Simplifying Laundry


The Met Office has given us a yellow warning for snow and ice later today, which will be quite a turnaround on yesterday's sunny conditions. I managed to do the first line dried load of laundry of the new year. It was a chilly day, but the sun was out and there was a breeze, which did the job nicely. Line dried laundry is one of my simple pleasures in life.

If only actually doing the laundry counted as a simple pleasure. To keep on top of five people's clothes and linens I have to do at least a load a day; and I always seem to have a pile or scatter of laundry somewhere in eye shot. It's one of the first things I want to simplify in my latest strivings for domestic bliss. 

The first prong of my laundry simplification plan is to reduce the amount of clothing we have. Being the minimalist, unfussy skinflint that I am, I manage to live with a single drawer of clothes and a small drawer of accessories and underwear. Mr PL does well enough with two and a half drawers.
Like most of the clutter, the laundry mountain originates from the smallest people in the house. They each got quite a few new clothes each for Christmas, and we've been gifted some hand-me-downs, consequently their drawers are now stuffed to overflowing. Though they all wear the same few favourites to threadbare death, it doesn't stop them from turning everything else out onto the floor and mixing the clean with the dirty.

I gathered each of the kid's clothes and linens together and had a good sort. I keep two bags in the cupboard - one for outgrown clothes to hand down; and one for seasonal clothes that are not going to be used for a few months. Keeping them out of sight and mind means that they won't get repeatedly mixed up in the laundry pile. The rest went back into their drawers (unfolded, because really, what's the point?), or into a charity bag, which I walked straight to the charity bank.

From next month, the kids will each have a laundry basket; and one day a week assigned to their laundry. I can pick up their baskets, wash it, dry it, and dump it straight into their personal drawer without a thought to sorting. The exception will be the handful of white clothing we have between us, which will go in together and be easy enough to sort at the other end.

I've managed to avoid owning an iron and ironing board for several years, with a magical combination of hanging things to dry, Konmari style folding - and never wearing linen or dress shirts. Most days I look pretty well turned out, so its never been a problem. Occassionwear and interview togs are outsourced to my ironing loving neighbour as required. I wonder if I could outsource my washing too...

As in most things, less is more (tea, dumplings, puppies and freesias being exceptions of course). 


  1. Oh no! I folded one T-shirt and now I am hooked. I can't believe how pleasing KondoMarie is. Thanks for sharing.

    I also found you can reduce the loads of washing you have by substituting the denim for lighter man-made fabrics, like walking trousers are made from. They take up far less room in the washer, dry faster and can be 10 times more hard-wearing than jeans. This makes them more frugal and better for the environment too.

    1. Yes! Have you read her book? It has some very unusual ideas (thanking you items as you let them go, thanking your bag for its hard work each night!) but it is a fascinating read.

      I have quite a few synthetic/blend pieces, and yes they dry very quickly, especially rayon and viscose type materials. Mens jeans are the worst, sturdy and slow drying compared to flimsy stuff on offer to us ladies.