4.09.2017

laundry notes





Whenever we have a change of seasons I go through my wardrobe and reorganize.  What is occurring to me this season is just how much I love my clothing.  I'm starting to realize that I better treat all my clothes as if they were heirlooms because finding things I love is getting harder and harder.

There are so many things to consider when purchasing new clothes. On the top of my list is natural fabrics and they are getting harder to find.  Even high end clothing is now synthetic although I have found a pretty cotton dress that I will share with you later this week!

So even my simplest tee shirts are now going to get the royal treatment.  And what exactly is the royal treatment?

1.  Hand wash everything I can, especially if it's something I know is hard to replace and quite frankly that is just about everything.

2.  Line dry everything.

3.  Use quality detergent.

4.  Air out clothes/sweaters between use instead of mindlessly throwing them into the wash.

5.  Mending things quickly instead of letting them fall into greater disrepair.

6.  Treat everything as if it's irreplaceable.

More of my laundry room...

HERE

Note - I'm still using Dr. Bronners in the laundry but I still have my Laundress products that I use too.  The Stain Bar is amazing and I use the Wool and Cashmere Shampoo for all my vintage sweaters. All products are in the links.







29 comments:

  1. I agree that quality is getting harder to find. Things are made to wear and toss. I have brushes that I use on my clothing and also treat everything well.

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  2. Good advice, Janet! I have often wondered if it is my age. Not that I feel old, I don't. But, as I get older, I know what I like and am not willing to settle for anything but that, so taking care of what I have is key. I don't have a clothesline; maybe that's something I should consider. Love the laundry tub, by the way.

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  3. Beautiful laundry tub..and I love these ideas. I have a favorite Talbots shirt (thrift) but noticed a small top under the arm. Now I'll fix it so it can last
    Longer. My dear sister has always carefully cared for her clothes and she has beautiful well made garments ..classic..many years old. She is fighting dementia now...76..and we try and make her world as caring as she always has. Thank you for your article.

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  4. Very thought-provoking, Janet. My husband and I were looking at my racks (note the plural) of my clothes just yesterday. And I'd thought I'd pared down. He said, "You don't wear any of these clothes. They're taking up space we need for other things." (My husband doesn't mince words...but he's right.) I keep thinking I'll have them altered (almost nothing off the rack ever fits me...armholes too big, hems too long, etc.; and I don't sew) but, thing is, I'm really going for the same thing/same outfits day after day, over & over so, yes, we've got the empty boxes out and I'm going through the clothes...again. It's so much simpler to have fewer clothes even though I'm sure some people get sick of seeing me in the same clothes all the time.

    I had finally found a sleeveless shift dress which suited me most of the year because I'm always hot (effect of medications and also menopause) here in SoCalif. The fabric is a very, very thin rayon which thankfully isn't see-through nor does it cling (so it's forgiving!). I'd invested a lot of money in linen but was finding that (today's linen, anyway; my price range) I was still uncomfortable even in linen. But the thing about that rayon is that, yes, it's synthetic and it actually doesn't breathe. (Plus, it can shrink in a nanosecond if you forget and use warm water instead of a cold water wash.) I think it's from wood pulp but also treated with a lot of chemicals which probably aren't good for me OR the environment. There's 'way too much toxicity in general with the manufacture of clothing. "They" say to buy good-quality European garments if you can...cotton, silk (and, yes, linen...but what I've found is, again, that linen quality can really vary); wool and I think even cashmere. These fabrics take less processing and last longer if, as you say here, you take good care of them.

    What do you do about line-drying and wrinkles, Janet? Do you hang the stuff up while it's still heavy dripping? If I roll it in towels, I seem to get a lot of wrinkles before I hang, and the hanging doesn't seem to help in the end. Do you find yourself pulling out the iron and ironing board? (Example...your new cotton dress...)

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    1. "What is occurring to me this season is just how much I love my clothing."

      I like that sentence, Janet. I want to be able to say the same thing...about my clothes, my home; everything. I think if my husband had his way, he'd have like zero material objects except bare necessities...but clothes are necessary! And if you love them, it just speaks to your nature. I've been thinking of that all day yesterday, Janet. What you are practicing is just another way to live a life of gratitude, which makes us all so much more satisfied and sane. I love that you love what you have; it's the totally 'right' attitude. Another calm way to be...

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  5. I honestly wish I'd known how to properly dry linen garments earlier in life or I would have accumulated far more of them. Very little ironing of linen garments is required if they are hung wet and all the seams, buttoned plackets, zippered areas, collars and hems are stretched by hand as they are hung. Do this as if you are ironing and it only takes minutes in comparison to using a hot iron. My favorite way to dry linen dresses are on sturdy plastic hangers hung beneath our large garden umbrellas on a hot sunny day. Very little touch up is required.

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    1. Oh, I'm glad to know this...I've been doing it wrong...

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  6. I just donated a few things after going through my closet.
    One of my favourite tops...a blue faded tee that had been laundered so many times that it developed holes under the arms...at first I though it might be my deodorant but I use a natural crystal so I am perplexed...it may be that the quality of clothing is just elusive these days.
    I may need to start hand washing more things to prolong their life.

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  7. Thanks for your laundry tips- I sure do need them! I find that I buy very little new items of clothing simply because I can't seem to find what I am looking for. I have many dresses that are almost 20 years old- classics that never go out of style- and I love them dearly! I am going to look into the Stain Bar and follow your advice. Love your laundry tub!

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  8. I have white tee shirts that are over thirty years old. 100% cotton--try and buy that these days! I wear linen "camp" shirts (I guess kids wore them at high priced camps?) from LLBean (not currently available) all year round. Never iron them even out of the dryer. I like the rumply way they look and feel. Linen sheets as well. Hard to find but linen lasts forever.

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  9. I find it harder and harder to find styles I really love made of quality material. Such a challenge for me! I still use the Dr. Bonner's for my laundry, thanks to you. I have put it in a hand soap dispenser, and at first only used one big squirt, but now I find I need about three squirts per load to really clean my clothes. I do about 3-4 loads a week in my household, and I have to say, that bottle lasts me a long, long time.

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  10. I've been working my way through my things and also realizing there are things I love that I've had for so long and things that were impulse buys. I appreciate the laundering tips. I'd like to do better at taking care of things. Line drying is a little difficult in the apartment but I've been creative! Do you use a particular Dr Bronner's soap? I

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    1. Wait I found the Bronner's in your linked post! :)

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  11. I'm a great believer in points 2 and 4. I remember my mum being a fan of "nature's dry cleaning". She would put jackets and coats etc on hangers on the line on cold crisp but sunny days to freshen them up and it really worked.

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  12. I find much better quality(that I can afford) in older clothes, so vintage shops, estate sales,, eBay are all good for me. There are some wonderful clothes handmade in the US (Muffy Aldridge has a lot of links to them), but, I can't spend that much money on them, since I'm retired.

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  13. the only way i get to line dry is by another shower bar down the middle of the tub.
    I hang everything on hangers there.
    it's not like fresh air would be but at least they don't 'cook' in the dryer!
    i followed the link back to your laundry room post and loved that little room all over again!

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  14. YOU are so right it is all getting to be VERY cheap material.I can tell by just LOOKING If it will wash well or NOT!That HELPS me make the decision!Plus, I do not NEED anymore anything!BUT YOU KNEW THAT!!!!!XX

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  15. i just want to say that I love reading your blog and thoroughly enjoy all the accompanying photos too. I seem to be hand washing my clothes more often now and it reminds me how lucky I was when mum used to hand wash all my nice work clothes when I was in my late teens/early 20s. I'm sure I wasn't appreciative then but I sure am now.

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  16. Dearest Janet,
    I have resorted to great bargins on good name brands and washable cottons. I need my garments to wash up nicely and press easily. And most of all look as nice and new many washings down the line.
    I adore tour out look on life now and then, as well as your hunt for fine simple things that soothe the soul in living with and without. Your organized home life is the envy of many I am sure, me included. You my dear inspire the best and always a method to most or all the madness.

    I remember helping my grandmother wash days and hanging them pinned to an outside line, how fresh and crisp smelling those pieces were. I miss a great clothing line, and as for products I try to keep my wash healthy and the least amount of chemicals possible, and I am going to give your product recommendations a try.

    Thank you dear for the beauty you add to our days ahead.

    Xx
    Dore

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  17. Do you have a new grandson yet?

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    1. Oh, that's lovely, Janet. Congrats to you! Your own little Easter bunny...

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  18. Congratulations! Have a beautiful Easter❤
    Thanks to the laundry suggestions I've mended ..hung dry ..and taken better care of my clothes.

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  19. Totally off subject but I've often wondered about the cottage. I know it was built for the gardening staff of a large estate. Was the larger house destroyed and the land subdivided?

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    1. yes and no gail. the large estate sat on 6 acres, our house was included on that acreage. during the 1960s the large estate was torn down (which is a total heartbreaker) and a modern home was built in its place. The acres were subdivided and 2 big homes were built. My home continued to be owned by the large estate family tho until we purchased it from them 10 years ago. it's really a much more complicated and interesting story than that, truly something out of hollywood script! x

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  20. Thank you. I'm so pleased your little cottage survived and continues to thrive under your meticulous and loving care. Convincing them to sell must be a part of that Hollywood script. Ironic isn't it that it was your home featured in a magazine? Neener, neener. ;-)

    I live in the forest. Your comment about the old estate being town down , a modern home built in its place, reminded me of those who purchase property here and then want to cut down trees for more light. I don't understand their logic. The trees didn't suddenly appear. Did they not think of this before purchasing the property and designing their home?

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    1. oh i so get that. a problem i see here is people buying an old historic home and ripping out all the original charm and replacing with new. it's so heartbreaking!

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  21. There is something about a clothesline- and I never buy anything I cannot wash by hand because if it shrinks, it's not going to last anyhow. The trick, of course, is never to hang out the wrong things on the clothesline. It's a form of 'clothesline etiquette' I suppose. And also you do not want your white linens grazing the lawn, that sort of thing. The truth is nothing can replace the freshness of a woven fabric that takes in the breeze and sunlight. Knits- not so much. For this, a multi-tiered mesh device would work like a charm. Even better is the drier, because cotton knits must move in order to retain their elasticity.

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kindness is never out of style.