Remember when Jean-Paul Sartre said “hell is other people”? Well, he did. But as big-brained as he was, many think he got it wrong. Hell, they will insist, is doing the laundry. (Pssst: It’s not often you find JPS and laundry in the same breath. But it happens.)
I’m Team Sartre. Other people? Well, some days…
I don’t loathe laundry. Far from it. I enjoy the repetitiveness of all that folding and sorting, which has a meditative quality that calms me. On the other hand, I typically only iron twice a year, usually after Easter and Thanksgiving have depleted my supply of clean table linens.
A reluctance to pull out iron and board has, however, led me to try and perfect my folding skills. To start, I sort and fold as the load is finished – or, if it’s been sitting — after a quick no-heat tumble. For that reason, I plan to make my next laundry set a top loader side by side with a dryer — the flat top would provide a convenient folding area.
I also keep hangers and a bottle of homemade linen water (instructions below) in a spray bottle near the laundry.
Luxury tip: Changing pillowcases in between your weekly bed linen change adds a touch of hotel luxe to the home. Keep another bottle of linen water to spray on sheets daily.
Whirlpool’s top-loader has a six cubic-foot capacity, which make washing family-sized loads and bulky seasonal items like duvets less onerous.
Have a dedicated basket for delicates, so that silk blouses don’t accidentally get thrown into a heavy duty cycle suitable for denim.
Use steam and gentle wash features for summer silks and delicate winter woolens before packing both in tissue-lined storage boxes. Cardboard will offer less protection against damp and bugs than plastic or fabric storage pieces (easy to find affordable options at places like HomeSense), and add cedar chips or lavendar to deter moths.
Too much detergent can irritate you skin and shorten the life of your clothes and linens. READ the instructions on the bottle – we’ll bet you $5 you’re using too much.
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Drop 20 drops of essential oil (one scent or a combo) into a half-teaspoon of (cheap) vodka. Whisk slightly and let sit an hour. Pour into a one-litre spray bottle and fill with tap water that’s been boiled and cooled or with distilled water.)
Hanging and buttoning dress shirts and hanging pants seam to seam when they come out of the dryer before spraying both slightly will eliminate most wrinkles, and a spritz on bed linens will do the same. It helps if you add a few hooks in unobtrusive spots near the laundry.
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All photos: Whirlpool