Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Two Loads a Day Keeps the Laundry Pile Away

I start my day each morning with a load of laundry. The earlier I get it in the washer, the earlier I can get it hung, hopefully allowing enough time for me to wash and hang the second load before the (usually) daily afternoon summer shower.

That’s right, I hang our laundry out to dry. I am trying to decrease our electricity usage and save the Earth one load at a time. I’m not sure exactly how much money I’m saving by hanging a load of laundry rather than drying it in my electric dryer…I should look that up. But to me it’s more than just saving a few cents. I want to do my best to help decrease my family's carbon footprint, and if hanging my laundry is one small way in which I can do that, then I'm all about it.

I also like getting back to the way things used to be…the “good ‘ole days” if you’d like…and feeling that connection with those who have come before me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to grab a washboard and run down to the river with a bar of soap to wash the laundry. I do, however, think about my great-grandmothers every time I’m hanging a load, and wonder what their lives were like when they were down by the river, or next to the washtub scrubbing the dirt out of their kids’ clothes, rather than reading a book while the washing machine was going. Makes me thankful for the small conveniences in life.

We currently have an “umbrella” type laundry line. I’m not a big fan of this one, but it was here when we bought the house, so I’ll use it until hopefully Santa can bring me a newer one. Our current umbrella line has rusted so that it has trouble staying open and is concreted into a poor location in our yard (touching some young trees), so I’m thinking of getting a newer model, probably still an umbrella line, but one that can be removed from the ground should we need to move it, or take it with us when we move. We also have a wooden clothes rack that I can use indoors or outdoors. I usually use it outside for our unmentionables. or clothes that are too small or delicate to hang on the line, or if the umbrella line is full.

Two-a-day seems to be the magic number for our family to keep the laundry pile from becoming too overwhelming. We have a three-bag sorter in the laundry room that holds our “waiting” laundry. One of the kids’ chores on M/W/F is to bring and sort their laundry into the three bags (whites, colors, and jeans/towels/sheets) from the hamper in their bathroom…I bring mine on those days too. Then, whichever bag is the fullest, that type of laundry gets to be the first load of the day. That is unless someone is in need of a particular article, or it is Tuesday…Tuesday is change the sheets day, and unfortunately the boys only have one set of “summer” sheets (I know, how can I be such a negligent parent and only have one set of sheets for my children), so their sheets are obviously one of the two loads done on Tuesday.

Now, I say two loads a day, but that is two loads a day, Monday thru Friday. I used to do all the laundry in one day, which was very tedious. Since I’m using my clothesline, I don’t have the ability to do all the laundry on the same day, nor do I want to. It used to take a full day to do all the laundry, and it would always happen that someone would have something they needed washed in the middle of the week, thus throwing off the whole “one-day of laundry” thing.

I think we are all benefiting from our laundry routine. I get a little time in the sun each day hanging laundry, our clothes last a little longer, we save a bit of money and the Earth one load at a time.


Deva said...

Man, I so wish my laundry room was on the my first floor. When I try to line dry my stuff in the summer inside my laundry room, the heavy stuff starts to get smelly fast.

Maybe I should try it when it is less humid.

Rosemary said...

Hi Jaynelle! I LOVE your blog! I just discovered it via Colyn's blog. I too try the "load a day" philosphy. Funny, I just "re-joined" FLYLady yesterday and guess what?-you probably know this :-)) August is climb Mt. Washmore-do a load a day habit. I confess I do not hang my clothes out to dry, but you've tapped on my eco-guilt-ridden shoulder and got me thinking...

GREAT to see how you and the family are doing in FLorida!

Oh, Lauren got stung by a jellyfish the last time we went to the beach and I too had no idea what to do-pretty much did as you did, but I too will be bringing along vinegar (the best all-purpose remedy/cleaner IMO for just about everything!!) the next time we go to the beach! Thanks for the tip!


maria said...

I LOVE to hang my laundry out in the sun. I have a straight line which I much prefer to the umbrella type.

My mom used to hand the clothers outside all year round when I was a kid. I just loved it so much when
we would sleep in freshly outside dried sheets.


Emily the Great and Terrible said...

I do three loads a day on weekdays, plus I do it all day once a week, usually Monday. I hate laundry, but apparently it loves me!