As I moved from room to room today cleaning my house the following realization struck me. My laundry is everywhere. All the time. It never ends.
So, here I bring you…
My Six Stages Of Laundry: An Analysis.
Stage 1: Probably Ought To Get Around To Washing These
Location: My bedroom for clothes, the laundry room (read: basement) for everything else
Estimated Time In This Stage: Until I realize I’m out of the item in question (shirts, socks, towels, sheets, etc.)
Not pictured is the following related, or sub-stage, that applies most days of the week.
Stage 1a: On The Floor
Location: The floor
Notes: Reserved for socks. Socks that I have skillfully managed to pull off by stepping on the toe of one sock with the heel of my other foot and then yanking my foot out, so the socks remain on the floor wherever I walked out of them.
Estimated Time In This Stage: Usually just until I’m getting ready for bed and think, I ought to pick those up. But realistically, until I bother to pick them up and put them in their Stage 1 bin.
Stage 2: In The Washer
Subtitled: Why Does This Thing Take So Long To Fill When I’m Waiting To Add Bleach?
Location: The washing machine in the basement
Estimated Time In This Stage: Just long enough for me to forget I put something in there
Footnote: The Laundry Ladies
When mom was bedridden, I was constantly doing laundry, 24 hours a day, to keep the things she needed clean. I was down in the basement at all hours of the day and night half asleep, switching loads from the washer to the dryer and setting timers to remind me to keep the process moving, so she would have clean stuff when she needed it. It was during this time I made friends with Judith T Kingsley and Betty and Sally. I needed to amuse myself, so I named the ladies in the vintage laundry ads I have taped to the wall in the laundry area. I greeted them each time I came down to tend to another load. “What’s up Judith? Betty? Sally? You too, huh? Still with the laundry, eh? Never ends does it? Well, catch you next time ladies! Judith. Betty. Sally.”
Stage 3: In The Dryer
Location: The dryer in the basement
Notes: The dryer buzzes once, extra quietly, for shirts or anything I want to take out right away, so it doesn’t wrinkle. The dryer buzzes extra loudly, every three minutes, for towels that I could not care less about being wrinkled.
Estimated Time In This Stage: An eternity when I’m waiting to wear whatever is in the dryer as soon as it is dry.
Stage 3a: The Dreaded Lay Flat To Dry
Location: Anywhere I can find space, preferably near an air vent if I’m in a hurry to get it dry.
Estimated Time In This Stage: Days if I’m waiting for something to dry. Weeks if I put the drying rack in a room I don’t go into often and forget it’s there.
Stage 4: Washed And Dried Waiting To Be Folded
Location: The middle of the hallway. Theoretically this will remind me to fold them. In actuality, it merely hones my ability to avoid obstacles on my way to and from the refrigerator.
Estimated Time In This Stage: Until I trip over the basket the second time, or until every item has been taken out one by one as it was needed and not found in its proper storage place.
Stage 5: Washed, Dried, And Folded, But Not Yet Put Away
Location: In the spare room where I can easily forget to put them away, or in front of my closet, literally inches away from their assigned homes where the basket can get in my way every day, but I still don’t bother to pick them up and put them away.
Estimated Time In This Stage: Most likely until I need that laundry basket for something else.
Stage 6: Washed, Dried, Folded, And Put Away
Notes: This stage, rarely achieved within the same week of Stage 2, should be celebrated with a hearty pat on the back.