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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

From my Front Porch

Thursday, August 29, 2002

My household laundry saga

"Mom, where are my boots?" frantically yelled my son.

"I have no idea," I answered.

I carefully entered his bedroom trying my best to be a help to him in his moment of dire need. I glanced in the direction of his bedroom floor in search of the elusive footwear, but as far as I could tell, they were nowhere to be seen. Neither was his floor.

I have decided that floor-covering designers are missing a grand opportunity to make loads of money. Consider this. A floor covering that looks like it has clothes strewn all over it.

The advantages, in my ever-optimistic way of thinking, are fairly obvious. Such a floor could be both a time-saving and a cost-saving feature. Time saving in that a teen-ager might very well be prompted to properly put his clothes away because, simply put, the floor is full.

The cost savings would be due to less frequent incidents of what I call "double washing."

While sorting your laundry, have you ever come across a piece of what you would bet your life is recently laundered clothing that has not been worn since? It may even still be folded and ready to wear.

My children are guilty as charged, but unbeknownst to them, their mama has been known to take the offending article of clothing (which is clean) and placing it just as it is in their pile of otherwise freshly laundered clothes.

Laundry is quite the issue in our home right now. We have been without a dryer for several months. Even though I have developed what I consider an adequately efficient alternative indoor clothes drying system, my family is beginning to think I am nuts. I suppose I am nuts, but in a good way, of course.

I am determined to replace not only my dryer, but my washer as well. I have my heart set on one of those space-saving stackable units that should last me until my final laundry day. I am hoping to completely redo our laundry room to include a half bath. This will be no easy task and the project is taking a lot of time, much of it devoted to researching for the most efficient laundry/bathroom design.

In the meantime, my children and my husband are learning some valuable lessons. Especially, that the words "I need to wear this tomorrow" have taken on a whole new meaning.

In our home, such a request is dependent on how quickly the said item will air dry using my system, which utilizes various complicated scientific factors such as the barometric pressure, humidity level and the heat index. It only takes one time of facing the day wearing not-quite-dry clothes to realize that it would be much better for all involved if you take the time to plan a little better.

And that is my ultimate goal.

I was discussing a similar situation with someone once and she said something I consider quite profound: "Dishwashers make children lazy."

In my opinion, so do clothes dryers.

Without fail, any time I fold laundry a pattern I have found to be well established in most households is observed. Regardless of the number of loads washed, my children's stacks are sky high, while my stack, which generally represents a week's worth of laundry, is relatively small, consisting of a couple pairs of socks and some underwear.

Which brings me to the issue of towels. Just how many towels does a teen-ager use on the average day? I have given up trying to figure that one out.

But one thing is for sure, I am well past feeling guilty about answering the question, "Do we have any clean towels?" with "Sure, just go check out your bedroom floor."