Five Minute Friday : Laundry

Joining Five Minute Friday with Lisa Jo-Baker

Five Minute Friday


2 Days Laundry _ 1

I think there’s a gnome in my house. He’s always playing tricks on me, filing up my laundry basket again and again. I have just cleared two loads of clothes just yesterday, didn’t I? Yet today, the basket is overflowing with stinky clothes and towels again. There are days I gave up playing the game with him. My kids would then remind me that I’m an irresponsible mother with their hysterical “I have no more panties!”. At 6.30am. Right before they have to get out of the house to go to school. (For the record, no, my kids never ever have to go to school without their undies.)

It was a tough game right from the beginning. I sweated lots, I panicked lots, and I certainly screamed lots. As the days go by, I started to figure out this gnome guy.

I set limits. Bath towels don’t go into the laundry basket until they have been used for a week. You used them on a clean body, so they are clean. Pajamas can be worn for two nights — you don’t sweat when you sleep. No clothes with laces and frills and anything that need to be hand-washed please. Unless the pair of hands that will be washing them doesn’t belong to me.

I build up ammunition. A dryer. I’ll trade anything for it. Just pop the washed clothes into the dryer and few hours later, you get cleaned, dried clothes all ready to be worn. Trust me, It has saved us from many potential fashion embarrassments.

I recruit an army. OK, OK, I admit. It was forced enlistment. The 12-yo and 10-yo are simply told that they have to take care of folding and putting away their own clothes. All I need to do is take the clothes out of the dryer and dump it in their clean clothes basket. They can deal with it as they deem fit. It’s all theirs.

I set aside reserves. There is always a pair of new socks in the cupboard for emergencies. My kids got enough sets of school uniforms and undies, so I know that I can procrastinate on my laundry chores for 3-4 days.

So far, so good. But I’m still looking forward to the day when I can get a robot to settle all the laundry tasks for me. Instead of a gnome who guards the dirty laundry basket dutifully.




  1. I quit doing my oldest daughter’s laundry when she was in high school. Her room was such a disaster, I couldn’t walk into the room and find a place to put the clean, folded laundry for her to put away. None of her drawers would hold more clothes (she actually had a bowl of soggy cereal soaking in milk in one drawer). She didn’t put her dirty clothes in the hamper until she knew I was coming to collect it, so I’d find perfectly clean, folded laundry from the week before in the hamper for me to wash again, since her floor was covered with clothes, and she’d just scoop up anything she saw and throw it In the hamper.

    When I stopped doing her laundry, she was happy to wear anything she grabbed– including underwear and socks that had been worn before.

    She remained a disorganized, mess for the rest of her life.

    I tried and tried to change her, but she was exactly who God created her to be, and I loved her with all my heart. Now she’s in heaven, I miss her more than I ever thought possible. And I have many stories to tell about my sloppy daughter.

    1. Thank you for sharing. Indeed, we tend to forget what’s the most important and precious amidst the mundane and chaos of daily life. I will keep you and your daughter in my mind and prayers.

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