How long have you been doing your own laundry?

I was thinking about this the other day. I remember how my high school math teacher complained about how her son would come home every couple of weeks with all of his dirty laundry for her to do. I never understood that. I’ve been doing my own laundry since I was a little kid, and I always figured that laundry was just something you learned to do before you left the house for good, like basic home maintenance and cleaning. I mean, is he gonna schlup his laundry home until he finds a woman to marry who’s willing to do it?

So am I right to be shocked and just a little appaled that some people are too lazy to learn how to operate a washing machine and dryer? Or am I the crazy one, abused by my parents for having to do my own laundry at the tender age of 12?

I’m 18 (just graduated from high school), and I’ve been doing my own laundry for about a year. I’m really glad I learned how before leaving home.

The mother should have made him do it. He’s using her machines for free!

I don’t understand the “teaching” part of laundry. Teach him how to turn on the machine. That’s about all there is to it.

I’ve known, intellectually, how to do laundry since I was in maybe sixth grade; I don’t do it often now because I’m living at my parents’ house, where the washer & dryer are in the basement & are thus inaccessible to me.

I did, however, do my own laundry while I was living in the dorms & could easily get to a washer & dryer.

Since I was a kid, I helped doing laundry, both mine and my parents. Since I moved out 3 years ago, I do it by myself.

You are right to be shocked. Doing laundry is one of the easiest chores to learn, you’d think the parents would teach the kids that one fairly soon.

I started doing my own laundry at some time in high school or maybe even junior high…I honestly don’t remember how old I was but certainly by the time I left for college at 17 I had been doing it for a while.

I remember being amazed that some people I met at school had never done their own laundry.

We kids already folded laundry when we were in elementary school. After my mom moved out when I was nine it wasn’t long before I was also running the washing machine and dryer. I couldn’t pin down the exact month and year, though.

By that time I also knew how to make scrambled eggs, waffles, toast (of course), coffee, and a few other things.

I remember having a friend in high school who didn’t even know where to find the peanut butter in her kitchen. Her mom still made her lunches.

Sorry I just gotta ask…are you kept chained in your bedroom? Is the basement where your 'rents keep their S & M gear and they don’t want you touching it? I’m sure there is some dreadfully mundane reason why your parents basement is off-limits for ya even though you are living there, but for the life of me I can’t imagine why. Indulge my curiosity?

To the OP, I’ve been doing my own laundry since I was 14…went to prep school and they’d only do the school sheets and blankets which sucked and no one used, so I learned to do my own laundry. I remember my first week at college having to teach someone how to use the machines and just screaming in my head at the idea anyone could make it into college and yet not know to pull out the little dial thingy to start a machine.


In a household, it makes sense to throw everyone’s laundry in together, and sort it out afterwards. However, when I went off to college, my mother decided to do laundry on her schedule. The first time I came home with my bag full of dirty laundry, she pointed to the washer and said “detergent’s on the shelf.”

I’ve been doing my own washing/ironing/mending since I was about 15. My mother taught each of us (boys and girls) all of the basics such as operating a washing machine, ironing shirts, sewing on buttons, darning socks and then told us it was our responsibility from then on. She said that we’d be very grateful to her for giving us the skills, and she was absolutely right.

Well, I’ve been “helping” with the laundry since I was very little. First just folding towels and stuff. Then taking my turn at doing the household’s laundry. Everyone’s stuff was all thrown in together. Started doing “my own” laundry when I moved out.

It’s that’s way in my household now. All our clothes and towels and stuff are sorted together by loads (whites, colors, etc). Even my 5 yo son helps by folding towels and some of his clothes and putting his own clothes away. When Charlie is older he will take his turn at doing the household laundry as well.

I started doing my own laundry the summer going into 6th grade, because I was going to a summer camp where we’d have to do our own laundry. Since then, I’ve found it most convienant to do my own (meaning, my mom would do it for me but on her schedule - if I, say, needed/wanted a particular thing washed sooner, tough.)

I thought most boys started doing laundry as soon as they were able to make their sheets sticky?


She uses a wheelchair. I’d assume her parents’ house doesn’t have an elevator.

I’ve been doing laundry since I was a little kid. I don’t quite understand what’s so hard about operating a washer and dryer that some people couldn’t figure it out simply by looking at what it says on the panel, around the big white knob.

Bah…and I was gonna mess with Twiddle for a little while! :wink:

In any case, yes, Green Bean nailed it - I use a manual wheelchair & cannot walk without assistance - & even then, not far. While I could conceivably manage a flight of stairs if I really had to, I certainly couldn’t do it with a bag or basket of laundry. Hence, the washer & dryer are inaccessible to me.

And I’m the one with the S&M gear, thank you! :smiley:

I started about the time I wanted my mom to quit finding what was in my pockets - probably around seventh grade. bluethree mentioned preparing meals; my parents did not usually arise before I left for school, so I had learned to fry or boil eggs, make toast, etc. by sometime in early elementary school (and wash dishes).

Should the OP be shocked? That’s a separate question from that of when we all started washing clothes, I think. I say that just because, while I was surprised to encounter the phenomenon, I did know several people in college who took their laundry home to mom.

While we’re on the subject, I did the laundromat for about a year after splitting up (the washing machine left with the SO), and then began just letting the wash and fold service do it. I haven’t done my own laundry in a few years now.

Sorry, dear heart. I just couldn’t help myself. I wanted to make sure Twiddle commenced squirming as soon as possible. :stuck_out_tongue:

I do hope she explains one thing–how is it that she thought that “Cosmo is chained to a radiator” or “Cosmo’s parents have an S&M parlor in the basement” were more likely scenarios than “Cosmo has mobility problems.” Perhaps she’s been watching too much Law & Order: Special Victims Unit??

I started doing my own laundry when I started to care about what I wore. Probably fifth or sixth grade.
My kids understand we have three hampers for each of the groups of clothes ( colors, whites and jeans ) they are expected to put their dirty clothes in the hampers. I am the one that throws the clothes in the washer/dryer, they have to put their own clothes away when they are folded/hung up. I help my 4 year old, as she can not hang her own clothes. Instead of having a drawer for her jeans, she has a shelf and she can put her own jeans away.
As soon as I find it necessary to enlist them for more household help, they will learn how to do the laundry. ( It’s really not hard to measure the detergent and turn a knob.)

Lets just say that I’m familiar with the Thor model 52 with them new fangled electric wringers.