the blended family for beginners

laundry as therapy? not as crazy as it sounds

laundry as therapy? not as crazy as it sounds

Call me crazy but I love to do laundry. Love it. There is something so satisfying in transforming a pile of worn, dirty clothes or linen into crisp, fresh clean things to wear and sleep on.  I love how it looks hanging on my line in the sun and gently flapping in the breeze and I love how it smells when I bring it in and fold it up.

This is obviously how I felt before I had to do laundry for my three gorgeous stepkids whose main mission some days is to wear every single item of clothing they own.  Suddenly I felt like all I did was laundry and I was in a constant state of either putting laundry in the machine, hanging it out or bringing it in.  And every day there was more and more it was like a never-ending laundry nightmare.

So I had to find a way to get all the laundry done without completely losing my mind,  in the process I discovered my love of it again and decided that actually it’s a good form of therapy for me.  Yes it’s work, but there is something I find so relaxing about hanging my clean laundry on the line in the sun, and then later in the day escaping whatever chaos is happening inside (think Nerf battles, hide & seek tournaments with extra screaming and every single matchie car Miss 4 owns all lined up ready for racing up and down the hallway) by unpegging the laundry in the cool breeze and quietness, then slowly folding it up (just wait until I tell you about my love of Kon Mari) sometimes with a tiny little glass of chardonnay in front of the TV.  It’s just a few moments of guilty pleasure balanced by conscience assuaging actual productiveness.  Win/Win!

There’s no point me re-inventing the wheel when it comes to organizing your laundry experience – Fiona at Finding Time in the Chaos and Clean Mama have already got that well and truly covered. But here are the little things I did to reignite my love of laundry and keep my sanity intact.

laundry as therapy

1. I do laundry every day

I know, it seems like overkill but honestly I find that if I stay on top of the laundry piles by giving them some attention on a daily basis it never gets so overwhelming that I feel like I need to close my eyes whenever I walk past the laundry room.  Some days I need to do more than one load obviously but generally I’ll gather up a load in the morning and put it on while I’m getting breakfast ready.  Hang it out  before the school run and hey presto! it’s ready to take off the line by the time I’m ready for a few minutes of peace in the afternoon.

 

2.  I take it off the line on the same day I hang it

This is pretty self-explanatory, I won’t insult your intelligence by expanding on it.

 

3.  I fold it as soon as I take it off the line

Again, this seems like it’s all very simple but I have to tell you that it is so much easier to fold and put away one basket of laundry than it is to be faced by a mountain of clean washing that has been sitting on your couch waiting to be folded for a week.  I know that I only need 5 or 10 minutes to fold one basket and if I’m a bit stealth I can squeeze in a little glass of wine and most of an episode of How I Met Your Mother while I do it.

 

So. There you have it.  A couple of simple little things that changed my laundry nightmares into a pleasant, almost therapeutic experience.  How about you?  How do you cope with kids that only wear outfits for 20 minutes and then throw them in the washing basket?



12 thoughts on “laundry as therapy? not as crazy as it sounds”

  • I don’t think I share your enthusiasm for laundry haha! But I get the accomplishment side of things though. I get this after doing a big clean of our whole house. Satisfaction and I usually chuck on some tunes or a podcast to make the time more enjoyable!

    Great tips! Seriously I never fold the washing when I take it off the line but it would be so much better to just be done!

    • Oh yes – music definitely makes any kind of housework more agreeable!! It’s funny isn’t it, I honestly found just that one little thing completely changed how I was able to manage the mountains of laundry that I had to get through – if I folded it as soon as it came off the line then I never felt overwhelmed by what was still left in the laundry because what I’d started that day was completely done and I knew that tomorrow was a new day and I’d do a bit more. Fortunately, when the kids are at their mum’s place I don’t have to wash so often so I get a bit of a break 🙂

  • Love this!❤️❤️ I have just started folding each thing as I take it off the line ( thanks for the inspo mum) and it’s sooo much less painful, and seems to be quicker 🤔 ( probably not in reality though ) maybe it’s just that you are out enjoying the outside that it seems better? 😊 But really……..new wooden pegs, a fresh batch of homemade lemon + lavender washing power and I will happily do washing all day🙊 😂☀️🌈

    • I definitely think it’s quicker!! And so much nicer being outside in the fresh air. I love the sound of your lemon and lavender washing powder, I will have to get the recipe off you 🙂 xxx

  • My husband is the washing do-er in our house. And it is his therapy too!! haha. I can tell exactly how stressed he is by how many loads of washing he does in a day. If there has been 3 loads of washing done all before 10am, he’s stressed about something!! The problem is, neither of us love to put it away – so we are very guilty of having 6 loads of washing scattered throughout the house waiting to be put into cupboards. You know what, im going to try changing my attitude about it and see if that helps get it done. I’ll recall your comments about peace and tranquillity and take that on-board. Here’s hoping its the motivation I need!!

    • Lol that’s too funny – what a great tell! I did find that I had to consciously change my attitude about it once I was washing for extra little people because in the beginning it just absolutely did my head in. Once I found a system that worked for me then I was all zen about it again 🙂

  • Loved reading this! Could totally feel your love for it and made me want the same! Definitely going to give your tips a go. There’s no kiddies yet so no mountains over here yet but can still get daunting and annoying if you leave it

    • Thanks Julia – so glad you liked it! Yes I think you’re right – even just with laundry for two people it can pile up pretty quickly. Every second week when it’s just husbo and I, I still try to stay on top of it with the same system – I just don’t have to do it every day which is a relief. Almost like having a holiday! 🙂

  • Thanks for this great post Gwen! My tip when doing the washing is to pop things on coathangers – business shirts, dresses, kids t-shirts etc. That way when you bring them in they can go straight in the wardrobe and the washing basket only has a few things to fold.

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