My mountain of shame over a dirty little (clean laundry) secret

The post I hestitated to publishTHIS is one of those posts that I was nervous about publishing because, well, it reveals something about me that you may not like. So why publish it? Well, for a few reasons. Firstly, I’ve been happily blogging my family’s privacy away for years. It’s not fair, unless I turn that spotlight on myself a bit more regularly. Secondly, blogging is about honestly communicating; honestly sharing experiences that resonate with others. If I only share things that people will like, it’s not all that honest, and it’s not all that interesting. Like me, don’t like me, that’s up to you, but at least you’ll be making an informed decision on exactly who I am. Not who I pretend to be.

So, after that dramatic introduction, you’ll probably be disappointed with exactly what I’m blogging about. Because, well, housework is pretty uninteresting. But, this is not about housework. This is a post about an embarrassing flaw of mine in the housework department.

My shameful housework secretSee that, over there? That picture. Yes, that one. That picture is my bedroom. Yes, you can see the enormous pile of laundry on it, right? Well, you’re probably thinking that pile of laundry was collected and dumped there today, waiting to be folded. Nope. That pile of laundry was collected about two weeks ago. And it’s been sitting on that bed, growing, and sometimes shrinking a little as family members hunt and gather undies, socks, and other clothing essentials required to leave the house decently covered up. But mostly growing.

Losing the battle of the laundry

Here’s another little secret. I don’t do the washing. My husband does. Yes, I can hear women everywhere silently saying, “Wow”. Yes, I’m very lucky. Yes, he cooks too. He’s the complete package. *sigh* He didn’t choose to do laundry. What sane person would? He got so fed up with my sporadic attempts to keep up the supply of clean clothes to five people that he took on the job himself. Yeah, I was pretty bad at it. Stuff would go mouldy as it waited to be washed. Kids would outgrow clothes waiting for them to come back cleaned. So, with a world-weary sigh, hubby took on the job.

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Hubby brings a load off the line and asks where I would like it put. He knows what I’ll say – “The bed, please”. He knows I have every intention of folding it that very day. He’ll also know, as surely as the sun will rise in the east, that it won’t get folded that day. Or the next day. Or anytime over the next week.

This looks like a scene from Hoarders

My bedroom is a scene from HoardersAny minute now you would think the film crew from the TV show Hoarders would be knocking on my door. I haven’t piled all the laundry up for the photo to illustrate this blog post. It’s always like that. I know what you’re probably wondering. Where do they sleep?

Yeah, my husband has had to sleep in the spare room for the past two weeks while he waits, ever patiently, for his wife to fold the freaking laundry.

I sleep with the laundry

I sleep in that thin little line of spare space on the bed. Yes, I sleep beside Mt Laundriosko every night. I sleep with one eye open, afraid that it will topple over and smother me in my sleep. You know, like that scene from The Simpsons where Principal Skinner is trapped in his garage beneath a pile of newspapers that toppled over.

Ahhh... clean, folded laundry as far as the eye can seeAnyway, another reason behind me unmasking my hideous flaw in this public manner is the hope that by exposing my grim little secret I will make the changes necessary to fold the laundry regularly! I want to introduce a system that successfully brings about change – namely, laundry that is folded the same day it arrives from the washing line or dryer!

I need a system

My friend Lisa has a great system. She has a bucket for each family member and when the laundry basket comes in she throws each item of clothing into the appropriate bucket. She then takes the bucket into the right bedroom and puts the clothes away in the right drawers. Nothing gets folded. She says it takes her about 20 minutes on a slow day. Wow. I’m picturing a world where husbands aren’t relegated to the spare room because the spectre of a giant, growing pile of laundry has taken their space in the bed. I might try this system.

There is a time efficiency issue here too. It’s much quicker to fold the laundry and put it away than it is to have kids hunting through piles of laundry looking for matching socks and a pair of undies every morning. That takes *ages*! Just put the freaking laundry away!

I need laundry tips!

Okay, so here’s where you come in. I’m willing to bet there are lots of people with simple solutions to my problem. Laundry tips please! Hit me with it! How do you deal with the laundry? Does it pile up in your house? (Bet you feel better after reading this, because I’m pretty confident I’ve got the biggest pile of laundry in the southern hemisphere). What tips and tricks do you have for someone who loathes laundry duty?

Clean and cleared for sleeping!Oh, and today, I folded all the laundry. Finally! My beautiful queen sized bed is now cleared for safe sleeping! And I can’t wait. I can’t wait to sleep in a bed that offers me the space to roll over, without rolling face-first into a death trap; a bed that offers the freedom to pull up the blankets at will (hitherto impossible with a ton of laundry on top of it).  And best of all, my wife-weary husband can move back into the bedroom! Happy days!

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8 comments for “My mountain of shame over a dirty little (clean laundry) secret

  1. Gayle
    July 3, 2013 at 9:08 am

    Hugs, Felicity. Thank you for sharing. Let’s just say your little ‘problem’ might not be as uncommon as you think — and the scene looks far from Hoarders, by the way.

    • July 3, 2013 at 9:16 am

      Gayle, you’re lovely! Thank-you so much for the prompt and kind response! Nothing like being needy for some online positive reinforcement! Pathetic really. Phew! Now, must dash off to the radio station – 612Brisbane at 10.30am!

  2. Shannon
    July 3, 2013 at 10:21 am

    You’re not alone Felicity, and while I don’t pile my laundry on the bed, the couch is certainly being taken over. For the last two nights I’ve sat next to it watching the Tour de France …. Why didn’t I fold it then and there? Sometimes I reckon we just can’t be bothered with the mundane tasks of our day. So here’s my tip: when the kids asked me “what are we doing today?” I said we are going to fold all our clothes and put them away… my three-year-old said “yay!” Bless her! Get the kids to help… Folding doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be in the right drawers and out of sight. Good luck!

    • July 3, 2013 at 12:41 pm

      You’ve hit upon what I think is a crucial point, Shannon – “Folding doesn’t have to be perfect”. I reckon if I could let go of the idea that the clothes need to be neat and tidy in the drawers, I’d be well on my way to improving the situation.

  3. Peta
    July 3, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    Ha ha ha, I am far from being a domestic goddess. I just can’t stand all of that domesticated stuff, which to be quite honest, sometimes makes me wonder why I chose to be a “stay at home mum”… I have no excuse for not doing these things! I have never folded clothes. My kids have always had those cube shelves in their rooms and their clothes go into boxes. This has served me well, all I have to do is sort, and this can be done whilst enjoying my favourite shows at night. All the boxes come out onto the lounge room floor and I fling each item into its respective box. A much easier alternative to the whole folding conundrum. I don’t mind putting the washing on, I LOVE HANGING WASHING OUT, and I don’t mind bringing it in again, but I refuse to fold (or iron – except for special occasions). In this new place we don’t have the shelves, and I’ve noticed, it takes quite a lot longer for the washing to be sorted, I need to get my act together and sort out another system. My bed quite often looks like Mt. Washmore, and then it gets redirected to the couch, and then back onto the bed, and so on and so forth until it’s moved to the rightful owner’s room where it gets thrown around the floor and put back in the washing pile without even a single wear. Ahhhh, the joys of it all!

    • July 3, 2013 at 5:08 pm

      Oh Peta, I really need to introduce that system. It sounds perfect for me! Although, there’s no room for it in the boys’ room! They have a tiny room that is dominated by two king single beds. Madness. And what is this “I love hanging washing out” thing?? Crazy woman!! 😉

  4. July 3, 2013 at 10:09 pm

    Now – we don’t sound all that different from each other do we?
    I’m with Lisa (as mentioned in blog post), and I may even have got it from her – with the coloured laundry baskets for each family member (about $2 each from a cheap shop).

    Washing straight off the line & into the correct basket, linen into one of the baskets for the bedroom it belongs to, towels & kitchen stuff in mine. If the individual baskets haven’t been emptied when the next load is due to come off the line (which is really when the next wet load absolutely HAS to go on the line or risk getting that dreadful black mould) then the washing gets dumped straight into a communal basket, taken upstairs & sorted into the individual baskets.

    Each family member is meant to put their own clothes away – but I find for masters 6 & almost 9, I have to sort it into categories on their (made) beds & then tell them to put it away in the drawers – no folding! The only person’s clothes that I fold in this house are my own, and I’ve only just started doing that since I had a major wardrobe clear out.

    So I have two storage places for clean laundry – in those little baskets & on the line (and it can stay in either place for at least days (would be weeks except I have to clear the line for the next lot). Obviously my line is under cover.

    Oh – I don’t iron either.

    Feeling better?

    • July 3, 2013 at 11:46 pm

      Yes, Rachel, I feel much better, thank-you! As with everyone else, you’ve been kind. I appreciate it. Everything feels a little bit better when you know you’re not alone. Doesn’t it.

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