Checking pockets

laundryDo you check pockets before you put your dirty clothes in the washer? What do you do with what you find?

When my boys were young I told them over and over to check their pockets before putting their clothes in the hamper because what I found in the machine or pockets would be mine to keep.  My husband knew of this law of mine too.

There were times a quarter or a dollar was lost to them and at times there were tears but I never relented.  I also found a lot of things I’d rather not have found as well.  There were markers and pens and baseball cards and rocks.  I let them earn some of the personal things back but not the money.  I earned little enough doing the laundry to begin with so to me, it was my “thanks mom for doing my laundry” kind of thing.

There is only one time in my memory that I ever returned money and that was once Jason had just cashed his paycheck.  It was $80 so I did give that back but he was plenty worried.  I found the money and went and asked him if he’d checked his pockets.  The pure look of horror on his face was wonderful and I’ve never forgotten it. He was really worried though.  But I couldn’t keep his paycheck.  That just wouldn’t be right.

What did your mom do?  What did/do you do?  Do you keep what you find or do you check pockets at all?  Had I not checked, I would have had to many ruined clothes so I just got in the habit.  The most exciting thing I ever find now are golf tee’s.

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9 Responses to Checking pockets

  1. SKL says:

    I check. Sometimes I’m amazed at what I find in my own pockets.

    I had the job of laundry for years when I was a teen. I kept change but not bills. Of course, by the time I took over the laundry, everyone knew the house rules (found money is obviously a tip for the maid), so I rarely found anything worth keeping.

    My daughters have started the habit of filling their jacket pockets with whatever gifts of nature they find during their hikes and walks. The other day my daughter pulled out a rotting berry while waiting in the checkout line. Guess I need to check those jacket pockets between washes too.

  2. SanityFound says:

    Yurgh to golf tee’s, you’re going to have to plant items in pockets random like to make it at least a bit more exciting. I always check my pockets, mother kinda never did the washing so I got into that habit early. I would always give the odd weird things back, our notes are washable so let them go for a spin clean… coins? If they were mothers I put them in my piggy bank… was handy later on.

  3. Just a Mom says:

    I learned the hard way after my youngest daughter left a red crayon in her pocket! All of my clothes got ruined but ironically it did not get on hers!
    If I find money it is all mine. My husband tipped me with a $20 once I told him how nice it was to get such a large tip!
    My mom always checked our pockets and always kept what she found.

  4. holeycheese says:

    I turn all pants inside out before putting them in the washing machine.. so if there would be something I would find it. But I have to say it’s unusual. My husband always checks his pockets and the kids didn’t start putting stuff in the pockets yet.. I guess they just didn’t think of the possibility even.. The few times I find something when I do laundry it’s a note with a phone number or tissues.

    I don’t remember that we had any problem with stuff left in the pockets when I grew up either.

  5. kwoneshe2 says:

    I had my “first family” (ex hub and kids) trained to clean their pockets out (and make sure their socks weren’t inside out or wadded up). When I remarried, Ricky is good about cleaning his pockets, but the kids weren’t. I’ve washed many things that should never be immersed in water! LOL

  6. Sue says:

    I check pockets, but it never fails that I miss one of the pens my husband has stashed! The last time I did his work clothes, I checked every pocket I could find and I thought I was in the clear. I found 4 pens in the washer b/4 the clothes made it to the dryer! I had checked and still missed them! I’m ready to tell him to do his own laundry!

  7. nikki says:

    I check most of the time, I never keep the money though. I usually just through the change on the washer and Bailey finds it. It ends up going to him anyway, candy or toy machines at Walmart or at the bowling alley!!! The cash, if it’s a few bucks I’ll keep it but if it’s $10 or $20 I’ll give it to Jason. I never find pens but chap stick is a regular!!

  8. Jennifer says:

    I always check the pockets before I put items in the washer. Thankfully alot of my kiddos pants still don’t have pockets, but their coats and some shirts do. From the kids I find the usual assortment of rocks, pinecones, and hair ties. My daughter also loves to hold the store receipt when we leave a store so I often find those as well.

    My husband usually empties his pockets daily, but not always. He tends to have pens, paperclips, and usually gadgets like tiny little jump drives in his pockets. I washed one of those once and he’s been better about taking care of them.

    Any money I keep is mine, although I’ll admit the largest bills are usually found in my own pockets. I never bother emptying them since I’m the one doing laundry anyway. It’s still a pleasant surprise.

    My mom never did my laundry while I was growing up….other than when I was a baby….from the time I was about 3 or 4 I was helping with the laundry. We still had a wringer washer and yes I SHOULD be too young to remember what those are! LOL! When I was about 7 we got an automatic washer but it was in the basement and it became my job to lug everyone’s laundry downstairs, load the washer, and haul it back upstairs and hang it on the clothesline. We had no dryer.

    I guess I’ve always earned the tip!

  9. Joy says:

    I remember my grandma’s wringer washer too Jen. Compared to those days, we have it easy. She also didn’t have running water and had to haul it all in with pails.

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