I raised children who would do anything to get out of doing laundry. I know they don’t come out of the womb this way, so I take some responsibility. And I have spent the last few years desperately trying to correct my bad parenting.

With my daughters now 20 and 22, I am throwing in the towel … the wet towel I found on top of my daughter’s favorite jeggings. (I need to stay out of her room when she’s home for the weekend.)

My oldest daughter just left for her first big job in New York City, and we had our final laundry discussion. It was time for me to admit that, although laundry is important, she can find ways to escape it.

Here are three ways to get out of doing the laundry:

  1. Pay for laundry service. I’m told laundry fluff and fold services are not as expensive as one would think. One of my favorite writers, Emma Johnson, author of Wealthy Single Mommy says she gets her laundry done in New York City for $25 a week. In my hometown of Kansas City, you can pay $20 or so for a couple of average loads. If you’re trying to build a career or just HATE doing laundry, your time is easily worth it.
  2. Partner with a laundry lover. Some people actually ENJOY doing laundry. They use words like ‘calming’ and ‘therapeutic’ when they talk about folding and ironing. If I had to find a mate or a roommate on matchmaking site, I would look for one of these people. If you ARE one of these people, you definitely should work this into your profile. (But be careful to consider what kind of person you will attract if you lead with it.)

    college student with laundry basket

  3. Die. We have to talk about last resorts. Laundry is hard to escape. Dying is the surest way to get out of both doing laundry and needing clean clothes. While it may seem offensive to bring death up as an option to young people, we have to be real here. People under 22 believe they are immortal; and somehow that same twisted perception allows them to believe that clothes left hanging over a chair long enough will become “aired out” and that, somehow, that’s as good as clean.

    Clearly, the list of ways to get out of doing laundry is a short one. That’s the point. With coming of age comes realizing that a few unpleasant things are just a part of life. Whether we are 20 or 55, we must embrace life’s unpleasantries. Or at least build them into the schedule and the budget.

do your laundry or you'll die alone books on towels and clothespins

This article is inspired by the book DO YOUR LAUNDRY OR YOU’LL DIE ALONE: Advice Your Mom Would Give if She Thought You Were Listening, written and illustrated by Becky Blades. It’s a freshly folded collection of life’s inescapable truths.


  1. Liza September 9, 2015 at 6:45 am - Reply

    “Die.” Hahahahahaha! (Also, laundry service for only $25/week? Sign me up!)

  2. Kelly Arnell September 9, 2015 at 9:30 pm - Reply

    As sick as I am of laundry, the thought of paying someone to handle my under garments grosses me out! Lol!

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do your laundry or die alone author becky blades

Becky Blades, Author of Do Your Laundry or You’ll Die Alone, and contributor to Huffington Post, Oprah.com, Scary Mommy, and Grown & Flown.