Three Ways I’m Minimising in January

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

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26 thoughts on “Three Ways I’m Minimising in January

  1. These are great tips. I only do laundry once every 2-3 weeks. To do this i own a LOT of socks and underwear and rewear things several times between washes. I will put something in my laundry basket if the pits Smell or there is an obvious dirty mark. Thats for clothes mainly, sometimes i can fit my bedsheets in the same wash as my clothes, sometimes i need to do a separate wash. the wash is based on if i’ve run out of underpants of socks.
    I love the idea of not using a laundry basket but I live with roommates and that would not work in my situation.
    I may also have to give the dish soap idea a try once i run out of my laundry soap but it sounds legit.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. What’s the dish washing liquid you use? I’ve had to get very particular with my laundry detergent since I’ve had some purples get ruined with spots in the past. Since our machines are communal, we still need a hamper but the communal situation hasn’t been too bad for my clothes thus far. *knocks on wood*

    Cold air will absolutely kill bacteria. I don’t like wearing shoes while exercising so when I belonged to a place that had a gym, I’d put my toe shoes in the freezer. We had to clear out the lockers by day’s end.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Have you considered washing clothes in the shower if you need them before laundry time? I do this all the time, especially with my favorite pairs of wool socks, plus any silk long johns, which to me, are crucial to wear under other winter sweaters to reduce skin to fabric contact on annoying to wash items that are wool or cashmere (which I also wash in the shower). It doesn’t take any extra time.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I’ve also been a massive minimalisation journey the past few years, culminating in selling my house and moving interstate with less than one Toyota Hiace full of stuff, most of which is a few guitars and some drums. My husband and I have each been living for the almost the past year out of single suitcase each. I’m in the process of designing a new minimalist house and one thing I am very committed to is having NOTHING in my bedroom except the bed and a small bedside table either side. There will be no clothes storage in my bedroom. No dirty clothes in a basket (or on the floor for that matter), but no clean clothes either. I have been using the “store dirty clothes in the washing machine” for quite a while now, but my new house is going to have the washing machine in the bathroom (clothes off and straight into the machine), the clothes line right outside the bathroom, and clothes storage in a small walk through wardrobe between the bathroom and the bedroom. Minimal clothes to wash (especially in Hobart!), fold, store, find, or care for.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I enjoyed reading your post. Your first two suggestions are thoughtful and make complete sense. Unfortunately, living where I do, washing and changing clothes frequently is a must, however; if I lived in a cooler climate I would definitely take number three’s suggestion on board more willingly. Looking forward to reading more of your blog!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Reblogged this on Hope for the Rest of Us and commented:
    As you’ve undoubtedly noticed I am on a minimalist jag. In fact, I have been a minimalist most of my life but it was never in fashion before. I used to be pitied for my insignificant hoard but now I’m considered clever for my sparseness.
    Initially my minimalism was forced upon me. I married a preacher. Not the fast track to amassing wealth. But eventually I discovered that owning less was actually my natural rhythm. I abhor clutter and found myself constantly decluttering my own home and the homes of others who turned their back for a minute!
    I am reposting a blog by a fellow minimalist I’ve just discovered because she says what I want to say with fewer words–minimalism at its best!
    I like her ideas but must confess I still use a laundry hamper but mainly because my husband generates more laundry than a newborn and it needs to be contained somewhere. If, like the blogger, you live alone (she has a cat) you may be able to toss your hamper.
    Also, I use homemade laundry soap my daughter makes so instead of paying $20 for a large jug of liquid, we pay about $1 for the ingredients (I will share the recipe in a later blog). I have used this detergent for a few years and I see no difference in the cleanliness or brightness of my laundry.
    And finally, I always wear my clothes at least twice or three times before washing them. I live in a cold climate, do not sweat easily, wear loose fitting clothes and always hang things up after wearing them so they can air out. You might want to ask my family if you want the “whole story” but I do not think I pollute the room and my clothes do not wear out as fast. In fact, only children wear out their clothing. Adults “wash out” their wardrobe.
    Here is what asmallwardrobe has to say:

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great tips, our family is in the mode of minimizing! I feel like our family is constantly doing laundry…like everyday. I have never thought about dish washing liquid before! You’ll have to update us on how it works. The one thing that I just found is that most of the “natural” or “environmentally friendly” soaps and cleaners are actually really bad in terms of harmful chemicals. If you haven’t gotten the “Think Dirty” app on your phone I would highly encourage you to do so…you can simply scan the bar code of an item and find it’s rating based on the ingredients it contains. The ones that I thought were the cleanest turn out to be the worst for our health. Yikes! We started using plain baking soda (we buy it in bulk) in addition to detergent when washing our clothes as it acts as a natural/clean softener. I’m also looking into making dryer balls with oils as a fabric softener substitute (I’ll be posting a DIY on my blog soon).
    Keep sharing your tips!!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Great thoughts! I love the idea of losing storage for dirty clothes. And I never thought of using dish detergent for laundry. Keep us up to date on how it goes! I am worried it is too harsh in the long run and will cause colors and fabric to wear out sooner.

    Liked by 2 people

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