Living Simply

Laundry can be a seemilngly never ending task.  Just as you think you are finished, more appears -- as if by magic!  It is hard to feel like you ever accomplish anything because it is a never ending task.  I think I do at least seven loads each week (plus two loads per week of cloth diapers).  Here is what I have found works for me to simplify this process and make it seem less overwhelming:

Remember that laundry is another way that you can serve your family and glorify God in the process.

Sort when you take an item off.  I place three laundry baskets on the closet floor.  Then we sort dirty clothes as we take them off -- one for darks, one for lights and one for whites.  I choose baskets so that each holds only one load worth of laundry.  I have another basket in the laundry room (a closet really) that I put dishrags, towels and cleaning rags into.  When this gets full I wash it.

Maximinze loads.  Once  a week, or so, I wash bedsheets.  I throw whatever else is in the same color family into the load until it is full.  Whenever a basket is full, I do that load.  It only takes a few minutes throughout the day to do a load of laundry.  This way I don't have to spend my whole day doing laundry and it doesn't seem like such a large task.

Pre-treat stains. We keep the stain pre-treater in the closet so that we treat stains when we take the clothes off and before they go into the laundry basket.  We also check pockets, zip and button pants, etc. so that it doesn't have to be done later.

Simplify! We use one type of laundry detergent for everything: Charlie's Soap.  It is hypoallergenic, good for the environment, tough on dirt and cloth diapers yet gentle enough for everything and is very frugally priced!  I don't buy fabric softener or dryer sheets -- if your clothes are really clean you don't need them!  I haven't noticed any problems with static; it only happens in the winter and then the dryer sheets didn't help anyway!  I do use oxygen bleach occasionally in the load with my whites -- it brightens dingy whites but is safe to use on colors too -- great for those "mostly white" loads!  Oxygen Bleach is also great to use with cloth diapers, especially if you have hard water -- it really gets them smelling clean!

Buy easy care.  We purposefully buy clothing that is easy care -- can go into the drier and doesn't need to be ironed -- for everyday wear.  The things that require more care are special items that we don't use as often -- mostly dress clothes for us but if you work in a business environment that you need to wear dress clothes daily, it is worth the extra money to invest in easy care pieces that do not need to be ironed or drycleaned.

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