The Realistic Moms' Laundry Guide: humor | women | kids | laundry | home | tips | LOLs by @foxywinepocket via @InThePowderRoom

The Realistic Moms’ Laundry Guide

I’m convinced the road to hell is paved with dirty laundry. Although moms have the best intentions, most of us never get all of our family’s clothes clean, folded, and put away. EVER.

Here is a more realistic view of the torture process. Just embrace it now.

1. Once all of the clothes are offensive to the eyes and nose (and you’ve depleted your back-up clothing), collect all of the household laundry. Scour each bedroom, closet, and bathroom.

2. Sort laundry into piles: darks, lights, whites, towels, clothing-so-grimy-it-can’t-be-washed-with-anything-else, and there’s-no-hope-just-throw-it-away. Count only two pairs of your son’s underwear. For the entire week.

3. Hunt down the rest of the underwear. Check in the toy bins, between the mattresses, and under all of the furniture. You may need gloves and/or a mask.

4. Find only one additional pair of underwear. Choke back the vomit and try not to think about the state of filth in your child’s pants.

5. Put the highest priority clothing into the washer—this includes any school uniforms and all of the underwear. Throw in your yoga pants as insurance that this load will make it all the way through the dryer by the end of the day.

6. Walk around the house without any pants on until that first load goes through the dryer. Avoid windows and exterior doors.

7. Advance the wash by putting the first load into the dryer and the next highest priority load into the washer.

8. Forget about laundry for the rest of day. Except to pull out your clean and dry yoga pants.

9. The next day, sniff the wet clothes in the washer to determine if they sat too long. Deem them acceptable and advance the wash. Leave clean and dry clothes in a laundry basket. Forget about the laundry for the rest of the day.

10. Repeat step 7 over the next couple of days, rewashing any loads that sat too long in the washer. Continue piling up clean, dry clothes in the laundry basket.

11. Use the dryer an as iron for all of your husband’s work shirts. Decide nothing else needs to be “ironed.”

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12. Leave the rest of clean clothes in the laundry basket for a couple of days. Declare the laundry room a changing room and start getting dressed there in the morning.

13. Become determined to finally fold and put away the clean clothes. Move laundry basket to the couch to accomplish this goal. Push it out of the way during your next Netflix binge.

14. Get dressed in the family room for the next day or so until you discover that your son has been shoving his crusty, slimy clothes in the basket with the clean clothes.

15. Dump the mostly-full laundry basket back in the laundry room, and realize that all the hampers in the house are full so you have to start the entire process over again.

Rinse and repeat. And repeat and repeat . . . for the rest of your life. Or until your children are old enough to do the laundry themselves.

The Realistic Moms' Laundry Guide: humor | women | kids | laundry | home | tips | LOLs by @foxywinepocket via @InThePowderRoom

This original piece by Kathryn Leehane was written exclusively for In the Powder Rooma division of Hold My Purse Productions, LLC. Featured image © 

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Kathryn Leehane is a mom and a writer living in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and two children. Along with inhaling books, bacon and Pinot Noir, she writes the humor blog, Foxy Wine Pocket, where she shares twisted stories about her life as a mother, wife, friend and wine-drinker in suburbia. She is a contributing author to several anthologies, and her essays have also been featured on BLUNTmoms, The Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, and more. You can follow Foxy Wine Pocket on Facebook and Twitter @FoxyWinePocket.

Keep the conversation going...



  1. says

    This is almost 100% accurate. The only difference in my life is that instead of putting the baskets of clothes on the couch, we put them in the dining room, because even though we INTENTIONALLY built a folding surface in the laundry room, my husband insists on folding laundry on the dining room table, So it’s a pain in the ass any time I want to try to…oh you know, do something crazy and madcap like server dinner.

  2. says

    The only time laundry is this bad for me is if I have been sick or away and the boys have been “doing laundry.” Otherwise, I do laundry every other day. Don’t hate me for being Type-A. :)

  3. says

    Oh snap! This was spot on. Or, I mean…spot out? You just described my process. I’m using this as proof that I’m not the only one next time my family bitches about having to dig through the basket at 6am.

    Thank you Kathyryn. You have done a great public service here.

  4. says

    I hear you about the underwear. It’s gotten to the point that the first thing I say to my son in the morning is “put on fresh underwear!” Still only works about 50% of the time.

  5. says

    Love this. Laughed out loud at: “Throw in your yoga pants as insurance that this load will make it all the way through the dryer by the end of the day.” So true.

  6. says

    You been spyin’ on me or what? This is pretty much how it goes down. I have a basket of clothes in my closet that I took out of the laundry room when we had company last week I do not remember if it’s clean now. And folding? Puhleeze. I haven’t folded anything since 2007.
    Awesome post! I can truly relate!

  7. says

    I’m taking notes! Oh, crap, my pen is out of ink. I think I got it all! I guess my strategy of leaving all the dirty clothes on the kitchen floor so I’ll do them is not working, now we all just walk around it, like a maze of colored fabric, only smellier.

  8. Kaly says

    It’s the folding….never gets done. Two short weeks ago we delegated the folding and putting away of their own clothes to our kids. It’s working so far but we pay them to do it. Worth every penny. Of course my clothes are still in a laundry basket. Now I’m wondering, when do I get paid?

    • says

      Tt’s the threat of folding that keeps my clothes in the dryer. Folding is the WORST. Of course, I hate putting them away too. And sorting them. And turning clothes right-side-in. And…