I don’t know how about you but for me, laundry is such a thankless task.
Just as you think you are getting somewhere and can actually close the wash basket family members have the audacity to wear the clothes again. It is the basket that just keeps filling and I find the whole thing a little bit soul-destroying if I’m honest.
Then comes the stress of getting them dried and put away (I do NOT iron so we won’t even go there). If we lived in a country with a better climate I would have a nice little system where a wash would go on every evening and out on the line every morning but outside drying is a rarity around here. Most of us spend a fair amount of time faffing about with clothes horses, radiators or dryers.
I’ve been actively changing things up in our house in a bid to reduce the volume of clothes that are finding their way into the laundry basket. It’s working and I’ve noticed a considerable difference in the amount of time that I am spending doing laundry.
Here are the five things I have been doing – I hope they help you too.
1. Rather than automatically putting clothes into the wash basket I check if they are dirty.
I might only be wearing a top for a couple of hours and it is spotless and still smelling like my laundry detergent! I’ll admit that my son’s clothes are usually only fit for the wash basket but things like hoodies and sweatshirts nearly always get a second wear these days.
2. Do a big clothes clear-out.
I’ve noticed that the more clothes we have, the more washing we have. I don’t know what it is but doing a clear-out has made a big difference. It gives my son less of a reason to want to change part of his outfit (five going on twenty-five) and it makes me less careless with my own outfits too. It leaves less room for mistakenly adding clean clothes to the laundry basket too.
3. I’ve changed a couple of simple things about how we eat and this is making a huge difference.
Simple things like putting a paper towel on my son’s lap while he’s eating are saving his clothes from being destroyed. I’ve also started putting more thought into the cutlery I’m giving him and making sure that the way I serve his food is easy for him to scoop up with a spoon and fork. I had been previously overfilling his plate which was leading to a bigger mess and more waste.
4. I’ve been doing smaller loads of laundry which should technically lead to a fuller laundry basket but it’s actually done the opposite.
Smaller loads of laundry means that they are drying much quicker because the clothes horse is less packed. That means I can do more loads and it all moves a lot quicker.
5. Getting dressed in the morning before we eat breakfast.
This simple change has meant that PJs always stay clean for at least a couple of days. At one point we were having a fresh set of PJs every night and it was hugely contributing to the overflowing wash basket.