How to Do Your Own Laundry

Elizabeth Kilgore

Considering that college is a mere twenty-one months away, I felt it important to get ahead of the game and prepare for what is to come.  I decided to learn to do my own laundry, and if you follow these steps carefully, you will be able to do your own too.

1. Identify the problem.

You have nothing to wear.  Mountains of clothes are scattered about your room.  You forget what your floor looks like.  The problem– laundry.

2. Determine a solution.

If the problem is dirty laundry, the obvious solution is to clean the laundry.  The important thing to remember, however, is that doing laundry is an independent pursuit.  On your endeavor to clean your clothes, be sure to disregard any other family member’s laundry.  Do not offer to do theirs; remove theirs from the washing machine or dryer if necessary; throw their stuff on the ground so it is not in your way; step on it.  Laundry is a cutthroat game.  If you want to get it done, you do what is necessary.

3. Sort.

Much to my dismay, sorting clothing is very important in the laundry operation.  Clothes should be separated by color– darks, whites, and other.  If you have too much in one pile, it is perfectly acceptable to start a fourth or fifth pile.  For example, greys.

4. Load.

Each assorted pile can be referred to as a “load.”  Loads should be placed in a washing machine, one load at a time.  Nice-smelling laundry detergent should be added to the machine, whether dumped in by hand or poured into the detergent compartment.

5. Start.

This is perhaps the most important step.  Once the load is in the washing machine and the door is in the closed position, press the Start button.  Make it a habit to hang around a second or two to ensure that it actually starts.  Developing such habits will be beneficial in college when both time and quarters are indispensable.

6. Dry.

Remove clothing from the washing machine and put it in the dryer.  Press the Start button.

7. Fold.

When the clothes are dry, remove from the machine and place on a level surface.  Fold.  Do not take longer than three seconds to fold each item of clothing.  Appearance is unimportant.

8. Put away.

This step is optional.  Once your clothes are folded, you can either put them in their rightful drawers or leave them in neatly folded piles on your floor, bed, desk, chair, or dresser.  Doing the latter will result in readily accessible clothing for next time you are getting dressed in a hurry and do not have time to open drawers and closets.