‘On the couch’ with Jasminda

DEAR Jasminda,

When washing my 18-year-old and 20-year-old’s clothes, I frequently come across other items that neither own.

These items have been left at our place by their friends.

Last week I did eight loads of washing, which seems ridiculous.

How can I encourage these kids to take their clothes with them?

Katherine W.

Dear Katherine,

Okay, there are a couple of problems here so let’s deal with the most glaring one first. Why are you still washing your adult children’s clothes?

In this privileged country, washing clothes is as simple as adding them to a machine, taking them out when it beeps at you, and hanging them on the line.

It’s not as though we have to handwash our clothes in a tub with a cake of soap and then wring them out before hanging them on tree limbs.

Clothes washing is a very simple task for your children, and one they will need to know when they leave home (which yours will never do because you’ve made life too easy for them).

The second problem relates to the first.

I have a strong suspicion that your children’s friends have to wash their own clothes and so they are simply leaving items at your home, knowing that when they next visit, their jackets and jumpers and socks will be lovingly folded and smelling like jasmine because you’ve assumed ownership of a job that isn’t your responsibility.

In future, wash your own clothes and put everyone else’s in a basket and place it back in their room for them to deal with.

They’ll soon get the message and the washing will be reduced down to something more manageable, along with your blood pressure.

Carpe diem, Jasminda.

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