Wednesdays are simplicity days at SimpleProductivity blog.
What’s the easiest way to do less laundry? Have less laundry to do.
That’s not a flip answer. It really does simplify laundry. Cut down on the number of things that you need to wash, dry, iron, fold and put away, and laundry time becomes simpler.
(I apologize here if I gross anyone out with the rest of the article. I am not going for the “ick” factor, and everyone needs to judge for themselves what is most comfortable.)
Not so many years ago, before the advent of the automatic washing machine, laundry was a big deal. It still is in many parts of the world, where clothes must be boiled and scrubbed by hand. In the U.S., before electrification (which for some parts of the country was the mid 50’s), laundry was done in great big tubs.
Because laundry was such a big deal, one wore clothes until they were dirty. And one had clothes to wear for various tasks.
My grandmother put on a smock over her clothes before going into the hen house to gather eggs. She changed her clothes from her “work” clothes before going to town to shop. She wore an apron to prevent her work clothes from getting dirty with the tasks of preparing meals for seven children. My grandfather had special overalls for mucking out the barn. All the children had “work” clothes and “school” clothes and “Sunday” clothes.
The work clothes were the dirtiest and got washed most often. The everyday clothes were worn until dirty, then washed. When they started to show signs of wear, they were converted to work clothes. The Sunday clothes were worn for church, then put away upon returning home, and washed perhaps once a month or so.
I was thinking about this when I was looking at my daughter’s laundry. She had tossed in a shirt she had worn for an hour after changing out of a dress she had worn the hour before the shirt. (Which was also in the laundry basket). I looked at my own closet. There were many things that I was washing after one partial wearing, even though they weren’t dirty and didn’t smell.
Since then, my goal has been to cut down on the clothes I put to be washed. Not only is washing too often more work, but it’s bad for the clothing. So I’ve been able to cut down on the number of clothes I have, and keep them in better shape longer.
What do you think? Do you wash everything? Or do you wear clothing multiple times between washings?
Photo by lemuelinchrist