Pixie Tips

Laundry Day Apocalypse

My 12 Year Old’s Room after Her Laundry Is Done

How I Fixed My Laundry Day Troubles

When I think of Laundry Day I think of an exploded mess that is usually my laundry room and I’m immediately exhausted. As usual with PixiesDidIt before and after photographs I forgot the before photograph. Luckily for me what you see to the left is the laundry day apocalypse in one of my daughter’s rooms, after. She’s a lot like me. Her room looks like what my laundry room looked like before I established a laundry day that worked. What used to take me six days now only takes me 1/2 a day.

Let me be clear, my six days of laundry — a personal apocalypse if there ever was one — was at least three months worth. In the past I’ve only managed to do the laundry when the five year old is out of underwear. Even then I’ve been known to buy a new package of undies rather than actually do the laundry. It is this homemaker’s Achilles Heel. I’ve tried many times before to give myself a laundry day, but usually it was on the weekend and by the time Saturday or Sunday rolled around, I was ready to relax and doing the laundry was the last thing on my mind.

So this time around I picked Monday. It is by far my least favorite day of the week, the same way the morning is my least favorite time of the day. I’m a late night kind of gal. Not sure if that corresponds with my Organic Freedom personality, but my Smart Freedom husband is also the same way. So I picked my least favorite day to do my least favorite homemaking chore. It’s kind of like how I used to save the “brain dead” activities of my job to Monday or the mornings. The same way my brain doesn’t really wake up until 10 am no matter what time I wake up, my week never seems to get going until Wednesday. So on Monday, I can start the laundry when I’m having breakfast and by the time I’ve finished my coffee and looking through my schedule and emails I can start folding the first load.

It’s the folding I hate, but I put on some crap TV and get going. Mindless work made a bit less boring by my favorite vice. The hardest part of this task is to finish. It’s something that hinders many Organic Freedoms, Smart Freedoms and Funs. We like to do things right, and so if they can’t be done right we can often default to not doing them at all. Good enough just isn’t in our vocabulary. It’s all or nothing. So I sort the laundry, wash it and then fold it, but putting it away is where the trouble lies. There’s a reason my 12 year old doesn’t feel the need to put away her laundry and that’s because she’s seen me not do it for most of her life.

If you’ve gotten behind in laundry, and have the cash, a good and Fun idea to get back on top of it is to take all of it to the laundry mat. Either have them do it all, or do it yourself. But another ideas is to to go against our natural inclinations and quit while we’re ahead. The Good Enough method. This time around I didn’t keep doing the laundry until I was finished, I only allowed myself two days. The following week I cut that down to 1 1/2, until now I only allow myself a day, and that includes being able to fold AND put the clothes away.

I’m sure Classics and Organic Structures and Smart Structures are shaking their heads in a collective,”No Duh!” But it’s hard for us because routine, is well so routine. So finding away to make a routine chore more exciting and fun is the best way to go. For me it’s combining it with television on my least favorite day. I rarely get much stuff done anyway, so making it my laundry day was a revelation and a relief.

But here’s my secret…sometimes Monday becomes Tuesday and I haven’t sorted the laundry yet. So my routine shifts a bit, but I keep trying to do it on Monday and not let my failure to do it on Monday every single week as an excuse to give up. I just do it the next day I’m able and try again for Monday on the next week.

The result? My weekend is here and my laundry is done! Now all I have to do is keep nagging my 12 year old to put her clothes away. Piece of cake. Not that I think it will be easy to put her laundry away, but luckily I can close the door on her mess and walk away. The only upside to being an Organic Freedom housewife!

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