Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Do Your Laundry or You'll Die Alone

Rate this book
When her firstborn daughter graduated high school, Becky Blades knew her daughter was not ready for the world. She knew even the best college would not be covering the most important material: How to be kind, happy, and appropriate in public...how to protect oneself from sock monsters, boring conversations, and scary dates...why to keep the clothes clean.

So the day before classes started, Blades e-mailed a good-bye letter with motherly advice she had kept to herself for a year.

With warmth, wit, and a hint of sass, Blades blended bite-sized morsels of coming-of-age common sense with tiny essays on topics like forgiveness and creativity.

Her daughter responded with a challenge: "Mom, take your own advice." So just in time for her younger daughter's graduation from high school, Blades illustrated the prose with her signature mixed media artwork, creating a though-provoking, conversation-starting book.

It is wise counsel for women of all ages, reminding us to trust our instincts and to show our dreams who is boss. KIRKUS STARRED REVIEW.

143 pages, Paperback

First published April 1, 2014

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Becky Blades

3 books37 followers
Becky Blades is a writer, artist, business strategist and philosopher of creative, adventurous living. Since selling her award-winning public relations firm, Becky has served as a civic advocate for the arts and entrepreneurship, and as a consultant and mentor to businesses.

Her first book, Do Your Laundry or You’ll Die Alone, Advice Your Mom Would Give if She Thought You Were Listening, which she wrote and illustrated, was named a Best Books of 2014 and one of the Top 100 Indie Releases by Kirkus Reviews. It received the prestigious Kirkus Starred Review and was featured by Oprah’s Book Club last year.

Becky has been a contributing writer to Oprah.com, The Huffington Post, Lifestyle Publications, Grown & Flown, Scary Mommy, and other publications.

Becky studied art and photography at the University of Missouri while majoring in Journalism. Later, she studied sculpture, welding, painting and printmaking at the Kansas City Art Institute. Her mixed media artwork is in private collections from San Francisco to New York to Paris.

Becky is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism.

She lives in Kansas City, Missouri, with her husband, Cary Phillips.

Learn more about Becky and view her art at www.beckyblades.com

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
139 (38%)
4 stars
122 (33%)
3 stars
75 (20%)
2 stars
21 (5%)
1 star
3 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 82 reviews
Profile Image for Carrie (Book Fairy) Fort .
758 reviews168 followers
April 10, 2014
Favorite Advice But what you cannot find on the internet is your mother’s voice

There’s nothing WORSE than a smart GIRL who acts dumb. It’s worse than a dumb girl.

MAKE something EVERY DAY.
Make a meal or a joke or a scarf or a poem. Make a notecard or a paper doll or a dress for yourself. Make a face or a friend or a Facebook friend. Creating is your birthright, and celebrating your creativity reminds you of your unique place in the world.


GIVE MONEY OR help to whomever you think needs it. Don’t spend too much time agonizing over whether your gift to the begging woman on the corner will be spent on a bottle for a baby or a bottle for her. The decision to give is a decision between you and God. What she does with it is between her and God.

Sweet secrets are winks between you and God and remind you of your pure goodness and strength.

Don’t put OFF starting something
Because YOU aren’t SURE YOU can
Finish It. If you get the urge to begin something – an article, a social movement, a letter to your mom – goes ahead and starts it. The creative energy is strongest at the inception of the idea, and when you get momentum going, you might just find the time and resources to take it all the way.
Only one thing is sure to keep you from finishing it: Not starting.

When YOU’RE happy, Tell YOUR face about It. When you’re not, don’t let your face be your tell.

Choose YOUR battles., the fewer the better. Life is not war.

The quality OF YOUR FRIENDS can DEFINE the quality OF YOUR LIFE.

Remember, however, to be AFRAID
OF the truly scary things: of losing your curiosity, of bruising your hope, and of developing bunions, which will severely limit your footwear choices.

What a great little book! I've already told my daughter, friend, and sister in law some of the advice Becky tells you about.
As a mom we want the best for our kids and this book covers so much. Funny or serious, there are so many words of wisdom in this book.
This is the perfect gift for anyone with a child, best friend, sister, or even mother, especially a new mother. I would have loved to have this book when my daughter was a baby, it would have been a good book to look at when my daughter had a problem and I needed an answer that would really impact her enough to remember.
It's a feel good book that made me smile!
I would recommend this book to anyone who has a woman in their life.

Profile Image for Jacquelyn.
444 reviews206 followers
December 29, 2016
My mom got me this book for Christmas and I'm really grateful she did because I know I'll be happy to have this in the future, especially when I'm grown up and moved out of the house. Some great advice as well as some funny and quirky pieces of advice as well. Would highly recommend! Very nice set up of the book too. Liked the way everything was laid out and how some pages had full images and color.
Profile Image for Cindy Gilleland.
121 reviews1 follower
January 6, 2014
This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review.

This is a book that ALL moms need to have and give to the daughter(s). This tells the daughter what she needs to know to get through like. Given advice that every women wishes she had from her mom. This is a book that if I had a daughter or daughters I would buy it and give it to them.

Profile Image for Kate.
24 reviews2 followers
February 16, 2014
The perfect gift for any young adult! I laughed, I cried, I smiled and I remembered...
43 reviews3 followers
June 12, 2014
I recently read Do Your Laundry or You’ll Die Alone by Becky Blades. First of all, I love how this book started out by reminding us that we have so much information and advice at our fingertips these days. We are blessed with a plethora of information that our mothers couldn’t get when they were our age. Because of that, if we have a question, we can simply Google it and get an answer, thus avoiding some embarrassingly awkward conversations with our mothers.

The book goes on to say that despite all of that, we can’t get our mother’s voice. And that is important. We may be able to find information all over the internet, but that information might not be personal to us. Our mother’s know us personally and are able to take that advice and mold it directly to our needs.

This book was a great read. I enjoyed all of the advice and tidbits that Becky Blades had to give. This book contains all of your mothers advice – even the pieces that you may not have heard throughout all the noise growing up. It’s great reminders how to live in order to be happy and successful and to make others happy.

The book is formatted in a very easy to read format and would make a perfect gift for somebody going away to college, or beginning life on their own. It would also make a great gift for a teen who will one day be on their own. In fact, if somebody is ever going to live on their own, they should read this book.

With that said, this book is geared toward that crowd getting ready to leave the home, but is really practical advice for all of us – men and women. I did receive this book free of charge in exchange for a review, but I will definitely be purchasing copies of this book for my children when they get older.

This is the kind of book that one can sit on their nightstand and turn back to many times. If you like easy to read, neatly organized books then this is definitely one you should purchase.

Profile Image for Kat Hoopingarner.
1 review3 followers
April 15, 2014
I am a mom of a 4 year old and a 6 month old. I have been feeling twangs of time passing too quickly and them growing up so fast. "Do your Landry..." was a great refresher course for me in the important little wisdom that just makes life easier. There were some great tid bits that I will be trying to instill in my girls in the coming years.

I liked this book because I liked the pace. Some simple ideas were expanded upon nicely, while complex ideas were simply stated and left alone. My favorite being "Know God." Books have been written on this, but she leaves it simple. Love that.

The only reason that I gave the book a 4 instead of a 5, was it is not going to be a timeless advice book. There are a few popular culture references that may or may not be relevant in a few years. The one that comes to mind is a reference to Match.com.

This is a great book that I will leave in my living room or in the bathroom for guests to thumb through. This would make a great gift for any young woman about to go out on her own whether it be moving out from the nest or going to college.

(I was kindly given this book to give an honest review.)
Profile Image for Jacquelyn Smith.
1,255 reviews
March 5, 2014
This is a book that I would recommend to woman and young ladies everywhere. Great advice and a great read with a touch of spice.The ones I liked most were know you're friends and charity starts at home. I can go on and on about this book and talk about all the great advice she gives. I can only wish that as a mother, that I had this book to give to my daughter. I am just glad that Mrs. Blade wrote this book as a guide to her daughters and others. I am going to give her five dreams just for originality. Does it help mothers out, how can it not. All I can say is this is a keeper. This not a fantasy or silly romance this is a love so deep between a mother and her children that you have to say thank you. I am so blessed that Carrie recommended this little joy of a book to me.

I was given this book by the author in exchange for my honest review (LoP)
5 little dreams*****
Profile Image for Therinia .
96 reviews38 followers
March 7, 2014
This book would make a fabulous gift for a new graduate or anyone setting out on their own for the first time. I wish I'd had a copy when I went off to college, as it is full of great advice. The artwork is bright and attractive.

Some of my favorites (and there are 270 great little gems):

#85 Little habits can cost you big. The $4 a day you spend on fancy coffee adds up to $1460 a year.

#2 If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all. You're smart enough to think of something nice to say.

#18 Make something every day.

#157 Know the difference between Hoarding and Collecting.

#83 Own a tutu and a boa.

I really liked #83; I have a screensaver that says the world would be better if more people wore tutus. I think the same would be true with boas, as well.

An ARC was provided to me by the publisher through NetGalley.
Profile Image for Caro.
1,776 reviews37 followers
July 21, 2014
This was an ok book, but it wasn't exactly what I thought it was. That's what I get for thinking and not just reading. ;) Anyhow, there were some really good tips that really are like common sense, a few humorous hints, and upbeat in feeling. However, I think some of these things really were tailored for the authors daughters and not all of them would be for everyone. Most were pretty good and practical. An ok read that's pretty much a one-sitter. I wouldn't read this again but I wouldn't call it a complete waste of time, just...eh. Good Luck
February 23, 2014
"Do Your Laundry or You'll Die Alone" gives every young woman that pep talk from mom she needs on her journey to conquer the world. With the perfect balance of sass and endearment, Blades provides smart, real advice that reminds girls everywhere mother will always know best. Humorous, straightforward, and creative words to inspire independent women at any age.
1 review
March 25, 2014
It's not enough to tell your children how to live their lives, but to set a good example. Blades writes as though she learned these lessons herself, and that's what makes this book so worthwhile! It's about real life, from fluff to serious. I raised sons, but I've already given the book to my two daughters-in-law.
Profile Image for Tabitha Turner.
7 reviews10 followers
April 5, 2014
A must read for moms and daughters

Absolutely loved it! The book title caught my attention and I knew better than to pass it by. This read is full of witty heartfelt advice that every girl needs to keep in mind (#224 is the one to live by). I was lucky enough to get it free from the kindle store but will probably purchase a hard copy to share.
Profile Image for (Mellifluous Grant).
518 reviews29 followers
October 28, 2016
This book is so cute and so full of wonderment and information, that as a parent I want to share it with my children, and as someone's child wished my mom would give me advice just like this 20 or so years ago. This book has something in it for everyone, and everyone should take a gander at what it has to offer.
79 reviews
December 26, 2020
don't tell me to spend even more time thinking about my appearance than I already do, don't tell me not to give homeless people money just because I think they'll spend it on alcohol or drugs, and don't tell me not to say fuck 🖕
Profile Image for Anne Russ.
37 reviews2 followers
March 22, 2014
Undeniably good advice for your kids and yourself! Becky's humorous take on parenting is your new "how to" guide for parenting!
Profile Image for Ronda.
78 reviews26 followers
December 6, 2014
What this book contains is gems. Real life, usable gems that apply to life. I read this on my kindle but will be buying a physical copy ASAP.
Profile Image for B..
1,749 reviews7 followers
March 29, 2019
This book was kinda meh. Definitely not what the synopsis makes it out to be. The book should have stayed a letter to her daughters, as it's obviously not for everyone. Since she went and decided to publish it as a book, she could have made it more general - everything's from and to the feminine perspective, and it gets quite repetitive. Still further, it would have been great if the religious references had been left out. It's not going to be one I will read again, and I'm very glad I bought it used, because I would have been ticked off if I had paid full price for this nonsense. As it is, I'm going to probably cut it up as there are some pretty cool illustrations in there that could benefit a kiddo art project or the like, but other than that, there's not a whole lot of value here.
Profile Image for Lauren.
72 reviews
December 15, 2019
I have been meaning to read this book since my mom gave it to me as a high school graduation present in May 2016. I finally got around to it, and I have to admit I was disappointed. The book provided good advice, but it seemed like a shiny, happy, Disney-esque vision of the world. It lacked the dark, gritty, difficult advice that I needed back when I first moved out of the house. The persona of the narrator is sheltered to the point of coming across as naïve at times. This book should not replace any advice your mom or mom-like figures give you.
344 reviews2 followers
February 6, 2020
This is one of two books that I looked at to send to my daughters who have finally moved away from home. This was definitely better than the other one!

There are a lot of little tips that a person who moves away from home for the first time doesn't know but probably should. This book gives those tips in an easy to read fashion.

My favorite tips:
Do your laundry before you are out of underwear (or something like that)
Make something every day

I would recommend it to all high school seniors or anyone who is moving away from home for the first time.

December 30, 2017
I loved this book so much...full of advice & motherly wisdom. Picked it up on a whim at the library & I read it a bit of it out loud to my 2 teenage daughters. As a lover of the written/handwritten word, I especially loved #187--write in longhand every day & also the items regarding balancing technology with the real world. I'm planning on giving each of my daughters a copy of this book when they turn 16 to give them a "coming of age" head start.
Profile Image for Melissa.
20 reviews1 follower
June 17, 2019
My parents got me this book in honor of my high school graduation and I can honestly say that this is the perfect gift and most appreciated one they’ve ever given me. I can feel all the love Blades has not only for her children but for anyone reading this. It’s really a beautiful and simple book that I will definitely be using as I figure out my way into the adult world and will probably be using when I turn 50. I love it!!
1 review1 follower
December 7, 2020
What a clever gift to give to a young woman who is off to college or setting out on her own. Filled with witty tips on everything from budgeting to doing your laundry, this book is amusing and highly readable. Keep it on your bookshelf and refer to its myriad suggestions. Colorfully illustrated and written by a loving mom.
Profile Image for cati.
400 reviews19 followers
September 2, 2017
Brilliant! THis book literally has gotten me thru the summer leading up to sending my sweet girl off to college. Thank you Ann Horton for giving it to Haley, so that I could read it. She will read it over winter break!
53 reviews
June 23, 2018
This book was super cute! My mom gave it to me as part of my graduation present and I found it to be really sweet! There was definitely some good advice in it and it was a good way to kick off my summer reading for college advice!!
85 reviews1 follower
April 26, 2019
I loved this book! So full of things I wish I had said to my children. It would be a great gift for a graduate from high school or even college. It is geared towards women but there were things for both genders to know.
Profile Image for Sarah.
312 reviews
May 2, 2021
Cute collection of life advice marketed for recent female graduates. It's not practical instruction, more relational and attitude-oriented. I'm glad I read a library copy before buying, because it's nice, but it's not the final word I want to send my girl away with.
Profile Image for Kristie Lock.
340 reviews1 follower
September 20, 2018
"There is nothing worse than a smart girl who acts dumb."

"Never put anything on the internet that you would not want to discuss:
-in a job interview
-on a first date
-with your mother"
319 reviews
December 13, 2018
A perfect book to give to a young woman for either high school or college graduation. The book doesn’t take itself too seriously, but there are also some gems of knowledge in this very quick read.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 82 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.