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In the event of an emergency, sleep in as few clothes as possible!

Ok, I’m mixing my title again. I just watched our building’s emergency preparedness video and was quite impressed. They actually filmed our building with our property staff (this was before me) and engineering team. That made it feel relevant, instead of just another safety video.

Yesterday, I mentioned Fiveberries’ post about sleeping naked to save money and save the planet.

That got me thinking on how I wear clothing, what steps I take to avoid extra laundry loads, etc. I divided it into three types of clothing-business, normal, and sleepwear-and how I handle each one.

Business – I only own 6 (?) blouses/business shirts. As a general rule, therefore, I wash them weekly. I have 3 suitable pairs of pants, which I wash biweekly. I also wash my jacket (goes with one pair of pants) biweekly.

Everday/Normal – After I get home from work, I frequently change into something less formal. However, since I only wear them for a few hours, I tend not to wash these clothes until I’ve worn them at least twice or gotten all sweaty in them. Jeans are washed every two weeks, barring emergencies.

Sleepwear – As light as possible. So often this just means old t-shirts and panties. Sometimes little shorts. In the colder parts of winter it’s a long-sleeved nightshirt and pajama pants. Generally pajamas can go for a whole week. Sometimes I use a t-shirt that I’ve already worn twice.

Underwear – Yeah, that gets changed daily. I have a limited supply of thongs (amazingly comfortable ones from Target) which I hand-wash and hang dry. Keeps them from being eaten by the machine. Bras are washed at least every 2 weeks.

This is how I’ve learned to strike a comfortable balance between washing everything every time and not feeling too grungy. Plus it saves money. I use a dryer rack on most occasions, which means that in a given week I often don’t spend more than $1.25 on laundry. My whites are few and I sometimes ask Mr. Micah to put them in with his. I hand-wash others.

How do you strike a balance between laundry, ecology, and frugality?


Frugal Babe September 19, 2007 at 8:22 pm

This is a big one for me. My husband and I both consider exercise to be a requirement for mental health. So our laundry pile is about double what it would be if we were couch potatoes. In general, pretty much anything we exercise in cannot be worn again without washing – very stinky. So that all gets washed after one wearing.
Other stuff I wear at least twice – jeans can be worn 4 or 5 times before they start to feel a bit baggy. I’ve had to do some convincing with my husband to get him to wear things more than once, but he’s pretty good at it now.
We both sleep naked – more fun that way, and less laundry 🙂 I try to wash the bed sheets every week, but it usually becomes about every ten days.
All of our laundry gets dried on racks in our guestroom. Not using the dryer has made a huge improvement in our energy bill.

Anonymous September 19, 2007 at 8:24 pm

Good ideas. I wash as needed when the clothes are dirty. The best thing to do is use an energy efficient washer and dryer. Rinso soap works wonders and along with Rinso softner. It can be bought at the dollar stores. Socks must be washed after being worn once. It is a good idea to wash with a special underwear bag in the washer to prevent loss of socks and underwear inside the machine. I only do full loads to prevent a high electric bill. Good luck!! Annette

SavingDiva September 20, 2007 at 4:18 pm

I’m still having a hard time with it. I just allow my laundry to pile up…and then when I don’t have enough clean underwear, I do laundry. It’s not a flawless plan.

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