Dirty Laundry Lessons

Ah, this is the life! Dirty laundry in the hamper is waiting for me. It is inevitable and time-consuming. It is a chore that makes you say “ This will never end!” It’s a lifetime task. Let me share the lessons I learned with my dirty laundry.

  1. It is a never-ending cycle.

I feel accomplished when I look at an empty hamper. All the washing is done. However, the feel-good moment is just fleeting. When the children come home from school,  fresh supply of dirty uniforms particularly smelly socks are dumped in the hamper. Inhale.. exhale. It’s a part of life. Endurance is a virtue being perfected here.

laundry basket
The second basket was done! 5,000 more baskets to go!
  1. Doing the laundry is exercise.

Machine wash or hand wash, check! Carry the hampers outside the backyard, check! Hang the clothes to dry, check! When the clothes are dry, get them for folding, check!This is hard work. I am burning calories!

  1. The missing sock will remain a mystery.

 I collected more than 10 socks with missing pairs. Is the washing machine taking it? Is there a sock fairy who gets them from the clothesline for fun? My friend suggested buying a dozen pairs of socks with only one color. That way, I will never have the issue of looking for its pair.  The tip helped me.

jeans on the clothesline
Job: The pocket checker
  1. The pockets should always be checked.

Have you experienced getting the clothes out of the washing machine just to see tiny white pieces of tissue stuck on the clothes? To my horror, I traced it to the pockets of the jeans. It was a moment for me to keep calm and control the Hulk Mum.

Have you experienced discovering coins or paper money hidden in the pockets? It makes you feel rich, right?

  1. Vinegar can remove stains on white garments.

Red stains were on 3 white inner shirts. The culprit was a small red face towel accidentally thrown with the pile. My husband remembered the advice of my mother-in-law. Soak the white clothes in water with vinegar. After two days, he showed to me the red stains were gone.

For me, flowers are good but helping with the laundry is better. www.daysofmum.com

  1. Helping with the laundry = LOVE.

It is really a big deal when a loved one helps with the laundry. The burden is lessened.  For me, flowers are good but assisting me with the laundry is better.

  1. Families who have excellent house helpers are lucky.

Once upon a time, I had the privilege to have a house help. I didn’t bother back then about the hand washing, bleaching and separating the white from the colored clothes. Washing clothes for a family every week is NOT an easy task. Having an amazing trustworthy house help for years is truly a blessing.

  1. Appreciate the clothes you have.

Clothes are basic needs of man and yet some are deprived of it.  When I see the hamper piling up with dirty laundry, I tell myself, “ Don’t complain. Be thankful you have clothes.”

  1. There is always a surprise lurking on the clothes.

Before washing: What is this I see? A sticky, smelly substance … eww. Enough said. Hand washing is a must.

After washing: What is this I see? Bird poop?! Wiping it off was useless. I have to wash it again!

clothes and bedsheets hanging on the clothesline
Wait a minute… Oh no!
  1. Check the clothesline for maintenance.

I was proud of myself finishing the washing. Then suddenly, all the clothes fell down on the muddy ground. I wanted to scream! The event was the epitome of frustration!Repeating the washing was an idea my brain couldn’t handle. With a sad face, I picked up the clothes to do the task, again.

  1. It instills responsibility with the children.

Put the dirty garments in the correct laundry basket. Help mum by carrying the hampers in the backyard. Assist mum in folding the clothes.

I told my boys “ I am not your slave. I am your mother.” 

One good thing about the boys helping me fold the clothes is they start discussing topics which most of the time made me laugh.

  1. When in doubt, hang the clothes to dry in a shaded area.

The forecast is sunny, it suddenly rains. I am miles away from home. At the back of my mind, I was thinking about the clothes.  It was annoying.

Are you too tired coming home from work? Hang the garments under a covered area. The clothes will dry by themselves, rain or shine, winter or not, you forgot them or not.  The only issue here is the odor of the clothes. Solution: Invest in sweet-smelling fabric conditioner. If you have extra money, have a clothes dryer.


What lessons have you learned with your laundry?