Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Guide to Imperfect, but Clean Laundry

If you do an excellent job taking care of your laundry each week, this isn’t a post for you. If all of your clothes are neatly put away, you should skip this post. You don’t need to read it.

If your goal is simply to have you and your family dressed in clean clothes, let’s talk strategies.

1. Have one laundry basket for clean clothes — just one! I’ve had a load of clean clothes sitting in the laundry basket for four days, not even folded. Pretty soon my kids will start getting dressed from it when their drawers are finally empty. I don’t care; it’s just one basket. I put away all the other laundry because I only have that one basket.

2. Do not pile clothes on your ironing board. If your clothes need to be ironed but you don’t plan to do it right then, hang them up in your closet anyway so they won’t be more wrinkled. There are few things more discouraging than an ironing pile. If for some reason you have an inkling to do some ironing, you can get the clothes from the closet or iron one shirt when you need it.

3. Don’t fold stuff. Towels are hung back on the towel bar. Sheets are put back on the bed. Underwear gets tossed in the drawer. T-shirts are hung on hangers.

4. Sorting clothes before you wash — I don’t think you need to do it. I can’t help myself, I sort anyways. Do you or don’t you?

5. Phase out high-maintenance clothes. Look at the care label when you buy new ones. Dry clean only? Pass. The shirt may be on sale, but you’ll pay much more for cleaning costs, not to mention how long it will sit on the floor of the closet before you take a trip to the cleaners.

Mainly with laundry, just try to keep up. You don’t need to have it all finished to feel good about it. I need to do three to four loads a week in my family, so I try to keep up that pace during the week. I don’t try to have all of my family’s clothes clean at the same time. If I did, it would last about two seconds.

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