When I was growing up as the youngest of 5 children, my mother did the laundry once a week - probably on Saturdays, but I don't really remember. She had what she sardonically termed, "The Dungeon," which seemed to be her home during the brightest and most wonderful hours of her only day off work. The musty smell, the bare concrete block walls, and the mountain of work became her abode for hours on end. This was what I thought Doing Laundry was all about.
This was the way I used to Do Laundry. But what I didn't realize was that my mother had only five children, didn't travel, and didn't attend church meetings nearly as much. As a result, I had a huge mountain of stinky, smelly laundry that I tried to scale every week . . . without much success!
But things are quite different now. My running clothes are washed and ready for the next day, the kids are delighted to find the same clothes in their bin that they just wore yesterday (sometimes this results in seeing a kid in the same clothes day after day - but, hey, they're clean, right?) and hubby always has clean socks and underwear.
How do we conquer Mount Washmore? I'm no expert in homemaking by any stretch, but I've learned to discipline myself to even enjoy the process of washing, drying and folding (and even putting away!) clean laundry. Here are some thoughts:
1. It's a battle of the mind. If Mount Washmore is an Everest (perhaps a "Never-Rest"!) it is so because it is a mountain of the mind. In other words, we imagine it to be much worse than it really is. My oldest daughter, who is working hard to have victory on Mount Washmore in her own home, told me on the phone the other day, "You'd be proud of me, Mom. I actually took the laundry out of the dryer, FOLDED IT, and put it AWAY! And do you know what the amazing thing is about that? It didn't take me nearly as long as I thought it would!" That job which we think would take thirty minutes to an hour usually only takes about seven to fifteen minutes!
· It doesn't take as long as you think!
· It's not as hard as you think!
· It CAN be done!
· Taking just a little bit of time right away saves you lots of time later!
2. The down and dirty: how to conquer!
· Hook it! When you really want something done regularly, attatch it to another regular activity! For me, that activity is eating. I eat three times a day - at least! So if I want something done every day, I hook it to the meal. For me, that means that I switch the laundry after breakfast, after lunch, and after dinner. This way, I get three loads of laundry done every day.
- Organize it! People who don't live in motor homes have a different way of operating than I do. Here are some good articles that may give you some help:
2. Simplify 101" laundry tips
3. For those of you with large families, here is another good link: Large Family Logistics
· Finish it! The hardest thing in the world for me is to discipline myself to actually finish a job. I always have great ideas, and am quite enamoured by my own thoughts (aren't we all??), and so I find it very hard to actually finish a job that I start! For laundry, that means, to put on a load, take a load to the dryer (my dryer is in the bay of the bus, so I have to go outside to switch laundry,) bring the dry laundry in, FOLD IT, and PUT IT AWAY!! (In the motorhome, the kids' clothes bins are only two steps away, so I go ahead and put their laundry away for them.) With everything else pressing on me, it is hard to finish, but I do my best to do it. And if I get interrupted, I get back to it as soon as possible.
3. Pray, pray, pray! This should actually be the first step, but let's also let it be the last one. The Bible says that we should "Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7 I'm so thankful that we are able to bring EVERYTHING to God! He really is concerned about anything that concerns us.
As we pray, work hard, and pray some more, we can trust God to help us conquer Mount Washmore!