My Laundry Rant and Potential Plans

I hate laundry. I hate it, I hate it, I hate it. And as a mom, laundry is one of those absolutely never ending things, along with dishes and making dinner. But laundry is one of those things I hate most. And it doesn't help that laundry is always a saga in my house.

I tried liking laundry. Years ago, in our first apartment, we had a washing machine and dryer and all was good. Then the second apartment that we were in for a bunch of years had no space next to the washer for a dryer, so the dryer ended up in my bedroom in a very uncomfortable to reach place (and made me hate my bedroom, among other things) needing to vent out the window, so I rarely used the dryer and line dried everything. But line drying meant getting dressed to go outside, so often my laundry sat too long on the line outside and got sun bleached, or it sat too long in my washing machine and started stinking so I needed to wash it again. My kids helped me with hanging the laundry, but they couldn't possibly do it all, so it was still a lot of work for me. (And it didn't help that if things weren't pegged properly it would fall into the yard below and we'd need to go down to get the items.) It also entailed needing to watch the weather so I'd catch the laundry before it would get rained on.

So once we moved to this apartment with a space for a dryer above the washing machine, we got a condenser dryer, and I basically vowed never to line dry again. Because for all that it is better for the environment, washing loads of laundry twice, or ruining clothes and needing to buy more isn't good for the environment, and mom's sanity is important for the home environment, also an important environment.

Washing and drying the laundry itself hasn't been too difficult, but taking out the laundry from the dryer and sorting it and putting it away has been really challenging for me to be on top of. And then we get a mountain of clean laundry that is so impossibly daunting to deal with that it ends up just sitting there and getting more and more daunting each time.

But then my dryer started giving me problems. And this is my second dryer already in this new apartment (ok if we've been here 6 years approximately, it isn't so new anyhow...). The first one just stopped working entirely, and for me replacing it was an actual need. But now the dryer is giving me issues and I'm having a hard time justifying taking care of it being a need.

The problem with the dryer probably is something with the computer chip or internal sensor or something like that. Because it dries the clothes, and sometimes it works perfectly. But sometimes it decides that the clothes are dry and stops running after a minute or five. And I try running it again and again and sometimes it actually dries the clothes and sometimes it keeps on stopping. I never know what will happen. It won't let me actually change the settings on the dryer to timer only and not relying on a sensor. And when I put things in the dryer I can't just walk away and assume it is drying my things. But sometimes it works.

This causes me a great deal of stress on top of my already large laundry stress. Because I never know when the clothes will dry, or if they even will dry at all, and that means I never know when I can move the new load into the dryer, so things sit there too.

Of course, now my option is to line dry, and I've done that with a few urgent things, but have I mentioned how much I detest line drying?

I really should hire someone to fix the dryer, or buy a new one (I have no idea what the price difference would be like) but this is a very expensive time. I just needed to replace my washing machine last month because it entirely broke. And I'm doing construction to make my son's bedroom (which really couldn't wait anymore). And we're currently dealing with plumbing issues. So it's really hard to justify the dryer when I could, theoretically, just line dry the clothes. And have my kids hang it up. But getting them to actually do that is basically pulling teeth. So the stress of reminding them to do it over and over again is likely less bad than my doing it myself. Because I don't have enough housework to keep on top of.

A friend suggested that we could make our laundry situation easier by having everyone do their own laundry, that way we don't have to separate it after. My oldest washes his own laundry already, my second one does most of the time, my third does some of the time, and my youngest doesn't. And I officially do mine separately. But sometimes if I don't have a full load of one thing, I put things together with mine, or with my girls', and then we end up with a mess of laundry.

My girls really are old enough to be able to do their own laundry, but them taking down the heavy container of laundry soap makes it challenging for them to do, so I anyhow need to take part in it. I've considered using eco-friendly detergent sheets because they are much lighter and easy to use than standard laundry detergent, and I don't have to worry about my kids making a mess with the detergent (as happened in the past). It just means we need to have more laundry baskets sitting around the house, one for towels and sheets, one for each kid and myself, so that's already 6 laundry baskets... And also doing half loads if needed. Because while, yes, doing one larger load is better for the environment than multiple smaller loads, the home environment is also important and a stressed-out mom and piles of laundry aren't helping the home environment.

I am also trying to teach my kids how often things actually need to be washed. I have some kids that want to put their pajamas into the laundry every night, which isn't necessary, and same with skirts and pants. Sweaty shirts and undergarments are obviously washed after each wear. I'm also trying to teach my kids that they don't need to wash their towels after each shower, and that if they hang them up to dry instead of leaving them in a pile on the floor, they will dry and not get stinky and need a wash.

I'm still not sure what I want to do about my dryer, if I should replace it, or just keep using this dryer that only partially works, or actually just get over myself and line dry the clothes until things are a little more flexible financially. What are your thoughts?

Are you good with laundry or is it a big stressor for you? What helps you keep on top of laundry and stay sane while doing so? Any advice or tips greatly appreciated.

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal


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  1. Do you find the dryer stops prematurely when you're doing full loads or only small loads? We got a fancy sensor dryer about 4 years ago and I've had the same problem with it stopping when the clothes aren't fully dry. I find it happens if I do a smaller than normal load. I sometimes try to 'trick' it by putting in more clothes from another load. Or I put it to a higher setting. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

    Laundry is a constant struggle for me as well (family of 6). I have to do 2 loads minimum a day to keep up and if I get behind it takes months to catch back up.

    Hope everything works out with your dryer situation. You are not alone in the laundry battle!

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