At the bottom of my laundry basket, there is usually a layer of things that simply go unwashed: sometimes for months…entire seasons of the year. Sometimes it’ll be a spare set of sheets that won’t get washed until the next company is due to arrive, or unseasonable clothes that I know won’t be needed for quite some time.
This is essentially my philosophy of laundry: do as needed (for washing and for putting it away). My girls and I have outfits upon outfits. I will often wait until our clothes have become small mountains in the baskets before I actually wash them. My husband’s minimalist wardrobe needs laundering more frequently (though he also tends to buy odor resistant fabrics, God bless him). Sometimes the girls will latch onto an outfit that they want to wear frequently, and I think in reality I really only wear the same 5 shirts on repeat for any given season, so what actually happens is that I wash clothes with a high level of selectivity. What is needed or in high demand gets selected out of the mound, and what has less demand becomes relegated to the neglected bottom layer.
On the extremely rare day that I dedicate myself to Getting the Laundry Done — when there remain no random piles of clean laundry through which only Mom can navigate or clothes in any basket, not even the neglected bottom layer — the feeling of freedom and accomplishment leaves me questioning why those days are so rare.
But that’s the thing with laundry for me, as with life, I tend to just stick to what works…until it doesn’t anymore. Then, whether through learning the hard way that what worked Does Not Work, or the glorious days when inspiration strikes and Things Just Happen, there is freedom and accomplishment to be found when what was neglected finally gets the attention it needs.