Over the past few months, I’ve significantly changed my laundry habits for the better. And I’m not just talking about destashing clothes or only having limited this or that or whatever. I’m talking about being mindful of my laundry. Being present with my laundry.
Joking aside, these simple things have helped me tremendously, and I want to share. These are steps I’ve taken to not only reduce the amount of laundry I wash, but to also come to a new appreciation and awareness of what I possess.
Step One. Assess the Situation
I mean really assess. I started by keeping a notebook and pen in my laundry room and making note of every load of laundry I washed and dried. The first step to solving your problem is realizing/admitting you have a problem.
Take an inventory of what you own. This is where minimalism starts to get really dynamic. Some people live with two pairs of socks they wash often. Others have a dozen pairs so they wash less. Minimalism is whatever you need it to be. Knowing exactly what you have will make you more intentional in your use.
Ask yourself how you define “dirty clothes.” You wore a sweater around the house. Unless you scrubbed toilets, it’s probably not dirty. You showered and put on PJs. They’re not dirty.
Step Two. Break the Habits.
Let your family members know that things are a’changin. Talk to your Boo and your kids about how your house defines “dirty” clothes and ask them to be aware of what they toss into the laundry basket. Hampers are a place for dirty things, not just things you’ve worn.
Have dedicated kitchen rags/towels for the day. I could own a hundred kitchen towels, and we could use ALL of those suckers in half a day if I didn’t have them on lockdown. Be hygienic, but conservative.
Reuse when possible. Not everyone is comfortable with it, but my husband and I share a bath towel each day. I wear jeans multiple times before washing. If a cloth napkin doesn’t get used during a meal, leave it there for the next meal. Again, be conscious of how you define dirty.
Step Three. Make a Plan. Stick to the Plan.
Decide how often you want to do laundry. I had previously been washing whenever the hampers were overflowing, however often that may have been. I wash once a week now due to managing our usage throughout the week. Don’t let dirty underpants be the boss of you.
Manage it daily. You shouldn’t have to wash daily, but you do have to keep an eye on your laundries. A tshirt left here or there will surely end up in the hamper later on because nobody knows where it came from. A mystery towel left on the kitchen counter will, of course, end up in the dirty laundry because what if it has e. coli on it!? Fold it now, put it away now, hang it up now.
Get it done when you want it done. When laundry day rolls around, the best thing you can do is bang it out ASAP. You’ll feel like Cinderella in a Maytag commercial, but it’s so worth it when you can spend the next six days (or however long) saying, “LOOK AT ME AND ALL THE CLOTHES I’M NOT WASHING!”
Between destashing the extras, carefully selecting the keepers, and thoughtful usage of what we do have, I’ve halved my laundry.
If you feel like you’re doing laundry all the time, it’s because you are. It seems like a silly things to take seriously, but I promise you… There is a distinct confidence and peace that comes with knowing you are actively and successfully managing your home and possessions rather than being a slave to them.
Make your material possessions work for you. Don’t let them make work for you.
I’d love to hear your favorite laundry hacks or your personal routine!