Tuesday, October 14, 2014

// 14. how to sort laundry //


Sorting laundry. It didn't used to be complicated.  It used to be the three basic categories: lights, whites, and darks. But then all the white socks were so much more soiled than all the rest of the whites and mom felt the need to wash them separately. But once you start making subcategories, it's a slippery slope.  Next were the reds, they would bleed all over anything with any amount of white. So they got their own category as well. Lights, well, that's just way too vague a term. Do you mean to tell me it makes sense to wash a bright pink shirt with a pair of khaki pants? I didn't think so.

More subcategories.

Until we had not 3, not 5, but 7 different categories for sorting laundry.  And they are: lights, whites, darks, white socks and underwear, dark socks and underwear, grays and khakis, and reds.

This is how I learned to sort laundry.  But this is one of the things my mother taught me that didn't stick.  My first backlash came when I was in high school. Being a red-head I don't wear a lot of red, but I've always had one or two items of the right shade that I can pull off. Actually most of the people in my family don't wear a lot of red, But there it was in the laundry room, an entire hamper dedicated to red laundry. The time that elapsed from when you put a red item in the hamper to when there were enough items to merit a wash cycle was sometimes up to 3 weeks. Ain't nobody got time for that! So occasionally I would sneak my red garment in with a load of darks to ensure a quicker turn-around time.

Then I went away to college.  Well, I only went 10 minutes away from home, so I rarely did laundry on campus.  But when I went home I usually only had time to do one load, so everything, and I mean EVERYTHING  went into one load all together. My mom of course was horrified, but I reassured her that I did it on cold. 

Now, after having been through both extremes of laundry sorting, I have decided to go back to the original three categories. But I still think of my mom when I find a particularly dirty pair of socks that's about to go into a load of whites. I can't bring myself to send it through with the rest of the whites, and usually sneak it in with the lights instead. 

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