Always Real

The Laundry Basket

Saturday, I did 734 loads of laundry.  Now I know how the people at the post office feel about the mail — it never stops. It just keeps coming. 


Sometimes entire weeks will go by with the clean laundry not actually making it to it’s final destination.  Laundry gets washed, sometimes two or three times. Laundry gets dried —  eventually.  Laundry gets folded — more or less.  With good intentions, laundry gets put neatly into the laundry basket.  And then without notice, the laundry’s trip home is cancelled.  The laundry is forced to sit on the laundry tarmac, sometimes for weeks at a time, with no way to let the other socks and underwear know what happened to them.


Then, at some point, it just seems easier to get dressed in the kitchen right out of the laundry basket.  And then at the end of the day, the clothes end up in a different laundry basket where the laundry cycle starts all over again.  Kind of like the laundry version of Groundhog Day.  And the socks and underwear, they heave heavy sighs and cry in frustration because all they want is to get home, to sleep in their own drawer. 


In our next house, we are going to skip the pretense of having dressers and drawers.  We are just going to have laundry baskets.  Everyone, including the socks, will be much happier this way.

53 thoughts on “The Laundry Basket

  1. AMEN SISTER!! Putting away laundry is my next to the least favorite thing in the world to do…’s one step above cleaning the toilets. And we have a little guy with a very poor aim.

  2. Thank you! I told my father, when I was 13, that that ought to be how clothes are stored…he laughed at me and told me to go put my laundry away.

  3. Personally I’d like to do away with dressers and closets and small laundry rooms… I want one room on the same level as the bedrooms that is a giant laundry/walk in closet/dressing room – all in one – everything for everybody right there… sorting bins for dirty – nice folding table – open shelves rather than drawers – fancy steam press thingy… oooh and a folding screen to change behind… just because it would be fun… LOL
    Or you could continue to use your kitchen… LOL

  4. This is so true at our house, as well! I’ve thought about telling everyone here to walk around naked for a few hours just so I can know what it feels like to have laundry completely DONE. Probably won’t ever happen.

  5. I’m glad I’m not the only one who lives out of a basket. Or three. As I type this, there’s laundry on my coffee table & in a basket on the couch, waiting to be put away…and it’s been there for two days. Sigh.

  6. You know, we just had this conversation at small group after church today, and how it somehow seems SO hard to put away the laundry once it’s done. It’s just going to get worn again anyway, so really..what’s the point?

    Simplify, simplify. 🙂

  7. My kids learned at a young age to look in the dryer/laundry basket for clean clothes. My blog is aptly named Lost in Laundry. 🙂

  8. I came here to say almost exactly what Howdy said. That the laundry room should just be in a a large closet in the bedroom all together. It just makes sense. Just like it would make sense to have the laundry room upstairs so I wouldn’t have to drag it up and down. One can dream.

  9. I am so glad to hear I am not alone. Who knew there were so many people with the same laundry issue as me?! Mine gets washed, dried, sometimes dried numerous times (you know, to get rid of the wrinkles) then folded neatly on top of the dryer. Need underwear? Check the dryer. Socks? Um, dryer. On really bad weeks, the laundry basket takes on a Mt. Everest look and you have to carefully pluck the article of clothing you are seeking from the delicately balanced laundry mountain. Maybe once school is out our laundry will find its way home. It will be so scared in those dark drawers!

  10. They just sit on the tarmac…with no way to let the other socks and underwear know what happened to them…

    Priceless! You always have the best one-liners!

  11. Amen, my friend. I’ve done – FOR REAL – at least 8 loads of laundry in the last 2 days. I have high hopes of actually putting it all away, but I make no promises.

  12. I hear ya sister, I hear ya! Love your honesty. I love not feeling alone and knowing that so many of us struggle with this same issue. I rewashed the same load twice this week and now it’s sitting in the dryer and I’ve turned the dryer back on to “fluff” it twice today and once I finally get it all hung and folded I’m sure it will sit in the basket for a while until it can go to its proper home!

  13. I had a friend once who had her laundry in the basement, and rather than putting dressers, etc. in the kids rooms, they were in the basement, too. Everyone kept their clothes in the basement and got dressed there. All clothes (kids clothes, anyway) went straight from dryer to drawers.

    In our house, the laundry is in the basement and all the bedrooms are on the second floor. Whoever designed our house knew I’d need the exercise, I guess. 🙂

  14. When we had our third child, I promise you our laundry quadrupled. I believe I do about 1,999 loads a week. There is never the satisfaction of an empty laundry basket. Not even for a minute!!!! UUUGH!

  15. I have five kids and one of my sons never used his dresser so I removed it and gave him a bunch of bins (not quite as large laundry baskets) that fit on shelves. Wish I could say that it worked and he kept the clothes in those—it seemed like a good idea.

    WE do have a laundry basket for socks—that works as you describe.

  16. I sometimes wonder if our neighbors ever wonder about the crazy lady who can sometimes be seen running, bent in half, to the laundry room for a critical piece of clothing for the day.

    Hypothetically, of course.

  17. Brilliant, as always…

    With my dryer being down, I have to go to the laundromat…and even with washing and drying EVERYTHING AT ONE TIME, it still never manages to all be done (breaking some law of physics here, somehow…)

    Of course, 3 days later it’s still all sitting folded neatly in baskets…until Jordan decides to dump them so he can use them to build a fort.

  18. Thank heavens! There is someone out there who washes the same load 2 or 3 times. I thought I was weird. 😉

  19. This is so funny on so MANY levels…if only you could see the MOUNTAIN of laundry on my bed as I sit here and type away, pretending to be oblivious to the fact that in a few short hours, I will be forced to make a little hole under all that or push it to the foot of the bed so I can even get INTO bed and go to sleep. Sigh.

  20. I TRY to do a load a day; that entails putting it away as well. It doesn’t always happen & my cop out becomes not sorting it, cause I don’t want to put it all away…when I’m on my game this is a great system; laundry is NEVER done, so I don’t try to finish it, I just try to do a load a day. No guilt. Being Catholic it goes against my principles.

  21. Ever wonder how that Mother of sextuplets you see on TV commercials manages, wait until those kids are out of their diapers and into real clothes….WOW !!

  22. Wouldn’t it be much easier if we had giant laundry rooms big enough to store all the clothes in the house? We could call them dressing rooms. We would dress, undress, do laundry, all in one room.

    I think you are on to something!

  23. What a relief to know that I’m not alone in this. We live out of laundry baskets too. They usually reside in the living room. If company is coming, we move the basket into the master bedroom, where it resides until I can’t stand it one.more.second. (which is generally when someone needs clean underwear and I know there must be at least one pair buried in that basket!!!)

    Beth_C’s idea of dressing rooms is just what I would love to do!!

  24. I used to do pretty well with getting laundry washed, folded and put away, but only because laundry sitting in baskets has always been one of my pet peeves. And, since my laundry room is directly off the kitchen, I can keep up fairly easily.

    However, since my thirteen year old has decided that changing clothes 4 times a day is a necessity, it’s become significantly more difficult.

  25. I’m SO glad that I’m not the only one! As I type this I have one pile on my couch and another on the coffee table! Often times I’ll get dressed right out of the dryer!!

  26. If the clean laundry actually gets put away in the dressers, it is a major accomplishment around here.

  27. That’s EXACTLY what happens to our laundry as well!!! I have way too many laundry baskets, so I put part of the blame on that!

    *Sigh* The more I read you and get to know and love you, AM – I’m convinced that must be somehow related! Well, we’d at least be best friends if we were neighbors :o)

  28. You know, that family with like 17 or 18 kids (I’ve lost count) in Arkansas does just what you mention! All of their clothes are hung and folded together in the laundry room and that’s where they stay. How cool is that? THAT’S finding sanity in laundry.

  29. Laughing out loud!!! I’ve often wondered if other people do this. You know what’s strange at my house? There are certain loads I ALWAYS put away…kitchen towels, bathroom towels, and even the undies & t-shirts…the rest, unexplainably remains in the laundry basket on the laundry room floor…go figure! In reading your comments, I was really happy I’m not the only one who has run through my house hunched down below window level to grab a needed article of clothing! =D

  30. Hi, AM! I’ve never made a comment before, but I read all the time. I’m not a mom yet, but we have a little girl on the way in August. Anyway, thanks for making being a mom seem wonderful and fun, but still being real about all that comes with it.

    I have to admit about this laundry thing, though, that this ALREADY happens at our house, and we don’t even have a baby yet! My laundry basket is doomed, right?

  31. Oh I am so glad I am not alone! I went and read the old post too, and it is oh so familiar. We have tons of laundry baskets, and our clothes are quite happy. They only get fold about 50% of the time. When I was a teen, my g-ma got me a large plastic “wash tub.” The kind most people put ice and drinks in. My clean clothes sat in it in my closet. As long as they weren’t on the floor everyone was happy.

  32. Well, we finally fixed this problem (sort of — or mostly — or something) at our house. It’s called the “Family Closet”. And conveniently, in our house, the most logical place for the FC was IN THE LAUNDRY ROOM! Yippee!! I don’t even really need a laundry basket anymore. I just toss the clothes out of the dryer onto the rug and then eventually DH gets frustrated with the pile and folds/hangs everything and it’s done 🙂 Really, he does most of the folding, but I don’t intentionally leave it until he gets frustrated — mostly. LOL

  33. If it makes you feel any better, I’ve tumbled the same load of laundry for about 2 days now. They’re whites and I know that Mr. Right will be looking for some clean white socks sometime soon and he’ll fold them. For me, it’s a trick to get somebody else to do all that matching of the socks.

  34. Sometimes I manage to get the folded laundry out of the laundry baskets and into nice neat piles outside my caboose kiddo’s room. But it’s late at night and she’s sleeping . . . so I leave them there because I don’t want to wake her up! And then the piles are there 2 days later. I should have just left the clothes in the basket.

  35. I’m pretty sure this blog post is a Disney movie or a children’s book waiting to happen. “The Poor Little Socks” or “The Great Sock Adventure”

  36. AM, I’m with you. My husband thinks I am the only one who does doesn’t get it all put away promptly. If I read him these, he would just say to set my aim higher. I had a neighbor who, like one reader, had to push it off the bed at nite. I don’t want to go thru that, so the baskets work for me. I have a few waiting right now. I am blessed to have my college-aged son home for the summer. I will say no more because it is truly a blessing

  37. I am FORCED by the big hairy spiders in my basement laundry room to put away the clothes promptly after they are done in the dryer. I would leave them all in the laundry room and have that be the family dressing room, BUT the kids’ rooms and our rooms are all upstairs, and we have a 3 story house! I do a lot of climbing up and down stair with dirty and then clean laundry baskets. Next house is going to be a one story house, with a laundry/family dressing room of sorts!!! And that’s my final answer!!!

  38. oh i soooooo know what you’re talkin’ about. we have piles of ‘clean’ laundry that get shifted from basket, to bed, to top of dresser, back to basket, to couch. will it ever make it back ‘home’, maybe.

  39. My college- aged son has a laundry system you should try. I put the fresh clothes on his bed to be put away, then he puts the piles on his desk chair at bedtime. Next morning, you guessed it…the clothes get put back on his bed while he sits at his computer. This goes on back and forth until he has worn everything and it starts all over.

    Ummm…don’t tell Sean!

  40. I am so glad you posted this. I forwarded it to my husband so that maybe he can see that it isn’t ONLY me! I am looking at my laundry pile right now and amazingly I don’t feel so bad anymore! Thanks for making my day!

  41. Laundry tarmac! I love it! My kids think that a laundry fairy comes over and washes, dries, folds and puts away. *don’t I wish!* My dh is so sure that when he needs them, his socks and underwear will magically appear in the drawer. I always have to laugh when I do whites and just about every pair of socks and undies he owns are in there. That is the definition of trust. I’m not sure if the sock were on the other foot that I’d trust that much, LOL!

  42. Girl, you are funny and so true! I thought I was doing well to hide the laundry tarmac and the multiple laundry baskets in a sea of denial. I always thought I’d get things sorted and with the laundry back in the flight plan when the kids were grown. I’m sad to tell you the unfortunate happens. The house is sans children, they are doing their own laundry in their own house, but the laundry baskets sit ready for wear in the kitchen! P.S. I have a decorating dilemma. Went to your design blog to get info on how to send photos to you for your input and find the “temp closed” sign. Pooh.

  43. AMEN!

    And you know, when all the baskets are full, I’ve been known to buy another basket! You can never have too many laundry baskets, you know…

  44. BWAHAHAHA! When my boyfriend moved my stack of folded clothes from the kitchen table to the bedroom, I found myself naked in the kitchen after a shower.
    “Where are my clothes?” I asked.
    “Where they belong,” he said.
    “But they’re not on the table,” I replied stupidly.

    And finally I find out that I’m not alone. 🙂

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