Monday, March 28, 2011

The Death of the Laundry Monster

Don't let the urgent take precedence over the important.

These sound like great words to live by.  Or at least plan by.  I have gotten a lot better in terms of life-structure over the past couple of years;  planning and being organized are sort of like learning a second language for me.  I will always think and dream in my mother tongue, but I am determined to learn some good things from other cultures!

Here's what I've found after days  months years of personal research:  when I plan to do the important things, and actually DO them, (even if I am kicking and screaming on the inside)  I have enough time to do those spontaneous things I always want to do. As an added bonus, when I do them, it's guilt-free.  This extensive research came to a head this weekend when I confronted my nemesis, the Laundry Monster.

Days  Months Years of Research Exhibit A:

I have often remarked that I have a couch-full of laundry.  What I mean is this:
This is actually only a love-seat-full and not the full-on couch full.  I have had the large couch full to overflowing more than I care to admit.

I might not like folding laundry.

I was looking at this beast and had been avoiding it, and adding to it for a couple of days, cause I was waiting to spontaneously feel like doing it. This whole thing of having spontaneity as a plan  for getting things done, just isn't all it's cracked up to be.  So I thought I should time myself and see how long it actually takes to fold 6 loads of laundry.  That's about half a weeks' worth of laundry, if you care - but I'm not even complaining about that, I'll save that for another day.

This is really another example of how homeschooling has ruined me-  I have to turn everything into an experiment.  No children were harmed, or even asked to do any folding in the creating of this experiment.

I was truly hoping that this task was worthy of all the whining I already I'd like permission to do.

I might hate folding laundry

This is a vintage whine - I've been working on it for over 15 years.  It sounds something like "I don't have time to get this done, I'll just chuck in on the couch till I feel like doing it."  " Or until I move it to my bedroom if company comes over"  " Or until my friends that I don't move laundry for come over and fold it with me." "Or for me."

I hate folding laundry.

Guess how long it took to turn it into this:

Please ignore the orphaned socks, for lo, there are many.  
23 minutes.

I know.  It's ri-donk-u-lous how much time that didn't take.

Add another 6 to get them all into the appropriate bedrooms and mine & Josh's put away (he still believes in the laundry fairy and I'd hate to ruin the magic).

Ridonkulous   - I'm not sure if that word should have a c or a k, but it's the right word, I know that for sure.

So, first, I must chastise myself because, it took less than half an hour to get all of that done. That's hardly worth whining about.

Then, later in the day, another load of laundry was done, it was so average in size it wasn't even picture worthy.  Guess how long it took me to fold that - Exhibit B- shall we say?

6 minutes.

At first I thought that just wasn't worth it - minute for minute, it was a better use of my time to grow the laundry monster for a few days.  But then I was thinking - what do I more often have:  Spaces of 6 minutes with no Laundry Monster to haunt me in my sleep or tormented spaces of 30?

Yeah.  Do it now.

Then I have time for important stuff like going to the park with the kids, spending some whine free time with Josh, or even preparing something other than pancakes for supper.

Nike had it right: Just Do It.

Now about the ironing...


  1. You crack me up! Yes, if only we consistently 'just did' things at the time....
    I actually quite enjoy folding laundry, it's the putting away that gets me. We've been known to have five baskets of neatly folded laundry sit in our bedroom for longer than I care to admit. Then the cat sleeps in them and covers the once-clean laundry in hair and I'm right back at the beginning!
    Good luck with the ironing - iron is not in my vocabulary.

  2. I'm proud to be one of those friend for whom you don't move laundry! And I hope I'm one of those friends who has sometimes helped you fold it!
    Ironing is also not in my vocabulary. The only one in our household who irons is Jeff....and he's pretty darn good at it! As a teenager, the only thing my mom let me/asked me to iron were table cloths...that's all I could handle!

  3. You're hilarious! I am happy you don't move laundry for me either, and I am happy to help you fold it whenever you need it. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE folding laundry! And, I have found I average about 5 minutes per load, so I know it will be done quickly.

    One more note: A lady I know ALWAYS sits with a glass of wine while she interesting incentive. I know you're not a wine drinker, but maybe a coffee would help :)

  4. i end up doing 6-7 loads on my one laundry day, fill up the couch, and then I watch a couple of my favorite shows that night while I fold. so yes, it takes me two hours, but i find it pretty relaxing!
    on the flip side, lately I have been trying to fold AND put away each load as it comes out. not relaxing at all, but quite a feeling of satisfaction/accomplishment.


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