Question: how awesome is laundry day when you’re a bachelor?

Answer: about as awesome as getting smacked across the shins with a baseball bat. At least at my house.

The first thing that happens is my wardrobe gets bigger because for some reason my brain doesn’t wrap around the fact that I don’t have any more shirts to wear because they’re all in the dirty clothes hamper. I quite literally find myself looking at the last hanging shirts (you know, the ones that are the wrong size or I wouldn’t be caught dead wearing), thinking wow, I really need some new shirts. What the heck happened to all my shirts?

So, I go buy a couple new T-shirts. Usually the day after that happens, I pull out my last pair of clean underwear, a moment I somehow never saw coming. I often check the drawer two or three times, sure there’s still a pair hiding in the back corner… hoping beyond hope that I can put off doing laundry at least one more day. Every once in a while I get lucky and find a spare pair in my sock drawer or in a gym bag that I packed with good intentions but never used.

If my discovery of the depletion of my underwear is at an inopportune time for me, I find myself making the drive to buy a few new pair, which I am never too against because I obviously need new underwear to go with my new shirts. I like to keep the underwear to shirt ratio fairly equal, after all. Of course, if it’s a 3-pack of underwear and I only bought two shirts, I’ll make sure to buy another t-shirt in order to keep my ratio in place.

But, I’m not rich, and I can’t afford to just buy new clothes indefinitely. Whether I like it or not, laundry day always arrives to collect its dividends from the life of this bachelor.

Because I wait until the day after I have no clean pairs of underwear left, I start laundry day unshowered, sporting a pair of sweatpants, and four full laundry baskets in front of me while I sit on the couch in my bedroom, trying to decide which TV show to watch while I trudge through the task ahead.

First, I dump all four baskets into one large pile for sorting. Every time I do this, I have an “aha!” moment, realizing where all my shirts have gone. I try to push aside the sudden feeling of guilt over the new shirts and/or underwear that I just bought, and get to sorting.

The first thing I always wash are my underwear, but there’s always a problem. I can’t stand the thought of having a dirty pair of skivvies after going through the effort to wash all my undies, so I throw my current pair in too, putting myself into “freedom mode” for the next hour and a half.

Finishing the laundry generally takes me the rest of the day. Even after I get my underwear out of the dryer, I often opt to remain unbathed and nasty until all of the laundry is done. I get excited at the prospect of having 100% of everything I own clean and put away. Quite often I’ll graduate from freedom mode to full on buck-naked mode as I wash the last of it, a luxury only a bachelor can enjoy.

And, once all the shirts are hung wet on their hangers, and all of the pants are hung wet on my fancy-shmancy drying rack, and all of the socks are put away and the underwear drawer is loaded back up, and the towels are folded, and Noah’s dresser is fully stocked, and the oddball items are accounted for… I jump in the shower and dance with giddiness at a job well done. Or maybe I dance with excitement that I won’t have to do it for three or four more weeks. Or maybe I dance with gratitude that nobody showed up while I was less than fully-clothed.

Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing

PS, am I the only one who loves the idea of having 100% of the clothes 100% clean and 100% fresh? What other things do you find quirky about laundry day or the way you do it?