chocolate + paper + scissors


Zen and the Art of Doing Laundry

When housework comes up in conversation with friends and acquaintances, more often than not, most of us (both women and men) seem to try our best at managing our homes as a family: cleaning, cooking, laundry, day-to-day cleaning, reducing clutter and keeping up with our belongings.

I will say that being married for almost ten years (this November!), and being a mother for half of this time, my husband and I have established a good division of our household tasks. And one task that I've secretly loved since my college-dorm days: doing the laundry!

It brings me joy.

Doing our family’s laundry calms me and restores a sense of peace and order in my life. It helps our household run more smoothly. It gives me a break from the day’s fast speed. If the laundry is clean, folded, put away, and everyone’s laundry baskets are empty, our house seems quieter, calmer and more lovely. On the days when my world feels like it’s spinning a bit too fast, doing the laundry brings me back down to the real, the fundamental.

(Doing the laundry also makes me feel slightly Penelope-ish, which also gives me a little natural high!)

In case you’d like to bring a little more order to your home, try some of these tips to help stay on top of laundry (but not literally, like my Bella above):

1. Try to keep your laundry room fairly clean. If you already struggle with a dislike for laundry, having a dirty or messy laundry room will make matters worse. Make it a place that’s nice to go - decorate it if you feel so inspired! We share our laundry room with our two cats, and my husband does a great job of keeping it clean. (I just do the laundry.)

2. Have plenty of baskets for sorting dirty and clean, dry clothes. I keep three large baskets in the laundry room, and each bedroom in our house has a basket. This way, there is a nearby place for every piece of dirty clothing at the end of the day. This method works well for us because clothes are often left here and there by our young children (who, some days, would rather go without altogether).

3. Try to wash a load every morning right after you wake up. I usually do this while my tea is brewing. Then, try to fold a load at some point in the day. Folding laundry is a quiet task, easy to sneak in while you’re on the floor playing with your children, on the phone, listening to a podcast, catching the news headlines, or watching your favorite show in the evening. It usually takes me 15 minutes-ish to fold a load.

4. Put all clean, folded laundry away right after you finish. If you can’t do this immediately, at least organize it by room and set the basket in the room where it belongs. If your children are old enough, they can put it away themselves. (If your children are old enough to do their own laundry, then you may want to pass these tips onto them!)

5. After putting the clean laundry away, grab the dirty laundry out of each room’s basket and throw it in the empty baskets that will be returned to the laundry room. Then, the next morning, you can begin the cycle again.

This may sound like a bit of work, but it really makes laundry such an easy task. And, you’ll find that you do get to sneak in some downtime in there – even if it’s for 15 minutes. You'll enjoy being on top of a task that can often steal a valuable 3 or 4-hour block of time otherwise.

Hopefully, you'll be at peace, something in your home will be orderly, and everyone in your house will be wearing clean clothes – even if they dirty them within 30 minutes!


And they're off!

It's a brand new season of life: school has begun! Our daughter turned five this summer and began kindergarten earlier this month. Our son, almost two, just started a part-time program this week - his first experience away from home - and from me.

"How are you doing?" friends and family ask.

It's been a bit of an emotional roller coaster, a bit hard to let go, exciting and liberating all at the same time.

I miss my girl each day she gets on the bus (the bus!), and it's very quiet in our house right now without my baby boy running around, playing cars and patting the carpet for me to come and sit with him.

The good news: they will return in the afternoon!

The other good news: they will return to a refreshed mommy.

And for that, we are all grateful!