I recently read an article about how often we need to do laundry. After doing some research on the subject, I found several opinions, but in the end, the overall conclusion appears to be in favor of doing laundry less often…for several good reasons I think. Now, you may not agree with this yourself, but it will be helpful to consider the pros and cons.
Years ago in Grandmother’s day, it was the norm to wash bed linens once a week, or you were considered to be a terrible housekeeper. In today’s society, however, it seems to be perfectly acceptable to wash sheets every other week or even once a month, especially if you wear bed clothes and your body doesn’t touch the sheets that much. Additionally, people tend to take more baths or showers than in days gone by, and have air conditioning on while they sleep, all of which helps keep linens cleaner.
Another point of discussion I found was this…do you use a bath towel more than once before dropping it into the laundry bin? Let’s jump in a little deeper. Hopefully, each family member is assigned their own towel. You get into the shower or bath to do what? Wash all the dirt off, right? So if you do that properly, then you are using your towel to dry clean water from a clean body and then you hang it up to dry, so why can’t that towel be used at least 3 or 4 times before it needs laundering?
If you more frequently choose to wear dark colors that don’t show soil compared to light colors, you might notice that your clothing continues to be wearable for an extra day or two and you can wear them longer. At last year’s Tiny House Jamboree, Dee Williams, a well-known luminary in the Tiny House Movement who lives in 84 sq. ft., spoke about how long she wears her jeans between laundering. I believe she said she wears hers for at least 2 weeks at a time. Personally, I don’t think she means she wears them every day for 2 weeks; but when you think about it, unless you are sweating in the garden or working on a greasy car, jeans just don’t show dirt for a fairly long amount of time.
Now, in the context of living tiny, we are even more inclined to find ways to save time and minimize our impact on the environment. By doing the laundry less often, you save on utilities, water and supplies. When you wear and use the same articles for longer periods, they not only physically last longer, but you don’t need as many clothes, linens and towels, which, in turn, decreases the amount of storage space needed. Find some discussion about downsizing here. Additionally, it saves you time, especially if we have to go to the laundromat. Doing laundry less often is a win win all around if you think about the big picture.