This year I resolve to tackle the Laundry Monster. With four athletic children, couple of dogs, a sporadic running habit and lack of a recognizable schedule as a freelancer, I hardly notice as the hampers fill and turn innocent items of clothing into a colorful version of Jabba the Hut. But this is the last year that beast will rule. I have a strategy, that will tame it once and for all.
1. Beautify. This step is nearly done. I recently painted the walls red, tiled the floor and changed the utility tub, replacing the paint splattered ugliness with a clean white tub. All I need to add is a decorative piece or two and the room will be actually welcoming.
2. Keep Clear. Since the laundry room doubles as a second, or in actuality main entrance to my home, keeping it free of excess shoes, papers and stuff will require a strategy and some retraining exercises for my troops.
3.Cut the Food Supply. If we get rid of excess clothes, the monster will be recognized before it takes it’s first breath. I’m the main culprit here, have more workout clothes than necessary for an entire sports team.
4. Dump the Jail. Socks that have gone AWOL need to be tossed, not left languishing in a basket the rest of their lives. Assign sock matching duty to the kids in the same way dishwashing is handled. On days they are free from the dishes, they will have to match socks. Seems fair to me
5. Designate. Like any organizing strategy, creating a place for things makes it easier to manage. I will designate a white hamper, a darks hamper and a red hamper. Presorting will make it slightly easier to dump a load in the washer. Yes, reds deserve their own hamper, and will probably be done most often; it’s a favorite color, 9 out of 10 coaches recommend red apparently.
6. Day by day. Resign myself to the fact that laundry is a daily chore. Some aspect of the monster has to be addressed daily. I do not have the luxury of waiting until the weekend if I want to get this and keep this beast under control.
7. Stock the Supply Cabinet. Shopping is another thing that frequently falls by the wayside in my life. If I want to make this resolution stick though, I will purchase laundry detergent and bleach in bulk, and continue to check the supplies. Don’t want to be left without a weapon in this war.
8. Schedule. While that word makes me cringe, I need to make a plan to wash sheets and blankets on a certain day. My days often run into each other, but I am always able to make a deadline, regardless of how unrealistic the project is and this will be no exception. Maybe I should rename this step, the bedroom deadline, that doesn’t fire up my rebellious nature quite so much as “schedule.”
9. Add Life. Plants were the key to my recovery from an eating disorder many years ago and maybe they will help with this laundry problem today. Caring for a plant is supposed to mimic the state of my health. If I place a beautiful potted plant in the laundry room, I will need to go in there to care for it, and while I’m there…..toss a load of laundry in, clean up….you get the picture.
10. Practice Zen Laundry. Sort, fold, repeat. Make it an act of meditation. Put fresh warm laundry away immediately and enjoy the serene process.
The laundry will not win this year. Victory is mine!