On television, they used to portray the Maytag Repairman as a lonely soul. Supposedly, the Maytag Company made their product so well, that the repairman spent his days waiting for the phone to ring.
I think that the way that we approach our laundry chores can sometimes parallel just how good or bad our lives are going.
I learned to do laundry when I was about seven. My mother showed me how to sort clothes and how to operate the washer and dryer. In fact, it was one of the few machines that I was entrusted with. I couldn't cut myself or burn myself with a washer and dryer. Nor would it roll down the hill because the emergency brake was disengaged. (Another story all together).
We had a used Whirlpool washing machine which lasted over twenty years. Lots of wear and tear with company, sweaty boys and manure residue.
I never could convince my own kids that sorting clothes was important. They didn't seem to care if their clothes got dingy or the colors ran on their whites. To be honest, they didn't care all that much about taking care of my laundry either.
Back to the sorting, I still talk to myself about which item of clothing goes into which pile. Whites; light colors, dark colors, jeans and bedding.
Most everything was cotton in those days and sure to wrinkle. Mom celebrated when polyester was invented. No more ironing! But that static cling was a pesky problem. Thus dryer sheets were added to the list of supplies.
A few points to ponder while you are waiting for the spin cycle light to shut off:
Taking the time to sort out your laundry pile puts things into perspective. The mountain of work becomes smaller and more manageable.
Each piece of clothing comes with specific directions on cleaning. It is your choice whether to accept those instructions or to find yourself with a shirt that is pink or a blouse that has shrunk.
Cast your burdens one load at a time into the washing machine. It will do all the heavy labor for you.
Hot water is not for delicates or colors that run.
Something will give eventually if you continue to over-load your machine.
Constantly checking under the lid always delays the process.
Soap is necessary.
Clean Clothes will always make you stand up straighter and walk with a purpose.
Laundry left unattended will result in mildew; ghastly smells and people crossing the street to avoid getting downwind of you.
Some clothes just need an extra rinse.
Slamming the lid down in anger or carelessness, will result in costly repairs at a later date.
Socks will always disappear. I think that there are leprechauns that lurk in the laundry room, just waiting for the opportunity to spirit your favorite socks away.
The dryer is your friend, but a clothesline invites the fresh air into your clothes and lifts your spirits.
Some kids and husbands take for granted that you are a miracle worker regarding stain removal.
We all know that a person has a better chance at stain removal if treatment is applied as soon as the spill occurs. Tossing a stained shirt or other items of clothing without saying anything is a cardinal sin!
Some people have set laundry days and complete every step without skipping a beat. Their dresser drawers are organized. They have creases in their pants and there are no wrinkles to be found.
Other people like myself, start out enthusiastically thinking that three or four loads a week can be managed on an as-needed basis. Trying to fit in a load here and there between commercials or fixing dinner.
My happiest days for doing the laundry was when I had my Speed Queen Wringer Washer with a stainless steel tub. I lived in a house with a wonderful clothesline that caught the crisp Idaho breezes and kept my sheets and towels smelling like sunshine.
And a few last words of wisdom. One of the most greatest things invented for the modern woman is the washing machine. It probably is the only gift with a plug that they will appreciate on Mother's Day or their birthday.
If you happen to have a spouse who doesn't mind folding clothes or doing their own laundry, Keep Them!!! They are indeed a rare species.
Adult children who live in the home with you might do their own personal laundry; however, you can be sure that they won't respect the machine. They haven't paid for it after all. Nor will they offer to pay for the next appliance that has been over-used and abused.
My newest washing machine will not let me open the lid until the entire cycle is finished. Although there is a pause button that can be pushed for emergencies, I still wonder if the agitator is doing its job properly or slacking off.
Life goes on regardless of how a person chooses to do their laundry. There is no set method that works for everybody and there never will be. I probably wouldn't win any awards for my folding skills, but I do like fresh clean clothes.
So if you are finding that your laundry is taking over the utility room; take a deep breath and say these magic words as you sort and simplify; Whites, Lights, Dark Clothes, Jeans and Bedding. A calm will come over you as the piles get smaller and more manageable.