Friday, April 18, 2008

The Minimalist's Approach to Laundry

Chances are, ever since you left home to live on your own, laundry has been an issue. I remember an old punk rock song about two people breaking up and the girl was saying " I feel much better when my laundry's done." That's because if you're partying all the time and never home, your laundry's probably piling up all over the floor as a constant reminder that you don't have it together!

So now you're grown up and perhaps have not only your own laundry to do, but other's as well. Here are some ways to keep it from becoming an extra part time job. First take a look at it. Get all the dirty laundry out of everyone's room and look at what it consists of. You are likely to see towels that could have been reused, jeans that could be worn again, pants with belts still on them and change in the pockets, and sadly, sometimes even clothes that are still folded from when you washed them before because they were never put away and got mixed up with the dirty ones!

Here are some ways to avoid this mess:
1. Give each person a set of different colored towels and insist they use one until it doesn't feel fresh any more. That should be at least three days. If you see that anyone has left a towel on the floor, hang it up. People get used to an orderly bathroom and will start hanging towels up themselves. Yes, even kids.

2. Jeans and other clothes that are still wearable get thrown into the laundry because they're on the floor. To combat this waste, designate a place in each bedroom for clothes that could be worn again like a chair or a hook behind a door.

3. Have everyone go through their clothes and get rid of excess. It is said that the average person wears 20% of their clothes 80% of the time! You do this because people are more likely to put their clothes away if there is room in the closet.

4. I bought fabric lined laundry baskets for our closets and thought great, now there's somewhere to put all the dirty laundry. Unfortunately, by the time they were full there were loads of laundry to do! So here's the best solution that I have found : one open laundry basket that holds one load. When it's full I wash it, fold it put it away into our drawers and closets and laundry is no longer an issue. Why does this make a difference? Because it is visible! All of the afore mentioned laundry sins can been seen, and it's obvious who is doing it! So they stop.

Give it a try and you'll be amazed. The laundry doesn't pile up and cause you stress or make you feel like you don't have it together because after all I thinks we all ," feel much better when our laundry's done."

One more thought.....
Laundry is not only harming our self esteem but is actually harming our planet. It wastes energy and water and releases harmful detergents into our water supply. When you do launder, use biodegradable detergents like Shaklee or 7th Generation, wash in cold water on the quickest setting possible, hang up whatever items you can, and use Energy Star appliances. As far as "going green" goes, you can make a huge difference here. Good luck and good laundry!


Mrs. Davis said...

Why does doing laundry hurt your self-esteem?

The Minimalist said...

It's not doing the laundry that hurts your self esteem!

Chris Lang said...

Just wanted to say hi, got your comment on my page about the Digg shouts.

Also wanted to let you know about how Google ranks blogs:

How Google Ranks blogs or maybe doesn't rank them well.

Hope this helps, BTW aren't you on SMC?