Can y’all believe it’s already April? Me neither!
I’ve been meaning to share our new laundry system and how we’ve been making it work. Honestly, I’ve been scared to mention it because I’ve made such a big deal in the past about how well a weekly Laundry Day worked for me.
And it did. Really. For almost six years, a weekly day of focusing on washing, drying and putting away all the laundry in the entire house was perfect for my tunnel-vision prone, project-loving personality.
But this way is even better. I have switched to doing laundry monthly. Like, one day each month. That’s only twelve times a year that my washing machine gets used!
I know what you’re thinking. How does she have room in her house for enough clothes to last an entire month? I don’t. I don’t have enough room, and we don’t have enough clothes to wear something different every day of the month.
(Not that I didn’t, pre-blog, have more than enough clothes to last an entire month! But I wasn’t willing to undo all the clothing decluttering progress we’ve made around here!)
Let me explain how this happened. Last summer, we went on an epic trip. Like, three weeks epic. We loaded up the Suburban with everything we needed, downloaded some apps to help us do the trip as cheaply as possible, and hit the road.
I knew when we left that we simply did not have room (or enough clothes) to pack different outfits for each day of the trip. I decided to bring seven complete outfits for each person.
I assumed it would be easy to find a laundromat wherever we ended up at the end of each week, and we’d just spend a day washing clothes as needed.
I’m not sure if it was a unique quirk of the towns where we ended up on days 7, 8, 9 and 10 of our trip, but we could not find a laundromat to save our lives. Seriously. Not a laundry room in a motel, not a place on the corner of the town square, nothing. And we had our SMART PHONES, so it’s not like we couldn’t search properly. I even made Hubby stop at a Chamber of Commerce on Day 9 (I was getting desperate), and the lady at the desk looked at me like I was crazy when I asked where someone could do laundry.
But it was on that day (day 9) when I got desperate enough that I told the kids to hang all of their clothes on hangers and put them out on the hotel balcony to air out. The next day, as I folded the aired out clothes and packed them away, I was shocked that they smelled and looked fairly fresh. We didn’t even have to keep the windows down as we drove to our next stop.
We stopped at the first Walmart we saw and I purchased several packages of hangers since I wasn’t sure every single stop would have them available.
After the initial airing out of all our clothes, we got into the habit of hanging up each day’s clothes after we took showers in the evenings.
Much to my surprise, when we got home from our vacation, the entire family easily kept up the nightly hanging-out-0f-the-clothes routine. After we’d been home for about a week and half, I realized I had never done the typical wash-everything-we-own post-vacation laundry thing. And we were all fine!
I did eventually make everyone sort laundry into piles and went through my old Laundry Day routine, but after this experience I realized there was absolutely no need to wash clothes as often as we had always done. Since that time, I’ve made the first of the month (today is the first of April), our Once-a-Month Laundry Day. Since we don’t have any more clothes than we did when I washed weekly, it still only takes one day to get it all done!
There are some things I have learned over the past almost-a-year of this laundry routine:
- Be sure you have plenty of hangers. Each person in the family needs at least two (but probably three) hangers. Hang tops on one, pants/jeans/skirts on another, and clothing that’s layered (sweatshirts, jackets, etc.) on another. Undergarments usually go around the top part (the hook) of the hanger, so they don’t need their own.
- Weather permitting, airing clothes outside is ideal. There’s nothing like a gentle breeze to lift away the vast majority of body odor from most fabrics.
- Accidents happen. If someone spills something on their clothes or falls in a mud puddle, simply turn the clothes inside out until the next once-a month Laundry Day comes around.
- By Day 27, going commando is a good option. Do I really need to explain?
- Always, when reading a blog post that seems highly ridiculous, check the date. If it was written on April 1st (also known as April Fool’s Day) disregard everything in it.
P.S. My weekly Laundry Day is most definitely not a joke. Read about it (and how it helped me get laundry under control FOR REAL) here.--Nony