Unless, of course, we're talking about how the laundry is folded. That is a whole different story. We don't have a lot of storage area for clean clothes, so I'm very specific in how I fold clothing and where they are put away. I border on psychological disorder, I admit it. When I sit down to fold laundry, I threaten anyone who comes near my neatly stacked piles. When I'm done, it looks like a department store. I'm always so proud of what I've accomplished. I've carefully paired jammies, neatly organized school uniforms, and have Hubby's work uniforms at the ready for his next shift. Perfection.
It always happens, it never fails. Something always happens, and then I'm angry and bitter about the hours of hard work every week that goes into maintaining our laundry, only to have ungrateful beasts destroy it. And yes, that sounds harsh, but when I'm tired, and I'm having an OCD attack? Yes, everyone is a beast.
The last straw? I had paired up jammies for the Littles and they were stacked neatly on my dresser. I had not put them away yet, as I had been going through a large box and it was blocking the drawers where their things went. All it took was one time for me to instruct them to *carefully* take their jammies off the stack. That didn't go as planned. I hit my wall, I was done.
You have to understand just how many hours I spend every week folding laundry. There are five of us. Hubby only has 3 sets of uniforms, Littles have enough pieces to get them through the week, but they have favorite things that they like to wear more often. Princess never has enough jeans - ever. I've tried having a laundry day, I've tried doing laundry every day ... it doesn't matter how I do it, I end up folding laundry about ten hours a week.
Do you know what I could accomplish with TEN HOURS A WEEK?!?!?! ::sigh::
I certainly know what I could get done with an extra ten hours. With that realization, I jumped in the car, headed out to wal-mart, and got a new laundry sorter - one of the really nice three-compartment ones that rolls, and is very sturdy. Three compartments, three kids (here at home - as a reminder, Red lives with Granddad) ... Princess, Fluffy, and Smiley.
The new rules:
- I will wash and dry clothing, and keep the dirty laundry from overtaking us all.
- When the laundry comes out, I will sort their laundry into their individual compartments.
- I will continue to fold school uniforms and church clothing - just so we're all assured they have their uniforms and don't look like ragamuffins.
- They will attempt to fold a little bit every day, or at least make sure that their compartment isn't overflowing.
- If they would like help or instruction with their folding, I'll be more than happy to do so, provided they ask politely, and at a time when I'm available to do it. Otherwise, they can fold their things anyway they'd like.
- They will put their clothes away neatly, and wherever they want it - as long as it is AWAY.
- I'll go easy on them while they're learning, but we will get to a point where if they don't put their things away, they will receive punishments.
I have made the choice to not care what it looks like. I just ... don't ... care. I have to not care. The time that I'm spending worrying about how nicely their undershirts are folded is *killing* me. They are smart, helpful, and independent - all of them. Time for them to take those three attributes out for a test drive.
So far, the plan is working out quite well. They have kept on top of it, and they seem eager to be in charge of their own belongings. I know that this is a honeymoon period, of sorts, but I'm going to ride it for as long as I can!! Last night it took me 10 minutes to deal with two loads of laundry. A girl could get used to this kind of luxury ...