Dorothy Rosby
contributing columnist
There comes a point in everyone’s life when they aren’t sure if the laundry basket is full of dirty clothes or clean, unfolded clothes. I have reached that point.
I have a lot of issues with laundry. Chief among them are doing it, folding it, and putting it away. And it all begins with sorting.
When one is sorting laundry at my house, one must keep in mind that for some members of the family, clean clothes are stored not in the dresser, but in the laundry basket. And dirty clothes are stored not in the laundry basket, but on the floor.
This is not meant to imply that all the clothes stacked on the floor are dirty. No, not at all. How then, you may be asking, do you know if a particular item is dirty or not? You smell it, of course.
While I know all of this, there are apparently a few things about sorting laundry I do not know, because I have a bit of a problem with shrinkage.
I know what you’re thinking: “The problem isn’t shrinkage, it’s expansion.”
And yes, there is some of that going on, too. But shrinkage has and does occur with my laundry. One Christmas, I received a lovely purple sweater with tiny faux pearl buttons. I wore it once, then washed it…in hot water…then dried it…in the dryer. Did I mention the sweater was purple—purple wool? Talk about your shrinking violet.
Worse yet, I have pants that were once, but are no longer long enough. I’m not one of those people who likes short pants. When I was a teenager, it was fashionable to let your jeans drag on the ground. But, because my legs grew faster than the rest of me, I spent my youth wearing what my peers unkindly referred to as “high waters.”
Today “high waters” are acceptable, even fashionable. But I remain unimpressed with short pants and fearful of washing long ones due to the shame of my youth, my decidedly unattractive anklebones and my poor taste in socks.
Despite sorting and shrinkage, the actual washing of the clothes remains the easiest part of the laundry ritual for me. I can actually get all of my family’s laundry washed in one day. Folding, however, can take three to four weeks.
That’s why at my house, the first place to look for your favorite shirt is not the closet. First check the floor. Then the laundry basket. Then on top of the dryer. Then inside the dryer. Then on top of the ironing board. In fact, if the shirt is actually hanging in the closet, it probably isn’t really your favorite after all.
With the storage of clothing being what it is in my home, you’d think ironing would be an issue for me. But it really isn’t. Here’s why: I don’t do it.
I have clothing I haven’t worn for months because it needs ironed. I’m not sure some of it even fits anymore after the holiday season. The holiday season 2016.
On those rare occasions when I do take the time to iron, I save time by ironing only the parts of my clothing that show. If I wear a blouse with a sweater or jacket, I see absolutely no reason to iron anything but the collar.
Of course, there are many more laundry issues I don’t have time to get into: the washing of unwashables, missing socks, the misuse of bleach. Then there’s the high cost charged by makers of laundry soap. Boy, do they take you to the cleaners. And, honestly, sometimes that would be faster.
Dorothy Rosby is the author of several humor books, including I Used to Think I Was Not That Bad and Then I Got to Know Me Better. Contact