did). :)

stylinmommy April 6, 2011 at 7:55 pm

Hi!
stumbling you back!
LOL love your analogies …ugh speaking of which I have a load (or five) waiting for me!
http://stylinmommy.wordpress.com/2011/04/06/conquering-the-mall-with-baby/

stylinmommy April 6, 2011 at 7:55 pm

Hi!
stumbling you back!
LOL love your analogies …ugh speaking of which I have a load (or five) waiting for me!
http://stylinmommy.wordpress.com/2011/04/06/conquering-the-mall-with-baby/

ChildTalk April 7, 2011 at 1:07 am

Stumbling you back! I HATE LAUNDRY!! Mainly because it is NEVER EVER done. Ugh. :)

ChildTalk April 7, 2011 at 1:07 am

Stumbling you back! I HATE LAUNDRY!! Mainly because it is NEVER EVER done. Ugh. :)

Anonymous May 1, 2011 at 1:34 pm

Sunday is laundry day, which is why I hate Sundays.

Anonymous May 1, 2011 at 1:34 pm

Sunday is laundry day, which is why I hate Sundays.

Samantha May 1, 2011 at 1:51 pm

@Anonymous Just trying to work through the load myself! Trying to split up the laundry throughout the week so that it's not as daunting on Sundays is a work in progress. I'm trying but not there yet! Good luck and thanks for commenting :)

Samantha May 1, 2011 at 1:51 pm

@Anonymous Just trying to work through the load myself! Trying to split up the laundry throughout the week so that it's not as daunting on Sundays is a work in progress. I'm trying but not there yet! Good luck and thanks for commenting :)

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ladydazy May 21, 2011 at 2:44 pm

I have such a laundry issue too. It's so bad that I'm going to the laundry mat. After it's all done, I'm determined to do 2 loads per day.

ladydazy May 21, 2011 at 2:44 pm

I have such a laundry issue too. It's so bad that I'm going to the laundry mat. After it's all done, I'm determined to do 2 loads per day.

Samantha May 21, 2011 at 5:30 pm

@ladydazy
Yea, the laundromat is a great solution when things are piled high. Now, the key is keeping everything under control once all the clothes are done – a work in progress, for sure!

Samantha May 21, 2011 at 5:30 pm

@ladydazy
Yea, the laundromat is a great solution when things are piled high. Now, the key is keeping everything under control once all the clothes are done – a work in progress, for sure!

simply heidi August 6, 2011 at 11:53 pm

So many great ideas here! There are only three of us in my family, but still – the laundry! it! never! ends!
We have a front loader which does make it easier for my daughter to do her own. I've had her doing her laundry since she was seven. I don't even have her sort – just taught her where the cold button is. (She has mostly darks anyway.)
Good luck!

simply heidi August 6, 2011 at 11:53 pm

So many great ideas here! There are only three of us in my family, but still – the laundry! it! never! ends!
We have a front loader which does make it easier for my daughter to do her own. I've had her doing her laundry since she was seven. I don't even have her sort – just taught her where the cold button is. (She has mostly darks anyway.)
Good luck!

Sarah September 30, 2011 at 10:19 am

I love this and was laughing only because I am soooo with you! We have been known to put it all in garbage bags and take it to the laundromat to use their giant washing machines. we've done that twice in almost 10 years of marriage. I'm about there again…best of luck :)

Sarah September 30, 2011 at 10:19 am

I love this and was laughing only because I am soooo with you! We have been known to put it all in garbage bags and take it to the laundromat to use their giant washing machines. we've done that twice in almost 10 years of marriage. I'm about there again…best of luck :)

Samantha September 30, 2011 at 4:53 pm

@Sarah
Hi Sarah,
thanks for your comment! I am often tempted to take the whole mess of clothes to the laundromat as well, but I don't bother because that in itself would be too much work ;)
And of course I'd then have to fold it if I went to the laundromat….you just can't win sometimes ;)

Samantha September 30, 2011 at 4:53 pm

@Sarah
Hi Sarah,
thanks for your comment! I am often tempted to take the whole mess of clothes to the laundromat as well, but I don't bother because that in itself would be too much work ;)
And of course I'd then have to fold it if I went to the laundromat….you just can't win sometimes ;)

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