Who doesn’t love the smell of freshly cleaned laundry and the knowledge that everything is washed and put away neatly?
But getting there can be another story – things can pile up and we can feel overwhelmed and unorganised.
But as always, there are some useful tips which we can utilise to simplify our laundry routine and make it more enjoyable and efficient 😉
1. DECLUTTER YOUR PRODUCTS
Let’s start with an obvious tip – decluttering. If we own too many products, we make things unnecessarily complicated, which means we’re wasting our time and energy.
So start by taking all of your laundry cleaning products out of your cupboards, drawers etc. and put them in one spot – now ask yourself which products do you use? Those are the ones you should keep and everything else should go.
Also, make sure you enjoy your products – be it because of the smell, efficiency, ethicality, naturalness etc. The goal should be only to have products you enjoy so much you want to repurchase them time and time again.
It’s also helpful to rethink whether you need multiple laundry detergents and softeners or if just one will do: I keep one washing powder, one delicate washing gel, colour catchers and a disinfectant for some dirtier stuff – that’s it! Very simple to use and remember.
*NOTE: Washing clothes in a clean washing machine makes a huge difference so make sure you keep it tidy by wiping it every so often, while also deeply cleaning it on 90°C – for that, you can use special powders, or even baking soda for one round and vinegar for another. Find what works for you and I also suggest you leave the washing machine door open for some time after washing to ventilate the machine which will stop any unpleasant smell developing.
2. MAKE IT ENJOYABLE AND FUN
It depends on your space but think how you can make the area prettier – maybe you can put the products on a little tray, powder detergent in a glass jar, you can add plants or do something fun – it’s your place so you know best what you can do.
Create a space that will spark a lot of joy because this way, washing laundry will feel more like a pleasant experience rather than an unpleasant necessity.
3. REWEAR YOUR ITEMS
When I was a kid, I put on a t-shirt and I wore it for a few hours and then it ended up on the floor.
But when I grew up and I had to do my laundry myself, I quickly realised that my ‘method’ wasn’t effective so I started appreciating my clothes which meant I stopped ‘storing’ them on the floor and I checked if I could wear items again before washing them.
The best tip when it comes to doing laundry – don’t wash more than you need to.
If something is not visibly dirty or smelly, do you really need to wash it? If we’re not sweating, we can wear a shirt at least two or three times before we need to clean it, and we can wear trousers and skirts for even longer.
So don’t merely put items in the laundry bin just because you wore them once – use your eyes and nose to assess whether it’s really time to do it.
*TIP: Use a steamer to freshen up delicates or items that you don’t wash that often. Steam can get rid of odour and bacteria so it’s a great little hack if you want to wash less but still refresh your clothes.
4. COLOUR GROUPS
I divide my laundry by colour when I wash it – that way, I never risk colour transfer and I keep my clothes nice and bright for longer. But that can become complicated if we own too many colours which is where minimalism comes in.
We can purposefully choose our favourite colour groups to make washing easier. Let me explain: I have cream towels and white cotton make-up remover rounds so I can wash them all at the same time. When it comes to my sports clothes, I only have two colours groups – black and pink. When it comes to my pyjamas and loungewear, I decided to keep only black items and with my underwear – I keep blacks, light colours and pinks.
It may sound complicated but my clothes are in better condition and my washing routine is simpler because I just have three main colour groups – black, pinks and lights. Very simple!
*NOTE: If you like this idea that doesn’t mean you should throw everything away and just get new things – but you can slowly build towards an end goal so whenever you want to replace or add something, think of colour groups as well.
5. USE THE SAME STYLE
If you want to go a step further, then you can try using the same style of clothes, socks and underwear to truly simplify your life – that way, it’s much easier to do the laundry plus it saves a ton of mental energy when getting dressed in the morning.
This is the ultimate minimalist tip and a lot of people like Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Karl Lagerfeld, Anna Wintour, Tom Wolfe etc. used it or are still using in order to make their lives simpler.
If you like this idea you can apply it to any category you want – I personally like to do that with my socks and underwear but with everything else, I prefer to have multiple choices.
*NOTE: This might not be for everyone and it definitely doesn’t mean you have to do it if it means you have to deprive yourself but if you genuinely enjoy keeping things simple, this can become a game-changer.
6. BUILD A ROUTINE
One of the best things you can do is develop a system that works for your schedule and will make things more manageable.
So start by writing down how many times a month you wash your stuff – if you don’t know the answer to that then I recommend you observe yourself for the next four weeks so you can see how many rounds of laundry you do and how you feel about your routine.
This will be a great starting point for creating your schedule because once you have your monthly log, you can then break it down into a weekly routine. Think about what would be your optimum days and hours, what will create the least amount of stress and if there are ways you can make your routine even more efficient.
To help you with this, think of a laundry routine from the beginning to the end:
- Laundry starts piling up in our laundry baskets first so it’s good to check if those are easy to use and helpful for our routine. Even if you don’t want to have a plan for your washing, a bin that is the exact size of one or two rounds can help give you a cue that it’s time to clean your clothes.
- So once you’re happy with that, look at how you do your laundry to see if you can simplify as well – maybe you can wash for less time or at a lower temperature etc. Adjust your settings so you’re happy with both efficiency and how your items are being cleaned.
- And then all that is left is drying time. If you use a drying machine, then find a great balance between washing and drying so you don’t become overwhelmed. But if you’re drying things on the rack then consider how much you can wash before it gets full and also take note if your drying rack gets in the way so you can work around that in your plan.
I wash my laundry on Thursday and Friday plus I also do a quick wash of cleaning cloths on Saturday, right after I finish cleaning my home. The reason I picked those days is – first, I leave my items to air dry, which keeps my clothes in better condition but that means I can only do two rounds before the drying racks get full meaning I have to wait till another day also to do two rounds. Secondly, I love doing it at the end of the working week because when I clean my house on a Saturday morning I know I can put all washed items away which means I’m free over the weekend to enjoy my clean home.
7. PUT THINGS AWAY BEFORE BEDTIME
Did you ever wash your clothes but then they were just hanging there for days? If so, here is a simple tip – once the clothes are dry put them into a clean basket and don’t worry about neatly folding them. Now go to the bedroom and turn the basket upside down so all your items fall on the bed.
Now you’ve deliberately created a mess which means you have to put everything away sometime before going to bed. Of course, you can do that for every family member to remind them it’s time to fold their items too!
*NOTE: If you have some delicate or ironed pieces then put them on the bed neatly or straight into the closet but for the other things, there is no need to worry.
8. STAY CONSISTENT
We can do our best to create a simple routine but sometimes we don’t feel like doing anything – which is fine. So when it comes to creating a new habit, we must stay consistent so that with time, we spend less and less mental energy on it.
Failing to plan is planning to fail.
Doing laundry is a very personal thing so I can’t tell you exactly what to do but I do believe that if we take our time to plan, we can create a massive difference in our daily lives. So I hope you got some inspiration and if you have any minimalist tips of your own – please share them! 🙂