The Low Down on Laundry

I have decided that a major reason people join nudist colonies is to avoid doing laundry. I am convinced that in their brochures, the top three reasons for becoming a nudist are:

1) Become closer to nature 2) Release your inner inhibitions

3) No laundry day

Seriously though, I have yet to find a fun way to deal with laundry. It’s a never ending chore and around here there sure is plenty of it! Many of you asked for practical tips and a glimpse of our lives in a combined household. Well, you can’t get more practical that dealing with laundry.

Living in the Land of Laundry

Living in a household of 10 creates between 20-30 loads of laundry every week. That’s clothes for 10, towels for 10, and sheets for 8 beds. We wash sheets every other week so the number of loads varies depending on who is washing sheets that week. One of the ways we stay on top of things is that we have scheduled laundry days.

Laundry Schedule. My parents start the week with laundry day on Monday. My 16 year old brother does his own laundry on Tuesday. My 15 year old sister does her laundry on Wednesday. My crew of five has been allotted two days if necessary on Thursday and Friday. And my grandmother’s laundry day is Saturday.

The Pros and Cons of a Scheduled Laundry Day. I have tried tackling the laundry issue in many different ways. I have tried doing just a couple loads every day in order to not feel overwhelmed with one major laundry day. Although it has some perks, it just left me feeling like my laundry was never done. Although having a single day to focus on laundry can be less than thrilling, it does give you a sense of satisfaction that you’re done for the rest of the week. Plus, keeping the day the same every week helps you plan your week and not let it go by unnoticed until someone complains of not having any clean socks.

Teach them Early. Training for doing your own laundry around here begins about the time you learn to read. One of my brothers was as young as five when he started doing his own laundry. Granted some oversight is required so you don’t lose a child in the bottom of the washing machine, but everyone gets trained at a young age. At this point, my boys know how to do their laundry, but I currently have them only help with folding and putting away so we can keep things moving at a steady pace.

Tips for Minimizing the Laundry Hassle

  • Schedule a laundry day – see above for the Pros and Cons of picking a laundry day. The other important element is actually putting the laundry away. This is the hardest part for me. If I don’t put clothes away when they’re done, it’s easier for me to ignore them.
  • Wear fewer clothes – This one’s pretty straight forward. If you wear fewer clothes, there are fewer items to clean. My big decision of the day in the clothing department is: dark jeans or not-so-dark jeans.  If you need some inspiration for paring down your clothing choices, check out theProject333.com
  • Use fewer towels – I know of people that use a clean towel for every single shower. If you are doing a good job of cleaning yourself, then your towel is just there to mop up clean water off a clean body. We limit everyone to one towel per week and it seems to work just fine.
  • Teach your kids to help – I went to college with friends who had no clue how to do laundry and I really think that’s doing kids a disservice. Even if they don’t wash their own clothes yet, get your kids help with folding and definitely putting their own laundry away.
  • Fold clothes as soon as they are dry – This is a tip from my mom. As soon as the dryer is finished, she pulls a stool over, sits in front of the dryer, and folds clothes directly into a basket. This eliminates wrinkles and avoids the procrastination factor of throwing clothes in a basket that you have to deal with later.
  • Consider line drying your laundry – Honestly, this wouldn’t work for the quantity of laundry we go through, but it’s a great alternative you should consider.
  • Other ways to save energy – Use a lower temperature for washing and rinsing; wash full but not crammed loads of laundry; clean out the dryer vent and filter; don’t over dry clothing. Every little bit of savings definitely adds up.

Do you have any great tips for how you’ve tackled the laundry issue? I’d love to hear about them in the comment section.

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