Laundry does not have to be a quandary

By Yoav Margalit, Staff Writer

Laundry is as complex as you make it.

People are more than willing to champion the subtlety of the written word, to exult in the mastery of a violin concerto and to revel in the perfection of Olympian technique.

But these same people will scoff in disdain for the humble art of laundry. Laundry, ever the modestly gracious endeavor, is looked down upon as a chore by these unfaithful practitioners. (A chore! Imagine that!) But I am here to tell you they are wrong.

Laundry can be an expression of the deepest human desire to create beauty and order in our world. Through laundry, we can measure ourselves, our patience, our diligence and perhaps even our kindness. For what is the act of doing laundry if not the process of preparing yourself for the future?

That’s some fortune cookie stuff right there.

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Laundry is something we all need to do. There’s no if, only when. And when we need to do it, we can do it in a way that actually gets the job done, instead of half-heartedly procrastinating our problems for another day.

By now I’ve obviously persuaded you to do laundry the right way. “What is the goal, then,” you wonder, “of laundry done right? What’s our objective here?”

The answer is results. We are looking to minimize wrinkling, increase ease-of-access and optimize organization. Let’s break these down.

To minimize wrinkling is to minimize the opportunity for wrinkling to happen. After the dryer is done, get to sorting the clothes out sooner rather than later. Don’t just shove everything in a basket to be sorted; take out the stuff that wrinkles up and spread it out right then, rather than waiting. And, when spreading out the shirts to be folded, make sure they’re actually spread out. If the edges of the bottom or sleeves are folded in, that could mess up the folding of a shirt.

If you screw it up, you can always just throw wrinkled stuff in the dryer with a wet sock. Boom. Instant ironing, en masse. But don’t think of pulling this trick on dry-clean-only items. That’s a great way to get sad, fast.

Increasing how easily you can access your laundry after folding is all about improving the placement of your clothing. For instance, think about how much more accessible your pants and shirts become if you place them stacked with their creases facing up, horizontally, rather than stacked one atop another. Rather than rifling through the stack (and messing up all your hard work), you can instead have the shirts arrayed, ready to be picked for the day’s wearing.

Similarly, proper organization does wonders. With some self-consciousness, it’s pretty simple to tell the difference between the stuff you wear often and the stuff you don’t. Put the stuff you don’t wear as much in a lower shelf. Or donate it, depending on if “not as often” is personally synonymous with “never.”

There is pleasure to be taken in the simplest of household chores. And a lot more frustration you can avoid, assuming you do them thoroughly. Hopefully you’ll use these tips to improve your laundry results next time you need to take a load off your mind.

Yoav is a senior in LAS.

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