I have two jobs–one part-time where I am a nurse and the second is actually more than full-time where I run a laundry service 7 days a week.
I used to be able to get the laundry job done in one, maybe two days a week but those were the good old days, the carefree days before my youngest son started caring about his personal grooming or about what he wore.
Now if I don’t do at least three loads a day, I can not find the laundry room because it’s buried beneath piles of clothes.
Part of the problem lies with this old house: it has a laundry chute to the basement. What convenience! What a life of ease to just toss one’s dirty clothes into a little door–out of sight, out of mind…until the one who does the laundry makes her way to the basement only to find herself in a flood-pile of clothes. Mostly my youngest sons clothes–usually his entire wardrobe and every bath towel in this house. My youngest son totally abuses the luxury of laundry.
The first inkling about the over-use of the laundry chute was when he announced he had no clothes to wear.
“That’s strange, I just folded a bunch of clothes yesterday, are you sure?”
“Yes. I have no clothes.”
Because this had never happened before, I think I went out and bought him a second wardrobe–seriously, he’s the precious youngest. Imagine my surprise when he announced the day after buying him a second wardrobe that he had no more clothes.
My spider-senses started tingling.
The second clue was the morning I got out of the shower and found there was no towel in the bathroom. I’ll spare you the stream of vulgarities that erupted from my mouth and assure you that the visual of me streaking out of the bathroom to the linen closet only to find there were no towels there either was amusing (the second string of expletives was not) and that trying to dry off with toilet paper something I never want to experience ever again.
After calming down enough to try to make sense of the mystery of the wardrobe and the mystery of the missing towels, I went to the basement where the answer lay in 4 tons of laundry.
My son’s perception of “dirty laundry” is apparently taking something out of the drawer to decide to wear it. If it leaves the drawer, it’s laundry. Evidently using a towel once makes it laundry as well. Evidently he must use at least two towels for each shower he takes–one for his hair and one for his body. And by the way, the pile of laundry has probably tripled in the time it’s taken me to write this.
We decided to use a logical approach: One towel per shower, one shower a day has to last 3 days. One set of clothes per day and considering an article of clothing does not send it to the laundry pile if it doesn’t make the cut. We also taught him to use the washer but discovered he prefers small loads–one shirt and one pair of pants per wash, which tripled the water bill in one month so it’s back to me manning the laundry.
The volume of laundry has diminished a bit since the rules have been set but it’s still a daunting task if I let more than a day go between loads. It’s really a good thing I adore this kid so much because there’s no way he could afford the laundry service he’s getting.