Plant Shutdown Survival Guide - CLOTHING

Part 6 in a series.

Well, my winter holiday shutdown was cancelled, so I confess, this series went to the back burner in favor of more pressing matters (like baking the kids' birthday cake, yum!).  But now, back in the grind, I'm in the middle of one installation / shutdown, have another starting at the beginning of March, and a third back-to-back starting in April.  This is going to be so much fun! 

One of the keys to staying sane in shutdown heck is having clothes ready and waiting.  For everyone.  The last thing you want to hear when you get home at 0100 is "Honey, I'm out of socks."  Now this is not to say that your beloved is incapable of washing laundry or is otherwise undomesticated, but that he (she) is busy too.  In our house, the likely culprit is not that the hamper is full but that all of the clean clothes are piled on the guest bed.  (Raise your hand if you too are guilty of having tons of clean clothes wrinkling in a heap somewhere.)  Time to tackle Mount Foldmore.

  1. Know your dress code for shutdown.  If you don't have coveralls, what is the expectation? Business casual (khakis and polo)? Business Friday (nice jeans and polo / oxford)? Construction wear (tee shirt and well-worn jeans, with hi-viz vest or jacket)?  As you fold, segregate all clothes that fit your dress code and put them aside.

  1. Ensure that all of your, ahem, "base garments" are clean.  Nothing like finding out that your unmentionables drawer is devoid of drawers when you're fumbling to get dressed at 0400.

  1. Match the socks.  We all have a sock basket (or box, or bag, or something).  Take the time now to fold EVERYTHING that you can.

  1. Assemble your workout clothes.  Assuming that you are going to continue your workouts during shutdown, assemble complete gym outfits, including socks and sports bra.  Pack the first in your gym bag, and leave the rest stacked for grab-and-go ease.

  1. Pack your work "go bag".  There are those days that you don't make it home, work-related or weather-related.   There are those days where your shirt gets covered in schmutz, or you take a liquid product shower, or a hunk of sheet metal rips a hole in your jeans.  God forbid, you might even have to pull the safety shower.  We've all been there.  Pack an extra complete set of clothes, a set of towels, a few pairs of socks, and an extra work-acceptable shirt.


Now for your family.  While you were folding the pile of clean laundry, you probably noticed what was going into the piles for the rest of the family.  Consider prepping the following:

  1. Make sure your other half has enough clothes for the duration of shutdown, +2 outfits, including matched socks and drawers.  Not that you're planning their wardrobe, just ensuring that you won't have to iron clothes when you get home late.

  1. Make sure that your kids have enough clothes for the duration of shutdown, including socks and undies, +33% (+50% contingency if your kids are under the age of 5).  Kids make messes, and clothes sometimes get sacrificed. 

  1. Have a spare set of sheets clean, folded, and ready for each child's bed.  Again, kids make messes, whether potty training, vomiting, or just having an overnight nosebleed.  Stuff happens, best to be prepared for it.

Laundry soap
Stain remover spray/stick
Fabric softener


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