Socks- Not only is there a pile of socks with no mates at the end of every basket, but matching socks is like a jigsaw puzzle. There are 6 different pairs of feet in my house, and while the kids only have one or two types of sockes (N has some with lines, and some with grey toes; K has plain pink toes, and some with girly patterns), the hubby has an endless variety. He has long socks, ankle socks, and some in between; grey toes, grey soles, plain white, some with a stripe, some that say "Hanes". I won't lie, some (ahem, most) weeks, I leave all the socks in a basket and let the family find their own matches.
Pockets full of stuff- Luckily, E has finally broken the "crayon in the pocket" habit. There were several years of shirts and pants with crayon markings on them. We have also moved past the "MP3 player in the pocket" stage- or it could be that we stopped supplying MP3 players (and they wonder why we won't shell out $200 for an Ipod). Unfortunately, both E and C are hanging in the "DS games in the pocket" stage. Which means few DS games have titles on them, since the stickers have washed off. On the plus side, DS games are resilient and work after several trips through the washer.
Clean clothes in the laundry- my kids have been known to leave some clean clothes on the floor of their room either because they didn't have room to fit shirts/pants in their drawer or just didn't feel like putting their laundry away. And of course, anything on the floor finds its way to the laundry basket downstairs eventually. I'm sure I wash more clean clothes than I realize, but occasionally I catch a clean shirt before it enters the washer, and it is followed by the typical "do you think I wash clothes because I like it?" speech met by their blank stares (b/c of course Mom likes to do laundry).
And finally- All the clothes that need to be pulled apart or turned around before being returned in a neat, clean pile. There are the balled up socks, with all their dirty, sweaty grossness. Should I undo them (EWWW) or wash them as they are (they won't get REALLY clean that way). Shirts inside out- I can't help but turn them right, but one day when I dial down my laundry OCD, I swear I'm gonna leave 'em be. And in the winter, shirts inside of shirts. I am all about layering to stay warm, but can't you take the layers apart for me?
Many have suggested that I let the kids help with the laundry, or let them takeover the chore entirely. And I've thought about it, really I have. One small problem, it has to be folded a certain way, and the stacks of laundry have to be stacked the right way. I've tried to teach them, but I'm pretty sure it is going to take several drinks (for them and me*) to make it through that lesson. Yup, as laid back as I think I am, I am completely Type-A, OCD when it comes to laundry. I've even caught myself refolding clothes my hubby has folded and rearranging the piles (he just can't get them right). So until we move to a nudist colony**, I guess I better keep this pile of laundry moving.
*Don 't worry, I wouldn't really give the kids drinks while teaching them to fold laundry, although it couldn't make their dewrinkling and folding any worse. If I ever try to teach them the right way to fold pants and shirts, I will spring for the years of counseling they will surely need. Or maybe it would be cheaper to hire a maid. Hmmm.
**Do they ever wear clothes in a nudist colony? I bet they do in the winter. Must do research.