Tuesday, January 21, 2014

How to do laundry with business efficiency

Let's face it, laundry is an endless job that knocks uninvited at the door every week, and cannot be ignored for too long. The piles have magical power of growth, unaware of the existence of a force called gravity, that seems to have no influence in pulling the clothes down, to at least make the hamper look less crowed than it actually is. 

I decided to win the fight against my pile, even if only in my imagination. How could I do laundry in a efficient and effective way? First, do we really need all that weight of laundry detergent being carried into the cart, out of the cart, into the car, out of the car, into the house, upstairs, downstairs, strengthening muscles in weird directions and sometimes pulling tendons out of their locks?

To my surprise I found that there is an all natural, all light, all simple alternative, that cleans my clothes, does not leave nasty chemicals behind and keeps the environment the way it found it! It is called soap nuts. It is a nature given solution to laundry. If you got the time, you can buy the nuts, soak them in warm water and then use and reuse 5 of them for a few times. Or you can buy the liquid soap made from the nuts and with one pump get a load done. And here is the deal, if you order online on Amazon you can get 96 loads for $19. Just for comparison, on Amazon you will get 64 Tide loads for $15. The container is so small it could fit my jacket pocket. Less packaging, less hassle and the clothes smell clean, nothing else!

What about dryer sheets? Do I really need them? I found out that actually I don't. All I need are three wool dryer balls to fluff the clothes. Buy it once, and never spend another penny again. Efficiency and effectiveness!

What else could I improve? Hampers. I downsized the number of hampers to one set. Everybody can move their feet and bring their clothes to the main hampers, no need for me to walk around the house collecting dirty clothes from many hampers. Job outsourced!

The dryer is beeping, time to collect and fold the mountain sized pile. Baskets can come handy when emptying the machine, but they also function as temporary/permanent homes for clothes that don't belong inside baskets. So I decided to trick myself by eliminating the baskets. I just pull a group of clothes out of the dryer, fold them and place in different piles, depending which room they go, then another group and so on. There is no resting place for the clothes, they need to get folded right away and piled. 

Next step: putting the clothes away. Here the job could be outsourced as well, but in my case with small children I decided to change a few things. All the pants and all the tops are spread on the bed, as I match them in pairs, remembering last week's combinations that will also be next week's combinations! Then the outfits are placed on shelves, so my kids can get to choose their own outfits every morning but they will still always match!

What about you, do you have any secrets to share?

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