The last two weeks have been the busiest since I stopped full time work in February. Several freelance writing deadlines converged with two workshops I agreed to conduct plus a Groupon deadline for some photobooks I have been wanting to complete. I learnt my lesson the hard way, no more piling too much on my plate!
While some things had to give in the last two weeks, for example, simpler meals than ever if that’s even possible, or even eating out, I had to keep up with one thing – laundry. And actually, it’s not that bad. Since I usually do laundry in the morning these days, I get Jason to join me to do it and really, it takes less than 15 minutes for the two of us to bring down the previous days clothes from the bamboo poles, fold them, sort them and put the day’s laundry to wash.
Of course, in practice, nothing is that straightforward. The concept of doing laundry is foreign to an eight-year-old who hasn’t done his part previously. He does not think about the process of how his dirty clothes end up clean and neatly folded, and yes, I should have opened his eyes to it earlier. So I put up with his whining, complaints and even plain refusal in the first few days. But his reaction made me all the more resolved to get him to do chores, even though he has already been doing some since we went without a maid two years ago.
We have a new washing machine which can dry as well. But I now use the dry function more sparingly as the electricity bill shot up last month while I was (intentionally) experimenting with the various functions. Jason’s part in the whole process is simple. He brings me the laundry basket from the room filled with the family’s soiled clothes, I sort them out and put them in the machine. He measures the amount of detergent, pours it and presses the buttons on the machine (he likes this part) to start the wash.
We then bring down the previous day’s clean laundry from the overhead bamboo poles. It’s a bit of a game, he holds an empty basket and I let the clothes slide into it, or not. He then brings the clothes out and we fold them together. He tries to cut corners (literally, because he folds them quickly and messily, there are no obvious corners), and I tease him about the weird looking mounds of clothes he manages to churn out. And we put them away. That’s it. I can’t believe he whines about something so simple, but he does. It’s getting better though, and it will hopefully continue to get better.
Since we got the front-load washing machine, I’ve been wanting to make a painted, wooden laundry sign. With our previous top-load machine, we couldn’t place items on top of the machine. Now that we can, I have all sorts of ideas for it. But I decided to keep it simple and did the sign a little at a time over two weekends.
To get Jason involved, I let him pick the words to put on the sign, from two phrases I found online. “Wash, dry, fold, repeat” or “Laundry – drop your pants here”. No prizes for guessing which one the corny Primary 2 boy chose. 🙂
He thinks it’s hilarious and tells all our guests about it.
I painted a $2 piece of MDF board I got from Daiso, mixing some Martha Stewart craft paint in green with some blue to get the background below. There are a few ways to get the letters on the board and if my handwriting was nice enough, I’d just do it freehand. Unfortunately it isn’t, so I printed out the words on Microsoft Word, estimating the size of the letters using the ruler on the software and printed it out in the lightest grey to save ink. I used two clothes peg to hold the paper in place while I traced the outline of the letters using a pencil.
This is how it turned out. It’s not perfect but it will be covered when I paint over it.
I did the same for the smaller letters below.
The penciled words.
I knew I wanted the big “Laundry” words to be in white but couldn’t decide on the colour for the smaller words. So I decided to try out three colours before I decided on one.
Orange was the most striking and that’s what I picked. I painted over the words, and here’s the final product after I covered it with a layer of Mod Podge to protect it. I’m happy with how it turned out but I might try to distress it further for future signs.
So while laundry still has to be done, it makes the space a tad more cheerful and the laundry routine slightly less tedious. Not for me, for Jason. I have the makings of a true blue housewife, I enjoy doing laundry, so much easier than, say, parenting!