The only thing worse than having to do the laundry is having to do the laundry and not being able to do the laundry.
It's not that I'm that anal about doing the laundry; I don't really want to wash clothes twice a week. It's just that we don't have that many clothes.
I know a couple who said they go to the laundromat about once a month. I don't own a month's worth of clothes. Well, T-shirts I could probably go two or three months, but everything else is pretty severely limited. Dave and I each have four pairs of jeans that fit. If it's hot (like that ever happens) we each have four pairs of shorts.
I don't think I want to be at the laundromat long enough to do a month's worth of laundry all at one time anyway. I have a hard enough time getting two washers next to each other. Play that game with what, 10 washers?
And then after hour upon hour of drying time, you get to sit there and fold clothes the rest of the day? Not me. I'll take it in little bi-weekly chunks. It's not so bad doing a little at a time.
My Mom said that was a horrible plan. "Then you're doing laundry every single day. You're never, ever done." Yeah, but I don't always feel like spending an entire day on the weekend doing nothing but laundry.
We disagreed on that, but she taught me all her other anal retentive "Laundry Laws." You wash by color and dry by fabric. "You mean you sort them?" our friend asked. Oh yeah, twice.
You wash hot water/bleach whites, not-so-hot/no bleach whites, darks, lights, and fall colors (reds, yellows, browns, oranges, etc.).
Then separate them again for the dryer. If you dry jeans or bath towels with T-shirts, then they end up fitting Barbie. At least with our old dryer.
It had been making a horrible noise for about six months, kind of like gravel in a blender. That can't be good. My Dad said we could have his dryer if we wanted, so the boys loaded it up and brought it home. Dad wasn't home at the time and called me later. "Hey, did you take my dryer?"
You said I could have it. "I just wanted to make sure nobody stole it," he said. I doubt it. Dryers aren't exactly big ticket items for burglars. They'll take your TV, computer, jewelry, but not so much your dryer.
Anyway, this dryer is a major improvement over our old one. It can dry twice as much in about half the time. I still shake everything out first. I read that in Hints From Heloise. She said otherwise, the dryer has to untangle the clothes and it takes longer. Hey, anything to save on the light bill.
One lady wrote to Heloise about the trick to drying sheets to keep them from getting all tangled up. She said she untangled them first, only dried one at a time, and put a tennis ball in with it. One at a time?
She said it worked so well, she put a tennis ball in with all her loads after that. No offense, but wouldn't that sound like you were drying a rock?
The dogs are scared to walk past the laundry room now with the washer that likes to walk a bit during the spin cycle and the dryer with the vent hose unattached, turning the room into a sauna (which is quite nice for showers in that room in the winter time).
As far as trying to cut back on the light bill, I used to hang our clothes out on a line when we first moved to the house. Then I'd just toss them in the dryer with a fabric softener sheet for a couple of minutes so they weren't quite so stiff.
I thought I was all domestic and stuff. Saving money on the light bill, saving wear and tear on the dryer, doing just like my great-grandmother did. Well, except for that whole wringer washer thing. She can keep that.
Then the neighbor asked me how I dealt with all the bugs and stuff. What bugs? She said bugs would lay their eggs in my clean clothes and then I was hauling all that into the house.
OK, so I started hanging the clothes up on the shower curtain rod. Saves on the electric, saves on the dryer, but I can only do about a quarter as much or run the risk of the whole thing coming crashing down. A curtain rod that does double duty is great, but I need to make sure it's still capable of doing its original job.
So, I'm pretty much back to using the dryer, which the dogs are thrilled with. I bring a pile of warm clothes and toss them on the couch while I round up the empty hangers. They can't wait to curl up in that. Great. Now the clothes need ironing (like that's happening) and it kind of does away with that whole "warm equals clean" concept.
Copyright 2013 Laura Nethken