Why you can’t afford to do your own laundry

I refuse to do laundry.

That’s a bit of an overstatement, but I really, really hate to do the wash, and I really, really hate the fold.

The sorting and cycling and hauling of this never-ending chore so tedious, so mundane and omnipotent that it's a joke for moms everywhere.

Except that it will make you poor. Nothing funny about that!

There are two ways I have other, better launders take over my laundry:

Until the past few months, every week I spent about $25 to have a very nice man from a local laundry service come to my apartment, take way a giant black bag full of soiled garments and return them to me folded, sorted and often still dryer-warm.

The same day.

Outsourcing laundry and house chores will save you time and your sanity

Not every zip code has these amazing wash-and-fold services, but you can find someone to do your laundry in your home through sites like Care.com.

That same bag full of laundry would cost me about $8 to do in the coin laundry, including detergent (I live in a New York City apartment) each week.

I figure it would also cost about $10 per week if I had my own washer and dryer, factoring in said detergent, water, electricity, and wear and tear on a Maytag.

Lately, however, I have been paying my weekly housekeeper, Sandra, an extra $20 to take on the task.

I also pay for the coin laundry and detergent, but by having Sandra means that I am saved the extra task of rounding up all my filthy things, or even putting away the clean items.

Plus, I prefer that Sandra (of whom I am very fond) earns the money over the laundry service (nothing personal guys, you do great work! But I don't know you personally).

If you live in my area, give me a shout and I am happy to refer Sandra!

Otherwise, check out Care.com for some great options.

But all this outsourcing really isn’t about the saved $15 or the extra $15 or the wear and tear.

Wash and fold service is about economizing time and energy.

Investing in laundry service makes me richer because it makes me happier.

Most people adamantly refuse to get this.

I found this suggested laundry schedule on Unclutter.com.

These “experts” suggest a routine dedicated to running your washer and dryer every day of the week – your big break being Sunday when you are permitted to lazily launder your delicates:

Monday: Launder all the sheets from all three beds. (1 load)
Tuesday: Launder child #1 and child #2′s clothing. (1-2 loads)
Wednesday: Launder adult’s clothing. (1-2 loads)
Thursday: Launder towels. (2 loads)
Friday: Launder child #1 and child #2′s clothing. (1-2 loads)
Saturday: Launder adult’s clothing. (1-2 loads)
Sunday: Rest, or launder a load of delicates.

Now, if you could skip this whole mess for the wee sum of $25, would you?

What if you invested just half all those loaded hours in your career, a business or freelance gigs?

That $25 weekly could be worth thousands monthly. Take it from me.

We haven’t even mentioned the happy factor. Some people just love laundry.

I have never met one of these people, and I suspect I would not like her.

For me, wiping laundry off my weekly to-do list has been the most incredibly liberating exercise.

Before, it was a constant gnat swarming around my mind – what was clean when, when would I schedule a load, when to haul the dripping sheets into the dryer and to remember to take out my lacey things for an air dry.

Now, I spend a fraction of that mental energy to coordinate a single pick-up and drop off, and to make sure I have enough singles in my wallet to tip out the delivery guy.

All this laundry business is but a metaphor for how I like to live my life.

A way of life

My friend Laura Vanderkam is a time management expert, and wrote 168 Hours: You Have More Time than You Think, and she convinced me of the importance of outsourcing the mundane tasks that can take over life.

When you are a single mom, money and time are especially precious.

Our professional lives, our kids and we ourselves simply cannot be weighed down by regrouting the tub (unless that is your thing, of course) or keeping your kids chonies sparkling white.

You are better than that.

When I get on my soapbox about this topic, I often hear people – and by “people,” I mean “women” – who whine:

“Oh, but I feel like doing laundry is just a part of life. I’d feel guilty for sending it out.”


“I feel it is my duty as a parent to teach my kids to mop the floor.”

To these lame arguments, I counter:

“Do you feel guilty for using a dishwasher, instead of cleaning every grimy fork and sippy cup by hand?”

“Do you think Barack Obama does his own laundry? Why not? Because he has more important things to do! So do you!”

“Really? Do you really think that your child will grow up incapable of knowing how to mop a floor in an emergency? For real?”

Today, in addition to my laundry service, I have a handyman on speed dial for various projects, and a power drill, bottle of 409 and common sense for times when I find myself in a pinch.

Sure, I could do these things myself.

Instead, I use the time these services afford me to build my business, enjoy my kids, lavish in a constantly-more-or-less-clean home and just chill out.

Check out this infographic on how you can pay someone to do just about anything — as well as compelling stats on why it is simply silly not to:

How to outsource your life

Check out this related podcast:

Why are women so sanctimonious about laundry?



emma johnson family
Emma Johnson

Emma Johnson is a veteran money journalist, noted blogger, bestselling author and an host of the award-winning podcast, Like a Mother with Emma Johnson. A former Associated Press Financial Wire reporter and MSN Money columnist, Emma has written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Glamour, Oprah.com, U.S. News, Parenting, USA Today and others. Her #1 bestseller, The Kickass Single Mom (Penguin), was named to the New York Post's ‘Must Read” list.

Emma regularly comments on issues of modern families, gender equality, divorce, sex and motherhood for outlets like CNN, Headline News, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Fox & Friends, CNBC, NPR, TIME, MONEY, O, The Oprah Magazine and The Doctors. She was named Parents magazine’s “Best of the Web,” “Top 15 Personal Finance Podcasts” by U.S. News, and a “Most Eligible New Yorker” by New York Observer.

A popular speaker, Emma presented at the United Nations Summit for Gender Equality. Read more about Emma here.

About Emma Johnson

Emma Johnson is a veteran money journalist, noted blogger, bestselling author and an host of the award-winning podcast, Like a Mother with Emma Johnson. A former Associated Press Financial Wire reporter and MSN Money columnist, Emma has written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Glamour, Oprah.com, U.S. News, Parenting, USA Today and others. Her #1 bestseller, The Kickass Single Mom (Penguin), was named to the New York Post's ‘Must Read” list. Emma regularly comments on issues of modern families, gender equality, divorce, sex and motherhood for outlets like CNN, Headline News, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Fox & Friends, CNBC, NPR, TIME, MONEY, O, The Oprah Magazine and The Doctors. She was named Parents magazine’s “Best of the Web,” “Top 15 Personal Finance Podcasts” by U.S. News, and a “Most Eligible New Yorker” by New York Observer. A popular speaker, Emma presented at the United Nations Summit for Gender Equality. Read more about Emma here.


  1. Laura Vanderkam on October 5, 2012 at 11:36 am

    I love it. The infographic is awesome. Yes, I’ve heard all sorts of reasons for why outsourcing laundry is terrible, but I think that copied schedule from unclutter just about sums it up. Do you want to be doing this every single day of your life? That also seems like a lot of laundry. We have three kids and it doesn’t involve that many loads.

    • Emma on October 5, 2012 at 1:28 pm

      I thought that seemed like a lot of laundry. But I also think people are too clean and over-launder. Nothing wrong with wearing most of your clothes multiple times between washes, for example. Economic, time and environmental factors make strong arguments for this.

    • Anne on October 11, 2015 at 8:31 pm

      I laughed so hard when I read this. My (now) ex traveled Mon-Fri, making me essentially a single mom even when we were together. On the weekends, his big thing was to do laundry. It was one of the few household chores he did (that and mowing the lawn). The downside was, he never put away a thing. There would be towers of clean, folded laundry in the laundry room each Sunday. After we separated, I took over. I discovered the joy of combining whites and darks (no bleeding… so much simpler) and I thought I was doing great, even though laundry is one of those chores I find soul-sucking (something about how it never, ever ends…) Then my kids informed me that I only do their wash about once a month. (In my defense, I do put their wash away!) Well, no one has died, and we haven’t had a visit from social services, because apparently we have enough clothing to last us a good month without washing. And the kids are welcome to do their laundry whenever they want. So I don’t feel too bad about it. An ongoing theme between my ex and I was about outsourcing (never thought about laundry… but I will be looking into that!) He was home so little; I felt it was ridiculous that he spent time mowing the lawn (which can be outsourced quite economically). I wanted him to spend time with me and the kids. That didn’t happen; now we are divorced, and I have even less time to spend with my kids. So I am happily outsourcing what I can economically (yes — I too have a Handyman on speed dial). I still feel stressed out — there is never enough time — but I am so much more in control of what I chose to take on and what I pay someone else to do. I’m so glad I stumbled on this blog. Emma — your insights are right on target for me.

    • Matthew Webb on September 12, 2016 at 10:18 am

      Wait, what infographic? :( and which schedule? So far I’ve only read about how it sucks (agree) and how it will make you poor (also agree).

      Sincerely, an overworked stay-at-home dad.

  2. Linda Formichelli on October 5, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    Love it! I’m a freelance writer and I have a virtual assistant (max $400 per month) and a transcriptionist (about 90 cents per audio minute). There are SO many thing I could be doing instead of transcribing my own interviews (I’m a terrible typist), formatting and finding photos for blog posts, setting up my e-course emails, and scheduling phone calls…like doing work that earns more money or homeschooling my preschooler. Partly thanks to outsourcing, I work just 20 hours per week but still earn full-time income.

    But guess what…I LIKE doing laundry! The part I hate is folding, and my husband is happy to do that. :)

    BTW…Laura Vanderkam, you know I love your books and blogs!

  3. Jennifer on October 5, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    Really interesting stuff. (I’ll admit I scanned the infographic for now; will come back and digest later).

    I agree completely that many women would be better off, financially and emotionally, by investing some of their mundane task time into their careers. I’m also a bit jealous about the guy who comes to pick up and do your laundry. Guys like that don’t exist in small-town WI. ;)

    That said, you reminded me that I need to throw a load of laundry in. Like Linda, I don’t mind laundry; in fact, it’s the household chore I least dislike. (But I very happily outsource my transcribing, and lawn care duties)

    • Emma on October 5, 2012 at 1:26 pm

      Jennifer- laundry services are becoming increasingly common all over the country. Ask your local dry cleaner, or ask around — maybe someone in your community might be inspired to start their own laundry service out of their home!

      • UncommonSensesc on September 26, 2013 at 1:12 am

        For the past couple of weeks, that’s what I’ve been thinking about tryingt – starting a laundry service out of my home! When I was little (pre-school) my mother took in washings and ironings to bring in the income but still be able to be home with me. I still remember people coming to the house to pick up their freshly folded and ironed clothes!

      • Matt Nelko on December 3, 2014 at 4:02 am

        Most residential zoning ordinances prohibit such services being operated out of private homes.

        • Dana on September 30, 2015 at 5:40 pm

          Maybe they do, maybe they don’t. I doubt you have personally examined the laws in every single municipality in the United States, never mind anywhere else. A lot of the time when local laws prohibit businesses run out of homes due to the zoning, what they actually mean is they don’t want you making a storefront out of your home. If YOU go pick up the laundry and YOU take it back to the customer, that’s quite different. But don’t take my word for it. Look up your local zoning laws yourself–they will be at least somewhat different everywhere you go.

  4. Observacious on October 5, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    It’s hard for me to schedule laundry since it tends to be prompted by “accidents” either those evidenced by plastic bags sent home from daycare or those that cause me to remake a toddler’s bed at 3 in the morning. I also don’t like strangers touching my underwear. I’d happily welcome a maid service though!

    • Emma on October 5, 2012 at 1:25 pm

      Oh boy, you need to get over that and outsource! Maybe you can send out *most* of your laundry, and do an occasional load of your delicates and poopy pants when needed?

  5. Susan Johnston on October 5, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    I have a washer and dryer in my apartment building and rarely have to wait to use it, so I don’t consider laundry to be much of a chore because I watch TV on Hulu while I fold clothes (I’ve also found that most of my clothes don’t bleed so separating whites and colors is pointless, which makes laundry even easier). But in a previous apartment, when the washer was temporarily broken and I would have had to drag my clothes to a laundromat, I gladly paid the extra money for a laundry service (it felt pleasantly indulgent). If I had kids and/or if I didn’t have easy access to laundry facilities, I would be more inclined to send it out.

  6. Tammie Elliott on October 6, 2012 at 10:24 am

    I have been “outsourcing” my heavy lawn work for awhile and it is well worth the $40 I spend to have someone else do the weed-eating and trim work. I don’t mind doing the laundry, but WINDOWS are another story.

    As an author-with-a-day-job, the advice to outsource more of the mundane tasks is an eye-opener. I am going to sit down and make a list of things I don’t need to be doing myself. And thank you for all the resources!

    • Emma on October 9, 2012 at 6:37 am

      Tammie – Please check back in and let us know how this new life philosophy works for you. Curious to see!

  7. Karen on October 6, 2012 at 11:31 am

    I don’t actually mind doing laundry within reason, but I agree that schedule from unclutter.com is truly stupid. It makes much more sense to sort items by color and/or washing temperature and do them all together that way. For a while I had my nanny washing the kids’ clothing 2X a week. She washed everything together in cold water and it didn’t get very clean. Now we no longer have a nanny and I do the laundry, but what I’m finding is that I can do a load of “whites” once a week, and include everyone’s socks, and the white towels and other linens. There are fewer loads and it all gets much cleaner. Is there any real purpose to keeping the adult and kid laundry separate and that in turn separate from the towels?

    • Emma on October 9, 2012 at 6:36 am

      Karen – just reading your post made me feel overwhelmed. I find the organization associated with laundry as tiresome as the actual chore. Send that stuff out!!

      • Karen on October 9, 2012 at 9:41 am

        Emma, that’s actually where I have trouble with outsourcing a lot of things: the organization. When I “outsourced” the laundry to my nanny it was organized in a stupid way and didn’t get the clothes very clean. I could have tried to organize first and then delegate–told her that she needed to do the laundry in a certain way, defined by me–but that would have left me with the organizing and micromanaging, a task I find even more unpleasant than laundry.

        And who puts away the clothes when you get them back from the service? For me, putting away the clothes is the job I hate most. When I wasn’t involved in the laundry, I’d stumble upon drawers and closets crammed with old, too-small, damaged, or out of season clothes that the kids never wore. The kids or the nanny would just stuff the clean clothes into the drawers on top of the old clothes and the drawers sometimes wouldn’t even close properly. Then we had to do this big clean-out chore at an inconvenient time.

        Now that I handle the laundry I’m actually aware of what needs to be mended or replaced or put away for the season, promptly, and it never gets to that point of a big, overwhelming mess, even when I outsource the putting away of the laundry to my kids.

    • Michelle on August 3, 2014 at 8:12 pm

      There is a reason to separate out towels – if you use fabric softener on them, they become less absorbent.

      • Dana on September 30, 2015 at 5:42 pm

        They’re also rough on your softer clothes. I try to be mindful of what I wash jeans with for the same reason.

    • June on September 27, 2016 at 7:11 pm

      Totally agree!
      People who do mixed washes do not realise how dingy white they become after multiple washes!

  8. Carrie on October 7, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    Ha! I outsource all my laundry, to my 14 year old for $10 a week. And it’s a lot of laundry too – we have 7 kids and the baby is in cloth diapers ;)

    • Emma on October 9, 2012 at 6:34 am

      Carrie – I love it. You’re getting a bargain!

    • Mariela on September 26, 2014 at 1:16 pm

      You are a genius!

    • Richard on April 9, 2016 at 7:50 am

      Nice to give a 14 year old a job, but $10 a week?1 That exploitation. Let me guess, the 14 year old is the oldest, and is assigned the chore of assisting with care of the younger kids too. Well, that kid will hit the road as soon as he/she turns 18. It is a familiar story.

      • Suzanne on January 13, 2017 at 5:53 pm

        “That kid” will know how to hold a job and care about others by the time he/she is 18 and so will be able to afford to start an adult life right on time, while the peers play video games in their parents basements (which are not being used for laundry)

  9. Toni South on October 8, 2012 at 10:46 pm

    That schedule from Unclutter.com stressed me out! As I sit here on the couch with two loads of unfolded clothes sitting next to me, I had to laugh. I despise laundry and this article is just genius. I definitely need to be outsourcing laundry. That infographic is great!

    • Emma on October 9, 2012 at 5:59 am

      Right?! Unclutter really should be ashamed – their mission it to help readers make their lives EASIER! Gah!

  10. Judy on October 10, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    I outsource all my laundry. It goes out on Wed AM and comes back Wed evening. On Wed evening, I get 5 laundry baskets and sort the laundry into the 5 baskets for each of the 5 members of the household. On Thu, my cleaning lady puts the 3 kids laundry from those baskets into drawers and closets. I used to outsource the sorting, but for some reason no one but me can tell the difference between my clothes and my daughter’s clothes!

  11. oilandgarlic on October 11, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    That laundry schedule you mentioned is ridiculous. No one ever mentions the ultimate way to “outsource” if you’re married or partnered up, have the spouse do his own damn laundry. it works for my household and I recently shocked 2 friends when I mentioned it casually, so I had to write a post about this magical feat. haha…


    • Dana on September 30, 2015 at 5:44 pm

      My daughter’s dad is my roommate thanks to various aspects of my life situation plus the economy, and I’m like this with him too. Dude, I never see your underwear anymore… I sure as heck am not going to wash it! Of course then I have to make sure to do my and my daughter’s laundry during the week because if I forget and go to do it on the weekends I hear “I need to do a load after you”. Even if it’s Sunday evening and he’s had two full days to get his stuff done. Then he backlogs and it’s somehow my fault. He sleeps on the same floor/level as the laundry room, mind you. Doesn’t even have to go up or down stairs to get it done.

  12. Kelly Damian on October 12, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    I think whether or not to outsource your laundry depends heavily on where you live. If you are in an apartment in an urban area where you don’t have your own washer/dryer then, yes, that makes sense. I live in the suburbs and have tried to outsource my laundry, but it was a bigger hassle than doing it myself. I had to drop it off, then remember to pick it up at a certain time, then everything had to be sorted out and put away. I work from home now and its no big deal to cycle through all the laundry during work breaks. I do what makes sense for my situation. Does that make me stupid? I would say no, quite the opposite.

    • Emma on October 12, 2012 at 1:19 pm

      Point taken.

  13. tracy on October 15, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    after living in nyc for 7 years – nothing is cheaper than ny laundromats! wish there was an equivalent in boston!

  14. Rachel, backngroovemom on October 23, 2012 at 6:12 am

    Funny – I was just in NYC over the weekend and we were all so envious of this service! I agree – it is a win/win however, in Pittsburgh – we will be the last one to get this at a competitive price!

    The inforgraphic is fab.

  15. Ellie on April 21, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    I live in NYC and have no washer/dryer. I do have a clothes line and enjoy the smell of sun-dried clothes and how much longer my clothes last line-dried. In the winter I still air dry by hanging a line in the apt. The issue is lugging the laundry 3-4 blocks to the laundromat. And it piles up so quickly. However, I have been dissatisfied with services that lose or shrink my clothes. You also still have to manage the task of a service, it’s not just a 1 minute thing – you have to schedule, wait for someone to pick up/drop off, have cash for tips, etc. I have yet to find someone that will do it the way i do it. What about delicates and clothes that you don’t put in the dryer? I don’t want to keep buying clothes/sheets/towels more often b/c they ALWAYS overdry and ruin/lose my stuff. If i choose to splurge on a $175 pair of jeans, I’d rather them not come back too small or not come back at all!

    • Emma on April 21, 2013 at 9:19 pm

      Ellie – very true. My latest mantra has been: “The ticket to happy motherhood is not owning a single thing you give a shit about.” I like having nice things as much as the next person, but sometimes it is easier not to.

  16. Grace on May 3, 2013 at 11:01 am

    Your condescending attitude makes anything you say, even if it were valuable, hard to digest. There are people out there who enjoy performing these tasks for their family. There are people who cannot afford to “outsource” these tasks to others. There are people who do not live in areas where these services are available. And, believe it or not, there are people who gain happiness not from dumping these responsibilities off on others but by completing them ourselves for our family and with our family. My three year old daughter “helps” me wash dishes, fold laundry, sweep, and cleans up after herself. As she grows up, she will be trusted with more complicated chores. And she will hopefully grow into a responsible, hard working adolescent and then adult who can take care of herself all the time (and not just in emergencies).

    • Nathan on August 9, 2013 at 10:19 am

      Grace- I am in complete agreement with you!! I stumbled across this post while researching attitudes towards domestic labour and the outsourcing of domestic labour by american women (incuding the trend of hiring other women to raise your children, essentially importing love from the third world hah). The attitude expressed by this ‘blog-writer’ reflects more than just snobbery and ignorance, but a dangerous and self-serving attitude. sadly this attitude is rewarded in consumer society; it allows individuals to feel entitled to a life of comfort and ease, usually achieved through spending patterns (purchasing either products or someone else’s labour). Her position on this subject is the product of decades of marketing and advertising initiatives – so in a way, it’s not her fault that she is part of this gross trend.. though at the same time, it’s always disappointing to witness such a lack of critical thinking

      Like many of us in the west, this ‘author’ probably likes to think of herself as a ‘clever’ person who understands the economy, labour relations, poverty, and a whole myriad of broad and complex topics that require serious study. ‘Most’ americans -and most people around the world, for that matter- must perform unplesant tasks as part of their daily lives, in order to simply survive. this may include doing your own laundry, or mining for diamonds, it’s all relative… This women needs some perspective and some serious sensitivity-training!

      • Ash on November 2, 2013 at 9:00 pm

        There’s a reason why this website is called ‘wealthysinglemommy.com’. By outsourcing cheaper, more mundane tasks, you can build a richer life both in wealth and emotional satisfaction. To both the commentors above, I would assume that you are not wealthy. The wealthiest people in life have no time to spend on mundane chores like laundry etc as their time is more valuable than what it would cost to outsource these tasks. Before criticizing the author, I would look at her rationale. I totally agree with her and plan to outsource my own laundry so I can spend that time building up a business – not only would I enjoy that more than doing laundry, but I expect that it would earn me more than the $20 or so per week that it would cost me to use a laundry service.

        • Emma on November 4, 2013 at 10:27 pm

          Why Ash, thanks so much! Let us know what you accomplish with all your newfound time!

        • Elena on March 29, 2014 at 3:09 pm

          While the economics make sense, her delivery in condoning those who do laundry as “stupid” is offensive. No one is entitled to that subjugation even if you are not “wealthy”. I can tell you just by reading this woman’s blog that although she might be rich and educated, her character leaves something to be desired. I am a teenager myself and I would never treat another person, especially an older person that way. Her demeaning attitude and condescension as the wealthy mother who deserves a better quality of life than the rest is insulting.

          • Leigh on January 5, 2016 at 7:32 pm

            Totally agree! While I get that for the weathly it makes sense to outsource your laundry, her tone in this piece is very demeaning. Just because some people can’t afford outsourcing or just don’t mind doing their own laundry doesn’t mean they are stupid. If it wasn’t for the snobby tone of voice and self entitled attitude this would be a half decent article.

            • Dixie Burge on April 10, 2016 at 10:09 pm

              Thank you, Leigh. Totally agree with you. The very title of this article begs the exact criticism you have bestowed upon it!

      • Muffy on August 28, 2016 at 7:53 pm

        Nathan, I’m inclined to think that, if you are a husband, you feel entitled to assign all household and most child care tasks to your wife. “No pain, no gain” is probably your mantra — the pain, of course, being entirely reserved for the female sex. Once upon a time, you’d have been labeled a dime store Caesar. These days, dollar store Caesar would be just as accurate. I’d say you are also in need of some perspective and some serious sensitivity training.

  17. Normanbosworth on May 26, 2013 at 11:52 am

    How much laundry do u send out too be washed

  18. Ronnie on June 19, 2013 at 11:45 pm


    I’m from Hawaii and we don’t have to many of the mobile laundry services that will pick up and drop off. For that, my sister and I had started our Wash, Dry and Fold business and we are labeling it as your “Personal Laundry Concierge”. Of course, if you are able too, outsourcing your entire life is a great idea. I have 4 adults, 1 toddler and a 1 year old in my household. Laundry is a CHORE for most people that don’t have the time to allocate for this reason, we wash once a week and the laundry is super piled high.

    We then took a look at our community with a Laundromat that offers a Wash, Dry and Fold service but, no pick up or delivery. We have a senior living complex in our community with a common laundry area and waiting for the washer or dryer is like the college students that are dorm life. The elderly, most are not able to drive, or are not mobile to do their own laundry. So, we opened our business to help others in our community and others.

    Outsourcing is a good thing for the elderly, college students and everyone in general.

    • Debbie on October 13, 2017 at 5:37 pm

      AS A resident of a senior community and it is a struggle to take laundry to the car , bring it back, ALL THE WAY BACK DOWN THE LONG LONG HALL and then take a break before I can think about putting them away I am trying to make it on 958.00 a month and I will gladly give up something to get my laundry outsourced.

  19. Krzysztof Grabka on December 5, 2013 at 10:40 am

    All of these ideas make two massive assumptions: 1) You earn more than $40/hr, and 2) 100% of your time not spent doing chores is spent earning income. Both of these assumptions are incorrect for 98% of the world’s population. The opportunity cost for doing 4 hours of housework on a Saturday afternoon for someone working a M-F 8-6 is $0. Please don’t attempt to mask “I’m lazy” with “you’re stupid”, as it only applies in a privileged few situations, and is quite frankly insulting to everyone else.

    • Heather on December 18, 2014 at 1:13 pm

      The post’s title is blatantly obvious clickbait. I knew this as I was clicking on it, much to my own chagrin.

    • cacama on October 9, 2015 at 1:18 am

      THANK YOU! Sweet Jesus!

    • Ronen on February 21, 2016 at 11:43 pm

      Well written, it’s just laziness and stupidity. She just have to put clothes in the machine once in two weeks. It’s not like she needs do wash it by hand. And she is stupid to wash clothes after one wear if they are still clean and smells OK.

  20. Marilyn Donaldson on December 13, 2013 at 10:37 am

    Watch who your calling stupid you bitch.

    • Emma on December 13, 2013 at 10:45 am

      Watch the grammar, darling.

      • Leslie on April 24, 2015 at 4:38 pm

        You’re just a rich stupid cunt!

        • Emma on April 27, 2015 at 3:54 pm

          awww .. thanks!

  21. Roger@lifelaidout on January 18, 2014 at 8:09 am

    Hi Emma, thanks for the great article! It was extremely helpful in pushing my wife and I to 1) outsource our laundry and 2) outsource our cleaning. We decided to do so in order to get those 4-5 hours back each week and not have laundry/cleaning keep us from making Sunday afternoon plans.

    Though we may not be printing money during this new found free time, it has allowed us to cook our own meals instead of outsourcing that to Seamless. As a result, we’ve been able to eat healthier and better food, learn a new skill, and all while saving money over ordering takeout. We figure the savings we gain from cooking goes towards our cleaning/laundry fees. So worth it!

    • Emma on January 19, 2014 at 12:11 pm

      @Roger – LOVE THIS!!! Perfect example of how outsourcing the right tasks — and in-sourcing others — makes your overall quality of life and finances better. Keep us posted!

  22. Rick on January 25, 2014 at 4:39 pm

    Hi Emma – My entire business is predicated exactly on what you wrote…people need to be conscious on the value of their time… For those who choose to do it themselves…that’s fine too.. everyone I know in NYC has a kitchen in their home…doesn’t mean they cook in it every night…for me ordering delivery of any kind always helps reduce anxiety’s…it’s a great feeling to be able to spend your money the way you feel fit…I have all types of socioeconomic customers that range from Park Avenue families to single moms to family’s living in NYC Housing projects…they all say the same thing about laundry…They hate doing it and would rather spend more time doing something else…Whether they spend that time working in an office, digging ditches earning OT or reading a book to their 4 year old child… is their call and only that individual knows the true value of doing those things…Personally I’d much rather bike ride with my children then cook, clean and/or definitely do my laundry!

    • Emma on January 27, 2014 at 12:03 am

      Really great insights Rick – thank you for liberating New Yorkers to have great, clean and sweet-smelling lives!

  23. Aurora on February 27, 2014 at 6:09 pm

    how about the amount of money people spend on laundry services?

    • Emma on February 28, 2014 at 2:43 pm

      It’s a cost-benefit analysis: If it costs you 3 hours weekly to do the wash, but costs you $30 to send it out — that is $10 per hour. But if you bill more than that at your business — or stand to get a raise if you use those three hours to learn new skills, earn a degree, etc., it is worth the investment.

      • ana on October 15, 2014 at 4:29 pm

        my hubby used to spend $50 per week in washing clothes and dry cleaning services (lots of ironing shirts for business meetings) the clothes always smelled a funny mildewy smell – I hated it, and the ironing wasn’t top – we timed ourselves once for fun – 10 shirts – perfectly ironed in 30 minutes while watching a show – if one wants to be efficient and save money – there are ways to do it. We spend out time cooking together and do lots of activities with our son…

  24. Jennifer on April 12, 2014 at 3:51 am

    I have literally never heard of anyone doing this (until now). I suppose if you don’t have a washer/dryer in your house, it might be worth it to not have to go to the laundrymat, but otherwise it seems extremely wasteful and kind of pointless. It literally takes about five minutes to fold laundry, and you can easily do other things while the load is washing/drying. How exactly is that worth $100 a month? I don’t even have that kind of cash just floating around waiting to be spent, but if I did I really don’t think I could justify spending it on something that I could do for a fraction of the cost at home.

    • Emma on April 22, 2014 at 5:22 pm

      But Jennifer, if you spent those hours on a business or building a career you would EARN so much more money that would build on itself over the rest of your life. It’s about focusing on BUILDING WEALTH opposed to saving a few dollars.

      • Matt Nelko on December 3, 2014 at 4:17 am

        This is a typical fallacy that rich people like toss out there: “My time as a X professional is worth much more than $10/hour, so I shall do household tasks nevermore!” Of course, let’s be honest; is that lawyer REALLY going to use that “laundry time” on Saturday morning to instead bill $245/hour to a client (that he’s not already presumably padding the invoices with already)?? All this other “billable” work that could be done, let’s face it, isn’t really. And let’s not forget the intangible benefits of doing housework. Any successful creative professional will tell you that you can’t have your brain going full steam every waking hour of the day; only during those breaks of monotonous physical labor can it recharge, refocus, and in fact rediscover and CREATE. There is also a deep sense of satisfaction and appreciation in getting on one’s own hands and knees and scrubbing his or her own bathroom and kitchen floors. It keeps us all grounded — and dare I even say HUMBLE? If there’s one thing this world could certainly use these days is a lot more humility.

        • Muffy on August 28, 2016 at 8:13 pm

          @Matt Nelko — “If there’s one thing this world could certainly use these days is a lot more humility.” Have at it, Matt.

  25. carrie on May 2, 2014 at 8:54 pm

    I just still don’t see it. It really doesn’t take that long at all. I do it in my FREE TIME and it only takes a minute to throw it in and I talk to my daughter or watch tv for the ten minutes it takes to fold. I don’t have to leave work early to do laundry or anything, so I don’t see how paying someone to do your laundry makes you money.

  26. Tim on June 6, 2014 at 2:10 pm

    Reading through all the posts we see two categories, those that enjoy laundry and those that despise it! Here is an idea. Those that despise can outsource and spend that valuable time making money elsewhere. Those that enjoy it can turn it into an income stream by plugging into an existing company that hires individuals to pickup, wash and fold, then deliver.

    Everybody is happy!

    • Emma on June 8, 2014 at 12:29 pm

      What Tim said!! If you really love sorting, washing and folding, God bless. I think you are an alien, but whatever. The rest of us? Call Tim!

  27. gg on June 12, 2014 at 1:39 pm

    We don’t make our own clothes!? We don’t bake our own bread, make yogurt, milk the cow, raise chickens (and kill them), raise our own potatoes! etc

    (for the most part – although I have been known to make my own laundry soap)

    Some people just don’t know what it is like to live in the city.
    And for some people their time is worth doing these things themselves.

    The best part – you get to decide!

    Outsource – not outsource.
    Everyone has a choice.
    I am sure there are some rich people who do their own laundry.
    I think this blog post goes hand in hand with the nail salon usage services.
    There are people who would choose to get a weekly mani/pedi and do their own laundry, and there are people who would choose to do otherwise.

    Great thing about having a choice.
    And if you don’t like the usage of the word – stupid on this blog post – you too have a choice not to read it.

  28. gg on June 12, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    Btw, the author is not telling you what to do – she is sharing her experience and reasons why she is doing it.
    If you take it personally – well then …

    Plus, people from different countries – of course your lives are very different than ours.
    But it has nothing to do with being/feeling elitist/entitled.
    It is your perception on what you found on the internet/this particular blog.

    You don’t like it – you’re free not to read it. You don’t have to share your opinion. But you did and it is a testament of respect the author gave YOU for not deleting your posts (cause she could).

    • Emma on June 15, 2014 at 6:37 pm

      All good, all part of the discussion. I find that when people are really irate it is because something they heard resonated with them. All part of the process!

  29. Becky Blades on July 14, 2014 at 10:35 am

    With one side of my mouth, I’m saying “Amen, sister!” and with the other side “My brat kid still needs to do her laundry.” (I wrote a book for launching young women called ‘Do Your Laundry or You’ll Die Alone: Advice Your Mom Would Give if She Thought You Were Listening.’)

    Big aha: I don’t care how she gets it done. But clearly, your way is better. What we want for our daughters is exactly what you advocate. They should be able to put their energy in better places. So I’ll be passing this around. It will confuse people. But they can get over it.

    • Emma on July 14, 2014 at 10:39 am

      ” So I’ll be passing this around. It will confuse people. But they can get over it.”

      Yes, so true. Read the comments – people worry their children will be adults unable to do laundry. Please. Kids are doing higher math in second grade. They can figure out how to work an effing Whirlpool washing machine in a pinch.

      • Matt Nelko on December 3, 2014 at 4:20 am

        And yet, these wiz kids who can “figure out how to work an effing Whirlpool washing machine in a pinch” — never seen to be able to. I work with young professionals and I’m appalled at their lack of simple life skills.

      • Nicole on January 8, 2015 at 11:41 am

        I had to teach a couple of my hall mates how to do laundry in college. One even asked if the water would stain the clothes. And i went to an elite university! So, someone will be teaching them if mom and dad don’t :)

  30. Deb on July 19, 2014 at 11:00 pm

    Quit over washing your clothes and you can do your own laundry. I love the thought of not having my clothes washed in the same washer and dryer as so many others, Ick.

  31. Bobby on July 27, 2014 at 8:00 pm

    According to the infographic, men spend 7.5 hours and women 8.75 hours on household activities. Who has time for that?

    • Matt Nelko on December 3, 2014 at 4:22 am

      People who’ve learned how to set and maintain boundaries with their careers to achieve a healthy work/life balance. Not everyone is a 60-hour-a-week wage slave.

  32. Ryan on August 9, 2014 at 8:45 pm

    If u make $25/hr that’s a weeks worth of take home pay vs doing it yourself $25 vs $10 a weeks… And tbh it costs me $6 to do it every other week bc ill hand wash what I wore to work real quick when I get home before I get in the shower. I will easily save $1,000 dollars as opposed to having someone else do it for me, sounds like a vacation… Although I don’t have kids yet, I think paying them an allowance to do it is a GREAT idea

  33. lolol on August 14, 2014 at 5:54 pm

    Have you guys ever actually been behind the scenes at a full service laundry? Ew.

  34. Michael V. on August 21, 2014 at 11:46 am

    re: “To these lame arguments, I counter: ‘Do you feel guilty for using a dishwasher, instead of cleaning every grimy ork and sippy cup by hand?’ ”

    This would be a good argument if you were talking about washing clothes by hand. After all, do you have someone come to your apartment and take your dirty dishes away?

    • Emma on August 21, 2014 at 7:04 pm

      I’m sorry you are having such a hard time, Michael.

      My ex decided to end the marriage – not me. Thank you for your interest in my story.

    • Mica on August 22, 2014 at 1:55 pm

      I agree with this. The whole “Do you feel guilty for using a dishwasher, instead of cleaning every grimy ork and sippy cup by hand?” is kinda lame Emma.
      My arguement is “I waited so long to live somewhere that I have my own washer and dryer, so I would feel guilty outsourcing it.”
      I also argue about outsourcing my laundry because of this: I make $13 an hour (before taxes), thus a $25 charge is 2 hours worth of wages for me. I have no children, so I probably wouldn’t have to get the laundry done out more than once every 2 weeks, but still, that’s a bit of an expense for me. And sadly, doing the laundry itself isn’t the issue at all. I still would have to do the part(s) I hate: 1) separating clothes into mine and my fiance’s (one of the banes of same-sex couples who are the same size, whose clothing is who’s?) 2) hanging things up in the closet, and 3) sorting and matching the socks (I refuse to let a service do this because they don’t do it RIGHT. I abhor it when one of my socks is baggy and the other is tight around my ankle! Just because they are both white doesn’t make them a pair!!

      However, there ARE tasks I would *LOVE* to outsource, I just can’t find anyone who can/would do them! I wish I could hire someone to come and clean the catbox on a bi-weekly basis. I would pay $50 for that! Or someone to THOROUGHLY clean my bathroom on a monthly basis. The only places I’ve found who will do that want to charge $200 per visit, and when I’ve had them do it (I tried 2 different places) they did a very lackluster job that I ended up having to redo anyway.

      • ana on October 15, 2014 at 4:32 pm

        That is my problem too – if I am going to have to redo someone’s job so you the payer are satisfied – then outsourcing is pointless. Being a perfectionist has its high price. I hate cleaning my bathrooms, but I do know, no one would scrub them the way I do, or leave me satisfied.

        • Emma on October 15, 2014 at 7:59 pm

          I used to get annoyed when I went out to eat (I’m told I am an excellent cook). The quality was never good enough. The prices were outrageous. The service or atmosphere never stood up. But when I chilled out life became so much better. I was an enjoyable dinner companion. I was able to enjoy the evening for what it was — time spent with interesting people, getting a break from my routine and cooking (as much as I love it, everyone needs a break), trying new things and exploring life. I became a more open, joyful and happy person. I was trying to control the entirety of New York City’s restaurant industry, but all I really needed to control was my own bad attitude.

      • ratamacue0 on April 26, 2015 at 4:12 pm

        Plastic liners from the pet store make this an easier task. Also flushable litter (e.g. pine pellets), with the litter box by the toilet, so you can scoop the poop right out daily. (Do keep the amount of litter you actually flush to a minimum, though.)

        • ratamacue0 on April 26, 2015 at 4:15 pm

          ^ That was a reply to Mica about the cat litter, in case it wasn’t obvious..

  35. Matthew S on September 10, 2014 at 6:56 pm

    I feel your comments run true as I do the laundry for the wife n 2 boys and my life after work is cleaning, laundry and kids.

    What is a diplomatic way to ask the stay at home wife to do more at home besides cooking n kid duties for school?

    House is neglected during the day when she is free.

    • Emma on September 12, 2014 at 12:23 pm

      You need to have a real conversation with her as an adult: “I understood our arrangement was that I would earn the money and you would take care of kid and household duties. That isn’t happening and I feel resentful. If this isn’t working for you anymore, how can we change things? Maybe it is time for you to go back to work.”

  36. ana on October 15, 2014 at 4:20 pm

    This is such an utterly first world middle class problem. Another reason why the middle class is shrinking in their earning power, bcs they outsource everything. I have a problem having someone else do my laundry – never cleaned the way I like and spending a fortune for someone to do a mediocre job on ironing. I do not spend money on laundry or dry cleaning (only large coats go to cleaners). I do understand the value of freeing up time, but I NEVER do laundry or iron in the middle of the day. Laundry goes in washer at night on Fri, air dries on Sat outside (goes in drier on wet days) and Sun late when I am watching one of my series, I can do the basics in 40 minutes flat. Sure sometimes I wish I had someone do it, but no one could do the kind of quality work I prefer – it helps to have a hubby who does his equal share of the housework or child rearing. So I get it, if you are a single parent and can afford, and can live with how others do your laundry – by all means do it. More power to you. I will continue to enjoy my perfectly white sheets ironed and towels folded just so, and that gives me great pleasure.

    • Emma on October 15, 2014 at 7:50 pm

      This post has been circulating for two years now, and what I’ve come to understand is that women — usually unconsciously — simply repeat their childhood models of what it means to be a mother, wife and woman — “My mother and grandmother scrubbed the refrigerator every week, that is simply what women do.” All of us — myself included — battle notions ingrained in us since birth about how to do things — raise children, care for a home, be a romantic partner. But as adults it is up to us to take a step back, assess what is really important to us and use our time accordingly. No one on their deathbeds ever says, “You know, I am so glad that I spent all that time scrubbing the house,” or “The one thing I’m really proud of if conquering the folding of fitted sheets.” A friend’s mother — who just turned 80 — recently said to her, “I wish I’d been a more fun mom — I was always so worried about keeping the house clean!”

      As for: “This is such an utterly first world middle class problem. Another reason why the middle class is shrinking in their earning power, bcs they outsource everything.” Could not disagree more.

      Effective delegation of tasks you are overqualified for or can outsource is critical to getting out of poverty, moving from middle to upper-middle class, or growing a small business or giant corporation. To start: If you want to get out off welfare you need to gain professional skills through formal education, training, or start a small business — all of which requires hiring child care for those with young children. You only stand to gain income and and earning potential if you outsource tasks for which you over-qualified for (housekeeping, if you are a professional person) and replace those hours with a higher-paying contract work, or investing in your career so there is an actual ROI on that investment. There is zero inherently wrong with outsourcing if done consciously.

      As I wrote in the post- – if you love laundry — knock yourself out. But I’ll be there are lots of other things you also love doing even more and wish you had more time for. Just sayin.’

      I wrote it in the post, but when I have this debate in person, people always stop short when I point out that no one who is considered a traditional professional success (in that they have a big and lucrative career) does their laundry or scrubs their own toilets. They figured it out. And for not so very much money every week, each of us can figure it out, too.

      As for your admonishment that as a single mother it is somehow permissible for me to live with sub-standard laundering because I don’t have a spouse, well, I will give you the benefit of the doubt that your comments were not intended to be condescending.

  37. HarryBosch on October 15, 2014 at 6:17 pm

    If I lived in the city, I’d consider outsourcing laundry. It doesn’t make sense to do it here in the ‘burbs when there’s a washer & dryer in my house.

    The overall point you’re trying to make is sound, though. I should outsource the yard work when there’s a bunch of lawn services in my area. But I can’t bring myself to do it. I do outsource the stuff that has to be done only occasionally – plumbing work, painting, etc. By the time I go to a big box home improvement store, hunt for what I need, wait in line to pay, and drive back home, I’ve easily lost an hour right there. Might as well outsource it to someone who can do the work better and faster than me.

    • Emma on October 15, 2014 at 7:53 pm

      that’s right

  38. DeDe on October 17, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    I did send my laundry out for awhile but where I live it is almost impossible nowadays to find an affordable and reliable service that won’t destroy our clothes! I live in NYC in Harlem. At one time there was a place that would do your laundry on every other street corner for a fair price and our laundry always came back pristine. All of these places are now GONE because the cost of doing business in NYC makes it impossible for small businesses offering practical and pragmatic services to stay in business. Now we do it ourselves. It’s more affordable I guess and there is something very zen about washing clothing. And it’s also something children should learn to do ( my kids help out now with the laundry. They fold and put their own clothing away– neatly!. They are 9 years old.) I don’t like the idea of them thinking that basic maintenance stuff is below them. It also teaches them to take care of their things. That’s an important lesson.

    • Emma on October 21, 2014 at 8:11 pm

      Yes, Manhattan/NYC prices are insane and it is causing serious problems all over the place. Can you have a housekeeper do it for you?

      As for “I don’t like the idea of them thinking that basic maintenance stuff is below them. It also teaches them to take care of their things. That’s an important lesson.” I agree with this — but at the same time my kids, for example, don’t know how to shovel a walk because we live in a co-op where the super or his assistant do that. That is just the type of lifestyle we live, and I am ok with that.

  39. Kenneth on October 23, 2014 at 7:21 pm

    These charts are great for those who life efficiently and have a lot to manage in a busy world. I’m sure this article has given readers hours they didn’t know they could save. Thanks.

  40. Esi on October 27, 2014 at 10:29 am

    “Here is my story. Share your own thoughts in the comments!”

    :) Thank you. I will.

    Read through all comments after reading, IMHO, your enlightened post, Emma. (“Stupid” seems to have been the best/worst choice!) lol

    I actually enjoy doing laundry. It’s peaceful work, akin, IMO, to tending a garden. (Which I also enjoy but to do either well takes more than the machines one might utilize.)

    I appreciated your wanting to give your housekeeper the option of taking on your household laundry – acknowledging her financial need. Something NO ONE noticeably commented on.

    What I don’t get is, why, if you can afford to pay for such services, wish to prioritze time as you’ve outlined… anyone would take issue?

  41. Emma on October 27, 2014 at 10:32 am

    Thanks Esi! Women take issue because it is not just about fresh panties and clean tank tops — laundry represents their sense of what it means to be a good mom, wife and mother. Tell her that it is a waste of time it cuts to the core of who she believes herself to be.

    • Martine on August 16, 2018 at 2:17 pm

      Exactly! This is the conundrum of first world middle class motherhood: do everything yourself and perfectly, and run yourself into the ground while doing it! Years ago when I was a university student, a family friend suggested that when I started working in my profession that I consider getting help at home. I was shocked. Years later, after marriage, a child, and divorce, I can honestly say she was right: that I have needed help from time to time even as a young single professional. She knew that high income earners tend to have lots of opportunities and responsibilities that require a lot of time, so it makes sense to hire help. I can honestly say that most of all of my friends and colleagues, married or otherwise, contract out at least some of the routine daily household chores so they can invest more in meaningful time with their children, rising careers, and charitable work. One of the things i have also noticed amongst a lot of professional people is that they insist that their children take on tasks, e.g. helping out at the office, volunteering, running errands at home, etc, so that they don’t take anything for granted. Great post.

  42. Johnson on November 3, 2014 at 6:47 am

    Yeah care.com is much better idea to get fixed any kind of services with in a some time and you can also inquiry for the services which you want in your area, which is more amazing,

  43. mary stensens on November 12, 2014 at 9:57 am

    This seems like a post for being lazy. I myself work 50+ hours a week and my husband works 40+ but we still get home after getting the 2 kids from school, he goes and makes dinner, I help with homework, by the time dinner is ready homework is done. We then eat and the kids do the dishes, one is 8 the other is 11. If it is a laundry night which is only 3 nights of 7 then I do the 1 to 3 loads we might have depending on activities and by this time it is only about 8. If there is no laundry it is probably a night the kids have sports so we do that or relax as a family if nothing is going on. None of this requires any “outsourcing” of my personal responsibilities. That is what having and building a family is about, not paying someone else to do it for you. If you pay someone $25 dollars every week just to come out once or twice to get your laundry that is $1300 more I save a year then you because I take care of my family and myself. This was all done while I was going to school for nursing. Now outsourcing your life before you have a family and you live by yourself is more understandable, but you are by yourself and if you can’t take care of just yourself without help then…well then the title should be “You’re stupid if you can’t take care of yourself”. One last thing I forgot to touch on, idk where she got that just for herself it cost $10 a week for laundry bc I myself live in New York and it cost about $8 for a bottle o detergent that lasts a month for 4 people. So that comes out to a total of $2 a week in detergent and pennies on the dollar for the electric and water cost for just 1 load so about $3 a week for that so $5 a week to do your own laundry or $25 for someone else to do it and another $20 for a different person to pick it up? Just my thoughts as a successful mother of 2 who does it herself. :)

  44. Tony on November 27, 2014 at 12:34 pm

    Monday: Launder all the sheets from all three beds. (1 load)
    Tuesday: Launder child #1 and child #2′s clothing. (1-2 loads)
    Wednesday: Launder adult’s clothing. (1-2 loads)
    Thursday: Launder towels. (2 loads)
    Friday: Launder child #1 and child #2′s clothing. (1-2 loads)
    Saturday: Launder adult’s clothing. (1-2 loads)
    Sunday: Rest, or launder a load of delicates.

    I have enough cloths, towels and bedding to last one to two weeks at a time. to wash laundry every single day is ridiculous. Oh, I don’t make a thousand dollars a day, so I do my laundry myself, in my very own Maytag washer & dryer. I also do my own dishes, I cook, and keep everything neat & tidy.

    Your advise is geared more toward wealthy folks.

  45. Matt Nelko on December 3, 2014 at 3:53 am

    It depends on WHERE in New York City you live. If you live in the less-than-affluent areas, you’re stuck with whatever crappy laundromats are within your delivery area. And trust me, they can be CRAPPY. The last three places I where I sent out my laundry, my clothes came back actually smelling stinky — worse than when I sent them out in the first place (the clothes, of course, that didn’t mysteriously disappear; at 28 bucks a pop, that occasional lost t-shirt or pair of underwear adds up real fast, too). I discovered the problem when I popped over to one of the places and watched the women “wash” the clothes; one of them actually braced herself against a table for leverage to jam the clothes into the front- loading washers — barely leaving enough room for water, much less soapy water. So is it “stupid” to want clothes cleaned properly? Even — dare I suggest it — pre-treated propertly — using the correct water temperatures — and dress shirts air-dried to prevent shrinkage — using natural (or even organic) detergents that aren’t as caustic as the pink crap they seem to buy by the 50-gallon drum?

  46. Jeff on December 31, 2014 at 7:45 pm

    Paying someone to do your laundry, that doesn’t need dry cleaned or have special needs, just seems lazy to me.

    • Emma on January 2, 2015 at 6:15 pm

      Name me one very successful person who does their own laundry. See a coorrelation?

  47. Sunfun on January 7, 2015 at 1:01 am

    Hmm. I found this article web-surfing and am definitely not the intended audience so I will be nice.
    I think outsourcing household chores sets a worse example for children than the author admits. Those, both adult and child, who aren’t expected to clean up after themselves generally make bigger and more frequent messes. Mopping in an emergency isn’t much of a life skill, but taking thoughtful care of one’s belongings is.

    • Emma on January 7, 2015 at 10:09 am

      These are not mutually exclusive. My housecleaner comes weekly, but my kids have chores including daily bed making, setting and clearing the table, caring for the cat and picking up their stuff. If any thing, it makes them accustomed to a nice home, which we wouldn’t have if it weren’t for outsourcing.

      The bottom line is you can’t get ahead professionally if you spend all your time on tasks for which you are overqualified. Rich people — no matter how they came to their money — aren’t arguing on this board for the value of doing menial tasks.

      • Heather on April 8, 2015 at 3:38 pm

        I totally saw your point in the beginning – making life easier for yourself and freeing up some valuable time. While this post is aimed at single mothers, I’ve noticed several comments coming from married people and people with no kids at all, so this blog may not necessarily apply to them.

        I am a single mother, so totally understand the main idea of this. However, after reading all of these comments, especially this one by you Emma, I must interject my disagreement with some of your reasoning.

        First of all, there are successful, even famous, people who do their own laundry. Here is a link that I have not researched to verify, but I’m willing to bet it’s at least fairly accurate:

        Secondly, telling people to outsource tasks they are overqualified for…..I don’t even know where to start with that one. Just about everyone can be considered “overqualified” for doing laundry. Doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it! You said your kids are still expected to make their own beds and clean up after themselves, but it can be argued that they are “overqualified” for those tasks, don’t you think? I don’t want to be rude, and am still very interested in reading more of your suggestions, etc., but insinuating that you are too skilled at more complicated tasks that make doing laundry somehow beneath you is something I take issue with.

        Hiring others to do the menial labor that you don’t care to spend time on does seem a little entitled. Teaching your kids that it is ok to not have to do things for themselves seems to be encouraging them to expect this from others; to expect others to hand things to them and do things for them just so they don’t have to, which breeds selfishness. Everyone should know how, and be used, to doing their own laundry, cooking their own food, and cleaning their own bathrooms. Not only is the cost out of reach for a lot of people (and yes, I understand your economic argument, but it’s a weak one at best, unless you already have enough money to begin with), but entering adulthood with little to no life skills is not something I would recommend.

        Your continuous argument that it’s not possible to be successful if you have to spend your own time and your own money doing your own housework? Sounds a bit snobby; just sayin’.

        I don’t necessarily think you are lazy, as others have stated, and there is some validity; I do, however, think some of your points are a bit far-reaching.

  48. Vic on January 14, 2015 at 5:32 am

    I have a washing machine that is in my storage still in the box straight from the store and never been used. When I found that I could have my laundry washed and folded nearby for just 1/100 of the price of the washing machine, I figured that my machine could rest there until it finds a better home. I’ve also saved on laundry detergent, water and electricity bills, but mostly I’ve saved on time! You should try it for a couple of weeks, who knows, you might be a bit addicted to not washing and folding your laundry ever again :)

  49. Wendy on February 7, 2015 at 5:20 pm

    I stumbled across this site looking for some laundry tips while web surfing. I’m definitely not the intended audience seeing as I grew up in a poor household, but I feel like it’s important to teach your children how to do these “menial tasks”. I’ve met some wealthy, young people who just don’t know how to take care of themselves or handle simple household tasks. One couldn’t even figure out how to boil water. Even if you’re able to afford letting someone else do you chores, I feel it’s still beneficial to show your children how to do these things at least a few times in their life. Of course nowadays they can look things up online but I think they are good skills to have to be a well rounded person.

    • Emma on February 8, 2015 at 10:22 am

      I totally agree with this – but it really only takes a few times to teach someone how to do laundry. Thanks for chiming in Wendy!

  50. Carla on March 2, 2015 at 8:12 pm

    I’m coming into this discussion late, but find this discussion really interesting, particularly how a principle of business success – the ability to delegate work to the lowest level capable of doing the work effectively – meets resistance when we get home.

    Find any successful small business owner and you will find they outsource. They hire someone to do their books, someone to do their taxes, their contracts, HR functions, etc. They do this because (a) those people are better trained and more efficient at those tasks and (b) it frees them up to build the business. From early on in my corporate career, I was taught that to be successful, I needed to be able to effectively delegate and outsource work, whether to lower level Associates or out of the country. This is what allowed me to progressively grow my own responsibilities and experience as well as grow those in my organization. Companies outsource all day long – whether it be production of parts of the product chain or services.

    To me, forget the hard dollar ROI and whether I can make more money. To me, I outsource tasks simply for the mental ROI. As a single mom with her kid 100% of the time, time is my most valuable commodity. I can’t really put a price on it. Most household tasks like cleaning, laundry, ironing, are tasks I would normally do after my daughter is in bed and that is the one time each day I have to myself – to work out, read a book, relax with a nice bath, etc. For tasks I’d do on a weekend like more lawn work, laundry, groceries, etc., that’s time I could be spending with my daughter. Somehow, 20 years from now when my daughter recalls her childhood, I can’t see her saying “I sure wish my mom cleaned the toilet herself”. Beyond that, I’m typically supporting a local business owner or mom who relies on that business to support their family or supplement their income. It’s a win/win. it’s a mutually respectful relationship.

    I am off to make a list of things I honestly never thought of outsourcing – laundry being one – to add to the list of what I already outsource.

  51. Rhoda on March 10, 2015 at 11:23 am

    I’m reading this with interest, as I’m thinking of buying a neighbourhood laundromat that’s been for sale forever (I’m thinking I can beat the owner down a bit on price because of that).
    This is not a wealthy neighbourhood, in fact much of the traffic at this laundry would be from university students living in basement apartments that homeowners/landlords have created from older houses. This is the typical demographic of a coin laundry customer, especially low-income single mothers.
    What sort of services would attract a wealthier demographic, apart from pickup and delivery? Hand-washing and flat drying of wool sweaters? (Don’t know about you, but I can never find enough flat surfaces to lay them all out at home.) Hand-washing silks and other delicates?
    Please give me feedback about what sort of things you’d happily outsource to a laundry even if you normally do the laundry at home!

  52. A. R. on March 15, 2015 at 7:56 am

    I love the idea of outsourcing monotonous everyday tasks. I’m chronically ill, I work from home, and I have limited energy. I’m not keen on wasting my time.

    That unclutter.com laundry schedule was repulsive.

    I seem to have a laundry routine that works for me. I do it once every 2 weeks, and have a closet system in place that allows for quick hanging, no folding.

    But DISHES. Dishes are the bane of my existence. I’m definitely researching my options for outsourcing this incessant, mind-numbing task.

  53. Dee on March 15, 2015 at 9:33 am

    My problem is not with the idea of sending laundry out. Indeed, I think this is a great solution, especially for a single parent.
    My gripe is with the title of this blog entry and the aggressive tone against anybody who may not feel as the author does on this issue. I’m thinking the author is either just bad tempered or that she somehow feels the necessity to defend her choice but harbors a bit of guilt about it for whatever reason.
    Whatever the reality is, the tone is off-putting and I wouldn’t be likely to take this person very seriously.

  54. Victor H. on March 17, 2015 at 5:30 pm

    Very informative. But i can’t help but feel that this is the reason why so many people are getting more and more lazy. Disney’s Wally hit it right.

  55. J on March 30, 2015 at 11:31 am

    We just moved to a larger city because my company transferred me, and our new place has no hookups for our washer/dryer. Laundry has always been a big bone of contention in our marriage; finished laundry would sit on top of the dryer for MONTHS, with us just grabbing what we needed. It was awful.

    I stumbled onto Wash/Dry/Fold services in our new city, and did the math. I drop it off and pick it up, because the cheapest place is conveniently located right by my office. I do about 20 dollars worth at a time, twice a month.

    I don’t care that it’s 40 bucks a month; I’m thrilled I don’t have to do laundry. My husband is thrilled he doesn’t have to do it. That, to me, is worth it.

    While I agree that there’s some serious condescension in the title of the article, the author’s right. Outsourcing a chore you don’t like or want to do will make your life easier. Granted, I’m NOT using my extra free time to build a business or anything; I just don’t want to do laundry. Period. What I do with that extra time is my business, and no one else’s.

    So, if you don’t LIKE doing laundry and you can afford it, outsource it. If you enjoy it, or can’t afford it, keep on doing it. No one is right here and no one is wrong; it’s about what works best for you and your lifestyle.

  56. Bob on April 1, 2015 at 2:43 pm

    Lazy cunt. Not only do I do my own laundry, I hand wash it and hang it to dry. No wonder there are so many fat fucks in the USA. Cheeses fucking Rice I have never heard so many lazy cunts in one place. It’s like someone dropped a bomb of whiny miserable fat fucking soccer moms in here.

    • Muffy on August 28, 2016 at 9:20 pm

      @Bob — Vocabulary: F minus (sic).

  57. Felix Erude on April 6, 2015 at 11:41 am

    1. Buying a car is outsourcing transportation
    2. Paying for cable is outsourcing entertainment
    3. Paying for a cellphone service is outsourcing communication
    4. Shopping at a grocery store is outsourcing production, processing and delivery of food and other products.
    5. Going to college is outsourcing education.

    The list goes on and on…

    People need to get off this high horse, claiming misguided nobility for doing things the hard way. The Industrial Revolution of the 18th Century was about moving away from antiquated, slow, inefficient and primitive means of production.

    Keep wearing the “I’m better than you because I can do hard, boring, menial tasks better than you” attitutde as a badge of honor. The world is moving forward and leaving you behind, Amish Boy!

    By the way, Third World people would laugh at your fake “hard worker” act. Dude, you use a washing machine and drier to do laundry. Third World people do it all by hand!

  58. emmawilson on April 8, 2015 at 8:40 am

    Apart from all activities laundry is always critical job. Doing own laundry is seriouly stupidity while we have options for professional laundry near our city.

  59. romuel on April 22, 2015 at 11:08 pm

    i place a smart tv near the washer and dryer so everytime i do the laundry i just stay over there and watch while waiting for the laundry and watch whole folding

  60. Bob on May 18, 2015 at 10:42 pm

    Here at Dropofflaundry.biz we only charge $1.00 per pound for drop off laundry. That is washed, dried, and folded , buy the time you buy soap, softener and or dryer sheets you cant hardly do it for $1.00
    Your time is definitely worth something.

  61. Mo on June 2, 2015 at 10:17 pm

    I’m sure this post has been living longer than you imagined. And there are quite a few folks that have some less positive way of communicating and aren’t able to envision your message. I get it prioritizing where you and how you spend your time is important. You can build a career, be with your family, make more scratch, enjoy the quiet, make a joyful noise. I don’t outsource as you do bit I recognize the value and impact in can have or your life or situation. Apparently, there are a number of people that haven’t found Zen with this concept. Their comments are entertaining but the disrespect they throw your way is alarming. Calling someone a fat lazy cunt shows that person is incapable of supporting their argument with logic or reasoning. Thanks for sharing it all.

    • Emma on June 4, 2015 at 7:58 pm

      It’s part of the territory of putting an opinion out there — it really is about creating a format for discussion — it’s about them, not me :) thanks for your support and reason.

  62. Kevin on July 28, 2015 at 3:44 am

    I completely agree with you doing your own laundry sucks every last bit of it, thanks for the post i really enjoyed reading it :)

  63. Michelle on September 7, 2015 at 12:17 pm

    I’m a SAHM, so cleaning and taking care of kids is kind of what I chose to do with my life, but when there is a job that I just don’t want to do or can’t do, outsourcing is great! My nephew used to mow our lawn, but then there was always some reason why it wasn’t getting done. Now we pay a service, and all I have to do is put out a check once every two weeks. Such a relief!

    The only place I disagree with you is in saying that you don’t need to teach kids to do chores. For whatever reason, I did very few chores growing up. Maybe my mom felt it was her job to clean the house (despite being a single, working mom), maybe it was easier to just do things herself rather than try to make us do it. I do know that there were these underlying expectations that a) I was going to be a career woman, and not spend my life on the drudgery of housework; and b) the things I did need to know were obvious and simple and didn’t need to be taught.

    Both of those assumptions were huge mistakes. Even before I quit my job to stay home with the kids, I felt lost and unprepared to take care of myself, much less a family. As I learned to do even basic tasks, I made frequent mistakes that eroded my self-esteem and made me feel like I would never figure things out:

    * More than once, I flooded our kitchen because I kept forgetting which soap was for hand-washing dishes and which soap went in the dishwasher.

    * I LITERALLY blew up a microwave because I’d been told that you could cook eggs in the microwave, and didn’t know you couldn’t boil them in the shell. And I was 9 months pregnant and standing in the kitchen when it blew up, so lucky I wasn’t injured!

    * I caught the toaster oven on fire because I didn’t know you were supposed to clean it out on a regular basis.

    * I ruined MANY of my husband’s expensive work clothes while I tried to figure out laundry. I had this idea that you had to read the label on each piece of clothing and ONLY wash things together if they had the exact same instructions. So I got overwhelmed, gave up, and just started washing everything together (setting both the washer and dryer to “normal”), even things that should have been dry cleaned.

    The worst part was how stupid I felt all the time, especially when people would tell me things were “common sense.” It’s not common sense if you have NEVER had to clean or cook for yourself! For years I refused to even make dinner for my family unless it came from the grocery store’s freezer section and had explicit instructions on the package, because I hated trying to decipher the instructions in a cookbook or wondering how I was supposed to know if the meat was cooked all the way through.

    (And BTW, I have heard many stories from other women who chose to be SAHMs when that was not the expectation their families had set for them. Even when you’re not talking about baking fancy cakes or making your own clothes, or whatever, there is a learning curve when you go from someone else taking care of everything to everything being your job.)

    So, yes, I do think you actually need to teach your kids to do basic chores. Even if you can afford to outsource your laundry, and usually do, your kids will probably have to do their own at some point and you should do them the courtesy of teaching them how.

  64. Rachel on September 13, 2015 at 12:25 pm

    I’m super late to this party but I have to laugh at some of the replies here. They don’t get the realities of city living and/or the self-employed life. Time has a different meaning when you work for yourself whether you make seven figures or a pretty modest amount. But moreover, a lot of people think you “have to” do these things even if there’s alternatives available to you. Pshaw, the beauty of adulthood is that you don’t have to do things you don’t want.

    I can’t stand doing my laundry. And I’m a busy single professional who doesn’t want to sacrifice both potential billable hours AND time I could spend relaxing or hanging out with friends. My building has two dryers and washers, the former which never work. It’s okay for doing a little load of delicates but I send all the other stuff out. For how much the laundromat around the corner costs for self-service plus buying my own detergent, I only have to spend about $3-8 more for 1-2 giant loads depending on what’s being washed and they fold it WAY better than I could and even use fabric softener (I have never bought a single bottle of the stuff in my whole life.) No pickup or delivery but it’s close and still saves me the 3-4 hours of schlepping back and forth, folding it all, ugh. They even wash my daunting queen comforters and pillows!

    Way I see it, if no one wanted to outsource this stuff, these businesses wouldn’t exist. FWIW, I’m in the Bronx, a predominantly working class neighborhood, and the dropoff area at Sam’s Suds is always sky-high with laundry bags for pickup! My neighbors clearly hate doing their laundry too and we’re definitely not rich. Time erodes the same for everyone no matter how much you make.

    • Emma on September 13, 2015 at 5:15 pm

      Thanks Rachel. Either you get it, or you feel some kind of pride in suffering for menial labor. Whatevs.

      • Alanda willis on September 29, 2015 at 9:13 pm

        Hi Emma

        My name is Alanda willis im kind of getting off topic but im 22 years old and i have kids of my own. I really need your advice on getting rich though i want them to live a better life then i ever had if i give you my number will you call me i need a mentor that can guide me in the right direction. I know you have better thing to do specially cause you dont know me but if you just find some time i will really appreciate it. Please dont judge me

  65. Mary on September 24, 2015 at 7:41 pm

    My grandma, even with having no children around–just her and Grandpa—sent their restaurant/diner (and they had a few “rooms for rent”) laundry to a service, in their small town—even their personal laundry. Everything came back sparkling clean. She passed away when I was fifteen. I never knew her to own a washer/dryer. I and my three siblings lived with them for a few months after my mother passed away. Only then did we go to a laundromat, that was less than a block away, across the alley from her house. I used a laundromat for several years when I first got married. I hated it, for the most part. But I had a great place to go, so I could get all OCD on my laundry, like I like to do. I’m one of those people who loves (or used to) doing laundry and ironing. I’M the person you would be lucky to get to do your stuff, so I would think you would want to meet me (and hire me), lol. Trouble is, I grew up doing the family laundry (my Dad’s stinky work clothes and snotty hankies). I don’t want to handle other peoples’ laundry; just my own family’s. As I get older, and we live a simple life, I find myself thinning out the clothing that we have to the bare essentials. I occasionally have granddaughter’s clothes to wash and they get just as dirty—if not dirtier—than boys (we live out in the country and there is lots to do outside). I just started a new job and I’m glad I have a “dress code” to abide by that keeps it pretty simple: khakis and nice shirts.

  66. Outsourcing your laundry chores - on September 26, 2015 at 5:12 pm

    […] was doing a bit of light laundromat reading tonight and came across an interesting article. This article about a single mom and her laundry outsourcing. I didn’t necessarily agree with all of it but […]

  67. cacama on October 9, 2015 at 1:20 am

    I should be writing a blog about how low income mothers spend their money. It would be way more fascinating and informative. I am baffled that people need to read a blog to come up with these solutions.

  68. Plo on March 24, 2016 at 3:08 pm

    This would be credible if it weren’t riddled with spelling and grammatical errors…

  69. Vanity Huffingdale on May 13, 2016 at 10:03 am

    Why would I wash clothes at all, worn clothing is for poor people! I never wear the same thing twice, and my old clothes go to charity cases.

  70. Katelyn on May 15, 2016 at 2:16 pm

    I stumbled across this article while looking for a laundry service in my area actually.

    I totally agree with you, Emma, and I think the whole point of this is lost on people. It’s simple economics. The opportunity cost of an activity is the next best alternative of your time/money/etc. If you are spending 3 hours a week doing laundry, or housework or whatever, you are giving up 3 hours you could be spending taking a class or spending time with your family or growing a business like you mentioned. Is 12 hours a month worth $100? I can make more money in that 12 hours than I would pay out, so yes.

    I think people missed the point. It’s not about entitlement, it’s about working smarter and utilizing time better rather than working harder. Your time is precious and if you could be doing something more constructive than laundry, send that shit out. Don’t be content with mediocrity. My job as a woman is not to clean up after people or to do my partners laundry. I choose to work smart, not hard.

    • Emma on May 16, 2016 at 3:57 pm

      People either get it or they don’t. Sigh. :)

  71. Rachael on July 22, 2016 at 12:14 am

    I came across this somehow… and honestly cant really picture that type of life. I work, raise kids, shop all the mom stuff which includes 5, yes 5 loads of laundry a day. I put in the washer, hang iron, daily, all with only the help of a 4 year old who has been taught to hang, and put the undergarments in drawers. While I’m not single, my spouse works out of town and even if he was here, when it comes to domestic work…10 years of marriage he has never washed a load of laundry, cooked a meal, washed dishes (two years my dishwasher was broke) Not sure I would know what to do with my nights if I wasn’t washing clothes interesting anyways to see how others live.

    • Emma on July 26, 2016 at 6:18 am

      “Not sure I would know what to do with my nights if I wasn’t washing clothes” says it all — I’d love for you to fill those hours with something meaningful – reading, taking a course, exercise, watching wonderful movies, building friendships, learning a new language, anything but laundry!

  72. Jane on July 25, 2016 at 2:51 pm

    While the article is interesting the whole thing sets off on the wrong foot by calling people stupid for doing things a different way. With a large family it would be prohibitively expensive to outsource laundry. Laundry service is not common where we live so it would involve nearly four hours of driving our big passenger van just to drop off then go back and pick up the laundry. I can account for utilities, detergent, and washer/dryer maitenence just in what it would cost me in gas and vehicle wear and tear. Even with a high end gigantic capacity machine I’m still coming out way ahead money wise washing everything myself. All total it amounts to a savings of at least $50/week (and that’s low balling if it) even when taking into account the cost of the machines. I’m able to do my 2-3 hours of active laundry time each week in short 10 minute tasks that I can accomplish while doing other things. I can talk with the kids after school while folding. I can start dinner and toss in another load of laundry while waiting for the water to boil. Time spent on laundry isn’t even noticeable. Sure, sending out laundry is an option for some but I’m certainly not stupid for doing it myself and it’s outright offensive that your suggest it.

  73. G on July 26, 2016 at 4:22 pm

    Not sure what the big deal is about doing laundry it’s not like you wash it by hand, you throw it in the washing machine, go watch TV, it buzzes, you throw in the dryer, you go watch TV, once done you take it out and you fold it up during commercial breaks. What a superficial and lazy lifestyle. Obviously you didn’t get wealthy by working hard. Did you pay someone to take your exams in college also?

    • Curls on August 15, 2016 at 11:45 pm

      Here’s a trick I love taught by my mom. Take washed clothes and put in dryer for 10 mins. Then sometime in the next few hours, hang up to dry. They’ll be dewrinkled with nearly no effort! A simple grab off the rack a day later, and quarter fold, and done. No ironing needed. Works with nearly every material.


      If I’d outsourced everything I’d have liked to outsource, it’d have cost a tidy sum each month.

      Instead when I hit life’s hard winds (significant, disabling illness), I still managed to have enough tucked away not to go bankrupt, nor borrow from anyone, nor eat cat food (instead I switched to organic and it helped with my health issues. That was my permitted splurge.).

      I’m glad I was frugal. It’s a matter of trade off. How much effort is it costing?, how much more money does it cost?, what else would that money go to (and saving account is one important place.)? Maybe it’s about getting a machine installed in your house, teaching the kids to grab their clean clothes.

      Then decide.

      I’ve met plenty of people who work hard, are healthy, and are in much worse financial condition than me. Financial health is also important to one’s ability to relax, feel and be healthy, and avoid eating food only your cat would purr about.

  74. Rebecca on August 25, 2016 at 2:18 pm

    My daughter and I along with our linen and towels only have maybe three loads of laundry a week as long as I stay on top of it. So to me personally I would rather do my own laundry than spend $25 dollars and have some else fold up my unmentionables. I do enjoy your other ideas.

    • Mrs. Barnett on February 21, 2017 at 7:13 pm

      My thoughts exactly. I don’t want anyone folding my unmentionables nor even seeing what they look like. Does that make me retarded?

      • Mrs. Barnett on February 21, 2017 at 7:21 pm

        Oh, by the way, I hope I don’t offend anyone by the use of the word retarded. I was just trying to find a word that could also mean stupid, but actually on thinking about it I chose the wrong word. Sorry if I offended anyone.

  75. GSD 3: – The HelloSolve Blog: Life, with Solutions on September 20, 2016 at 9:47 pm

    […] things – there’s no one to delegate to.” I’d challenge you to reconsider this idea. Maybe it’s just sending out your laundry or hiring a cleaning service a few days a week. Maybe it’s finding things your spouse or kids or friends are better at than you and asking them […]

  76. Charity on September 26, 2016 at 5:31 pm

    I know a lot of people that outsource a lot of things but for me, the cost is not worth it. If you are organized you can do the bulk of everything and not even notice it. Have a crockpot or a pressure cooker? Dinner can be prepared with little to no effort. Laundry is one of the easiest tasks, as you can put a load in the washer in the morning, when you return home throw in the dryer and fold it while watching TV at night and put away. You don’t have to do all your laundry in one day which does suck up a whole Saturday if you let it pile up. Mowing the lawn does not take much time and instead of going to the gym one morning or evening after work, mow the lawn instead. I pick one task each evening to do around the house like one day, clean the bathrooms. Another day, I vacuum and mop, etc. etc. etc. If you space it out and do it on a regular routine, you are not spending all your time doing chores and if you keep up on it, it takes little to no time at all to do it all. Oh, and another tip is when you do actually cook a meal, make a double portion and freeze half of it for later. Then on many nights you can come home and throw dinner in the oven with no effort and it is ready to go. I spend one hour a day keeping up on the house and all the chores. All the money I would be paying someone to do it all for me, can go into a savings account for myself to do something fun with. I even have a garden out back and grow the bulk of our food and groceries to get us through the year and always have fresh & homemade foods on the table. The only thing I would outsource is things like pressure washing the house, and doing all our double storm windows every spring both inside and out, etc. etc. I was raised old school and you never hired someone to do what you can do yourself. It taught us kids to do a multitude of things and be self reliant. How are your kids ever going to learn to do this things if it isn’t by example?

  77. Jen on October 10, 2016 at 2:45 pm

    I must REALLY be stupid then! First off, I use my own version of that (dry) laundry detergent recipe going around. It truly saves me a bundle. I’ll still buy Gain dryer sheets from Dollar Tree, but that’s usually enough that way.
    I DID have a washer and dryer, but they finally wen ton the fritz.
    I get the whole sorting and folding. I’d love to hire someone just to do that. In fact, at one time, I did! She came in once/week for $15, took all the laundry, folded, hung, etc. It was great. She even put clothes together for my toddler, so she could pick out her own outfits! So cute!
    So yeah, by the time I did all that, we were probably back up to the $25. I guess she’s right … except I wish I’d had my own laundry detergent back then. I love it these days!

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  79. Mrs. Barnett on February 21, 2017 at 7:11 pm

    I prefer to do my own laundry. I have a specific way of doing things and specific products I want used, and am very picky and I don’t like the way others do them, and this applies to just more than laundry. I have been doing laundry for over 35 years or more and I like the way I do it. I see the way people at the laundromat even do their own laundry, and I do mine completely different. I am on a fixed income. If I spent 25 a week on laundry, I would have no food to eat. Also, I don’t want to take a chance that some creepy guy working there is going to do unknown things to my underwear. There is nothing stupid about any of this. This is the way I am. Even if I was as rich as you, I would still do it This Way, which is My Way.

    • Emma on February 22, 2017 at 9:56 am

      That is fine, but many (most?)people find their lives are more enriched when they stop being so persnickety about petty things and focus on activities that enrich their lives.

  80. Krys on March 4, 2017 at 9:52 am

    I’m a single mother to three kids (with 100% custody), I work as a teacher, and I’m in grad school. I completely agree with the author of this article. I get that some women get a kick out of performing mundane tasks, but that’s not me. My mental health would suffer greatly if I didn’t find ways to build in time for me. I’d like to think that I’m modeling building a balanced lifestyle for my children.

    • Emma on March 6, 2017 at 7:30 am

      Good for you!

  81. Jennifer on April 25, 2017 at 11:09 pm

    I hired our house cleaner to do our laundry. $100 per week. We have two washers and 2 dryers. We have 2 teenagers, 2 middle schoolers, 1 elemenotary-aged child and 2 adults. She quit. It was too much and it took too long. I couldn’t blame her; she’s right.
    For large families, your whole theory doesn’t add up.

  82. cleanbubbles on July 20, 2018 at 6:09 am

    Thanks for sharing…i also love doing my own laundry.

  83. […] stated she paid $25 per week to have someone pick up a giant black bag full of soiled garments and would return them the same […]

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