Does it seem like you are always doing laundry? Just like David, pick up a stone and boink it right between the eyeballs. Or, um, like these guys!
Our family of four only does laundry every other Monday. What?11?!! Could you not survive on that? If you homeschool like we do, I bet you can. If you don’t I’m sure you can employ a tip or two to diminish your load(s). (Ha!)
First of all, fibers have a limited number of bends in them before they break. This is why your well loved t-shirts get super soft, and your jeans get holes in them. That dryer lint? Yeah, that is broken fibers…..bits of your clothes falling apart. Hear them crying, “Can’t. hold. on. much. longer….” ? So, if you can limit the unnecessary bending of your clothes, they will last longer, and save you money….both from not bending them as much, AND from not replacing them. There are two methods to do this.
1. Hang your clothes to dry. Yes, they are flapping in the breeze, but they aren’t rubbing against each other over and over in a confined space. And no electrical cost. You can even hang clothes out in the winter, they will freeze dry!
2. Wear your clothes more than once. Thus you aren’t washing and drying them as often. You may combine this with #1.
We mostly do number 2, because we live in the woods, and not good things come from clotheslines under trees. I have been known to string a line or two across the family room, but usually I just grit my teeth and use the dryer.
How does this work? First of all, my husband is mostly exempt. He works in a school, and we all know how cruel school children can be if they perceive you wearing the same thing too often. He has 5 pair of dress pants and a wardrobe of dress shirts. He has enough shirts to go 10-14 days of school without repeating, and these I do wash generally after one wear, as he does make them smelly despite wearing a t-shirt under them. For these, I only half dry…..I tumble them by themselves for 5 minutes or so to get them hot and unwrinkled, then put them on hangers to dry the rest of the way. It keeps them from shrinking, and they last longer. Ray does wear his lounging clothes and his workout clothes multiple times, and sets aside the clothes he wears to church for wearing to school the next morning.
For the rest of us, the rule is to wear something at least twice. (Excluding under garments.) We wear pants more times, t-shirts fewer, and items worn infrequently and/or over other things, like sweaters and jackets, are only washed once per season. If your kids are like mine, they don’t mind this at all. Both would live in their pajamas if I let them, and our little boy just finally grokked the rule that you should put on clean clothes after a shower. Outdoor work clothes are hung up for the next time, and like hubby, church clothes are saved to wear again unless they are stained. So are clothes that are worn out of the house (like to the library, or choir practice) for a short time. Otherwise, we are all in our comfy play/lounging clothes.
If your children are more resistant to cutting down your laundry load, it is time to recruit them to help. Our kids deliver, sort, and afterward fold their own laundry. I do the washing, as I find it more efficient. With a little manipulation of what goes in which load, I can usually do it all in 4-6 loads, depending on the season. In larger families, it can be best to pair the kids up with laundry buddies, who will work together to do their own laundry start to finish. Give each pair or group a specific day to do their laundry. You will find it amazing how much less laundry they make once it is a chore for them. It will also no longer be your fault when darling child’s favorite or required-for-an-activity shirt isn’t washed. Personal responsibility is great.
What ways have you found to more efficiently deal with the constant deluge of dirty laundry?