I had a few for this post, but I started ranting and it got long so this might become a bit of a series.
I’m fairly sure I’ve never had a subscription to Real Simple, but I have read it from time to time when I come across a copy. It’s been a while, but I know I’ve liked some of their recipes and every now and then an article just pops out at me. So, when I saw the September issue was about decluttering and meal prep I decided to take a look.
Never again. I don’t know if I’ve wised up, if this was a one-off, or whether the magazine has just changed. But, it’s now an oh-so-typical bunch of ads written as articles. To top that off the elitism just oozes out of the pages.
I admit that I only got halfway through before I couldn’t stop thinking about the main issue I’ll discuss here. There was a really good idea about setting up a joint parent email that gets all the kids messages so you see all of them and their associated responses without forwarding constantly. But, first one was hit with all the things to buy to achieve the organization they were recommending. I’m sure there are plenty of things most folks can do to be more organized without spending a cent.
Then, what I can’t get out of my head was their treatment of the laundry room. First, let’s be clear, most folks don’t have a laundry room. Hopefully they have a washer (and likely dryer), but it might be in the basement, a closet, a bathroom, the kitchen, etc. One has to have space to have an actual laundry room. Full disclosure, we do have one in our current house. But, in previous homes we’ve had shared laundry, laundry in a foyer closet, laundry in a basement bathroom, and laundry in the kitchen.
So, what got me so about the laundry room? I’ll discuss in reverse order. On page 104 they recommend to “fold your laundry in the laundry room,” ie. don’t get distracted by moving the laundry elsewhere. Well, while I do have a laundry room, it is basically big enough to go in and close the door with a few bins and the machines. It has no windows. This is not a space to spend lots of time nor a place I stand any chance of sorting eight people’s stuff. Plus, they explicitly recommend against watching TV while folding laundry. Really?
Backing up, page 40 is about organizing and decorating the laundry room. When you pass it the first time you think really, this is unnecessary: hanging artwork, clear glass containers for one’s laundry pods, and fancy pendant lighting. But, the magnitude of thought of the magazine as a whole doesn’t hit you until this is combined with the idea that one should spend a lot of time in the laundry room.
This is a functional space. I admit I didn’t even spring for stainless machines because, really, who but me will see them and I am not a huge stainless fan. They do recommend storing supplies like light bulbs and cleaning products in your laundry room. Completely agree if you have space. Although, if you’ve swapped for modern LED light bulbs it almost doesn’t make sense to store any since they take so long to go.
The last recommendation on the page was for a folding drying rack. Completely agree here as you probably don’t need it all the time. I just wish there had been more of this practical stuff vs the fluff.
Maybe the second half of the magazine will offer more. I haven’t gotten to the recipes yet, for example. But, I don’t know if I’ll be picking up a copy (from the library) again anytime soon.