Contents of a Growing Boy's Pockets...

Phyl CampbellStarred Page By Phyl Campbell, 2nd Jul 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Housekeeping>Laundry

A few short weeks ago, I created this article "About Towels, Picking Battles and Simplifying Life," which I hoped would help domestic gods and goddesses everywhere with this dreaded household chore. Today, I am back with another laundry load, The Contents of a Growing Boy’s Pockets…

Contents of a Dead Man's Pockets

Maybe you remember a short story from an English class: Contents of a Dead Man's Pockets? If not, here's a video based on it:

. When I hear strange noises coming out of my dryer, I wonder what was in my son's pockets, and my brain always goes back to that short story I first read nearly 20 years ago.

Noises in the Dryer -- Uh oh, not good...

One very important thing to note is that I don’t clean out pockets. And I don’t wash my son’s clothes with my own. Many times, I have reminded my young man that his possessions are his, not mine, and if they are ruined in the laundry the responsibility is his. I probably won’t win any Mother of the Year awards for my nonchalance, but the older he gets, the more important this lesson becomes. And since I have stated from the outset that I do not stick my hands down little boy pockets, he has not once complained that I destroyed his . Case(s) in point:

Sorting Laundry -- not like Momma Does It

When I was growing up, my mother taught me how to do the laundry. Everyone’s clothes were gathered in a big pile, then the laundry was sorted into white, non-white or colored, and red. Socks and underwear were to be washed separately on hot, and the other items were to be washed according to their care directions. Many things had to be washed separately from other things. You might be able to wash a towel with a load of socks, but towel pilling, fuzz, and lint would cause total grief and embarrassment if they appeared on dress pants, for example. Or so my mother told me.
However, with today’s washers and dryers, and the move toward high efficiency everything, sorting really isn’t as important as it was in my mother’s heyday. So in my house, we don’t sort laundry. My husband and I share a laundry hamper, my son has his own, and when the hamper is full (or weekly) it gets trotted out to the washing machine for cleaning.
And I am not alone. If you search "no sort laundry," you'll find lots of blogging moms (I'm not trying to be sexist, but I haven't seen any dads blogging on this yet, maybe you'll comment differently and share a link with me) coming out of the laundry room and admitting that they wash clothes this way. (I would link to a few of them for you, but with loads of affiliate links, I'd probably have to remove them to keep the moderators -- and Wikinut sponsors -- happy. So use your favorite search engine (I went ahead and checked Wikinut for you, but the posts that came up are all sorting via old school methodology -- sorry!!) and go to town.

I cheat on the folding part of laundry, too!

So not only do I not sort, rarely use hot water (I think my setting is EcoWarm, but cold is fine, too -- the detergent gets the dirt out, and the dryer heat kills any residual bacteria), and make my son put away his own laundry basket, but any of use folds very little. In my previous article, I mentioned that my son's towels do not get folded, but hung on hooks by hoods.
This got started after several years of not folding shirts, and the rewards of no pinched fingers in dresser drawers, and no shirts that looked dirty in their desperate need for ironing caused me to determine not to sweat that kind of small stuff.

Pants, socks, and underwear (oh, my)

Because he has the shelves in his closet, we put clothes on them. (My husband and I have similar set ups in our closet). Socks, pajamas, and underwear are in bins. The sock bin and two pj bins are in the picture with the pants. You might notice that some of the pjs are folded, because we just went through clothes following a growth spurt. Usually they are haphazard. I don't care. They are pajamas and they belong to him -- he can put them away however he wants. But this is the way my son keeps his closet: bins, shorts, pants, jeans -- and shirts hang on the opposite side. He is learning so much about autonomy. And now that he's 10, he can empty his own hamper into the drum, move the clean clothes to the dryer, and return the contents to his closet. Our only problem is when I hear noises like in the video above, and then I step in to check out The Contents of Growing Boy's Pockets...

Credits and Comment Begging ;)


I'd like to thank myself for taking video of the rattling stuff in the dryer, figuring out how to post it to YouTube, and then embedding the YouTube Video. It was easier than I expected, maybe I'll have to do an article about it so other talented Wikinuts who claim technological incapability will become techni-capable...

I'd like to thank the award-winning video short, "Contents of a Dead Man's Pockets," for having a video that so neatly summed up Jack Finney's story. Katie Giardano did a wonderful job producing the video (no, I don't know her), but I think she did an excellent job representing the story well.

For the image of the women washing laundry in the river, I'd like to thank Morguefile, of course. Here is a direct link to that picture.

I'd like to thank Wikipedia for almost always having a definition and a visual of words I wouldn't expect the average person to know. But I still won't donate to their cause, having just read a series of articles explaining why they don't need my meager money, and seeing some big donations by those who had the "pocket change" to spare. I still love them, but just a little bit less, now...

And to anyone still reading -- oh, thank YOU!! Leave a comment, or if you must use more words to air your laundry -- dirty or otherwise -- why not write an article yourself? Follow this link: What are you waiting for? You just got a personal invitation!!


Clothes Dryer, Drying Clothes, Ecofriendly Laundry, Empty Pockets, Laundry, No Sort Laundry, Pockets Full Of, Putting Clothes Away, Sorting, Washing Cothes

Meet the author

author avatar Phyl Campbell
I am "Author, Mother, Dreamer." I am also teacher, friend, Dr. Pepper addict, night-owl. Visit my website -- -- or the "Phyl Campbell Author Page" on Facebook.

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author avatar Delicia Powers
2nd Jul 2013 (#)

Ever clever...:0)-and a very wise MOM you are...well done. I love the twinkle of humor in your eyes that you view life from...:0)-excellent, thank you Phyl...

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
2nd Jul 2013 (#)

this is such a fun piece Phyl...and i loved the video you made...what a great mum you are...we who were brought up proper!!! know how to take care of so many things including the Wash...I still love ironing my sheets!!!

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
2nd Jul 2013 (#)

Thank you, Peter -- esp. for the STAR!! Thank you, ladies! This one was a fun one to put together!

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author avatar Connie McKinney
2nd Jul 2013 (#)

Agreed. This was a fun read plus great photos and videos. Maybe you should do a follow-up story on whatever creatures are lurking in your son's pockets! Lol

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
3rd Jul 2013 (#)

Ha Ha Connie! Maybe I will! It will be a horror story!! ;)

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author avatar Penny W-T
4th Jul 2013 (#)

A very amusing start to my morning! Thank you. It is all so true too. I find men have a very different approach to laundry.

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
4th Jul 2013 (#)

What is a man's approach to laundry, Penny W-T? Thanks for commenting!

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
7th Jul 2013 (#)

Unique style of presentation and writing style keeping the reader riveted from start to finish. Needs stamina like the laundry job! Doing laundry needs patience and my wife does when she is around though I do chip in! Thank you Phyl - siva

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
7th Jul 2013 (#)

I'm so glad to hear you chip in, Siva! And I appreciate your being riveted! Thanks so much!

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