Friday, March 4, 2011

Riding the Dirty Clothes Horse- or Dealing With Too Much Laundry!

It happens about once a month. The dirty laundry that was supposedly under control has now taken over the entire hallway- and no one has any clean clothes. I have no idea why this family tradition started, but it seems like everyone (meaning the kids) waits until they're practically naked before putting their dirty stuff in the laundry. Then I have to mount 'Stinky Shorts' the clothes horse and tame the beast.

Eventually I had to teach my son the art of taming the clothes horse, and we do well most times. But since I have the memory of a gnat, and my son has a gift for disappearing when it's time for chores, sometimes the clothing goes unchecked until I hear the faint call of my daughter through the pant leg of a clothing avalanche. For a child who claims she has no clothing, she has a lot of stuff blocking the entrance to her bedroom. Maybe it's the house gnomes up to their tricks again.

It's almost like assembly line work; I empty the baskets, refill them, my son takes them to the Pit of Despair (otherwise known as the basement) to be washed and dried, then either child brings up the clean stuff to be dumped back on my bed for folding. It's a well-oiled machine when it works.  

When it works. 

Most times some of the moving parts (the kids or myself on occasion) just shut down and step over the masses accumulating in the hallway, and make our way to the kitchen for some eye-opening sustenance before starting our day.

We can acquire about one to two loads a day, so if at least one load is skipped, we're behind. But on days where the horse is threatening to engulf the hallway, we have to tend to it at least three times a day. And folding all that stuff is just soooo much fun. Especially when I see my kids neatly folded clothing shoved into their dressers pell-mell without any consideration as to where each item belongs. Many times I hear complaints about not having any clean school shirts, only to see that they shoved them into the underwear drawer.

It's nice to feel needed. Sort of.

I stopped having a hamper in the hallway. All it did was accumulate stuff, and then we had the joy of sorting through all the odoriferous garments. No one wanted that job, so I decided to use baskets instead. One for the whites/light colored clothing, one for the dark colors. When either gets full, down it goes. This kept the reins on the horse quite well- at least until the next avalanche happened.

'Stinky Shorts' is now going down the fairway, getting smaller as he reaches the finish line!

I love looking at the baskets in the hall and not seeing either of them full. I can also smile because I know the kids have been bringing down all of their dirty clothes this week too. It's nice to get off of the dirty clothes horse and walk in the hallway for once!

1 comments: said...

Oh this mother of six is smiling and nodding. I remember my kids hiding things in the hall laundry shoot...things that were suppose to have been put away!
I just recently posted on my son and I fixing my I know what it is like to have them not work well.

We are now going through their closets...spring cleaning and hauling all the laundry to the laundry room.

Great post...enjoyed...coming by from Ruby for Women.

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