50 Loads of Laundry

No, that is not the title of a new erotic parody novel, it is the number of loads I washed, dried, folded and put away during my Nov. 2012 Laundry Load Counting Adventure (see previous posts Nov. 2012 Laundry Tracking and the 16 day update).

What started as a mere exercise in curiosity rapidly turned into the realization of how many loads I’m actually doing: 50 loads, or 1.6666666666666666666666 (and on and on) loads a day.

So what is the final break down?

  • Permanent Press:  7
  • Whites/Underwear: 6
  • Jeans (4+ pair per load): 5
  • Kids clothing: 10
  • Towels: 8
  • Bedding: 5
  • Emergency/Heavily mixed: 9

In my 16 day update, I tried to justify the 29 loads I’d done thus far:

The emergency/heavily mixed loads were from very wet clothing, and a nasty escaped poo. At least one of the permanent press loads was entirely made up of nursing bras/tanks and a delicate-wash cardigan. Towels in the boys bathroom are washed slightly more often because they’re regularly used to sop up the floor.

I stand by that. An escaped poo is why I ended up washing five loads of bedding (misaligned diaper on fresh sheets).

Simple math accounts for the towels and sheets: two bathrooms, four weeks, assuming the towels are washed weekly, that’s 8 loads; bedding, washed twice a month, for two bedrooms is 4 loads (plus one mishap). There are 12 loads right there.

There are 30 days in November, so if each load is run every 5 days then there would be 6 loads each (permanent press/whites & underwear/jeans/kids clothing) per month, for a total of 24 loads (not including bedding, towels, and urgent/heavily mixed loads), and throw in an urgent load (or two) a week (4-5 weeks) that is 8-10 more. 24 (regular number of loads every 5 days) + 8 (or 10 urgent/heavily mixed loads, sometimes you need clean jeans and have a stack of dirty kitchen towels) + 12 (towels and bedding) is 44 (or 46), so I’m not too far off.

Some how, I don’t find that comforting.

During the last 30 days, as I watched the load count climb I researched ways to cut back on laundry:

  • re-wear clothing is the most common answer (we do, we just don’t make the kids do it because their clothing gets messy by just looking at it)
  • don’t change outfits in the middle of the day (unless there was poop everywhere and it’s 50 degrees outside)
  • “buy more clothes” we don’t really have space for more clothes
  • “wear outer layers” to shield yourself from mud, or an apron (never mind that eventually those will need to be washed too).
  • “do larger loads” isn’t really helpful because we opted not to “buy more clothes” so we don’t have enough to last us three weeks without things getting seriously dubious

My solution? NASA needs to develop a Laundry Folding Robot. I can stuff loads into my washer and dryer, I can get the kids to help, but the folding gets old fast. There are only so many episodes of Toddlers & Tiaras and Say Yes to the Dress that I can handle while folding before my brain begins to rot.

It’d also be great if someone else could put the laundry away.

Now the real question is do I want to keep track of my laundry in December as well and work out an average. I’m not sure this is what they had in mind when they talked about “applied science” in school, but to be fair, it is far more practical than expecting me to figure out what it would take to get the spaceship off an asteroid.

Update: Gavin pointed out that today isn’t done yet, and I could still do another load (or two), but that’s really OK, anything else can be put off until tomorrow!


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