Now, if I could just convince everyone to stop wearing clothes. . . .
The other day, as I did the rounds upstairs of the kids bedrooms, I came upon a phenomenon that has never before happened in this house. All of the laundry hampers were empty. There was no. dirty. laundry. I skipped around the house with glee! "There's no dirty laundry!" I shouted.
No one really cared that much.
One of the kids maybe looked up from their phone and said "That's great mom."
To be fair, it was a pretty dead-on impersonation of my reaction when my son informed me he had won something called "Fortnite" (Me: Why is the goal on a deserted island to kill everyone else? Son's eye-roll: Oh Mooooooommmmm!!!!)
So the next day, when there was STILL no dirty laundry, I revealed my triumph to my book club, giggling behind my hands. They were supportive but also kind of confused. One of them has a hired laundry hand and the other two have basically just one other person to do laundry for. They were mostly infected with my giddiness and happy to get back to discussing our book.
I took the news right to it's inspiration: my sister-in-law. She and my mother-in-law never let laundry go for more than one day. "Well, that's the goal," my sister-in-law chuckled.
But I've seen it in action. We all share laundry machines for some beach weekends in the summer, and that's how it goes. My kids typically discard their clothes for the day and they pile up in either our empty suitcase or an ingenious canvas bag I had embroidered with the word "laundry" for just such trips.
But their laundry (and to be fair, sometimes my own children's would get sucked into this process as well) would be folded and stacked on the stairs leading to the bedrooms when I came down for breakfast. There was no light in their eyes when I described how I conquered Mount Laundrym which you can read about here.
How did I do it?
So the weather has been pretty crappy this March, with lots of days I'd just rather stay home. I'm actually in a kind of schedule, where I go out and panic grocery shop every tuesday before our weekly nor'easter/snow day. And since usually Mondays and Tuesdays (before the panic shop) are the only time I can guarantee no one will be home, I fell into a bingewatching habit.
My show of choice? "The Americans," which I'd been meaning to watch since my friend Cecilia got a job showing the stars how to cook Korean food (it's kind of a plot point!) But, it had not been available to any streaming service I had access to until now. It popped up on Amazon Prime a few weeks ago, and I was ready to go. I had laundry to fold, and "me" time to cash in. I couldn't really justify how much TV I was watching, even to myself, without a larger project. So I leaned in to laundry. I would be just like my Sheryl Sandberg, AND my domestic goddess in-laws! I would completely finish the laundry!
By season 4, I snuck in the episode where (spoiler alert) Matthew and Paige finally kiss and tossed a final load of laundry in. The next day I discovered the empty hampers. Bliss! And even if the truth is, I still do laundry every day (gotta get through season five, and then it's on to the latest season of Homeland) I think there are sill benefits: 1. I feel all powerful. It might be like that time when I was a kid and realized I could whistle breathing in and out and figured I had a superpower. Maybe the reason no one really cares that I don't have a bunch of dirty laundry all the time is because this is how laundry is supposed to work and it's no big deal. But I'm still feeling like the the GOAT!
2. No more hamper shenanigans. If you think you can try on 12 outfits and stuff them in the laundry bin (or leave them on the floor) Mom won't just assume that's all dirty any longer! I will know when you wore school clothes, lounge clothes, after shower clothes and pajamas in one day, and that won't truck with me, buck-o!
3. This might be the greatest accomplishment of all time: I am going to throw away the unmatched sock bundles. I'm only keeping them because they feel like old friends. I'm going through everyone's sock drawers and reunite a few long lost friends. Or something like this:
And then, it's the garbage can for them. Actually, when I told my mom I was going to throw away the unmatched socks, she said I should google "American Girl Doll tights project," so I think I'll just send the to her!