I’ve never really understood why some people say they love doing housework.
I mean, I’ve said it myself sometimes, just to keep other people from knowing what to expect from me. But usually the people I’ve encountered who say it seem to truly believe what they’re saying.
And maybe they do. But maybe it’s domicile Stockholm Syndrome. Who am I to judge what happens between an adult and a house?
Cleaning is hard. Keeping things clean is harder.
Keeping the lights dim and visitors away is easy.
Even when I ignore housework, there are some things that I can’t turn my back on if I am to be presentable in public without being arrested. Even so …
I usually do two loads of laundry once a week. On weekends. On Sunday. The day before I go back to work. Where I’m required to wear clothes. Clean clothes. Which I never have at that point, unless I want to select from the not-everyday-work-clothes drawer.
(I don’t need to describe what’s in there. Everyone has the same or similar, so you already know what I’m talking about.)
(Although I doubt I’m the first person ever to wonder if wearing a high school prom gown to work could be accomplished without anyone noticing.)
This burden of mine has become easier to deal with as I’ve matured in years, mainly because I actually learned from some of my past lessons in life, surprisingly.
Such as, it really is better to put in the effort of folding and putting away clothes once they’re dry, straight from the dryer if possible. Not only does it prevent wrinkles that need to be ironed (because ironing is even worse than doing laundry, although it smells nice), but it also eliminates the possibility of living out of a clothes basket for a week, or of piling the clean laundry on top of the bed and then sleeping on it for the next seven days.
I’ve done both.
More than once.
Leaving the clean clothes in the basket itself can lead to other issues, such as now having nowhere to put dirty clothes, except for the closet floor. Or worse, no longer knowing for sure if the clothes in the basket are still the clean clothes, or the dirty clothes. (This is especially hazardous when one’s wardrobe is remarkably similar, much in the same way that photocopies are similar.)
This can also lead to the unpleasant discovery that the clothes in the basket that you thought were clean are actually suddenly, irrevocably and irwardrobedly dirty, and damp, and the unexpected answer to “Why has the cat box stayed so clean this week?”
(At least that never happened when I was sleeping on the clothes.)
(That I know of.)
A yellow-alert situation such as this really only has one of three possible solutions:
Plan A: Calling in sick to work. (Done that.)
Plan B: Digging into the dreaded drawer mentioned above, attempting to create a passable outfit for the day out of pants that are usually too tight or meant for weddings or both; shirts that are stained in places that might not show if I’m careful not to lift my right arm above my knee; and that pair of underwear that only stays up properly once it’s been stapled on. (Done that too. All of it. And more.)
And Plan C, which relies on having a little more time than may be available in a sudden emergency wardrobe malfunction: buying new clothes just to avoid washing what is already owned.
(Yes, three for three; I’ve done that, too.)
It’s been some time since I’ve had to rely on any of these impractical solutions, because the space-age clothes dryer I use now has a steam “refresh” cycle that can be used to recycle clothing for another day, as long as there are plenty of dryer sheets available to add and a lack of ketchup upon any of the clothing.
Part of my distaste at putting away clean laundry is that I’m just not very good at folding clothes. And clothes really need to folded in some way to maximize the use of a drawer. After years of practice and trying, I’ve come to a compromise with myself: since my folded clothes are never going to look the way they do in a store, as long as they’re reasonably compact and secured and able to fit within the drawer with a minimum of forced compression, I’m happy.
(Believe me, “forced compression in the drawers” is not something anyone should ever want to deal with more than once, if ever.)
My pants are folded once so the legs are together, then twice more going down. My shirts are folded three times- once bilaterally, once to bring in the sleeves, and once more across the middle. My underpants are also folded three times. Eventually, everything ends up as squares of various sizes, except for my socks, which I fold once and then haphazardly shove into their own drawer where they end up roaming around free range anyway.
(At least I no longer force my paired socks to be wadded into each other, forming amorphous mobius blobs, after finally realizing this was why I usually had one sock that would raggedly slide down my leg and into my shoe while the other one stayed put.)
I don’t like doing laundry. While there are ways to avoid it, they usually end up being more of a hassle and hardship than just gritting my teeth and getting it over with, hoping that I haven’t missed an ink pen somewhere this time.
Because I like to look reasonably nice. More importantly, my employers like me to look reasonably nice. And at least I have some possibility of achieving this, simply by wearing clothes. This accomplishes the fundamental first step of being able to be looked at.
So once a week, usually at the last possible moment, I do my two loads of laundry.
These are the never-ending loads we must bear as responsible adults.
And we really only have ourselves (and sometimes ketchup) to blame.