Friday, March 8, 2013

An Ode to Doing Laundry

I love laundry. Perhaps I won't be saying that in a few years when I have the clothes of multiple and older children added to my loads, but for now, I really do.

There's a comfortable rhythm to it, the familiar cycles, the meditative act of folding.

I love figuring out the most efficient way to run the loads, the best settings for each kind of cloth.  Diapers on hot, towels on warm, clothing on cold. Balancing hot water against dishwashers and showers, following a bleached load with a load of something that won't be harmed if there's bleach residue left in the tub. Which loads get soap nuts, which get my homemade detergent, which run on Bulk or Delicate or Regular.

I love the loose predictability of my laundry schedule: Diapers on Sunday, adult clothes on Monday, baby clothes Tuesday, diapers again Wednesday, special/extra items on Thursday, towels on Friday, swimsuits on Saturday, and back to diapers again. Every day its load to wash, dry, fold, put away.

I love sorting, separating the differences and joining the samenesses. Collating. Keeping fuzzy socks away from the DDH's work shirts because he hates getting fuzz on them.

I love warm fluffy anything from the dryer (in this, at least, I'm sure I'm not alone).

I love watching Jayne examine every basket of clean laundry for possible stowaway tennis balls (I use them in the dryer instead of dryer sheets; one of these days I'll invest in actual wool dryer balls but for now tennis balls suffice.)

I love the Tetris puzzle that is hanging clothes and diaper covers to dry on the drying racks, packing the racks full with every item laid out just right.

I love folding most of all. The matching memory game of socks. The neat piles growing, the unfolded chaos shrinking. The sorting and stacking. It's peaceful. It's meditative, a mind-clearing action my muscles have memorized.

It's worship, this daily blotting out of stains, this offering of fresh starts, this service given in love. However else I might fail, as a mother, as a wife, as a person, this I can do. The clothes are made clean again; my soul is, too.

I'm not a hater of chores. I don't mind vacuuming, though I refuse to mop. I take a certain pleasure in dusting. I grit my teeth and clean the bathroom because it must be done.

But laundry. Laundry I love.


  1. So lovely. I envy your predictable laundry routine. Mine is much more haphazard. :)

    1. Mine was haphazard, but I needed it to be more routine. I'm an INTJ; we yearn for efficiency. :-)