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.