Today's edition of Lazy and Cheap Ways to Be Green is about laundry. With today's labor saving appliances, laundry is a whole lot less work than it used to be. But I still find folding and putting away laundry to be a chore, so I like to minimize the amount of wash I do. By doing less laundry, you save time, energy, water, money, and prolong the life of your washables. All it takes is a willingness to lower your standards of cleanliness.
How to Do Less Laundry
- Do not wash clothing until it stinks or gets stained. It's true I'm a SAHM, so I can easily get away with this, but my husband works and often wears the same shirt or pants several times before it hits the wash (he does change his underclothes daily). Ask yourself, if I had to wash this item by hand, would I put it in the laundry now?
- In my kids' room, we have two baskets for used clothing: "wear again" and "laundry" (see photo above). In the master bedroom, we have hooks where we can hang used clothing that can be worn again before its washed. If you're not into you or your kids wearing the exact same outfit two days in a row, just wait until Thursday before pulling Monday's shirt and pants out of the "wear again" basket.
- Designate certain clothes as "outdoor clothing" for your kids. Reuse these items several times before bothering to wash them. If my kids get pretty muddy outside, I want them to change out of those clothes before returning inside anyway, so we often just leave those clothes by the door to be changed into before the next outdoor adventure. Otherwise, my kids would go through 6 outfits per day on some days.
- If you know you'll be sweating or getting stinky (working in the garage, going for a vigorous walk on a hot day), pull a shirt out of the hamper to wear instead of putting on a clean shirt.
- Unless you suffer from allergies or bed bugs, you probably don't need to wash your sheets and towels every single week. We have survived for years washing these things far less often.
- If you cloth diaper, infant potty training could save you lots of laundry.
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Works for Me Wednesday