The Laundry Dilemma

My husband seems to be a big fan of piles. Mainly, piles of clothes in our bedroom. Everytime we get some space cleared up, a pile of clothes will instantly appear in that space. Where did these clothes come from? Where were they before this pile started? These are questions I will probably never find answers to.

But anyway, I’m used to these piles by now. I can almost say that they don’t bother me. (Almost. Not quite, though…) Here’s what does bother me: after a load of laundry gets done, we generally put the clothes right from the dryer into a laundry bag to take into the bedroom. I’ve noticed lately that if I don’t put those clothes away, they’ll sit in that laundry bag forever. My husband will just pick through it every day to find whatever he needs – socks, t-shirts, underwear, whatever.

The last few times, I wanted to see how long it would take for him to decide to actually take his clothes out of the bag and put them away. Big mistake on my part. What I discovered is that it doesn’t bother him one bit to have to rummage through the laundry bag, searching for that elusive matching sock, each day until eventually the bag of clean clothes is empty and they’re all dirty again. On the other hand, it pretty much drives me crazy. So in the interest of preserving my sanity, I’ve conceded defeat in this one. For the rest of my life, it’ll be my job to put all the laundry away to avoid having that  bag full of clothes sitting in our bedroom. But the piles? I’m just going to keep pretending that I don’t see them.


30 responses to “The Laundry Dilemma

  1. you could teach him like I did my kids…if its not in a laudry basket/hamper it doesnt get washed on laundry day and when you have no clothes …you either wear dirty or learn to pick up after yourself and remind him your his wife and not the maid service

  2. hahahaha my husband and i both actually have this problem. which is funny because we make both the kids put theirs away as soon as they hit their rooms, but us, by the time we get around to washing OUR clothes we are sooo tired they just sit in baskets. then of course the dirty clothes and the clean clothes get mixed up so once a month i have to go through our room and figure out whats clean and whats dirty and put away all the clean and wash all the dirty (yes we have THAT many clothes lol i like clothes )

    but i will say it always feels really good when i get our room clean, (it tends to be the worst room since no one goes in there but us) Just did that sunday along with a HUGE spring cleaning. the kids asked to swap rooms, (betting they wont EVER ask to do THAT again lol) it sparked an entire house over cleaning scrubbing going through stuff, my husband and i were sooooo happy to go to work monday and get a break hahaha

  3. Fifteen years into our relationship, it finally comes to light that all those piles – especially all the crap hung up on the bedpost on his side at the foot of our bed – exist simply because he can’t possibly think of what to do with them. Poor thing, he’s confused, that’s all.

    Um, I dunno dear….maybe hang them up if you intend to wear them again? Or if they are super funky and need a good washing then throw them in that nifty invention called a hamper, conveniently located about 3 feet from your pile of crap?

    A couple of weeks ago, the conversation came up yet again, and another amazing discovery was made! The real issue, it turns out, is actually how often the laundry is being done in our household. Hmmm, apparently I’m not doing dancing as fast as I can to make sure he’s got his favorite jeans at the ready. Shame on me. Viewed from that standpoint, of course the poor fella needs to keep his favorite T’s and Levi’s close to him.

    There was a time long ago when he was in charge of all the laundry. Of course, it took him about 8 hours to do 2-3 loads of laundry (depending on how deep into baseball season we were or if, say, Tiger were doing especially well that day). Plus he needed all sorts of high-fives and back-slaps to keep him motivated and on track which was so exhausting and irritating that I finally just gave up, forcibly peeled the quarters from his fist and did the damn laundry myself. And I’ve been doing it ever since.

    Thinking back, there were piles back then, just like there are piles right now. Oh well….The more things change, the more they stay the same.

    I’d go on and write more, but there goes my alarm. Gotta run now to go switch the laundry. 🙂

  4. (Jenny, very funny!). My husband seems to have a three-stage system–Clean/hung up or in dresser, worn/but don’t hang back up cuz not clean, and standing up by itself/needing to be washed. So, the middle stage can’t get put away, because it might contaminate the clean stuff, but it certainly shouldn’t get washed, yet, because there is still another wear or two left in it. So, every chair and door knob in the house has clothing draped all over it. Sometimes I will gather everything and hang it up, and he’ll ask why I did that because it wasn’t clean, so when I gather it up and wash it, he gets upset that I am going to wear out his clothes from too much washing. So, I came up with a great idea, how about one side of the closet will be for hanging up the middle stage clothes…brilliant, right? Well, this seems to help a bit, but I am usually the one to be hanging everything. Oh, well….sigh….

  5. Hmmmm….Maybe the next time you get a flat tire your husband should simply wait and see how long it takes YOU to fix it….

    I have a sense of humor, but I can only imagine what you fine folks would think if I opened a website called or……

    • What I find interesting is that you seem to dislike this site yet you went and wrote comments on multiple posts, which leads me to believe that you stuck around to read a bit. If you don’t enjoy the blog, why not just exit the site?

    • flat tire? call AAA, obviously!

  6. Ok, so I usually take the man’s side but the piles would drive me crazy. The bag thing also. I guess I would end up folding and putting his stuff away for my own sanity. Good luck in your quest to ignore the piles and stay sane.

  7. A laundry basket for the master bedroom and each childs rooms, and folding or hanging the clothing as it comes out of the dryer works. Why scrunch loads of clean laundry into a bag to be sorted out later, when its become unecessarily wrinkled? That just creates extra work. Perhaps thats why the bag is never emptied.

    • We have a laundry bag because it takes up less space than a basket. Since we live in a pretty small apartment, we need to maximize space as well as possible. And in an ideal world, we’d put away the clothes right after they’re done in the dryer but with an 11 month-old baby, most of our housework gets done in short spurts so we never really know when we’re able to get stuff done.

  8. Yes, its tough with a new baby and a small apartment. Been that route many years ago with 3 little ones under 4. A three yr old, a one and a half yr old, and a new “oops” wonderful baby. We Lived in our share of small apartments, a couple of run down dumps, and a motel for 3 months because of being evicted for a colicky crying baby.
    Living in a motel is about as small as you can get with 2 adults and 3 little ones so letting laundry pile up, or not put away whats clean was not an option. I’ve even had to do my laundry by hand at one time, but even with that hated chore, I was always a stickler for clean clothes to be folded or hung and put away where they belong. I just made the time to do it as it was so much easier for me than fumbling through laundry piles trying to find whats needed.
    Not saying my way is the right way at all, it was just a sugestion to your laundry bag problem. I’ve now got 8 wonderful grandchildren from ages 4 to 21 who come and visit Grandma & Grandpa regularly for weekend stay overs. Making sure the clean laundry is where it belongs is a must even more. I’d never know whats dirty or clean otherwise! : )

  9. I’m married to a slob too. It is not that I’m a neat freak, but he is a f*(King slob. and obnoxious. and irritating. dump him while you can.

  10. oh good – fix my own flat tire – like that’s a big chore. You know what a big chore is? Cleaning up after a slob day after day, year after year. You know what a pain in the arse is? Dealing with some obnoxious arse hole that thinks that he’s charm itself.

  11. LOL. I can totally relate with your husband on this one! My folded clothes (t-shirts, pj’s, socks, underwear) make it into the dresser right away, but I NEVER hang up my clothes. Instead, the clothes that need to be hung up so they don’t get wrinkled, end up laying in a pile on my bedroom floor. Because THAT keeps me from having to iron them… Sigh… You think I would suck it up and hang up my damn clothes! But nope, I would rather hunt for my favorite pair of paints in a big huge pile, then find them, only to find out that I now have to iron them. Too bad my husband won’t hang them up for me 🙂

  12. Keep the laundry bag, sell the dresser put the cash in the bank. 🙂
    it is simple he does not like or need drawers to store his socks.

  13. Live simple be happy.

  14. I have to say, it does make me feel a little better to know I’m not the only one! My hubs piles dirty clothes up next to his side of the bed which means some or all get kicked under the bed. It never fails that as soon as I’m putting away clean clothes, I find the elusive pile under the bed!

  15. I do have to say your post made me laugh, please remember that you also some habits that drive your husband crazy. I would just try to laugh it off, I refer to my husband as a pilot. He piles it here and piles it there. If this is the biggest complaint that you have about a person you live with, consider yourself lucky.

  16. It is literally like I’m reading about my own life right here. I even bought a hamper to put in the spot where my guy drops his clothes. But, foolish me, the hamper has a flip top. So instead of going IN the hamper, now the clothes go ON the hamper. Meh. We also struggle with putting clothes away after they are folded. I will gladly put my own clothes and my two kids’ clothes away but SURELY my guy can put his own clothes away? Not so much. I’ve tried everything: putting the laundry basket on his side of the bed, (it just ends up on the floor), putting the laundry basket in the middle of the doorway, (he’ll just step around it like it’s not there). Perhaps if I handcuffed him to it? Perhaps that’s a little extreme…

  17. When my annoying person takes his work boots off, then his socks, he takes them off so they turn inside-out…and this is how they stay the entire wash/dry cycle. I asked him just yesterday why he left them like this when he puts them in the hamper (well…c’mon you know he doesnt put them IN the hamper…he hangs them on the side!)? He said he didnt want to put his hand inside the nasty sock to flip it the right way. I thought it might have been that he thought THAT side was the dirtiest, but nope. I was wrong. Now all of his socks have serious stains (on the outside of them) from the insides of his boots, because they get washed inside-out! And I used to turn all of his socks right side in before they made it to the drawer (of course after they are washed and dried), but not any more! UGH! Oh well…HE has to wear those stained up socks, not me. I just dont get it! But he, too, has a pile of clothes he hangs on the freakin bed that he wants to wear again because they are not dirty. PUT THEM BACK if they are CLEAN! I would love to walk into our bedroom and see a nice, neat, clean bed (without clean or dirty laundry hanging from it!) : )

  18. Read this one a little late but OMG you are describing my husband! He did this when we were dating and I thought, “when we get married, this will stop!” NOOO silly newly wed, it didn’t it got worse. Now, not only does he have HIS laundry basket, but he has MY laundry basket (from when we lived seperately)….and to top it all, he has access to all the OTHER baskets that I had accumulated for storage/moving to put his clean, kinda clean, not so clean, one-more-wear, and dirtly clothes. Oh and did I mention he also puts his dirty gym clothes right into the washer? What man (person) needs 5 places for clothes without actually sorting them for wash cycle type?

    Oh, and we have a HUGE walk-in closet that I use, which only gives him fodder to complain about NOT having closet space.

    Love your site, I forget to visit then when I remember, i just binge.

  19. It sounds like this the story of every women in town. Dealing with my husband’s piles of dirty/clean clothes has been pretty annoying, but recently I have found a solution to following solution:
    1. I have put two laundry hampers in his side of the closet, one for dirty clothes and one for clean and labeled them for him.
    2. To keep the pile of the bedroom floor, I toss his pile of dirty/clean clothes into those hampers as soon as I see them. coze he will never do it himself.
    3. I have made myself clear that he has to do his own laundry and put them away. I told him that I only help him with his laundry if he has a really valid excuse like illness etc…..because I expect him to help me in those kinds of situations.
    4. As a result, when he runs out of clothes, he as no choice but to do his laundry

  20. wow…the Bf does this too. There will be a pile of dirty socks in the living room. A pile of dirty clothes in the bathroom and then a pile of dirty clothes in the bedroom. Clean clothes stay in the basket or bag until its empty or its time to take more clothes to the cleaner (no, he would rather pay someone to clean his clothes than do it himself, granted we dont have a washer or dryer so it gets done when we go visit family)

  21. I call it my husband’s mound of clothes his purgatory pile, because he can’t decide if they are clean or dirty…somewhere in between. Not clean enough to hang/fold back up, and not dirty enough to wash. He wears something for a few hours, says it’s not dirty so he’s “saving ME from having to wash it” and he tosses it somewhere. It’s always that it’s a favor for me. Seriously? Instead of wearing something from the “purgatory pile” again as he intended, he always picks out something from the drawer…and so the piles build. Several years ago, I started tossing them all into a place in his closet so there would be one big pile (more obvious for him to realize how sloppy he is right?). Every time I see something on the floor or draped over a chair, etc., I put it in his “pile”. Well, that pile grows and grows until either he can’t find something or I say “Please, can you decide what to do with those clothes.” Then, I suddenly have a huge load of laundry to do because he doesn’t feel like putting them away and has decided they are all dirty. Ughh!!

  22. namelessfaceless

    my brilliant husband has a set of laundry habits that would make any wife insane.
    i’d mentioned the sock hunts before, but it doesnt end there.
    after i get laundry washed, folded and neatly in the basket, i carry it up and usually set it down for an hour or so while im doing other things.
    he likes to rummage through, wadding everything up. then he’ll toss his dirty clothes right in with the clean ones.
    if i leave it for more than a few hours, you cant tell whats clean or dirty anymore, without doing that smell test.
    he says “i didnt know…” but its pretty obvious that i wouldnt neatly fold a basket of dirty clothes… sigh.
    i love my husband. i love my husband. i love my wonderful husband!

  23. For their clothes you give them a closet they’ll just find a hock and hang anything they possibly can hang and just pile the rest in any space they have,you give them wardrobe you’ll find clothes being piled somewhere outside it ,you give them a storage box you’ll find clothes being stacked on top of it ,give them laundry bag you’ll find dirty and clean clothes all stuffed in there together.

  24. Having recently returned to work I thought husband would start doing more chores he didn’t I still shop cook wash dishes clean house wash clothes, in spite of his enthusiasm for me working (2 salaries are better than one when you have 3 kids and husband with expensive taste in vacations). He is a teacher and gets home before me so I did believe him when he said he would do more chores… Hah, foolish me!
    He didn’t step up so I didn’t say anything but just did a little laundry strike and the household laundry piled up for a week. He said nothing even though it was getting difficult to move around the clothes mountain. Then one day I found the washing machine on and was pleased something was being done, my happiness was short lived as it turned out that he had picked through the washing and just washed all his clothes, leaving mine and the kids stuff in the mountain…!

  25. i stopped taking care of his cloths many years ago; he wants them washed, he does it himself; storage, put away is up to him; i no longer do any of this; pain in the butt; he doesn’t wash/dry mine, why should i do his? I cook everyday; no time out,; we have probably gone out to eat maybe 5 times in the last 8 years; have to beg him to take out the garbage, cut the grass, etc. am sick of this; will never have another one if something happens to him. I DON”T need another “child”. Just tired of feeling like i have to do EVERYTHING if it is going to get done. He drags stuff home all the time,; my yard looks like “sanford & son”, sick of it. Need to just have a BIG yard sale. just sick. Auction him “off” LOL. gotta lov um ; Can’t live w/him, can’t live/without him.

  26. My husband is not allowed to wash or dry clothes because quite frankly, he stinks at it. He never lets anything dry long enough and we’ve had soaking wet towels in the linen closet (the few times he puts towels away). I have tried and tried to get him to put the clean laundry away, but he wont do it. Like your husband, he doesn’t mind rummaging. He hates closets and I think he’s against separating the laundry. I want to wash his clothes separately because he works on AC units and gets insulation all over him. He says its cheaper and wont matter whether or not I wash his clothes separately or with my stuff. So most things I have to do without his knowledge. I don’t mind washing and folding. I mind putting them away. I HATE that.

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