Hang onto your hat’s Guys – where this post is going no-one knows!
I have just left a rather passionate response to a post over at Eric La Forest’s Elevated Simplicity and it has inspired me to share with you my simplified laundry routine.
Firstly my response
Who cares how you do it? The key for me to it all is – do you love what you do? I know that can’t be the same for everyone – I am able to have that as a criteria for my work. I didn’t love my 9-5 so I quit (not pre-meditated and totally uninfluenced by any writing), and became self-employed. I still do desk based assignments, so it could be classed as 9-5 (but who cares). I get to choose what, with whom and when, and I love it! Who’s to say that by this time next year I won’t be employed in a job I love? To pigeon-hole and make ‘minimal’ guidelines on how to live your life is naive – things change, people evolve, life is constantly adapting, and as a flexible gal I enjoy the ride. Thank god there are entrepreneurial hard-working 9-5er’s out there driving industry and technology forward…. what would we do if everyone generated income via e-book sales – it’s not the real world…and there is still one out there despite all the hype about the virtual world (not knocking it… I LOVE the virtual world – it’s amazing!!!!!! but I still have to do the laundry, haven’t discovered an app yet that can do that for me)
If you want to know what that’s all about then I suggest you hot foot it over to the superb Elevated Simplicity and check it out!
Anyway – where’s this going?
Unless I am very much mistaken there isn’t an app that does the laundry, so after years of battling the monster I decided to take it on – head on and devise a simplified laundry routine. This routine has now been in play for a month, and works. My hubby is seriously impressed, really he is, after almost 18 years of watching me struggle and fail to get generally organised, this is big news!
In fact I myself am so impressed I reckon it’s worth sharing (sorry if this post seems a bit like teaching your Grandmother to suck eggs – if you are super organised please skip or add in your own tips in the comments section);
Tip 1 – Reduce your wardrobe (and the kid’s)
Really do you need all the items in your wardrobe? It works on a very simple principle in that the more you own, the more you wear, the more laundry you have, the more washing you do, the more drying you have and the more ironing it generates.
Last Spring I reduced my wardrobe dramatically and have continued to do so. In fact I have been known to borrow the Hubby’s undies due to lack of my own – which I acknowledge is not just gruesome but potentially highly unhygienic. What I devised from this was to wash mine more often – we learn from our mistakes!
I now own very few items, I haven’t counted yet tut tut! But will do as I plan on taking part in Project 333 over at Be More With Less.
Tip 2 – Do a load of laundry every day
This was the turning point for me, I was accumulating dirty washing and trying to batch wash at the weekend. This is one chore, that for me, batching does not work. To batch wash you must have multiple items which creates more washing long-term. So instead I started doing one load each day, it took just 5 days to get rid of the back log and since then I have had no laundry… really no laundry apart from the load I put in each day. By having just one load I can manage with one airer – win win!
At this point it’s worth mentioning I am not very particular. I got asked the other day ‘Do you wash the children’s clothing with yours?’ and I replied yes rather quizzically… To just do one load a day I have to… but my children do not require any special detergent, some may do, but if they did I would probably wash all together in their detergent anyway.
I also include towels – but as I said I’m not very particular, life’s for living not doing laundry!
Tip 3 – Have 2 laundry baskets and 1 or 2 airers on hand (Winter routine – in Summer line dry)
Have 2 baskets that fit inside one another and keep them by the washing machine.
When a load is finished empty washed laundry into the top basket, but take both to the airer. Put full basket to one side, and then remove dry laundry from airer and place (folded! and by person/room) in the other basket. Put the dry laundry to one side and hang the wet laundry on the airer.
Have a peg hanger thingy on the airer, so that you can peg pairs of socks and undies together, and again by person.
Tip 4 – Hang the wet laundry efficiently
Make sure that you unload the washer as soon as a cycle is completed, shake the item and place folded in top laundry basket. Before hanging on the airer, flatten each item out the best you can to reduce creasing whilst drying and hopefully reducing (or in my case eliminating) ironing. I have my airer in the bathroom, so actually flatten the items on top of my loo seat (cleaned of course!).
When hanging, hang each family members items together, or in category order when hanging towels and linens. When dry remove in order of room visited to put laundry away. For example, I hang all my Daughter’s items together and all my Son’s separately on the airer, then when I remove and fold I ensure they do not get mixed. If you haven’t clicked by now I don’t iron unless under extreme duress!
Tip 5 – Reduce (aim to eliminate) ironing
If you have unloaded the washer quickly and have shaken and flattened the items before hanging and folded neatly after drying, this should eliminate the majority of creases and therefore reduce the need to do the job I hate most in the world – ironing! However there is one thing that could definitely nail it for you – hang it or put it away straight away! Do not keep it in a laundry basket, it makes creases and creates an unsightly pile. Pile’s grow – I should know, I have to curb mine at all times (particularly paper – my arch-enemy!). Once a pile starts in my house it is hard to control.
Hang everything straight away even if you think it needs ironing, chances are by the time it is worn the creases will have dropped out. If they haven’t and it really needs ironing, then iron it just before you wear it. I buy very little that needs ironing, in fact I received a complement on Christmas Day when my Niece commented (after seeing my iron and board stored neatly away) that she has never seen me iron.
I read somewhere once something along the lines of
‘Will your children remember the afternoon you spent playing outside with them, or that their trousers were neatly pressed?’
Couldn’t have said it better myself!