Freshly Pressed

We have one of those flip out ironing boards in the laundry room.

It’s on the wall across from the cat box and above the laundry basket area.  We have two large mesh baskets and they fit neatly against the wall, under the illustration of a basketball hoop that’s hanging on the wall.  Basketball hoop, laundry basket, get it?

Everything in that area has a spot, fits.  There’s room to stand in front of the baskets, flip down the board, and iron.  I’m not a big ironer, but there are times.  Forgot to take to the dry cleaner, pants already worn once that need to be re-pleated, the last minute shirt purchase that still has fold marks.  Ironing is sometimes necessary, that’s why I have the little board.

Ideally, I should never have more laundry in the laundry room than can fit into the two baskets.  I read somewhere that if you do a load of laundry every day, it is easy to keep on top of things.  Reading and then doing, that’s always the tricky part for me.

As the head laundry doer, the self proclaimed only person that does it correctly, I get behind.

With the exception of holidays, visitors and when I’m really nervous, the laundry is never kept to the two baskets.  It overflows, creates piles next to the baskets, and sometimes morphs into a tiny mountain or mountain range.

Once I’ve hit the mountain stage, it’s hard to recover.  Usually takes a weekend of pure dedication to bounce back from such a vast abundance of dirties.  I used to see the mountain as a failure on my part, proof that I wasn’t good at keeping a home, that my children didn’t smile into their fresh-out-of-the-dryer shirts like commercials said they should.

A couple of months ago, my son graduated from high school.  He brought home the cap and gown a day before the ceremony.  There was no time to send it to the dry cleaner.  I love the dry cleaner, it’s like outsourcing, but there was no time.  Things had been a bit nuts leading up to his big day.  I was distracted by deadlines and drama.

There I stood, his gown in one hand, a spray bottle in the other, amid a small mountain range of laundry.  Less than ideal, certainly not how I had pictured things when I laid out the laundry room.  But he needed to look good, there were pictures to take.  Dinner and celebration were waiting.

I took off my shoes, stood up on a pile of laundry, flipped down the board, and ironed his gown.

I made sure the ends didn’t fall among the dirty towels.  It required some gyrations and at one point my foot sunk into an unknown wet something, but as he ran out the door toward his milestone, he had a freshly pressed gown.  It didn’t matter how it got done, what it took, just that it was.

There are times in my life that I am given the choice between beating myself up for a less than perfect performance or being proud of the job that did get done, that regardless of mountains, I made it happen.

As I get older, I beat myself up less and focus on the end result.  I still love a clean laundry room, it is ideal.  But even in the midst of chaos, it is possible to be freshly pressed.

I suppose that’s what matters.

My thoughts from the laundry room.  Clean Sheets.

9 thoughts on “Freshly Pressed

  1. I can relate to this all. I take it differently though. If you can not be perfect, there must be a reason. The reason might be the tension or the stress that is occupying your mind. Release it and then work properly. It happens to me when I am stressed more than required by my tolerance and patience levels I possess. I am sure you would work in the best way possible if you are not tensed. I make mistakes a lot of mistakes when I am working when I do not want to – perhaps another reason for imperfection in the work. Cheers, and yes they are problems for every lady.

    Smile always.

  2. I can certainly relate. The only thing that stops me from having mountain ranges is our cat…who takes great enjoyment from peeing into any pile of fabric found. He’s not declawed and really has no reason to enjoy this as much as he does. Nonetheless, we have to put blankets up. Sweaters cannot be left on the floor. Even my little boy’s giant stuffies have to be off the floor. That’s Hobbes. On the floor is fair game. But yep, if not for Hobbes, I’d have mountain ranges to match yours, for sure! 🙂

  3. It’s much easier to dress kids, rinse them in soapy ice water and put them out in the desert to dry. That way the kids and the clothes are both clean and there’s enough left over few drops for the cactus. Just helping the environment. Climb every mountain… I think it’s a song… You could write a song for them to sing and they’ll dry faster, but don’t put the words “police” or “help” or “child protection services” in the lyrics of the song, and while they’re drying you could install solar cell panels in the desert…

  4. I try and stay on top of laundry for one big reason. If I miss one day, its like I’ve missed ten days. Laundry grows exponentially in our house. I’ve also learned the art of pulling things out of the dryer and laying flat on the clean laundry pile to keep the ironing demons away. Works like a charm!

  5. I had visions of a perfectly kept, spotless home but, like your overflowing laundry basket, I mop out dust bunnies in between deadlines, family duties and whatever “emergencies” pop up in the day-to-day schedules. I figure as long as the beds are made, meals are cooked, the dishes put away and we have clean clothes, the rest of the stuff can be done in-between everything else. . .so far, this less-than-perfect system works. 😉 PS. Glad you too, have an ironing board and iron–my grandkids find this quite a novelty!

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