Recently, I was visiting Venice on a vacation with my husband. During our stay, I learned something interesting about the way the Venetians lived. Their homes were very little- about the size of a small apartment, almost exclusively on the top floor of the buildings to avoid flooding from the canals. Therefore, the Venetian way of life was very minimalistic. Since we’d be vacationing in Venice for a week, we ended up renting out one of these tiny apartments. We had previously been traveling around Europe for several days prior, so plenty of dirty clothes had piled up on our travels. So after we settled in, I impatiently crammed all of our laundry into the little washer in our apartment. However, the washer was much smaller than I expected, and I was only able to fit about a quarter of the clothes in. Complaining to my husband that I’d have to do the wash a thousand times, I switched on the washer… after calling my mom for help translating the Italian buttons.
Thirty minutes later my wash was finished, and it was time for it to dry. Unfortunately, there was no dryer, just a “horrible clothesline” (as I called it) outside the back window. So, I took out the wash, muttering how horrendous it was to have to air-dry our laundry out the window. I had about ten articles of clothing that needed hung. After I found the clothespins and hung the laundry, I threw another load in the wash machine and my husband and I decided to explore the city. When we came back, I took in the wash from the clothesline, and began to hang the wet clothes from the washer. I folded my ten articles of clothing and went to bed. The folding took no more than two minutes to do.
The next morning, I did the same routine and repeated it another day until there was nothing left to clean. That night, I threw in the only dirty clothes we had: the ones we were wearing. The next morning, I had almost nothing to fold, and I started thinking that this way of doing laundry wasn’t as bad as I initially thought.
I took this practice home with me because I have always hated doing laundry. The clean clothes would usually sit in the basket for several days until I got to them. Then, there would be so much laundry piled up that I would dread doing it, and it would take me a half hour or longer to fold them and put them away. So now, even though my washing machine can hold plenty of dirty clothes, I only put in about two days worth. It takes me about five minutes to fold my clothes and put them away once they are finished. Even though this is a relatively new mindset for me, I am sticking with it and doing a small amount of laundry once or twice every day.
I ended up learning something from this minimalistic approach to laundry:
Work in smaller doses to avoid overburdening yourself.
We often practice this principle unknowingly with tasks such as doing dishes or working on household projects like painting or re-organizing whole rooms. For example, we don’t let our dishes pile up for days and days do we? No, we usually clean them up once a day (or should at least). If we didn’t, they would pile up and make our kitchen smell along with becoming a time-consuming hassle. With larger projects such as painting whole rooms, we usually only tackle a couple hours of painting at a time. If we did any more, our backs would break, or we would begin to do a poor job from lack of motivation and/or exhaustion. So if we work in smaller amounts for chores like these, wouldn’t it make sense to try to apply this attitude to other jobs?
I know it isn’t always possible to work in smaller doses because oftentimes deadlines need to be met. But with tedious chores that have no deadline, it makes much more sense to work in small doses. Even if you are motivated to finish a large project all in one day, the over-exertion could cause you to become too tired to finish other chores that need done. On the opposite spectrum, if you choose to put off a small chore because you aren’t in the mood to do it, it could pile up and turn into a much larger, more annoying chore. In both of these cases, working in small quantities is key.
Now that you have read this, try to actively apply this new thought to your daily chores. Maybe you will find the worst, most tedious ones will not be as bad as you thought.
Have a wonderful weekend, my lovely readers!