Adulting 101: Doing the Laundry


Having bravely moved out of your parents’ home, you will inevitably be faced with the chore of cleaning your clothes or the clothes of your own family. As a proud and functional member of society and a Gen Xer, I am here to help my younger Millennial cohorts with learning the proper way to perform this task.

Step 1: Determine if you need to do your laundry.

Things to consider:

  • Have I really been wearing the same pair of jeans since Martin Luther King Day?
  • Was this T-shirt always polka dotted or are these food stains?
  • Why is my underwear trying to crawl out the bedroom door?

Step 2: I’m probably good for one more day.

Step 3: One week later. Okay. It’s time to wash the clothes.

Step 4: Take your hamper of colored clothes to your washing machine… okay… okay… that was probably too hopeful on my part…

Step 4: Go on a scavenger hunt to find your clothes and your children’s clothes.

“Okay, I’ve looked under the beds, couches, behind doors, on the floor… hey… we have hardwood floors? Honey, did you know we have hardwood floors?”

Step 5: Sort your laundry out into your hampers. Designate one hamper for white clothing and one hamper for colored clothing.

“Hey! That’s separate, but equal, pal, and I’m not racist.”

That’s not what I meant. Oh… you’re just going to cram it all into one hamper… wow… okay, so you’re probably going to skip Step 6 too.

Step 6: Carefully check all of the pockets for foreign objects that might stain your clothing or damage your… and now you’re standing on the hamper trying to shove it all down… no, no, I’m sure that’s equally good.

Step 7: Load your washing machine. While filling up the washing machine, you should leave some empty space at the top so as not to overload… or… okay, yes, I suppose you could put a box of your old college textbooks on top of the lid so it stays down. But I’m pretty sure that’s not recommended by the washing machine’s manufacturer, but what do they know, right?

Step 8: Add laundry detergent. You will want to carefully measure out the proper amount of detergent… or you could just fill up the container to the brim…

Step 9: Select your wash cycle. There is no cycle for “I just jammed everything into this stupid fucking machine because I want this to be fucking over with” so let’s go with Normal.

Step 10: Start your washing machine. Ignore any unusual sounds you hear during operation… but you may want to double check and count your children and pets… just in case.

Step 11: Take a break. Enjoy your free time while the washing machine magically makes your clothes not stink.

Step 12: Come back in four or five days. Realize you fucking forgot to move the laundry from the washing machine to the dryer and rewash your clothing with vinegar to try and destroy the funky smell they now have. It won’t work, but instead of smelling like moldy cheese, your clothing will smell like moldy cheese with vinegar! And that will remind people of salads.

Step 13: Okay, seriously, I did this again? Rewash the laundry one more time.

Step 14: Put your laundry into the dryer. You will notice that all of your white clothes are now a lovely shade of pink from being washed with your red shirts. Also, I’m pretty sure there was a pen, a marker, a crayon, and some caramels in the pockets that are now scattered and dyed into your other clothes.

Step 15: Check the dryer’s lint trap and clean it out. Lint is highly flammable… No? You’re not going to do that. You’re going to start the machine on high? Have you checked the tags on your clothes-? Okay, fine.

Step 15: Start the dryer. Hope for the best.

Step 16: Grab the fire extinguisher and scream at your significant other to call 911.

Step 17: Buy new clothes with the insurance settlement.

I hope this guide has helped you. You are now one step closer to being a functional adult.

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