The 5 Stages of Laundry – part

The 5 Stages of Laundry – part 3

In this fascinating three part series we have examined the increasingly common psychological journey, as outlined by the framework of the 5 Stages of Laundry. By now you should be confident to identify the stages in yourself and others, and be able to offer practical advice to those who may be suffering through it.

The 5 Stages of Laundry – part

One of the lesser discussed adjustment processes that South Africans who immigrate to Australia undertake is the 5 Stages of Laundry. In this three part series, we have examined this increasingly common psychological journey. By now, you should be confident to identify the stages in yourself and others, and be able to offer practical advice to those who may be suffering through it.

Remember that as when working with those who have suffered a loss or a trauma, when discussing the 5 Stages of Laundry, it is important to maintain an environment free of criticism, judgment or blame.

In this, the final in our three part series, we move out of Stage 3: F£@c*king Chaos, into stage 4: Wine and Iron, and the final stage 5: Wine.

Stage 4: Wine and Iron

Somewhere during the protracted chaos stage a new immigrant can actually make a friend if she remembers to brush her teeth.

A suggestion for getting through the chaos phase into the wine and iron phase is to learn to ask for help (not with the laundry, obviously) with the difficulty you are experiencing adjusting to the fact that from now until your children leave home, and maybe beyond that, you will be doing your family’s laundry day in and day out. For the next 20 years.

It has been proven that if you make a good friend, they will in fact come around to your house and drink tea while you do your laundry, thereby enabling you to be there as each cycle of your laundry finishes. If you serve them wine instead of tea, you can call your gathering a wine and iron, which has a nice ring to it. And it covers you for any whining you may need to do.

Which is NOT recommended, because you want your new friend to come again next Friday when you once again have a pile of ironing so large you can’t see your coffee table or your couch anymore.

It is my recommendation therefor that you stick to Wine and Iron, and avoid Whine and Iron. It may be a nice gesture to invite your new friend to bring along her ironing too. You will have to judge the appropriateness of that for yourself. (The Author is not exempt from receiving weird looks and being avoided in the school car park thereafter).

Stage 5: Acceptance

Typically the wine and iron stage brings the new immigrant to the realisation that life really is too short to iron. The wine and iron Friday is replaced by Wine Friday, and everyone who attends wears clothes that on close inspection, a just a little wrinkly around the edges. But no one cares at all. Except perhaps new South African arrivals still in stage 1. At this stage you can look back at the 5 clear stages of laundry and congratulate yourself for your progress through one of life’s challenges.

Which brings us to the end of our three part series in this common but infrequently discussed psychological framework. We hope it has been of some assistance as you or those you love battle through the stages.

If you need to refresh your memory on the full 5 stages the whole article is available to read in the Author’s blog, Diary of an ex-pat.