What Laundry Teaches Us About Life


When I was eleven years old, my mom taught me how to do my own laundry. I faced the chore enthusiastically-even transforming a cardboard box into a cute laundry hamper with pink and white paint. However, learning to do my laundry required time and patience. Even with my mom’s careful coaching on sorting colors and operating the washer and dryer, years passed before I fully comprehended the concepts. I ended up with at least one white shirt that is now blush because I washed it with a darker garment. Thankfully, blush is now in style, so I can pretend I did it on purpose.

While laundry may be viewed as drudgery or an inconvenience, I think it is the best chore ever. Here are four reasons we can be grateful that we have to do laundry:

1) Laundry gives us the opportunity to serve those in our households.

Serving those outside our home is often easier than serving the people who are closest to us. For example, going on a mission trip provides us with an adventure. It is exciting because we are meeting new people and experiencing a different culture, so serving and being selfless in this environment is natural. However, we often take those we live with (our families) for granted. One practical way we can love those around us is to perform simple tasks for them. Even folding and putting away a load of a family member’s laundry can be a huge encouragement. Several times, my sisters have sneaked into my room and folded my clothes for me. I have always felt so loved by this sweet gesture.  If you are trying to find ways to serve your family, look no further than their mountains of laundry.

2) Laundry can help us realize how privileged we are.

Sometimes, laundry can seem endless, like a waste of a perfectly good Saturday afternoon. But people in third-world countries would love the opportunity to do laundry like we do.  Not only would they appreciate having high quality clothing, but they would also appreciate the modern appliances we have to make laundry simpler. Washing clothes by hand is exhausting. Twice when our washer was out of order, I decided to wash my laundry by hand. Only when I was in the middle of the project did I realize the difficulty of doing laundry without a washer and dryer. Wet clothes are heavy, and you use a lot more water than your washer would. If you need a reason to be grateful, then you can simply look at your clean pile of high-quality clothing and the two machines that made doing your laundry so easy.

3) Laundry gives children and teenagers a chance to cultivate responsibility.

In order to ensure that we have clean clothes, we are forced to regularly check the status of our laundry hampers. Failing to be responsible with laundry has sharp, instantaneous consequences (like running out of clean clothes). Since laundry is a fairly simple task, it the ideal job to develop responsibility in children and teenagers. And, if the task is not attended to, the youth will quickly learn his or her lesson by the lack of clean clothes. After all, we will not always have our moms around to make sure our clothes are clean.

4) Laundry gives people a chance to escape from their arduous work to a simpler task.

For most people, folding and putting away laundry does not require much active thought. If you need an escape from your schoolwork or paperwork for a few minutes, but do not want to lose productivity, then put in your earbuds  and conquer the  pile of laundry on your bed. You can enjoy a guilt- free break, listening to some of your favorite music or podcasts, while keeping your hands busy. This short laundry break will allow you to return to your main work projects with a renewed sense of focus and energy.

Laundry may seem like a mundane chore, but it is actually a golden opportunity. Laundry gives us the chance to serve our families, count our blessings, cultivate responsibility, and be productive during our free time. Rather than complain about doing laundry, or any chore for that matter, we can be grateful for the opportunity and take the moment to realize just how blessed we are.



Why I Am Choosing to Live at Home during College

library-1400312_1920High school graduation is a momentous occasion-a time when young adults sprout their wings and take their best shot at life. Sprouting wings entails a new sense of independence. How should our living arrangements reflect this new stage of life?

Does moving away from home show that we are truly grown up? Or should we spend more time maturing under our parent’s mentoring and protection before we leave the nest? Does turning eighteen automatically trigger full-fledged adulthood, or must we earn that privilege? Is moving away during college the right choice for everyone?

As I prepare to start college full time this fall, I have been forced to ask myself these tough questions. Finding the answers is not always easy, but it is constructive and advantageous to plan ahead. While each student’s situation will be different, here are several of the factors that played into my decision to live at home during college.

The Expense of Living on Campus

As a new adult, we should want to start contributing more than we take. But contributing more than we take does not necessarily entail moving away from home. In fact, staying at home could relieve our family of a significant financial burden.

Living on campus can be outrageously expensive. According to the website My College Guide, “Students at public schools can expect to pay an average of $8,887 and those at private schools will pay an average of $10,089 per year. These prices are for dorms on campus.”

You can help your family financially even without actively earning a salary by cutting college costs as much as possible. You could also avoid extra student loan debt by remaining at home during college.

Denying Adult Responsibility

For some young adults, living on campus is a way to entirely avoid responsibility. This is what USA Today has to say about living in the dorms, “In reality, dorms are more like all-inclusive resorts than houses of horror. Dorms allow students to delay the responsibilities of adulthood for a few more years and fully experience college.”

Wait, “delay the responsibilities of adulthood”?

The article goes on to explain how most dorms have complimentary house cleaning. That way, you can be free from vacuuming and scrubbing your own bathroom for four years of your adult life. Isn’t this a step backwards? Most children are expected to help with housework, but suddenly you transfer to a college campus and those responsibilities disappear? As a college freshman, your chore responsibilities should not dissipate entirely!

The USA Today article also featured, “ultimate entertainment centers” as a reason to live on campus. Recreation is a necessary part of life, but are we talking about eight year olds or eighteen year olds? Do we really need someone to provide entertainment spaces for us? Perhaps college dorms are failing to prepare their students for the real, adult life that faces them after graduation.

The attitude behind our actions must be evaluated.

Whether we chose to stay at home or move out during college, we must take the time to analyze the rationale behind our choices. If we are staying at home because we want our parents to coddle and care for us, then we have the wrong attitude. On the flip side, if we are moving away from home because we are trying to distance ourselves from responsibility, then that’s also a problem.

We should be actively contributing to our families, no matter what age or stage of life we are in. In this stage of life, we should become independent in that we take responsibility for our actions and as young adults contribute more than we take.

Choosing to stay at home does not mean that we lack the toughness to move away from our family. Whether you stay at home or move away for college, I would encourage you to fully consider all the options and weigh the costs and benefits before making a commitment. And most importantly, wherever we find ourselves, we must continually strive to grow into fruitful young adults who glorify God with our decisions and conduct.


My College Guide-How Much Does College Really Cost?

USA Today College-10 reasons to live in a dorm for 4 years