If you wash on Monday, you have all the week to dry…
If you wash on Tuesday, you’re still not much awry…
If you wash on Friday, you wash in real need…
If you wash on Saturday, you are slovenly indeed.
-an early 1900’s skip-rope rhyme
quoted in The Clothesline by Irene Rawlings and Andrea VanSteenhouse
When I was first wed, I did laundry on Mondays. It was our day “off”, my day for projects around the house, and the only day I’d be home long enough to get everything washed, folded, and dried.
But then three babies came along in rapid succession. With dozens upon dozens of tiny items of clothing to be washed. And laundry became a daily ritual for a while after each birth, until we got accustomed to diapering and burp cloths and such for the first time—and then all over again.
Eventually I settled into a routine of Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday laundry. I washed the towels and cleaned the bathroom on Tuesday, and washed the sheets and (ostensibly) dusted on Thursdays. That left clean clothes for Sunday and gave me Monday for paying bills.
But then my work schedule changed, and I had to change my housework schedule along with it. Now I’m working away from home on most of the days that I used to do laundry. So I put the weekend’s disastrous loads in the wash on Monday, clean the bathroom and wash the towels and whatever else needs it Wednesday, and wash all the newly soiled things (plus the sheets, when I remember) on Fridays.
Of course, along about this time of year, laundry day becomes defined less by the day of the week and more by the weather outside. If rain clouds are on the horizon, I know they’ll be overhead the moment I hang out my laundry. Just as mowing the lawn brings the spring rain, and cutting hay brings the summer rain, hanging out the laundry just seems to tease those storm clouds into being no matter the time of year. If I’m in a daring mood and don’t have too much going on, I’ll risk it, knowing the wind that blows the rain clouds here and away again will likely dry the clothes out once more. But if I don’t have the luxury of time to dry each load twice, I just throw it all in the clothes dryer. That used to handicap me even further, with the noisy buzzer waking the children at the worst moments. But my amazing husband took the entire dryer apart (which meant that it was wedged between the toilet and the sink and the door in our combined laundry/bathroom) and disconnected the buzzer that had interrupted countless naps and made me despair as to ever having dry clothes and rested children!
But I know soon it will be back to the dryer every day of the week, because the air might be dry here, yet it is too cold of a wintertime to do anything but freeze dry clothes outside. And though my in-laws faithfully dry their laundry on collapsible racks indoors all winter long, I have neither the space nor the heat to dry that much laundry without both crowding and cooking us all out of the house. So I use my vintage umbrella-style laundry rack for the delicates and the wool sweaters and the hats and the mittens, while counting my clothes dryer as a blessing in the winter just as much as I thank God for my clothesline every summer laundry day.
How about you? Do you wash your laundry every day, on specific days each week, or whenever the laundry basket’s overflowing?