Monday, June 3, 2013

Know When To Fold 'Em

The title of this post doesn't refer to Challenge #2--I haven't folded...yet.  I did weigh in yesterday at 135.2 pounds, for a loss of 0.6 pounds last week.  Nothing mind-blowing, but considering that I was so off my game earlier in the week and then ate ice cream on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, I'd say losing half a pound is pretty decent for my clear lack of effort!  The slow pace is infuriating me, but I'm not giving up--it's always easier to lose when you have more weight to lose, so now I just really have to dig deep and work for it.  I'm trying not to lose steam and just keeping my eyes forward on the prize--my health!

Shhhh--this is my little secret!

So the title of this post has nothing to do with my weight-loss journey--and more to do with the crazy ideas that pop into my head while doing laundry.  I'm constantly reading about people who have a wild, amazing, and/or totally mundane idea, and turn it into something that makes millions.  Of course, right now I can't think of many examples to illustrate my point--Spanx comes to mind, but there are others, I promise!  I've had two such ridiculous thoughts while doing laundry in my ugly basement laundry room.  The first idea hit me a few weeks ago, when I put a load of laundry into the dryer (keeping a mental tally of the number of items I needed to pull out early so that I wouldn't shrink and ruin them), and then I promptly came back upstairs, got totally involved in some other task, and didn't discover my completely dry load (including the items I was intending to pull early...) until a few hours later.  Urgh!  I can't count how many times that has happened, and how my heart sinks when I realize my mistake.  I work hard to keep our clothes looking good and lasting a long time, so it just hurts when I mess up something simple like pulling a few pieces out early.  I started thinking about how I could prevent that problem from happening again, and I had an idea--someone needs to make a small "damp dryer" that can sit on top of your regular dryer, for those delicate, damp-dry-only items in your load.  That way, when you are transferring your clothes from your washer to your dryer, you can pull the items that you don't want to dry all the way, place them in your smaller, upper dryer, and not have to worry about them overdrying and shrinking.  You would start your regular, big dryer the way you always would, and then run your small "damp dryer" on the only setting it has--dry on low until damp, with wrinkle shield.  That little puppy would fluff your delicates indefinitely, keeping them damp and wrinkle-free until you are able to get them out and hang them on hangers to dry the rest of the way.  If you walk away and forget about your load in the dryer, it's no problem--your sensitive items are safe and damp!  I'm not mechanical or technical in any way, so I have no idea if this would be feasible or if people would even want something like that (other than me--I would jump at the chance to buy one of those things!)--and I'm not going to be creating any prototypes in my garage anytime soon...just not my thing.  But if someone reads this and wants to get on it, you have my permission to use my idea (with royalties, of course)...and as long as I get a free damp dryer when you go into production!

this is my embarrassing laundry room

The second idea hit me when I was doing laundry last night--totally off my cleaning schedule-dictated Laundry Days, but when it's summer(ish)time and wet swimsuits are involved, you just have to suck it up and do laundry on an off day...  I was killing time while some of Abby's shirts were in the dryer (I needed to pull them early, and didn't want to walk away and forget about them!), so I was folding a load from the other day that had been sitting in my big laundry basket.  I don't have a folding table or really any space at all conducive to folding in my laundry room, so I was uncomfortably standing, balancing the basket against my leg while it was propped up on a desk chair, and folding clothes on top of each other in the basket.  Not exactly efficient.  I was thinking about how much I hate folding clothes, which I usually do while sitting on the floor in my living room--spreading piles of organization that makes sense to only me all around me on the carpet.  My back ends up killing me from sitting in that awkward position, and it's just darn tedious.  Standing in my laundry room wasn't any better.  I thought that if someone could figure out a way to make laundry less brutal, I would love them forever.  Then for some reason I thought about people who scrapbook, and then people who quilt, and then people who coupon.  Those people get together with other people who scrapbook, quilt, or coupon a few times a month or even weekly to engage in a solitary pursuit while in the company of friends--the chore (or hobby) made more fun by lively conversation, tips of the trade, and a social atmosphere.  Why couldn't this concept apply to folding laundry?  Everyone has to do it, so there's definitely a market of laundry folders out there.  I would totally lug my full basket once a week to a plush, tall chair with a large, clean folding surface in front of me, surrounded by other women knocking out their weekly folding.  I would chat while pairing socks together, listen to the stories of the women around me while turning leggings right-side in, and maybe even forget how much I hate laundry for that hour of socialization.  Dan would be hard-pressed to begrudge me that time--after all, I'm performing a crucial Good Housewife duty (doing all the laundry so that he doesn't have to), and if he gave me a hard time about my folding happy hour, I could just say that I wouldn't go if he wanted to fold the laundry for me.  I'd be out the door with his blessing in less than 2 minutes!  I excitedly shared my brilliant idea with my mom, and she laughed and said, "Know when to fold 'em!" and suddenly, a name for my laundry-folding storefront (and this blog post!) was born.

Let's be clear--I'm not so firmly middle class that I don't realize that public spaces to fold laundry already a laundromat.  I've used many a laundromat in my time, and what I'm envisioning is less musky depression (and din of commercial-grade machines), more girls' night out--complete with clean, open spaces with music playing in the background and a beverage/snack bar (vending machines don't count!).  I'd be happy to start small, though--maybe with a laundry-folding co-op among friends where we rotate houses once a week and spread out on the dining room table.  It did cross my mind that folks might not be keen on folding their unmentionables in front of friends, so obviously, you could be selective in the loads you choose to bring--I'd bring loads and loads of the kids' laundry (of which there is never a shortage!), and maybe leave my undies for the privacy of my at-home folding.  Perhaps I'm the only weird lonely housewife who is tired of watching late-night TV by myself while folding piles of laundry all over my floor--but if there are more of you out there, bring over your baskets of laundry and help me get KWTFE up and running!  :)

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