Monday, October 05, 2009

Mt. Laundry...

My mom adores doing laundry.  It seems to revitalize her sense of purpose to go through the house and gather up lights and darks and get the machine humming.  I tease her for this when she comes to visit me and goes about washing every last stitch of clothing and linens we own.  By the time she's done, there is NO room left in a closet or drawer for one last sock or face cloth.  I tell her that we in the Forty-Five Degrees house maintain a delicate balance between clean and dirty clothes in order to have room in our bureaus and closets.  After mom leaves, I have to resort to re-organizing everything into compact double-folded piles in order to make everything fit.  It really cuts into my blogging time.  

I joke that so much of who I am as a domestic engineer is a direct rebellion against the tidiness of my mother.  I love her for her ability to look at housework as a daily "must" to be attacked with gusto as opposed to an arch-nemesis deserving of scorn and avoidance.  When Ethan started all-morning preschool last summer, I took a deep breath (or a million) and decided that if nothing else, our laundry was going to be done in a much more timely fashion than had been my habit from....well, forever.  

And I actually did it.  It was a burden at first, but eventually, running through the house every other day and gathering up everything that needed to be cleaned became in and of itself so much easier than watching the pile amass to something that met me at eye-level and taunted me for the week until I held my breath and dove in because we were out of underwear, that I started doing laundry 2-3 times a week.  Loads got smaller (and by smaller I mean I didn't need to do 4 loads of dark to get through them all or wish I had some sort of crow-bar and pulley system to get wet clothes out of the washer) and putting clothes away didn't mean an hour of mindless folding while incessantly asking Ethan to "please leave the clothes alone or mommy's going to run screaming from the house." 

The routine was working for us.  And I was feeling good about it.  Sure, every other aspect of my house continued to suffer from my lingering adolescent sense of rebellion against the cleaning practices of my youth.  When my mother came out to help me pack, even though there was no laundry for her to do except her own, it still took her a good long time to get the kitchen "really clean" as opposed to just my "it's not a germy cesspool" version of clean.  When my mom cleans, you could eat sushi grade tuna off of our kitchen floor and feel good about it.   But anyway, the laundry was going well. 

And then we hit a week before the move.  I was good at first and made sure that every single item of clothing we had was clean before packing it.  I packed three suitcases of clean clothes--one for Husband, one for me and one for Ethan.  The rest of our clean clothes went into Space Bags.  I bought some of those new giant Glad bag and labeled one: Dirty Laundry.  The Space Bags got packed in the moving truck and the suitcases and Dirty Laundry bag piled into our car for our road trip.  What an awesome system.  The idea was that when we got up to SunnyHappyTown  I'd have one big bag of laundry to sort, clean and put away with the rest of our stuff. 

So, I started that about a week before we left and we've now been here a week.  I haven't done laundry yet.  The giant Glad bag of dirty laundry?  Oh, it's full. And our bedroom floor?  Completely covered.  Ethan's room?  Oh yeah, that too.  I am suddenly thrust back months into the past, staring at that damn mountain of dirty clothes. 

I'm not sure what my issue is--sure I was stuck on the couch with the toe-of-death for a week, but that didn't keep me from unpacking a good number of boxes, hobbling from one place to another, taking long rests in between while the throbbing stopped.  It didn't stop me this weekend from making a trip to Target to buy Pull-Ups (oh, and a couple of cheap fall shirts because, hello, I don't have any clean clothes!).  So I really have no excuse.  I keep telling myself that as soon as I unpack the box with the laundry detergent in it, I will open up a can of whoop-ass on the pile of clothes (I know that phrase is outdated, but I will never stop loving the can of whoop-ass).  

But again, I've been to Target.  Where they sell, you know, laundry detergent.  Which would have cost me less to buy than the couple of cheap fall shirts.  But I opted for the shirts (duh) and Mount McWrinkle remains the menace of my bedroom. 

I do have to say, it is a testament to my former lazy-laundry ways that both Husband and I have yet to run out of underwear.  I do believe we've each got at least another week's supply.  I might have to pick a shirt out of the middle of the pile, give it a whiff and then let it hang in the bathroom while the steam from my shower unwrinkles it, but damnit, my underwear is clean.   So mom would be proud of that, at least, right?  Especially if I were to be in an accident.

So fine.  Now that I've admitted this relatively gross and off-putting tidbit about myself, you know that today on the way home from preschool we're going to have to stop at Target so I can actually buy some detergent, go home and do laundry.  And once I do that, I will of course, find the box in the garage that has our laundry detergent in it.  

Bring it. 


Sarah said...

Harry and Jack won't leave my laundry piles alone either. Drives me crazy. I used to have a t-shirt that had a can of whoop ass on it-- cracked me up. I LOVE that you bought new shirts in lieu of washing some :)

Becca said...

We just put away the last round last night and this morning I walked into the closet and was assaulted by a giant pile of at least two loads plus another pile of linens. I SUCK at staying on top of the laundry. I have no idea what the problem is. I think I spend all my time cleaning the kitchen fourteen times a day so by the time it's laundry time I've just HAD it.

lonek8 said...

the first part made me laugh bceause just today I decided to do laundry ALL THE WAY, which entails actually, washing, drying, folding AND putting away the clothes in the same day. This process usually takes me several weeks as I have a tendency to leave clothes in teh dryer/basket ufolded for days and days and days. basically, we all start wearing clothes out of the basket and the only thing that gets me to fold them and out them away is when I need teh basket for the next load. but today I did it all in one swoop, and I discovered that the basket percolation serves a crucial purpose because all of my clothes DO NOT FIT IN MY DRAWERS. So, all of my clothes are clean, and they were nicely folded, but now they are shoved and mangled and stuffed into drawers that have been wedged shut.Pfffft. Boo efficiency.

Anonymous said...

i am actually pretty good at putting stuff in the washing machine and dryer. you know, getting it clean. it's the part after that where i fall apart. currently i have three overflowing laundry baskets and a trunk in my room covered with clean clothing. only i wait so long that half of it falls on the floor or the cat sleeps on it and then it's not clean anymore. it's a very inefficient system. better just to leave it dirty to begin with!

Elisabeth said...

This KILLS me because I'm totally the same way. My mom would look at me and tell me that whenever I need to do laundry, I buy new clothes;) Over the years, I've amassed so much underwear that I could probably go a month. And your mom isn't the only one afraid of her daughter being in an accident with dirty underwear. Sigh.