Monday, November 16, 2015


The ordinary acts we practice everyday at home are of more importance to the soul than their simplicity might suggest.        Thomas Moore

Five years ago, one of the simple things I started doing when I downsized and moved to my tiny apartment, was hand washing my clothes. 

I began doing this because schlepping my clothes to the laundromat once a week has never appealed to me. This is the first time in my life, since my early 20s, that I have been required to go to the laundromat, having always the luxury of a washer and dryer. A luxury I didn't fully appreciate until I didn't have it. And so it goes. 

When I downsized drastically five years ago, I knew I was going to have to sacrifice having my own washer and dryer for awhile. I would, as a dear friend calls it, have to "monk it out" for awhile. 

One of the ways I'm doing that is hand washing my clothes. On Sunday afternoons, I gather and sort my clothes into little piles, and prepare to wash them for the next week of work. The activity has become like a Zen practice for me. I almost like doing it. Really.

While I do go to the laundromat about once a month to do towels and bedding (I have lots of towels and I change my bed every 2 weeks), the rest of the time I hand wash my clothes.

I find that my clothes are lasting longer, and they look nicer, their colors stay brighter longer, and they don't shrink as much because they are rarely dried in the dryer. Even if my clothes make it to the laundromat, very few of my things go in the dryer anymore. Towels. Sheets. That's about it.

I use less water and less detergent and fabric softener than if I was going to the laundromat all the time, and I have acquired a great sense of accomplishment in learning that it is possible to successfully hand wash my clothes. 

I would highly recommend hand washing your clothes. At least once in awhile. I think you'll find it not only relaxing, but also satisfying to take control of your laundry without have to go to the laundromat.

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