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Do you run out of things to wear?

With 6 of us in the family and only 2 who wear uniforms, we often find that we have run out of clothes. My daughters especially, would love an endless supply of clothes for school. Next year will be worse; I will have no one in uniform!

After a lot of searching on the web, I drew up a laundry plan that seems to be working and it will definitely work for people who have no domestic help.

  1. Do one load a day: – My washing machine has a 30 minute cycle, so the night before I load it up and first thing in the morning I turn it on.
  2. If it is not dirty put it back in the cupboard: – girls especially try on at least 3 outfits before they decide what to wear. These clothes should be hung back up in the wardrobe (domestic workers, especially, seem to wash everything left on the floor) and checked before you add it to the washing basket.
  3. Don’t leave the washing in the machine for too long as it creases: – wet washing sitting in the machine for more than an hour tends to crease much worse than if they are taken out and hung straight away.
  4. Hang shirts on hangers on the line: – when you have button shirts for work and smart wear, hanging them directly onto a hanger straight out of the washing machine, they need less ironing and can be ironed at a lower temperature. This will save money on electricity.
  5. Check the pockets! I have often found washed tissues in pockets, a washed ID book and even some money. If you put a small jar by the washing machine, any money found in pockets, gets put in there.
  6. Use cold water: – Using only cold water saves on electricity and gets the clothes just as clean as hot water. A washing machine is not like the dishwasher which uses cold water and then heats it internally; your washing machine uses your geyser. Also using cold water ensures that if a dark article lands in the white washing by accident, the colour is less likely to run and ruin your other clothes.

Before beginning a load of washing, ask yourself these four questions.

  1. Can I wash this with other similar colours? Bleachable whites, light colours (which I often mix with whites), bright colours and can the bright green and the bright red go in the same cycle?


  1. What water temperature and cycle should this be on? Some clothes need to be washed in hot water but most don’t. Is it hand wash or delicate?  Is it regular wash or is it permanent press.  When I was a clinical facilitator, my uniform said ‘dry clean’. I didn’t notice and it went into the cold wash, blazer, waistcoat, lined skirt and pants. They were fine. Obviously this doesn’t mean you never have to dry clean, some clothes must be dry cleaned. Recently while cleaning out cupboards we found 2 suits of my husbands that are really old and which he doesn’t wear. They are for our jumble sale in December, so I put them in the washing machine and there was no shrinkage at all.


  1. Does this need stain treatment, is it very dirty? My domestic worker is under the impression that every load of washing needs the ‘pink bottle stain’ treatment, this is not true. Unless the clothes are exceptionally dirty or have a specific stain, which you would then pre-treat, you don’t need to add stain treatment to every load.


  1. Can I wash these things together? We wash like colours together, but can you wash your black jeans with your black silk blouse? The answer is no. Separate these things into colours; you can wash your silks with other lightweight or delicate clothing.


Break your laundry days into sections. Here is my laundry plan but please note that occasionally I do need to do more than one load a day.

Sunday night: Sheets and towels. Once they are done I take them out and fold them into a basket to be hung up the next morning because these are things that don’t need to be ironed. I have told my domestic to only iron the duvet covers and pillow cases, fitted bottom sheets definitely don’t need ironing and neither do towels.

Monday morning:  The kid’s clothes, dark colours. Depending on how many children, you may need to do two loads, or you may be able to add in your darks as well.

Tuesday morning: Adult white. On a Friday night and Saturday lunch we use a white table cloth for the Sabbath table.  I do cover this with a heavy plastic cloth as some of mine are hand embroidered and antique (more than 25 years old).  If this table cloth is dirty, I add it to the adult whites.

Wednesday: Table cloths, kitchen cloths and towels or sheets that weren’t done on Sunday night (colours).

Thursday: Kids clothes, this time all the light colours. Any extra washing that needs doing gets done on Thursday as this is the day I have an ironing lady from 8-5.

Friday: Adult coloured clothes.

I am finding that my domestic still irons things that don’t really need ironing; it took a while to convince her that pyjamas don’t need ironing!  Nor does underwear need to be ironed.

Bra’s, especially padded ones, should be washed in a pillow case to preserve them, although the manufactures do say that you should hand wash bras.

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