30 December 2010

Laundry: thirty loads down the rabbit trail

"Do you really do 30 loads a week? I think we do 11-12. I have more kids..... lol."

Absolutely.  4 loads a day most days with a 5th load a couple of times per week- easy. To make sure I wasn't exaggerating, I conferred with both my father-in-love and my mother-in-love.  (They live in a grandy flat attached to The Shoe.)  It took fingers and toes, but we agreed that 30 loads/week was a reasonable estimate.

Still, it started me thinking, "Thirty loads?  Where does all that laundry come from?" My brain is tired of crunching numbers for taxes and would like a diversion, so I am going to follow this rabbit trail for the sheer pointlessness pleasure it may bring.

Each bedroom has 1 hamper per person.  Ideally, that hamper would hold a week's worth of laundry for its owner. 


In a perfect world.  

In another universe, but most definitely not here.  Oh, it works for the mommy, the mid-sized children and, occasionally, for the tall ones who don't stain things, but the daddy, the stain-prone and the littlest ones will not be constrained to one hamper per week.

A husband who works out of doors makes about 2 loads per week all by his lonesome self. (3 loads if he showers 2x per day.  The towels never have a chance to dry!) I was able to quantify this while he was in Arizona.  My laundry day was suddenly much easier.  Not so easy that I wanted him to stay in AZ but a comfort nonetheless.

Evie is a spitter, which translates to several outfits a day for her and sometimes for me.

Nolan is making extra laundry right now since he is potty training, although we are keeping that to a minimum by forbidding him the privilege of pants.  Pants take precious time that make the difference between success and failure.  Shirts and undies.  Sorry, little man.  Someday you'll be allowed to wear pants again, I promise.

There is the "I'm going to wear that again, so why put it away" laundry and the  "I changed my mind, I guess I'll hang it on the floor" laundry.  Add in the dress-up clothes, doll clothes and even GI Joe clothes that kids  throw into their hampers instead of the toy bins, and you end up at some crazy number of loads per week.  (Our laundry system is such that the big kids wash the laundry for all the people in their bedroom.  This means that I don't always see the ridiculous things that go through the wash until I see something like miniature camo pants on top of a load destined to be folded in the boys' room.  I wouldn't want anyone to think that I just throw things into the wash willy-nilly.)

The pets add to the mess by sleeping on things I would rather they didn't. If it is fabric and on the floor, our dog thinks it is his blanket and lays down on it.  Yes, even if it is only a washcloth.  If he wasn't making such a hairy mess, it might be cute to see a 100 pound chocolate lab trying to curl up on a "blanket" that is 5 inches square. The cats are no better; they manage to shed on every surface, horizontal and vertical, in the house.  White cat climbing blue curtains = laundry.  Of course, so does 'toddler sitting at window seat, using curtains in place of napkins'.

Speaking of napkins...we still use paper napkins, but don't often buy paper towels.  Microfiber cloths are used for cleaning anything that doesn't make me gag. As a veteran mother and midwife, there are few things that make me gag. Our stash of microfiber rags needs washed a couple of times per week, in small loads of their own.  (Washing them with the other towels covers them in lint and makes them less effective for cleaning.)

And so it goes. Or so it went. This week was magical.  Oh, the same family making all the same laundry still lives here, but now, NOW we have Matilda.  Suddenly, our 30ish loads have become our 18ish loads.  Bliss, I tell you, BLISS.

Dear, dear Matilda,

This week was a lovely beginning for what I can see will be a happy relationship.

Yours devotedly, 

The Mama


  1. So washer size is making a difference and maybe that is what the difference has been between our two families. =)

    David and I have two loads together per week with room to throw in towels.

    Dan, Adam, Hollie do one load each per week.

    Joe, Isaac and Liam (share a room) have one load a week.

    The other 4 girls do 2 loads a week.

    That leaves us about 4 other loads of towels, reusable rags for cleaning (we also don't use many paper towels), bedding, bibs, etc.

    I think my boys are what keep our washing rates low... they sometimes won't change clothes still I force them. Eew!

    So happy your new washer is such a blessing! I have loved our front loader for many years now!

    I'm thinking our next big purchase is going to be a new frig. Ugh. Looked at some at KMart today and ooh'ed and aah'ed at one. Tax return money? lol!

  2. What a time difference it makes to only have 2 to 3 loads a day! Of course, folding is the same, but remembering to transfer is much easier when you only have to do it twice/thrice.

    Our teenage boys are alike; I often have to force mine to change. Usually after I have caught a whiff of his teenageness. "Exactly how long have you been wearing that shirt?"

    A new frig? Ours is running along smoothly at the moment. Whew. Sorry to hear that investment is on the horizon. I think I would like the bottom drawer with cafe doors style. Or a cabinet depth Subzero that is extra wide- nowhere to put it, but I can dream!

    Sadly, our tax return is already spent on braces. Sigh. Next years, too. Oh well, it is easier than paying the $3700(each)out of pocket. I know that you are familiar with that pain. ; )

  3. The other difference between our families re: # of loads is that my in-laws run their laundry separately from ours- so even though it might "fit" into our loads and decrease the number of total loads, we keep our households separate. They were doing ~ 6 per week which will likely drop to 3 or 4! Fantastic!