Monday used to be my laundry day. Even after I had two kids I could still do all the laundry on Monday with maybe one extra day to put it away. When we had Ben I thought the laundry would increase by 1/5, or possibly even 1/3—since we had three kids. I can’t figure out the math exactly but somehow the laundry went up exponentially and now I do laundry—lots—every day.

It’s actually one of my favorite chores. I love the smell of laundry. And I love special laundry products. I have been searching for many years for my signature laundry scent. When I was little I loved the smell of my best friend’s house. Even when they moved to a different house the good smell went with them. I finally asked what it was—Surf. I decided that when I grew up I would use Surf and my house would smell like Jenna’s.

I tried Surf.


It does smell good—but you get sick of it. It starts to sort of make me sick after a while. Jenna obviously kept an essential element of her good-house smell a secret because it was more than just Surf.

I’ve also tried Gain.


We have some friends who use this and their whole house smells like it. It is good-smellin’ and I love it. But I got the flu when I was using Gain and now I associate it with vomit. Plus, it smells kind of mannish.

Our other friends use Cheer.


The thing about Cheer is that it is too good for me. If you think you can pull it off, try it because it smells so good. As for me and my family—we’re a little more proletariat.

That’s why I like Tide. Tide with bleach is my signature laundry scent.


I love how it smells. It works for little boy clothes and little girl clothes AND grown man clothes and grown woman clothes. Keep that in mind when you are choosing a scent. Go ahead and splurge on Downy or Snuggle—just remember that your son in 4th grade has to wear those clothes to school too.

At any rate, I have made a major laundry decision. I have decided not to wash the clothes every time they are worn. You know how parenting magazines always offer tips like, “Don’t wear yourself out doing laundry. Decide what is ‘clean enough’ and let your kids wear their clothes more than one time before you wash them.” And how when you read that you always think, “The person who wrote this must be SUCH a scrounge!” Well, I give up on clean clothes. I’m taking their advice. I told my kids last night to hang up their pants at night if they didn’t look dirty instead of always throwing them into the hamper. They looked at me like I was a scrounge but I don’t care. This summer I’m teaching my 7 and 9 year olds to do their own laundry (as recommended in The Parenting Breakthrough) and they can become as fastidious as they like at that time. Wish me luck in my endeavor to re-define “clean” (as dirty).