Friday, March 10, 2017

The Laundry Is Never Done (Unless You Are Naked)

So, you really think you are done with the laundry? Good for you. But, are you naked? Unless you are naked, you are not really finished with the laundry, because the clothes you are wearing need to be washed. (And if you are naked, please, please, please tell me that you are not at the laundromat!) (I've always thought that "The Laundromat People" would be a good title for a Stephen King book.)

There are six people and two cats that live at our house. That adds up to a lot of laundry. (You may think that the cats don't contribute at all to the dirty laundry because they don't wear clothes. You would be wrong.) Doing the laundry seems simple enough: just put the clothes in the washing machine and get them clean. But, it's much more complicated than that.

Seven baskets of laundry. (It's a start.)

There are six steps to doing the laundry. They are:

1. Sorting--The first thing you have to do is separate the laundry into different categories of clothing that can be washed together. Everyone does this differently; everyone has their own special categories of laundry sorting. These categories may or may not include:
*Socks and Underwear
*Clothes that need to be pre-treated
*Clothes that have been pooped on (kid clothing only) (hopefully)
*Clothes that have been barfed on
*That one red tablecloth that will turn anything that comes within ten feet of it red, (which is something I learned after three errant loads and several pinkish/redish towels, shirts and underwear that didn't used to be pinkish or redish) and is henceforth washed all by itself.

2. Washing--This part seems simple enough: just get the right combination of detergent and fabric softener and start the washing machine, right? Simple, that is, until you take a look at the washing machine controls and you start questioning everything you ever thought you knew about your clothing.

Sooooo many settings!

*Is this shirt "Cotton/Normal" or "Perm.Press/Casual?"
*What exactly is the difference between "Normal" and "Casual?"
*If this "Sports Wear" is made of "Cotton," which setting do I use?
*Can I not wash "Bulky/Bedding" and "Towels" in the same load?
*What if I want to "Speed Wash" my "Heavy Duty" load?
*Shouldn't every load be "Sanitary?"
*What or who is "Allergiene?" (Wasn't she a member of the X-Men for a while?)

And that's only half of the washing machine controls! The other half includes such settings as "Soil Level," "Spin Speed," and "Wash Temp," and if you get any of those wrong you might end up ruining every piece of clothing you own.

3. Drying--The settings on the dryer are just as numerous and just as confusing as those on the washing machine, except with less water and more heat.

4. Separating--The problem with washing the clothing of six people at once is that when the clothes are washed and dried they then need to be separated into piles for each person. This sounds easier than it is, especially if you have similarly sized people. (If it weren't for the butterflies and hearts on girls' jeans I might never be able to tell the difference between the pants of my eight year-old girl and my six year-old boy.) (If the two kids were the same sex, I honestly don't know what I would do.)

5. Folding--I've seen the youtube videos telling you how to fold a shirt in two seconds. It looks simple and easy. So does solving a Rubik's cube, but I can't do that, either. I've also seen videos showing how to fold a fitted sheet. These videos, obviously, are pure science fiction, because a "properly folded fitted sheet" is about as likely as the "Super Bowl champion Minnesota Vikings." My personal folding style is somewhere between "wadded up" and "lumpy." Do whatever works for you.

6. Putting away--It seems so simple. All you have to do is hang the clothes in the closet or put the clothes in the dresser, And yet how often do those clean clothes live all week (or more) in the laundry basket they were sorted into? (Often enough that you need to periodically purchase new laundry baskets because most of the ones you own are full of clean clothes that never got put away.)

And there you have it! All the laundry is done! (If you are nude.) Or, almost done! (If you are not nude.) Now you can go to bed and...find that the cat has barfed all over your bed, meaning that you have to take all the blankets, sheets, and pillow cases and throw them in the wash.

Because the laundry is never done.

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