3.24.2010

Laundry, the Bane of My Existence (Part I)

I was reading an article at one of my new favorite websites, unclutter.com, and it got me thinking about how my laundry style has changed over the years. When I first got my own washer and dryer, I did laundry all of the time. It was such a luxury to wash a small load of laundry in the middle of the night if I wanted to. (I know, I know, it was wasteful. I'm sorry.) Since getting married, laundry has become more of a chore and by last spring I was avoiding it like the plague.

In the last year, I've tried all kinds of different methods to get laundry under control and I've finally found what I think works best for us. Now, keep in mind, we don't have any kids, so I'm sure this will change at some point in the future. Even though Greta is messy, she only contributes a towel or blanket to the laundry every now and then. 

I decided to split this into two separate posts. And now you're terrified that I have some elaborate laundry-doing method that is probably more work than it should be. I don't think that's the case, it's just there's the set-up stage and then the execution stage.

The first step was to brutally reduce our wardrobes. Does anyone really need 15 pairs of motor-oil-stained jeans that don't fit? How about three entire drawers full of ratty John Deere t-shirts? I wouldn't have thought so, but Mr. H-B thought (and sometimes still thinks) differently. I'm not totally innocent here either. I had a drawer or two full of junk as well. Over a long(er than I would have wanted) period of time, we figured out what we actually wear and then got rid of things we didn't use or hadn't worn in more than 2 years. We kept suits and winter coats even though they don't get a lot of use. This was kind of a brutal process since one of us had a hard time getting rid of things. Hint: It's not me.

In the process of mucking out our closet and dressers, I got rid of all of the holey socks, t-shirts, pajama pants and underwear. Of course, that meant we needed to replace some items. Instead of picking up a bunch of different kinds of socks, we each have two kinds. Mr. H-B has black dress socks and white athletic socks. I have black and white ankle socks (they came in a large pack from Costco) and some longer black socks to wear with boots. We also don't have a huge variety of shirts, pants, or anything else. Does that make me boring? Probably.

The final step here was making sure that we have a workable laundry collection system. For us that means sorting white and colored clothes as they go into the hamper and having a basket in the laundry room for the various dish towels and cleaning rags we use each week.

Next week, I'll talk about execution of my laundry routine. (I know, you're all waiting with bated breath.)

11 comments:

Jena Nicole said...

Laundry is my most favorite chore. Although, after years of going to laundry mats... I relish in the simple treat of having a washer and dryer in our home.
I'm looking forward to reading part two.

Señora H-B said...

I really did love laundry until Mr. H-B came along and effectively tripled the amount I do each week (his clothes just take up more space).

Amina said...

GREAT POST!!! I've always wondered how people organize themselves to do laundry! I love the fact that you went through a purge period and this reminds me that I need to do the same!!
can't wait for part 2

Señora H-B said...

I hope it doesn't disappoint! :)

Heidi said...

I love it! We had a similar issue when we got married and learned about my hubby's closet full of clothes that he hadn't worn in years! So I threw out 2 or 3 big garbage bags full. We also do the same sorting system, with the two hampers. I must admit, though, I still have a problem with procrastination in the folding department. Clean laundry tends to sit in a laundry basket on the bedroom floor for weeks without being folded.

Cathryn said...

I don't know why it was shocking to me that I would have more than twice as much laundry and - here's the big shocker - go through more than twice as much food after I got married as I did before I got married! I was like, "What?! We're out of cold cereal again!!"

Anyway, I hate laundry, it's the rock of Sisyphus to me because after you finally push that rock up the hill it just rolls back down. I'll let clean baskets of laundry sit and sit until finally Ryan (who is MUCH busier than me) folds them nicely and puts them away. I'm such a bad wife!

Señora H-B said...

Heidi--Seriously, what is up with never throwing anything away?

Cathryn--I know! I can't believe how much more food we go through. It's crazy! Also, you're so right about the rock of Sisyphus. It never ends!

I am still not perfect at folding laundry. It feels like it takes FOREVER.

Lady Steed said...

Gotta be honest, you had me laughing hilariously when I read "I decided to split this into two separate posts." Seriously? Two posts!? HAHAHAHAHA!!!!! About laundry?!! Oh my.

However, upon reading the rest of your post I must say that I admire what you are doing: getting rid of excess clothing and streamlining the laundry process is a good solution to making a dreaded chore simpler. And yes, once you have kids laundry will become a somewhat monumental task. I actually like sorting, washing and hanging the laundry out to dry. What I do not like, putting the laundry away. Hate that part. Am currently working on getting Theric to take over that job.

So, looking forward to your second post. ;)

Señora H-B said...

LS--I knew I was going to make all of the moms out there laugh. :) I am sure I'll re-write this post once there are tiny socks and onesies filling up my clothes hamper!

ferskner said...

I think I will like laundry better when it doesn't involve quarters. There's something about realizing I don't have enough quarters halfway through the process that ruins it for me.

Señora H-B said...

Yeah, I must admit that there is nothing like the freedom of doing laundry whenever the heck I want to!