For years, I've done laundry a certain way. In many ways, it's tedious. I get that. Our clothes didn't show wear very quickly, because of the way I do laundry, so it saved us a lot of money by not having to buy new clothes. My trick? For the most part I only dry sheets, towels, undies, socks and sweats in the dryer. The rest gets 'fluffed and hung'.
During a 'fluffing and hanging' episode, the clothes go straight from the washer to the dryer, and heated until the wrinkles come out. The clothes are still quite wet when they're taken out and hung on hangers to air dry. In the summertime, the hangers of clothes are hung on the clothesline to dry and to have that incredible hung-in-the-sun smell when they're brought back in.
Over the years, clothes were passed down from one daughter to the next, and they often looked like only one child had worn them when we did finally part with them. The fading was minimal, and shrinkage was almost non-existent. It saved us money on the utility bills as well as on clothing replacement costs. I felt it was my duty to save as much as I could, because my husband works so very hard to support our family. I felt it was the least I could do.
Over the last couple of years, I've let up a little. I've dried a few more loads and fluffed and hung just a little less. But one thing I haven't let up on is a little obsession I have with the hangers. They have to be sorted according to color and style.
We have big fat chunky ones we use for coats, the kind with the notches on them to hang strappy things on, regular plastic hangers, and some big chunky ones with swivel heads on them. Some with swivel heads are orange. Some are yellow. The chunky ones for coats are yellow, white, blue and green. The notched ones for hanging strappy things were bright pink, teal and white. And then we had 2 colors of light blue, dark purple and white regular plastic hangers. And they had to be sorted according to color first and style second.
So not only did I sort hangers as I took clothes off them to fold or when the clothes were removed to be worn, but I also had to sort the hangers as I got things out of the dryer and fluffed and hung them. The lightest blue held my clothes. The darker light blue and dark purple were for my husband. The bright pink, teal and white were all for the girls. But sometimes I had strappy things, but I didn't have any light blue hangers for mine, so I had to use white. And the swivel hangers were used when we ran out of hangers and still had clothes to hang.
It was all quite tiresome. It wasn't just that I felt an obligation to sort the hangers. I couldn't stop myself, if I tried. And I did try. But they were such a jumbled assortment of hangers that I always felt stressed when I saw them messed up. It was distracting and it made the laundry room look less neat, and let's face it. I need all the neatness I can get.
But at what cost?
I have no idea how much extra time I spent on sorting hangers, but over the years, I wouldn't doubt, if it added up to an entire week. At least an entire business week. A M-F 8 to 5 sort of week. I know I spent a lot of time sorting hangers.
Today, I sorted hangers in a totally different way. I sorted them to give them to a friend who has a lot of kids and never seems to have enough hangers. She doesn't have the sorting problem I seem to have. All our hangers now are white, except for the chunky coat hangers. There are still two styles of the main hangers I'll use.
But that ain't nothin' but a thing. :)
Compulsive hoarding is a mental disorder that is just beginning to be understood. As a hoarder, I have acquired things over the years with a specific purpose in mind at the time of the acquisition, used some of those items for their intended purposes, forgotten the goal for different objects, but now that I find that they have outlived their purpose in my life I am struggling to rid myself of those same things.
You can read the start of my journey here.