Laundry, Sorted

  • If you’re in my home on a Monday or a Thursday, you’d know it’s a laundry day.  I typically have 2 loads each day.  There are two keys to holding the boundaries on these days so I don’t have a washing machine running every day of the week.  1) Learn how to wear what’s clean when we’ve forgotten to stick to the schedule (even if it’s not our favorite).  2) Put the folded laundry away on washing day so the laundry area is tidy.  If there’s a random dirty towel lying around, I’m rather tempted to start a load of clothes just to get that one towel clean.  Crazy, I know.  But having hampers in each bedroom means the dirty items are out of mind until Monday or Thursday winds back around.  Here’s a tip that helped our family a lot: Teach your kids to give their clothing the sniff test. Once I did that, I was surprised to see their hampers less full each week and their clothing lasts longer with fewer washings.
  • When we moved back to the US a few years back we had next to nothing.  (By next to nothing, I mean we had the clothes on our backs, 2 Bibles, toiletries, a few toys for the kids, and outfits for 3-4 days). It was a blessing to come across a working washer and dryer with minimal wear at a cheap price.  When this set wears out, I hope to purchase a front loading washer to save water and energy.  In the mean time, I do my best to have a full washer before running loads and hang clothes to dry when I can.  Using the energy saver cycle on my dryer or pulling things out before they wrinkle saves time and energy, too.
  • We we lived in England we had a washing machine that was seriously about the size of a 5-gallon bucket.  That forced me to look at the jeans I was used to washing after each wear in a new light.  We did have an electric dryer out in a storage shed, but the ingenious clothes hanger we discovered in our neighborhood hardware store changed everything.  This wonderful clothes hanger had a stake in the ground.  The stake remained at all times, but the 4’x4’ square hanger could be folded down like an umbrella, removed from the stake, and put away when not in use.  After I ran a load of clothing I simply went out back and hung the items which swayed in the breeze a few hours and were done.  This used nothing but wind energy and was efficient.
  • While traveling Europe, the four of us only had a few outfits and I became accustomed to doing laundry in hotel sinks.  We hung it to dry on a suction cup laundry line, leaving our hotel room window open to provide the breeze.  Once our hectic schedule meant we had no clothing available for the next day.  My husband located a laundromat via google map, our family loaded the dirty clothes into a rolling bag, and we walked a mile to wash clothes.  While waiting for the clothes to dry, the kids and I walked around and played in some back streets of Paris.  (It was probably the most enjoyable load of laundry I’ve ever washed, needless to say.)  :)

How do you keep the arduous task of laundry at bay in your home?



FOR MORE IDEAS: Minimalist Kids: Clothes & Laundry


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