Laundry. It’s the bane of many a person’s existence. There’s the sorting of clothing articles, the selection of washing settings, decisions to make about what to dry in the machine and what to line-dry. And if you don’t have a washing machine in your apartment, there’s even more to worry about.
But washing laundry doesn’t have to be a source of contempt or scorn. If you’re trying to live a more minimalist-inspired life or just want to make laundry a more manageable task, here are some tips.
Pare down your wardrobe
To wash clothes like a minimalist, your wardrobe should resemble a minimalist’s. Own fewer articles of clothing, and you’ll have less to wash. The same rule applies to towels, sheets, and anything else you might throw in the washing machine. Sort through your clothes and linens, and sell or donate things you rarely wear or use. Having fewer items to wash makes every part of the laundry process less burdensome.
If you want to do laundry like a minimalist, it’s important to not let clothes-to-be-washed pile up in mountainous heaps. It’s also important to remember that not every item of clothing needs to be washed after each time it’s worn. Don’t do more laundry than you have to. Only put shirts, shorts, pants, dresses, and skirts into the hamper if they’re smelly or visibly dirty. In the heat of summer, this may mean you have to wash clothes more frequently than at cooler times of year. But you should still be able to wear a lot of shirts at least twice and jeans at least three times before they need to be washed.
Do laundry regularly
If you only have five pairs of socks or underwear, you’re going to have to do laundry at least once a week. Washing laundry regularly helps keep the task from becoming overwhelming. Find a time that works for you to do laundry, and schedule it as your laundry time so you don’t neglect the task. This may be once a week, twice a week, or once every two weeks.
Use fewer washing and drying products
The household cleaning products market is saturated with stain removers, laundry detergents, softeners, and fresheners. If you wanted to, you could use different detergents for washing white clothes, dark-colored clothes, and bright-colored clothes. But this may result in an entire cupboard filling with laundry supplies, and is largely unnecessary. Instead, try to find one good laundry detergent you like that works for all clothes you wash in the washing machine. Alternatively, you can make your own laundry detergent at home or wash laundry using soap nuts. Soap nuts require little storage space, and can be used for dishwashing, cleaning glass, and other cleaning applications.
Towels, some bed linens, and sweatshirts and sweatpants can take a long time to dry naturally. But most articles of clothing can dry in a few hours under the sun or overnight on a drying rack. Save energy and make the process of folding and hanging clothes after they’ve dried easier by hang-drying more of your laundry.
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