Works For Me– My Deep Dark Secret

When I was a kid, growing up the oldest of 8, my mom had a laundry room the size of a bedroom. There she kept her piles– laundry to be washed carefully sorted by color. When you brought down another basketful, you were expected to carefully sort your offerings into its proper piles: whites, lights, mediums, darks, or towels.

Early on in my laundry career, intent on being Suzy Homemaker, I emulated my mother, conscientiously sorting each offering to the washer gods. Somewhere along about kid #3 I became lax about this, instead opting for the ‘grab any heap and huck it in the washer’ approach. To my suprise, the laundry didn’t look much different.

Sure, there was the occasional new-red-shirt day when my hubby ended up wearing pink underwear to work. But hey, he shouldn’t — and doesn’t– go around showing his underwear to anyone anyway. And the whole ugly underwear/accident theory? Well, first of all, the odds against it are astronomical. Even with my level of laundry sloth-itude, red-shirt accidents don’t happen all that often. And knowledgeable sources (my hubby) have assured me that ER workers have more important things to do than critique people’s laundry abilities anyway.

Timersaver #2–I avoid the dry cleaners. I have literally been to the dry cleaners twice in 20 years. I buy what I want at the store, and throw it all in the wash. Either it lives or it dies. My teen daughters and I do avoid tossing sweaters and snug shirts in the dryer, but the majority of our clothes survive machine wash/tumble dry.

Timesaver #3– NO ironing. Very little, anyway. I iron maybe 4 times a year. Most stuff that ‘requires’ an iron looks just fine when tossed in the dryer for 15 minutes, then hung up. Even a crisply ironed shirt develops wrinkles as soon as you buckle into a seatbelt in the car anyway, so its fine with me if my blouses start smooth but not crisp. I do iron the ocasional badly-lying collar, but usually careful hanging avoids the need even for that little dab of ironing. And knits rule!

So there ya have it– my shameful lazy-laundry secret. I know that some women get tremendous satisfaction from laundry, and would be desperately unhappy with my methods. I totally respect that. But being casual about laundry has not impacted my family’s life in any measurable way except to give me time to do things I enjoy more. Works for me!

Other “Works For Me” participants can be found at Rocks In My Dryer: Works For Me:Shannon’s place.


  1. First, I can't believe I am the first commenter! WOW!

    And just so you know, we do laundry very similarly. I do sort clothes into colors, but other than that, I'm with you. Rare ironing and I don't remember EVER being to the dry cleaners. It works for me too!! πŸ™‚

  2. Why is this a deep dark secret? I am the SAME WAY! Nice to hear someone come out of the (laundry) closet on this one! Thanks Mary!

  3. Mary, I like your style.

  4. You make me feel so good. I sort mostly by weight – jeans and towels get their own loads, but most everything else goes in together.

    Thanks for being so honest. That's why we all keep coming back.

  5. Oh, it so works for me, too!

  6. You are a woman after my own heart.

  7. You make an extremely valid point that even a freshly-ironed shirt gets wrinkled the moment you put on a seatbelt. I'm definitely going to remember that one!

  8. Ironing is one of the seven deadly sins in my book! πŸ™‚
    By the way—I do my laundry very similarly. My mother still cannot believe that I don't wash my towels seperately in their own special load.

    I figure TOWELS are about the cleanest things we wash since they are used AFTER you are clean! πŸ™‚

  9. Not lazy…smart! Who has time for all that sorting? Sure we've had a white-tshirt-turned-blue incident recently, but it's not the end of the world! I'm with you on this one.

  10. I think were long lost laundry sisters!

  11. My mom was the mass sorter type – with special baskets all lined up and labeled –
    whites, darks, "special" Whites, "special" darks, towels, jeans. People ask me if I sort my laundry and I can honestly answer yes I do.

    Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday…..

    You take it off, throw it in the washer and when the washer is full – somebody better start it.

  12. Thats pretty much how I do laundry – 'sept without a dryer I do ironing even less. In fact I know nothing has been ironed in this house for at least 10 months. Could be more, but my memory fails me. Anyway, this also goes for toys and shoes, can't survive the washer wasn't ment to be.

  13. This is how I do laundry too. It's amazing how many "Dry-Clean only" are actually fine in the wash! I'll throw in all sorts of fabrics and colors together EXCEPT African fabrics–they bleed horribly.
    Oh I mostly do separate towels, since I love wearing black t-shirts, and got tired of them being fuzzy.