How to do less laundry
Laundry,  Parenting & Family

How to do Less Laundry: Save Time & Money

I firmly believe if a genie popped out of a bottle and granted me three wishes, number one would be to never do laundry again.  

Why do less laundry? 

If you need permission to do less laundry, here it is. Take a break and stop doing so much laundry.

Read more in my post: Why You Need to Stop Doing Laundry Now.

I know I should be grateful, right? We are thankful to have clothes on our backs, a roof over our heads, and very large electric machines that wash and dry our clothes for us. But at some point, everyone complains about laundry.

Environmental reasons alone are a great reason to do less laundry. To be a more sustainable family, we strive to conserve water and energy and make what we have last as long as possible. 

But even more important for some people, laundry affects our daily routines. We have to commit our time, money, and energy to take care of our clothes and household textiles. Doing less laundry means freeing up some of these precious resources.

How can I do less laundry? 

I’m glad you asked. These 7 tips will be all you need to reduce your laundry woes. 

  1. Minimize your wardrobe. This sounds scary but I promise it’s not. When we have an abundance of clothes, we get careless with them. We toss them into the hamper- even if they’re barely worn- because we have so many options to choose from for our next outfit. I think the easiest way to minimize this is by creating a daily uniform (See my sanity-saving daily uniform here). It automatically reduces the number of clothes you keep in your rotation. When we have fewer clothes, we can be more intentional and take better care of them. And, of course, the fewer clothes we have, the fewer clothes we are washing.
    Joshua Becker is one of my favorite minimalists. Check out his post on 9 Simple Ideas to Thin Out Your Closet.

  2. Spot clean. Our society has forgotten what it is to spot clean. We spill a tiny something on the sleeve of our shirt and it automatically goes into the dirty clothes pile. Is the rest of the shirt dirty? Do we care? By spot-cleaning that one area, you can save a piece of clothing from an unnecessary wash day. 

  3. Let things air out. Sometimes all clothes need is some fresh air. If your clothes are hanging too closely together in your closet, it’s easy for them to get musty or stale. Hang them outside for a few hours on a nice day to air them out without needing to put them through a wash cycle. And remember, cleaning out that closet will allow them to have more space to breathe. 

  4. Have a system for “in-between” wears. Often, we take off a piece of clothing and it goes directly into the hamper, even if it’s not particularly dirty. This is wasteful and unnecessary. Create a system or space in your closet for clothes that were just worn, but aren’t quite dirty. Sometimes they just need to be hung for a day to air out before being folded and put into your drawers. Misting a mix of vinegar and water can also help freshen up clothing and kill bacteria, keeping things smelling sweet. Check out this post for a quick DIY Fabric Refresher Spray from The Artisan Life.

  5. Choose clothes that hold up well to multiple wears and less laundering. Denim is a great example of this. Most experts agree that jeans should be washed very infrequently unless they are visibly dirty. Another material that follows this same guideline is wool. Wool is an amazingly sustainable material that is said to be self-cleaning. Check out my post on the 100-Day Dress Challenge, wearing a Wool& dress. I think I only washed it about 8 times in 100 days!

  6. Wait until you have a full load. Nowadays, high efficiency washing machines use the same amount of energy for any sized load. (Check out these Laundry Best Practices from Energy Star for more laundry tips.). Throwing in a few random items is not only wasting water and energy, but they’re not even getting cleaned as well as they could be. Washing machines actually work best at 75% or more capacity. If you wait until you have a full load, you are going more days between washes and therefore being more efficient.

     
  7. Simplify your end game. By end game, I mean how you’re putting away your clothes. A lot of laundry headaches are more to do with our routines and processes around laundry than the task itself. If you’re setting yourself up with solid routines, you can use this as a way to do less laundry. My laundry routine post is coming soon, so make sure you subscribe to my weekly blog updates so you don’t miss it!


How to do less laundry



You may have to wait a while for that genie to appear and grant the no-more-laundry wish. But in the meantime, these 7 tips for doing less laundry will definitely take some of the pressure off of the never-ending laundry train.  

For more laundry-related posts, check out these:
A Break From Laundry: Why You Need to Stop Doing Laundry NOW
How to Make Your Laundry Routine More Eco-Friendly
The Ultimate List of Eco-Friendly Laundry Products

What do you wish you could change most about how you do laundry? Let me know in the comments!

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