Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Laundress


Today I'm doing something that I've never done before here on Poppy Haus (do I sound like Ira Glass?).  I've enlisted my sister-in-law/ best friend to do a guest post. The topic is one that she is, by all measures, an expert on. Now, I know how to use stain remover and what detergents to buy; what I need help with strategy. I envy her ability to prevent pilling and prolong the life of inexpensive knits, keep her kid's clothes stain free, and preserve the original texture and size of her jeans. You never see an overflowing hamper at her house. No, not ever. I just don't know how she does it! So I asked, and she told me. Cue the Amelie soundtrack.

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Carrie's Laundry List

I like to do laundry. I like the feeling of accomplishment when I’ve finished folding and putting away the last load of the weekend. I like how all of the clothes look in their appropriate homes, dressers and closets stuffed full of outfit options for the week. I also like wearing clean clothes that aren’t faded or wrinkled
and I like looking at my husband and little boy wearing clean clothes that aren’t faded or wrinkled.

Those that know me well think I’m a teensy bit crazy about my obsession with clothing and laundry and not looking disheveled and making sure the dirty pile of clothes doesn’t become overwhelming; but it is what it is. And now that I’m a mom that works full time these things are even more important to me and I’m sure there are other people out there that feel the same.

Here are some strategies for staying on top of the laundry and keeping clothes looking fresh.

To avoid the overwhelming dirty clothes pile and inevitable backlog:

Start doing laundry for the weekend Thursday night and do a load  
or two each day until Sunday, folding and putting away after each load. That way you don’t feel as though you are devoting
large chunks of your weekend to this task. 

For the moms out there: 
  • Fold at the table while your little guy or girl is eating breakfast, lunch, dinner or a snack.
  • Fold on the living room floor while he or she is playing next to you.
  • Fold after he or she has gone to bed, while you are watching True Blood, with a glass of wine in hand.
  • Get him or her involved with sorting the clothes into their appropriate piles and putting them in the washer or dryer…it’s fun for them to help, can be a teaching opportunity(colors) and you get to be productive while spending time with them. (This one will probably only work with toddlers…unfortunately.)

To keep clothes looking like new:

  • Wash everything (except whites) in cold/cold…yep, even the lights and delicates that contain tags that tell you to wash them in warm (cold water keeps color from fading).
  • Turn jeans inside out before washing and never, ever dry them. Also, wear them 3-5 times between washes.
  • Don’t just hang to dry things you want to keep from shrinking. Also hang anything you want to keep looking like new (dryers wear down the best of fabric pretty quickly and as a result, it becomes misshapen and faded very quickly).

When you hang something to dry:
  • Fluff the garment in the dryer for 3-5 minutes before you hang it to remove wrinkles and help it take it’s original shape.
  • Fluff the garment in the dryer for another 3-5 minutes once it’s dry, before you wear it, to remove stiffness.


Happy Laundering!

Carrie

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2 comments:

  1. What a fabulous post! Thank you so much for you expertise, Carrie. I don't want to be faded, or wrinkled, or stressed out by the ever-present, evil hamper over-flow. I feel you have just issued me a ticket to a sane and stylish me I always new existed somewhere.

    Do you mind telling me what detergents and stain removers you use? Do you use dryer sheets? How do you keep your whites bright? My white loads always come out limp and gray, even with bleach. Is it possible to keep new white socks looking new?

    Again, thanks.

    Kate

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Kate,

    Thanks so much for your comment! I'm glad you found this helpful and would be happy to give you more tips based on what I do.

    1) I use All Free + Clear liquid detergent (I also really like Clorox Greenworks liquid detergent, but it's hard for me to find).

    2) I use Shout stain remover, but think Zout works really well too.

    3) Dryer sheets: I use Bounce Free + Sensitive

    (I like all three of the above b/c they aren't as much with the chemicals as other brands, but they still work and give my clothes that laundry fresh smell and feel).

    4) I wash all of our whites in Hold/Cold on the "Whitest Whites" cycle (my washer has one). I use bleach (I know! But it's the only thing that works...). My whites tend to last a while this way...though of course, they'll gray eventually.

    Hope this helps!

    Carrie

    ReplyDelete

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