Factors that determine whether something needs to be washed:

• It’s been worn and is legitimately dirty
• It’s been worn indoors for a brief period of time and is perfectly clean
• It was tried on and discarded for something else
• It was accidentally pulled out of the drawer
• It exists

Dirty laundry presentation options:

• Socks: scrunched into a ball
• Pants: One leg pulled partially inside out, rolled up, and wadded into a lump
• Underwear: hidden behind other things, skid mark side out for surprise grossout factor
• Shirts: inside out, halfway unbuttoned

Strategies for marking something as dirty:

• Draped over the edge of the open hamper
• Piled on top of the closed hamper
• Dumped behind the hamper
• Scattered randomly on the floor
• Shoved back in with the clean clothes (ONLY if thoroughly stained and repulsive)

Things that actually get placed carefully inside the hamper:

• Coats
• Toys
• Candy wrappers
• Game pieces, Pokémon cards, mysterious metal doodads, rocks, a pillow, old Halloween costumes, a paper towel someone used to kill a spider, plastic bags

Temperature of the metal buttons and rivets on their jeans when they come out of the dryer:

• One million billion trillion hojillion finger-searing degrees, ALWAYS, what the hell

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Kristi
Kristi
6 years ago

Hamper items in my home also include stuffed animals, legos, coins and the occasional hot wheels. The last is VERY important to find before the dryer cycle. KLUNK-CHUNK, KLUNK-CHUNK, KLUNK-CHUNK…….OH SHIT… HOT HOT HOT

Liz
Liz
6 years ago

My daughter is guilty of all of these. For my husband, add on:

* Layered shirts, removed simultaneously and not separated before being placed in the hamper

Kate
Kate
6 years ago

Crayons and chapstick are my favorite …. they make a huge mess!

Carmen
Carmen
6 years ago

Yup, all of the above. Bonus points if the inside-out socks are somehow holding a handful of sand that will fly all over the floor when the socks are turned right-side out.

Sharon
Sharon
6 years ago

I especially love sticking my whole arm into inside out sweaty soccer socks to pull them right side out.

Kelly
Kelly
6 years ago

Our underwear and pants presentation is one tangle with pant legs inside out, pulled through underwear leg holes. Kid peels herself like a banana.

Liz
Liz
6 years ago

My personal favorite is pants/underwear combo, where the stained underwear is attached to the half-way inside out pair of pants.

Shannon Wise
Shannon Wise
6 years ago

My fav were the “nests” of stinky sock balls…I finally started washing, drying and giving them back the exact same way! Solved the problem!!

Maggie
6 years ago

The balled up socks were my laundry Waterloo. I started returning them to Oldest and refusing to wash them unless they were unballed. This past Summer I finally realized Oldest had way more time on his hands than I did, so I started making him do his own laundry. Now I don’t know or care what the state of the socks in his laundry basket are. FREEDOM.

Andrea
Andrea
6 years ago

In our house, dog prefers sitting on pile of dirty laundry in laundry room. Cats prefer sitting on top of clean folded laundry in laundry basket at foot of bed. My 3 all do their own laundry, but the timing of the actual washing and the putting away is still a game we play.

Shes`
Shes`
6 years ago

Yeah, to the balled up socks and inside out pants, and, and……Well, 8 year old daughter has some $$ that is her ‘own’, that she got from birthday cards, Christmas, etc from relative (not me!). I gave her a few warnings, and then implemented the .50 cent a sock, $1 per pants rule. If I have to undo them in order to fold, you’re paying up! Surprising how fast that all ended (plus she is now putting away her own stuff and learning to fold….) Gotta hit ’em where it hurts!

Mary Clare
Mary Clare
6 years ago

Other random thoughts on laundry – 1) bits of tissues (hidden in pants pockets) that get stuck on everything in the wash cycle = awesomeness, 2) children and pets who love to jump on folded piles of clothes = sometimes cute, but oh-so-annoying 3) oh my god the volume of laundry for a smallish family = soul-killing.

Tracey
Tracey
6 years ago

Had just had to say thanks to you and the other commentators for the multiple snort-laughs. Needed those today. Very relatable.

Alison
Alison
6 years ago

Hilarious and true.

Somewhat related: why is it when my children dress themselves (or when my husband dresses my youngest) they have to rifle through the drawers like burglars? Folded order to tangled, wrinkled mess just like that, every time.

Kate
Kate
6 years ago

In my house the occasional pull-up finds its way into the hamper. That’s the best.

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Shawna
Shawna
6 years ago

Our house I sort, wash, and dry laundry. My husband can’t get it right, so I’m not sure if I can expect my kids to – and since I pay for the kids’ clothes, I have the most vested interest in them not getting destroyed by improper laundering, or in restoring them by proper laundering when they’re stained.

If an item is balled up/inside out, that’s how it’s washed, but it has to be put right during the folding stage.

My kids (7 & 9) fold all the household laundry. Everyone puts their own away.

Nicole Springer
Nicole Springer
6 years ago

Oh this is so spot on. And it drives me insane!

Jessica V.
Jessica V.
6 years ago

I regularly find perfectly clean and folded clothes in my son’s laundry basket – generally because I’ve placed it on his bed so he can “put it away.” Somehow that message gets lost in his brain scramble and comes out as “make your mother crazy and put this back in the dirty hamper.” BOYS!

Jen
Jen
6 years ago

Hehe, I loved the “Things that actually get placed carefully inside the hamper”, because I could relate so much! My son is only 1.5 but LOVES putting his toys, a slipper, my jewelry, hairbands and whatever else he can find in the hamper.

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Idle Thursday thoughts on children’s laundry : All & Sundry