Sometimes on the way to your dream,

you get lost and find a better one.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Laundry Day

I've just read a post (okay, it was last Thursday) by Andrew, of Highriser fame, about his new doona and how pleased he is with the way his bed now looks so much neater.

Somewhere in that post, Andrew mentioned he has only one set of sheets and pillowcases, so they get washed and dried the same day and put back on the bed. 
I was surprised to read that. Really surprised. Who doesn't have at least one spare set of bedding? 

I myself have only two sets, one on the bed, of course, and one set in a drawer. Believe me, if I had storage space, I would have at least one extra set and probably two. 

You never know when you might be sitting up in bed at 2am, reading and drinking coffee and oops, you spill the coffee. Or the cat jumps up and spills the coffee. I'm not running a set of bedding through the washer and dryer in the middle of the night, that's for sure. 

Anyway, I got to thinking of days gone by, when I was younger, with a husband and four children at home. When there was a baby around, I washed cloth nappies (diapers) every day along with bibs, crib sheets and baby jumpsuits (those things now called onesies)

Clothes for everyone else got washed on a weekly basis, ditto bedding and towels. Bath towels got used more than once before washing, for heaven's sake don't get all up in arms about this, they are used to dry a perfectly clean body, so hang them to dry and use two or three times. 

Unless that perfectly clean body is contagious. 

So, weekdays were for general housework, cooking, shopping, baking, reading, gardening. 
No computer back then.

Weekends were for laundry. Saturdays, clothes. Casual clothes, school and work uniforms, sports day uniforms, undies and socks. 

Six people, seven days. 
Forty two pairs of socks, forty two pairs of underpants, seven to fourteen t-shirts, five work shirts for husband, two or three school shirts each for the boys, two or three school dresses for each girl. 
Plus the afterschool wear.

The machine got started before breakfast and the Hills Hoist would be groaning under the weight of it all by morning tea time. Weekend morning tea goodies were baked on Fridays.

Sunday was bedding and towels day. Six towels, sometimes a couple extra, many, many hand towels, plus however many tea towels (dish towels) I had needed through the week. Flannels, (facewashers) by the dozen. Or so it seemed.

Five sets of bedding, washed and hung by me, while the kids (tried to) put fresh sheets and pillowcases on all the beds. Doona covers got washed with season changes or sooner if the kids were contagious, like the chicken pox autumn and the tonsillitis summer.

Writing it out like this makes it seem like too much hard work, but it didn't feel like it at the time. It was just the way things were.

29 comments:

  1. It was the routine....wash day, ironing day, baking day etc ..... Now it's just catch as catch can.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. only slightly confused; routine was the key for sure. Talk about routine now and people start calling you OCD, but it really is the best way to get through the turbulent years. These days routine is completely out the window for me, but some days still run like clockwork.

      Delete
  2. I don't know how you coped… I found it bad enough with three children! But I'd have them all back in a flash.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. SmitoniusAnd Sonata; I had it easy, all the kids were good natured and easy to get on with, which was a big help and the routine was set from the day the first one was born.

      Delete
  3. It does seem like an awful lot of hard work. I suppose my own mother did that for the three adults and four children. Then her mother did it all by hand in a copper. I suppose back then it was get up early and get stuck in.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Andrew; getting up early and getting stuck into it is important. Putting things off only makes it harder when you finally get around to it, because things have built up by then. I remember the days of boiling the copper to bucket water into the bathtub, into the washing machine and of course really dirty things got boiled up in that same copper before getting a run through the machine. Keeping the fire stoked in that thing was a damn nuisance. but stirring the boiling clothes with a giant paddle seemed like fun at the time. Then came the day when hot water was piped into the house.

      Delete
  4. I remember too, having a family and working full time, cleaning, cooking and washing it was full on but I miss the laughter my house is now always tidy but so very silent.
    Merle...........

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Merle; those days certainly were full on, but I too remember the playing, the laughter, the baking. In later years, I worked full time in factories as well, and the housework still got done routinely, but in different time slots.

      Delete
  5. I had two kids, and worked full time and took care of the house, and the yard and the meals. One day I told my husband I needed help. He sorted out his laundry and did it. That was a February. We were divorced in November.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Joanne; I had a similar husband, thinking he was the breadwinner so didn't have to do housework, even later when I also worked full time outside the home. He did do some of the gardening, mowed the lawn and dug holes where I wanted to plant stuff, but that was about it. my daughter has it better now, her husband has shared chores and children from day one. They're a team.

      Delete
  6. I remember that in our family. My mother had me to help, but it was a big job. Six sets of everything for the week.
    My own wash is much smaller, but sheets are still washed every week. I do love sliding into a bed with clean (preferably sun-dried) sheets.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Elephant's Child; it is/was a big job, but at the time it was just what we did. my wash is smaller now too, but I don't wash the sheets every week in the winter. my shared clothesline doesn't get enough sun even in summer and I don't feel like running the dryer every week unless I really have to, those things chew up so much electricity $$$

      Delete
  7. When we bought a larger queen-sized bed earlier this year I bought one set of flannel sheets and one set of percale. I used the flannel until the weather warmed up, then switched over to the others. So far I've gotten by with only the single set.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kathy G; but at least you have the extra set in case you spill something or the cat throws up on the sheets. I have two sets of percale, I don't like flannelette, when it is new, it fluffs onto everything and when the sheets are old they are no warmer than the percale.

      Delete
  8. We tend to have only one set of sheets and pillow cases, but we also only use the bed for sleeping, there is no eating or drinking in there. I learned that lesson well! ;)

    In February there was an incident and one of the seams on the sateen fitted sheet ripped. It held together at the bottom so it was still usable, and because this is my year of buying nothing and we *really* loved those sheets, we hung in there. In June I saw a very cheap set - less than $20 - and I had birthday money, so we bought them. So now we do actually have two sets in the house, and if The Other Half can sew up the sateen ones, we will switch back and forth between them. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Snoskred; This is why I have the extra set, in case the first set is unusable for a short time. I don't eat in bed, but I will have coffee if I'm up reading in the very early hours.

      Delete
  9. Yes, when you're in the middle of it, you just do it without thinking. Now that I look back, it seems like four hours of sleep a night wasn't really enough. And I only had TWO kids to take care of.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Val; the only time I had short sleeps was when there was a baby not yet sleeping through the night. And now of course when I'm up too often unable to sleep because I haven't physically worn myself out. most of my life I've been a sound eight hour sleeper.

      Delete
  10. My mattress/bed is king-size...and I have 5 sets of sheets & pillow cases for it.

    I have a dryer, but it, like my microwave, has forgotten what it's supposed to do. I've not used it in years and years...not since I ceased working. As for my microwave, it, too, is a dust and cobweb gatherer out the back.

    I don't use microwaves. I can't remember the last time I have. I never used them when I was cooking professionally...and very, very rarely at home. I should take it to the local dump. One of these days I will...it presently is a shelf for my coloured pencils, paint brushes and paints etc.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I can't imagine only having one set of sheets.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lee; I'd love to have enough storage space for more sheets, and I'd love to have enough space for a bigger bed too, but I make do with the bit of space Lola allows me on the king single.
      I use my microwave when reheating things I've stored in the freezer after a big cooking day.

      Delete
  12. I got tired reading all that washing work. Yes remember it well, washing machine never stopped, buckets on the floor nappies soaking in napisan..remember it well..everyone had 2 to 3 sets of sheets and donna covers..towels everyday, that was life back then...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Margaret-whiteangel; yes the buckets of nappies, but never on the floor, always in the laundry tub out of reach of little hands. Busy days for sure.

      Delete
  13. When mine were young, i found it easier to do a load or two a day, assigning each person’s sheets and towels and clothes a day. Then again, i didn’t have to deal with cloth nappies.

    If you want storage for another set of sheets, fold them very flat and put them between the matress and the frame (whatever supports your mattress). Out of sight and quite handy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. messymimi; I'd forgotten about under the mattress space. I'm not sure I could lift the mattress though, my hands are constantly hurting from carpal tunnel and my shoulders aren't so good anymore either.

      Delete
  14. Don't think I have ever owned more than one set of sheets. One hour in the washer and dryer and they are ready to use again. I really don't have the storage for extras.
    And yes, towels dry off clean bodies and can be reused. Face towels however I only use once as they clean dirty bodies.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Arkansas Patti; one set is good in theory, but not practical for me. I hesitate to use the dryer simply because the cost of electricity here is so high, way up in the stratosphere, according to the papers we have the highest electric costs in the world. I agree with face washers, they're a once only use then into the wash they go.

      Delete
  15. I've seen the advice to have only one set of linen for each bed, but honestly I don't get it. What is someone gets sick? Or for children or the elderly, what if someone wets the bed? What if the pets get sick? But then I'm all about "being prepared" which would probably drive some people crazy :)

    You did do a lot of laundry. It helps to have a system.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. jenny_o; I agree, sick people and bed wetting children ( I had two) do need more than one set of sheets, and a good waterproof mattress protector that can also be washed. Even now, I wash more pillowcases than sheets because I'm a sweaty-head sleeper and they really start to smell if I don't change and wash them often.

      Delete