37 items of clothing, 8 pairs of shoes, 3 bags
In the last year I have spent a lot of time thinking about what is useful to me and what is not. I have applied this thought to every aspect of my life. Compared to some of the intense physical and emotional cleanses I have experienced, the laundry is probably at the more frivolous, lighthearted end of the spectrum. It even feels a bit silly writing this post, considering some of the subject matter I have written about recently. Every little bit counts though, and today I present the decluttering of my laundry.
- No laundry basket. I used to have a large wicker laundry basket. It began to bother me. It started to seem silly that I had a large box purely designed to store dirty clothes in. Additionally, the wicker style really didn’t suit the modern aesthetic of my place. For a while I considered getting rid of it and storing the dirty clothes in a smaller box in my wardrobe. Then I realised the washing machine and dryer can be used as storage! I decided to try this out, and I have not looked back since. We are taught that we need so many specialised objects for particular purposes in our homes. The clothes are dirty, and are going to end up in the washing machine sooner or later. I have a great system in place now. Whatever needs to be washed immediately goes in the washing machine, and things that will require a separate wash or are quite bulky, like towels and linen, wait for their time in the dryer.
- No laundry liquid. Part of minimising my life has been trying to limit the range of items I purchase at the supermarket. I have always bought environmentally friendly liquid detergent, and the same brand of environmentally friendly dishwashing liquid. I started to wonder if I could in fact just use the dishwashing liquid to wash my clothing. I did a little research and it turns out I can! Dishwashing liquid is more concentrated, and I only have to use a tablespoon of it compared to a quarter of a cup of the detergent, so ultimately this is also a money saving activity. I am only beginning to experiment with dishwashing liquid now, so I’m not sure if it is a long term solution, but so far is seems to be working fine.
- Washing clothes less. Over the last few months I have worked on finding ways to minimise menial tasks. Washing my clothes once a fortnight is the dream. While I achieve this at times, it is not always achievable with a small wardrobe, as I begin to run out of things to wear. Minimising the process is possible though. My key advice to you is that if you want to wash your stuff less, buy stuff that is more wearable. A really good example of this is choosing fibers that are lightweight and breathable, to avoid sweating too much. Also, chose looser fitting clothing, especially around the armpits, to reduce skin contact. In this way I can wear most tops and dresses at least three times before they need a wash. Airing clothing out between wears can also help, and cold air and sunlight are said to help minimise bacteria associated with odour.