The simplest tasks often give us the most intense headaches. You know, the ones you do on auto pilot, because you have performed them so many times that you could do it with your eyes closed. When laundry is in question, don’t close your eyes. Unless you like your clothes to change color from washing to washing, that is. The fashionably disorganized people we are, we want just a bit of mess, and only occasionally, not a total, full-blown chaos.
When it comes to laundry you don’t really have to break the rules of common sense, or change the habits that your mother has wisely instilled in you. It is more the interpretation of them that will give the feel of chic messiness that we are aiming at.
For example: generally, clothes tags are misleading. Everything IS machine-washable. Only, some things are not WEARABLE after that.
Temperature selection is also mainly unnecessary. The only exception is wool, but even if you mess it up and run your favorite wool sweater through the scorch-and-spin cycle you will end up with a miniature felt item, which is nice for your kids’ soft toys.
Separating laundry by color usually means a lot of different containers, one for each shade, or at least darks/lights, and it also means memorizing which is for what – a lot of hassle over nothing. In most cases, luck allowing, nothing will happen if you wash them mixed. Go for it. And, if there ARE surprises, just take it as a welcome change to your wardrobe, without costs or waste of time for shopping.
Detergent: with the amount of choices we have, and the aggressive advertising, it almost feels like you are a real slob if you don’t use the detergents that the wide-smiled, white-clad people in the commercials are using. I have one rule: pick the one that smells best, because in a matter of few months a newer and better one will be launched. Which makes me think that the promise of removing all possible stains in the world they are making today, will be untrue when the newer, improved formula arrives.
Socks: no matter what you do, the Sock Monster will visit you and you will have odd socks – so give up on any system that you might be trying to implement, it is not really worth the trouble. Sock Monsters have needs and feelings too. (In case you have mastered the Sock Monster fight, please share the method, because the fight is driving me crazy).
Looking through the pockets before putting the laundry into the washing machine is tedious and usually you never find anything important. The important things, those that should not be washed at all, ever, WILL end up there, somehow, whether you like it or not. I, myself, have washed cell phones several times, with 50% success: half of the time they actually worked after the process. I must add that recent models are not as “machine washable” as the old, sturdy ones used to be.
Delicate items are not as delicate as they pretend to be. No need for separate treatment. Also, if you would really like a new silk dress, and are tired of the old one, it is the best strategy: destroy and then shop for new.
Those would be the basics. Let me know if I forgot to mention something.