I was reading an article at one of my new favorite websites, unclutter.com, and it got me thinking about how my laundry style has changed over the years. When I first got my own washer and dryer, I did laundry all of the time. It was such a luxury to wash a small load of laundry in the middle of the night if I wanted to. (I know, I know, it was wasteful. I'm sorry.) Since getting married, laundry has become more of a chore and by last spring I was avoiding it like the plague.
In the last year, I've tried all kinds of different methods to get laundry under control and I've finally found what I think works best for us. Now, keep in mind, we don't have any kids, so I'm sure this will change at some point in the future. Even though Greta is messy, she only contributes a towel or blanket to the laundry every now and then.
I decided to split this into two separate posts. And now you're terrified that I have some elaborate laundry-doing method that is probably more work than it should be. I don't think that's the case, it's just there's the set-up stage and then the execution stage.
The first step was to brutally reduce our wardrobes. Does anyone really need 15 pairs of motor-oil-stained jeans that don't fit? How about three entire drawers full of ratty John Deere t-shirts? I wouldn't have thought so, but Mr. H-B thought (and sometimes still thinks) differently. I'm not totally innocent here either. I had a drawer or two full of junk as well. Over a long(er than I would have wanted) period of time, we figured out what we actually wear and then got rid of things we didn't use or hadn't worn in more than 2 years. We kept suits and winter coats even though they don't get a lot of use. This was kind of a brutal process since one of us had a hard time getting rid of things. Hint: It's not me.
In the process of mucking out our closet and dressers, I got rid of all of the holey socks, t-shirts, pajama pants and underwear. Of course, that meant we needed to replace some items. Instead of picking up a bunch of different kinds of socks, we each have two kinds. Mr. H-B has black dress socks and white athletic socks. I have black and white ankle socks (they came in a large pack from Costco) and some longer black socks to wear with boots. We also don't have a huge variety of shirts, pants, or anything else. Does that make me boring? Probably.
The final step here was making sure that we have a workable laundry collection system. For us that means sorting white and colored clothes as they go into the hamper and having a basket in the laundry room for the various dish towels and cleaning rags we use each week.
Next week, I'll talk about execution of my laundry routine. (I know, you're all waiting with bated breath.)