Clean Clothes


Housework is a never-ending circle.  Whether you view it as a closed-loop system which supports and sustains your family or as a treadmill that you cannot escape is entirely up to you.  I prefer the first view because it is positive and values homemaking as an important role.

I was interested to read recently that ‘doing the washing’ is not about tossing a heap of clothes into the washing machine, followed by the dryer or perhaps hanging them on the line.  In this scenario the final step is then seen as throwing the heap of clean clothes on the nearest sofa or bed.  This results in disorganisation and clutter while various members of the household grab whatever they need to wear.

Unsurprisingly, the above view emanated from a discussion about how clutter and disorganisation go hand-in-hand.  It is easy to imagine that over time the pile of clean clothes becomes dusty and soiled and then need rewashing.  Perhaps items cannot be located which results in buying more clothes.  Items which need mending are left and forgotten.  Then there is a downward spiral, the pile becomes a permanent fixture, the bed is no longer able to be used for its original purpose and so on.  This is an extreme picture but one that it is best to avoid.

Clean clothes

Confession time:  I resorted to this practice last week and here is some of the evidence.

It took me 5 minutes yesterday to set things to right which made me wonder why I hadn’t done it sooner.

Folded clothes

The discussion went on to say that you should not regard the washing as ‘done’ until the clothes are dry, sorted, folded and put away as well as any ironing any items which require it.

I generally manage to do all of this in one go except the ironing.  Ironing is always done at least once a week.  This is one of the benefits of having a streamlined wardrobe.  The selection of clothes are limited and I am being perfectly honest when I say that I have to do the ironing otherwise we would have nothing to wear to work next week.

By considering tasks within the home to be a closed-loop it is easier to gain satisfaction from the work you do.  It is not simply a chore of folding clothes but rather can be seen in the following way.  A hamper full of soiled clothes is washed, dried in the fresh air and sunshine (hopefully), sorted, folded and drawers and wardrobes replenished with clean clothes for the next week.  It is also an opportune time to review the state of clothes and do any repairs as required.  You can rejuvenate items before they become beyond repair.

How to you deal with washing, folding and ironing?  Do you fold clothes as they are taken off the line?

9 thoughts on “Clean Clothes

  1. I fold as I take them off the line and put them into piles for each person. After taking them inside, I put the clothes on the bed for the owner to put away. Fortunately this is done by the end of the day. I must admit that I rarely iron anything.

  2. Washing seems to be never ending at my house and with the cold and wet it takes forever to dry. I try and wash every day if the machine is full, my DH even hangs it out (his style of course) but it has to be done. We fortunately have a large pergola that DH has hung a line in.
    I make sure that as soon as it comes in – usually at night – I sit in front of the TV, fold it all and then put it straight away. I always sort into 4 piles for the 4 of us which makes it heaps easier. If it is still a bit damp it goes in the dryer for 1/2 hour.
    I refuse to iron, after years of ironing, so now I only buy clothes that don’t need ironing or I hang them on a hanger to dry and then they don’t need ironing. Fortunately DH no longer works so no more shirts for the office, he does wear the odd shirt if we are going out but like before I hang onto a hanger to dry.

    • Wet weather is the enemy when it comes to having the washing organised. I am not keen on the ‘Chinese laundry’ decorating theme but it seems to be a regular occurrence here. Being at work all day means that I am not around to bring washing in before it gets cool and damp in the winter so washing tends to be a weekend activity 😦

      I am looking forward to the day when I no longer have a pile of business shirts to iron each week. 🙂

  3. I hate ironing with a passion! Therefore I never ever leave washing in the machine. As soon as it beeps to tell me the cycle is finished I take it out and hang it. Then I bring it in when it is dry and fold it immediately and put it all away. This prevents creasing and so I rarely have to iron anything. There are a few summer linen pieces of clothing that need ironing, but I wait until I have half a dozen pieces and then do them, which is usually about every 3 weeks in summer. I am not the best of housewives but this is one area in which I excel, happily!

  4. I usually do a load of washing each night and hang it either out in the yard or inside on racks the next morning. My hubby finishes work early so he brings it in so no folding here. I only iron once a week so I have an ironing basket in the WIR and a folding basket so I sort the washing at night and usually do the folding a couple of times a week.
    Whilst it would be nice for the job to feel finished it does seem never ending but there is never a huge pile of washing to do at one time. At least if the clothes are clean then you can easily iron something quickly if needed.

    • I have a basket for the ironing and do it at least once a week. I have to differ on the idea of ironing something quickly if you need it. I find this a waste of time and electricity and avoid it wherever possible. But……each to their own, that is what makes life interesting. 🙂

  5. I certainly see it as a closed loop – I’m not ‘happy’ til the drying rack is empty! But I do limit ironing til there’s a handful of things (as one was might only generate 1-2 items). I’ve never separated ‘bring the washing in’ from ‘folding’ – and at my parents clothesline, I do the same simultaneously! It does annoy me that everyone else in that household separates them, and folding is bemoaned. Folding is so easy, I just don’t get it! Putting it away in 3-4 different rooms, that’s annoying :p But living alone, I have no troubles with that (though there is stuff for the kitchen and the buffet downstairs, it’s not tiresome).

  6. Folding is easy, however, I do tend to do it once I am indoors as I usually use a bench in the laundry and find it easier than at the clothesline.

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