The time has come to revisit that most special of tea moments – the one where you have the laundry well under way and are being lulled by the swish of the washer and hum of the dryer. It’s been awhile since I wrote about enjoying any kind of quiet tea moment. In fact the last one was How to Have a Quiet Autumn Tea Moment. And the last time I wrote about doing the laundry and having a tea moment was Tea Moments — Doing Laundry posted years ago. In-between a lot of laundry got done and a lot of tea moments were had. But also I have shared through social media some of your thoughts on how such moments can go. So this is partly about you.

Tea plus laundry is a perfect match! (ETS image+vendor image+stock image)

Tea plus laundry is a perfect match! (ETS image+vendor image+stock image)

One thing is clear: most folks don’t stop what they’re doing to run a few loads of laundry through their machines. They usually load up the washer, get it going, and then go off to take care of something else around the house (such as running the vacuum cleaner over that hallway carpet that never seems to stay clean or patching that hole in the drywall that you made when you punched it – being careful to avoid the stud – when all the whites turned pink due to that sneaky red sock that got in there, which is now spotty since you used bleach). Folks like me who work from home get to go back to work, literally (one of the disadvantages of working from home – you’re never away from the office). I am, therefore, doing this revisit to the laundry-time tea moment to get you away from the “work while you wash” habit. Take that time. You deserve it.

The biggest impediment to having a good laundry tea moment is one of lack of knowledge of the best procedure for accomplishing this. We’re all busy, especially those with young children or who are caring for an elderly parent or other loved one at home. If you’re a small business owner, you are usually running ragged from that first cock crow at dawn to the last chirp of that nightingale. So, being the ever helpful person I am, I put together the following step-by-step guide for your perfect laundry tea moment:

Having the Perfect Tea Moment While Doing Laundry

  1. Prepare the dirty clothes (remove from hamper, take to laundry area, sort, turn T-shirts right side out which is futile since they will be inside out again when you remove them from the dryer so you might as well wait, put a load in the washer and start it up)
  2. Put the kettle on.
  3. Relax, read, catch up on email, do a crossword puzzle, catch a few minutes of that program on the DVR, etc.
  4. Prepare the teapot (put the tea in, preferably loose, but your choice here – I’m not about to show up at your house and start pounding on the door shouting “Open up! I know you’re using teabags in there!”).
  5. When the kettle whistles (assuming you’re making black tea and therefore need boiling water), take the teapot to the kettle – never the other way around – and pour in the water.
  6. Set the timer for about 5 minutes (shorter if you like a lighter tasting black tea but too short and one has to wonder why your are bothering to make tea at all).
  7. While the tea is steeping (technically, it’s infusing, but hey no need to worry about that at this stage of things – if you’re British, you have been raised to call it “brewing” – sigh!), you get another shot at that book, email, puzzle, or TV program – make the most of it. You might also consider pondering deep thoughts such as the massive size of the universe or how tea steeps on an atomic level.
  8. Ding! Okay, time for that tea to be done, so remove those teabags (yeah, I know you used some) and pour yourself a cuppa. Depending on the wash cycle you chose, there should still be time left for you to sip leisurely and get back to that reading, etc.

When you run out of tea but still have more laundry to do, you are at a fork in the proverbial road. You can steep more tea and forge on with that laundry or move on to something else and let the laundry wait for the kids to finish it when they get home … yeah, right! Giggle!

See more of A.C. Cargill’s articles here.

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