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Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Tips for the Day: Eliminating Laundry Frustration

Now that we're back in ordinary time, I thought something ordinary would be in order. So here are a few questions:
  • Do your washer and dryer eat socks? 
  • Have you ever totted up the time spent on searching for sock mates in the laundry of all your family members? 
  • Do these questions raise your blood pressure and remind you how much you dread the great sock search capers? 
I actually enjoy doing the family laundry. I like to fold wash and pray for the person who will wear what I'm folding or sleep on the sheets. But the great sock search drives me crazy! Talk about frustration! And it always seemed a stray sock remained in the bottom of the basket.

Well, I want to tell you what eliminated the sock frustration from my life: SOCK RINGS! They come in singles and doubles for thin socks and fat socks. You can buy them almost anywhere: the dollar bill store, on Amazon, etc. When I think how much time I used to spend mating socks, I start to hyperventilate. But that is one big frustration eliminated from my life by a simple solution that saves time and emotional energy.

For those with large families I suggest different colors for different family members. And if they don't use them? Well, keep a big basket in the laundry room for unmated socks and finding them is their problem not yours. No socks? Go barelegged a few times in midwinter and that might change. Mom only has to ring the socks of the littlest munchkins in the house and everybody else is responsible for ringing their own or playing the sock search game.

Some people choose the solution of letting kids do their own laundry, but I always thought that was wasteful. Water and laundry soap are more efficiently used in large loads. But it would be great training to have three baskets in the laundry room for dark, white, and light colors and have the kids sort their own laundry the night before wash day. If they want clean clothes they need to take some responsibility.

Now, for my second tip. Give family members the laundry the way they put it in. If you pull off your shirts, pants, and underwear and throw them in the laundry inside out -- that's how they come back to you. How much time does one spend turning the clothing of seven people (our family growing up) right side out when folding laundry? I only wish I had thought of it sooner. Today it takes me no time. If  my husband wants his underwear right side out, he needs to put it in the wash that way. It's particularly good training for children on two fronts: 1) being considerate to Mom and 2) taking care of your own dirty laundry.

There is no laundry fairy in the house, so do your part to make the load lighter!

"How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, and that preacheth peace: of him that sheweth forth good, that preacheth salvation, that saith to Sion: Thy God shall reign!"  Isaiah 52:7


  1. I think that this is the sort of thread that I can handle now a days...

    Before we could afford a washer and dryer I did my families washing at a local laundromat.
    Week in week out, I'd lose a sock or two and then they'd seemingly return the following week.
    After a time, I was convinced that there was a black hole in the back of the dryers. Socks would enter one universe and return the following week. Once we got a washer and dryer in our home, this phenomenon ceased. Thus, proving my laundromat -- black hole theory of 1995.

    I agree having kids do their laundry separately is a waste of money. Honestly, tho, this was one of the first chores we had our sons take over as teens. At a certain point, they had to decide if they wanted to wear stinking and dirty clothes or go naked.

  2. I'm with you on the teens. I didn't do a very good job myself with the kids, but it's never to late to train that one other person you live with. LOL!

  3. The key to avoiding sock issues is to have only one type of sock - if they are all identical then at most you might have one extra.

  4. How does that work in a family with both boys and girls of varying sizes?

  5. Not as well, I suppose one could color-code them?

  6. Well, I think it's a great idea for a guy who lives alone, but how many women only want one type of sock? If my daughters are any measure -- not many. All my "crazy socks" are cast-offs from them. LOL!

  7. What I started doing when my daughter was younger was put the socks in those mesh bags for fine washables. They are cheap enough, zip closed and the mesh allows anything enclosed to be washed and dried well.