When my twins were first born, and for the first year at least, I just threw everything in the laundry at the first stain or spot. I didn’t have any extra brain space for hand washing out stains or hanging clothes up to dry. When I would go through the rooms to gather up laundry for laundry day, I would just throw everything that was on the floor in the hamper and off to the washer it would go.
Now that I’ve been trying to simplify our lives more and we’re on a super tight budget as part of our debt repayment plan, I’ve been doing what I should have been doing all along in the laundry department.
I’ll share with you some of the ways I’ve cut back on how much I do and how it saves us money.
Have laundry day or days
I find that when I have specific days set aside as laundry days, I stay on top of the laundry and that way I have more time to focus on other things the rest of the week. Monday and Friday are my laundry days and I find that I actually look forward to those days since I haven’t been stressed out with piles of dirty clothes the rest of the time. Sometimes the girls will help me put folded things away in drawers and it’s nice to only have to focus on one large household task that day. I get it done and then I have a sense of accomplishment that I started and finished something.
Use the clothes line or hang dry inside
One of the things I love about summer is that I can use the huge old clothes line outside. The older lady we bought our house from must have put all her laundry on the line because there are two very long lines side-by-side. I usually only use half of the one line! There’s something so refreshing about putting clothes on the line-getting some fresh air and sunshine in the process. I love seeing my laundry gently flapping in the warm spring breeze.
The only thing I don’t like about drying my clothes on the line is that they are stiff and crunchy after..my husband also doesn’t like this, and so I’ve compromised at only hanging dish towels, blankets, sweaters and his work jeans. The girl’s clothes, bedding, bath towels and our underwear and shirts I dry in the dryer.
Spot wash small stains- don’t just throw in the laundry
In my grandma’s generation they did mostly spot washing, since doing laundry was a lot more strenuous than today. So I’m trying to do that more to save on the washing and drying. This does cut back on the load size by quite a bit on laundry days.
Wear clothes until they’re actually dirty or smelly
This is something I grew up doing, but my husband didn’t, so when we got married I had to sort through his “laundry” pile to make sure the items were actually worthy of the wash. Also now that the girls are old enough to put their own clothes in their hamper, there are often items that aren’t actually dirty either. So when I sort through the hampers on laundry day, I have to do the sniff test (not for the faint of heart!), and do a quick look over.
Hang towels to dry after a shower to use again
Growing up we all had a designated hook in our rooms to hang our bath towel, and as a bigger family on the farm this helped keep the loads down as well. You could also have a cute towel hanging space in the bathroom itself if you have the room.
Use those bibs!
I know it’s a bit of a no-brainer to always put bibs on your baby and toddler, but I still forget sometimes and then wish I hadn’t when the blueberry stain doesn’t want to come out of a favourite shirt. So I’m trying to remember that it will save me time and money later, and also I am using an apron more when I cook to save on my own clothes as well.
So there you have it! The less laundry you do, the more you save on the washer and dryer. It’s a good feeling to finally have a laundry system that works and that saves me on time, stress, and cash!
I hope you’ve found a few things helpful or inspiring and if you have any other ideas or tips that you use, I’d love to hear from you!