"Letting The Wookiee Win"

. . . My Laundry Folding Battle.

I want you to take a good look at this picture.
Notice anything unusual?
Out of the ordinary perhaps?
Take all the time you need.  I’ll wait.
{{ insert Jeopardy theme music here }}

Well? Anything? 
How about from another angle?
Anything now?   No??

Well of COURSE you don’t notice anything! That’s because there’s really nothing to notice! Exceptfor the first time in my “married with kids” career…I folded the kids clothes….INSIDE OUT!  Well, at least all the clothing that came to the laundry room to be laundered that way! Which is easily at least half of this pile of t-shirts. Did the world stop spinning on its’ axis??? No!  Could you even TELL???  No! (And those of you who are saying “I could tell!”….well you might have a worse problem than I do! lol).


OK…stick with me here.  I will be coming to a point…soon.

I came across this post on How To Save Time Folding Laundry on ParentHacks.com several months ago…and was so impressed I bookmarked it and promptly forgot about it.

Well, this morning as I folded a particularly mountainous pile of my boys clothes…these words from that post I read months before came rushing back to me.

“Let the Wookiee win.”

It wasn’t a phrase I was familiar with….but further investigation reveals it’s a line from Star Wars, in which C-3PO suggests a strategy to R2-D2, who’s playing a game of chess with Chewbacca.

The exchange goes like this:

[R2-D2 and Chewbacca are playing holographic chess aboard the Millennium Falcon]

Chewbacca: Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrgh!
C-3PO: He made a fair move. Screaming about it can’t help you.
Han Solo: Let him have it. It’s not wise to upset a Wookiee.
C-3PO: But sir, nobody worries about upsetting a droid.
Han Solo: That’s ’cause droids don’t pull people’s arms out of their sockets when they lose. Wookiees are known to do that.
Chewbacca: Grrf.
C-3PO: I see your point, sir. I suggest a new strategy, R2: let the Wookiee win.


“Letting the Wookiee win” in this instance is basically another way of saying “choose your battles.”

For years I have been trying (without success!) to get the hubster and my kids to TURN THEIR CLOTHES RIGHT SIDE OUT when they take them off and put them in the dirty clothes basket.  I mean really….how hard is it?????  *I* manage to do it. Don’t they realize the time it takes to fold the laundry would be cut in HALFif I didn’t have to turn everything right side out again?

{{ insert pregnant pause here }}
Now wait a minute! I start going through the unofficial “Mommy Handbook” in my head and nowhere does it say….laundry must be folded right sides out!

I anticipate this look to be on the faces of the “boys”
in this house once they start discovering their
clothes are all inside out.  haha!

So as of today there has been an addendum made to the House Rules:

All laundry that presents itself in this house INSIDE OUT….will remain that way…until the owner/wearer decides to wear it again and can THEN decide whether or not they want to be seen in public with their shirt, pants, etc turned inside out.  :-)

In the game of life…there are always going to be “battles” that need to be set aside in order to buoy up strength for those inevitable battles that NEED to be fought…and need to be WON!

What are your “Let The Wookiee Win” moments?
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  1. says

    I have also given up on turning clothes right side out (with the exception of my 4 yr old- though that will change in few months too). In the summer, when I tend to hang more clothes out to dry, drying them inside out is much better. I never realized till 2 summers ago how much the sun fades clothes!! Summer is the one time that I actually LIKE the clothes ending up in the laundry the “wrong”way. And that is the ONLY time I will turn them right side out when folding :)

  2. Joyful says

    I, like a previous poster, have been turning laundry right-side out for 40 years & inwardly grumbling about it all the time. Now that it’s just my husband & I at home, I will give this a try & see what the response is. Thanks Jillee.

  3. nicole says

    i have tried that before and my husband happily wore his tee-shirts inside out, i swear the man never looks at his cloths at at (he is a painter so dressing nice is not a job thing) I was more embarrassed them him so i guess he won

  4. Robyn says

    Hi Jillie
    Just wanted to say this post changed my life. Instead of cussing my husband out (to myself) everytime I turn yet another shirt right side out; I blissfully fold all the clothes in happy silence. He caught me hanging up a shirt inside out and turned it himself! I guess they can do things on there own. Well thanks for your wisdom Master Jillie. (Bow respectfully).

  5. says

    Love it. However, I’m at a season in my life as a pre-service teacher who is also going to school full-time where the kids do their own laundry. Then, the only laundry I have to worry about is The Man Beast’s, towels, sheets, and mine :)

  6. Darla says

    Good for you! I made that same decision 3o+ years ago…no one suffered!
    I made 2 other time saving decisions, too.
    #1 Every family member had their own towel color. If a blue towel was on the bathroom floor I knew who left it. There were 5 of us and we had only 5 colors of towels. (There were some nice striped ones for company stored in the linen closet.)
    #2 (Now everyone won’t go for this, but we started this when all the kids were 6 and under.) Everyone had their own tube sock stripe color. Laugh if you must. It saved this working mom a lot of time.
    Now that all are grown up we laugh about our color-coordinated days!

  7. Shanon says

    I tend to wash all my shirts inside out because the color and decals will last longer. But I don't fold shirts. All shirts in our house go on hangers. Easier for me to find the "one shirt" I wanna wear in the morning. I also don't fold underwear, unless they are boxers (but honestly I've thought about not doing those anymore either). I mean it's underwear….who cares which ones you grab in the morning and whether or not their wrinkled. And if you buy socks that are all the same brand and color then why bother matching them. Just dump them all loose a drawer and grab two in the morning. The only things I fold are sweaters (cause they go on a shelf so they don't stretch out), pants (shorts, jeans, sweats), pjs and my husbands undershirts (because they fit in the drawer better folded).

    • says

      Even my OCD self was able to finally stop folding underwear when I realized it just ended up in a jumbled mess anyway rifling through for the “right” pair. Not everyone can do that, but I heartily recommend the mental effort if you can manage it! :D

      But shirts with printing, decals, etc. last longer when washed inside out. And my partner, the one who INSISTS on his rock ‘n’ roll shirts being washed inside out? TAKES HIS SHIRTS OFF RIGHT SIDE OUT. Madness, I tell you.

      He was totally guilty of tossing all socks and underwear into a bin at the end of laundry day and just digging every time he needed to find something. But one week, all of his own volition, prompted by watching me fold my socks, he timed how long it took him to seek a pair of socks every day for a week, and how long it took him to fold them when they came out of the wash in relative pairs. It literally took half the amount of time to fold all his socks right out of the wash as it took to find a matched pair. He never looked back. Loves that getting ready for work takes less time, and when he had early shifts and needed to get his stuff ready the night before or while I was still asleep, it didn’t take ages–or a light! His underwear and t-shirts are in stacks inside that same bin, and he loves it. So much better than the toss-n-dig method.

  8. Charlene says

    Love it!

    I also saw recently a post on how to handle the whole "sock" issue, you know, one always missing, brother's looks like the other brother's etc. This mom bought mesh lingerie bags, and skirt clip hangers. Hung them on their closet doorknobs. Now said kid has to put all socks in it, zip it up for cleaning, then mom throws it in with the clean clothes after drying, and kid gets to match their own socks. Love it!