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The Living Without Series

This is a series of posts that I wrote back in 2006 on living with less stuff. Check them out: liv011Living #2liv031liv04

Coal Creek Farm on Facebook

The Chicken Doctor


The Architect


It takes a village to do laundry.

I’ve been a mom for nearly seventeen years and I’m still trying to figure out how to do it right.  If I had to start from scratch I’d change a few things about how laundry is done.  And just to give him some credit, Clay did laundry today….he’s a keeper, I’ll let him stay a bit longer.  However, a few months ago he gave me this long and very boring lecture about how many steps are in the process of laundry.  “April, did you know there are four steps to doing laundry?  Do you know what the fourth step is?”  I smiled sweetly and answered, “Yes, it’s shoving it up your butt.”  He hasn’t asked me about how many precious steps there are in doing laundry since then.  So, what would I change if I could go back in time and retrain my children how to do laundry?

1. I’d buy them one change of clothing, one for Sunday and one for the rest of the week.  It’s primal, it’s perfect.

2. When they get old enough to walk and open a small door, I would teach them how to throw their two outfits into the washing machine and we would make a fun little game out of it and they would laugh and giggle with glee because helping with laundry is fun and they would most likely be dancing around naked and that’s loads of fun when you’re little.

3. When they get old enough to start hiding their two outfits under their bed because they no longer giggle with glee when helping with laundry,  I would make them start washing their outfits on a weekly basis on a certain day at a certain time and I might blow a whistle to announce that it is “Laundry Time!”  And then I’ll dance around with my clothes on blowing that whistle until the clothes are done.  The kids get their laundry done, I get a nice aerobic work out, it’s efficiency at its best.

4. When they get old enough to refuse to wash their outfits and just wear dirty clothes because who cares clothes are just clothes, that’s when they get to move out to the barn where I will willingly deliver their meals and make sure they are slightly uncomfortable, but not absolutely miserable.

5. When they get old enough to start caring about how they look and smell, I will allow them to move back into the house.  I will welcome them with open arms and a small coin purse full of their weekly allotment to go do their laundry anywhere but in my house.  If I find any of their clothes, especially their socks, in my sight I will assume they have left it as a gift for my use.  Socks make the most wonderful rags when you cut them down the middle.

6. If they start to sneak their laundry into my baskets, I will wear their clothes to school and parade up and down the locker room using an assortment of foreign accents saying things like, “How do you all like my new shirt?  Look at all the socks my son gave me, aren’t they nice?  Remember when my daughter wore these jeans…yeah, they’re a wee bit tight, but I AM WORKIN’ THEM!”  Then out of a bag I’ll pull out the small stuff to give away, ” Who wants a t-shirt?  How about a bra or two?  Old underwear anyone?  Boxers or briefs?  I got both.”

I’m so disappointed that I didn’t think of these brilliant ideas years ago when I was younger and more organized and held to my guns.  But, that locker room idea….it’s not too late.

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