It turns out I am just as bad at laundry in The Sims as I am in real life. But as I made my virtual people load up the washing machine, I did gain a new appreciation for my least favourite chore.
The new Laundry Day Stuff stuff pack for The Sims 4 does a great job of replicating what it is actually like to do laundry, in that it is a very tedious chore, just like in real life. This stuff pack comes with some new clothes, furniture such as a washer and dryer, and the need for sims to wash and dry their clothes. If you don't want to make laundry a part of your sims' lives, you can simply not add a washing machine or dryer to their home.
If you want in on this new mechanic but your sim doesn't have a lot of money, you can also buy a washing board and a clothesline. Journey, an outdoors-y sim I made to try all this out, started out that way. When she washed her clothes by hand she'd gain experience to her Fitness stat, which made me chuckle. After, she'd hang the clothes on the dryer and wait. Although sims don't have to fold clothes and put them away, they do need hampers to collect dirty clothes.
Eventually Journey upgraded to an electric washing machine and dryer. Around that time I started to realise that the level of detail for laundry in The Sims was making me think about the chore differently. Journey and her family all had my own worst habits. When the hampers were full, they'd just leave their clothes on the floor, and they'd end up having to run several washes one after the other, which would take all day. But when they did laundry well, they'd all be a little happier for it.
For example, sims get a buff to their happiness when they wear clothes fresh from the dryer. The opposite is also true - if they rush through laundry and end up with clothes that are dirty or still wet, they're uncomfortable and unhappy. When Journey's husband died, I wasn't paying attention and took the laundry from the dryer before it was dry. Wearing wet clothes made her sad, on top of the sadness she already felt because a close family member died. She basically couldn't do anything for three days. Oops!
The way laundry is presented in The Sims is pretty game-y, but there's a small kernel of truth there. When I wear wet clothes, it makes my whole day worse. When I put on a shirt that I've just pulled from the dryer, it's like Heaven. Seeing my sims navigate around different piles of gnarly, dirty clothes made me realise how gross it is when I just leave my jeans on the floor. Doing laundry doesn't suck less - even my sims put it off until they're wearing smelly clothes and have no choice - but it has a material benefit to their lives, just like it does in mine.
I don't know how long my newfound appreciation for laundry will last, but I have a hamper full of laundry at home that I'm anxious to throw in the washing machine. I might not get a literal status buff, but maybe it will put me in a good mood for a while.