Modern Man

Let me start by saying that as a thoroughly modern man, I know how to pull my weight in the domestic duties department. I cook, I wash up, I pick up the endless detritus left around the house by the kids, I vacuum, I do the shopping and like most parents, I'm generally treated like a servant by my kids.

Blokes usually get a bad rap about shirking our responsibilities around the house (and I have lived in a number of all-male share households where cleaning was indeed a dirty word), but like many other animals, we are actually quite easily domesticated. I remember how the dynamic of a share-house completely changed when a girl moved in. It wasn't that all the blokes were trying to impress their new female housemate, it was because she was more likely to invite her friends over (and therefore increase the possibility for romantic liaisons) if there wasn't a week's worth of dishes piled up in the sink.

But I digress. The purpose of this week's polemic is to question the sheer volume of clothes that go through the washing machine and to suggest there is an easier way.

It's simple really - if it's not dirty, don't wash it.

This may come as something of a shock to many of those in the sisterhood, but just because you have worn something once, doesn't mean it needs to be washed.

At a barbeque recently I learned that domesticated males everywhere are experiencing a similar problem; over-zealous use of the washing machine leading to a never-ending mountain of washing needing to be hung out or put away.

Most men can wear a pair of jeans everyday for several weeks before they need a wash, and unless you've spilt food or got baby snot on your shirt, one wear isn't enough to justify a wash. Our wives say it's easier to just throw something at the washing basket when they're getting undressed and everything the kids have discarded on the floor too. But they are missing the point; throwing clean clothes into the wash results in extra unnecessary domestic chores.

Once it's been washed you have to hang it out, then bring it in again, then put it away so the whole ridiculous cycle can start all over again. Why not cut out all the middle steps and put the clean clothes away and the dirty ones in the wash?

It's not that we're lazy (or dirty), we're just efficient.

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