42, It’s the “Ultimate Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, The Universe, and Everything.” (Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy)
It’s also how many outfits my family wears in a week. 42 shirts, 42 pairs of underwear, 42 pairs of sock (that’s 84 socks!). 6 people times 7 days. The math is easy. What’s not easy is getting all of that clothing washed, folded, and put away every week.
People always say how easy laundry is. The machine does all the work, right? You just have to wait for it to finish. True... for the first load. After that, it’s folding, and carrying to the appropriate room, and putting away.
Even if we just go with pants, tops underwear and socks, that’s 210 articles of clothing per week. That doesn’t include pyjamas, any uniforms for sports or the sometimes necessary mid-day clothing change.
We have tried enlisting the kids help. Our oldest gets an allowance for taking the folded clothing, sorting it and putting it in each room. The 3 older kids are “supposed” to put their own laundry away.
They are, for some unknown reason, opposed to hanging things up, so they just shove things in drawers. Miraculously, they can unfold every single item in one fell swoop, and they end up wearing wrinkled clothes, despite all my (or my husband’s) folding efforts.
Sometimes, I even find perfectly folded, unworn clothes in their hampers. I guess it’s easier than putting it in drawers. When this happens, I may lose my mind momentarily.
Here’s the other thing about laundry: It’s never ending! I have a pink load in as we speak. Yes, I do have a full pink load! (3 little girls will do that)
Also, Where do the socks go? Last week, my daughter had to wear her brother’s socks all week because we can’t find any of her socks. For a while, I had a bag of mis-matched socks sitting, waiting for the return of their mate. I have since thrown it out because they never show up.
Now that the weather is getting colder, there will be all that extra clothing and snow gear to wash. Another reason I hate winter.
I think I need to move somewhere tropical; maybe a tropical nudist colony is the answer.
Laundry: it’s the bane of my existence and, possibly, the real answer to the meaning of life, the universe, and everything.