Well, I did it. All of it (with the exception of a few items that have gone AWOL under the bed).
What did I learn from my week-long laundry adventure?
White vinegar is truly the best fabric softener ever. I have three cats, all of which have at least some white fur—and the white downy undercoat of that fur which sticks frigging EVERYWHERE. I also have a lot of black clothes—which, as a New Yorker, I am obligated to own. When I pulled the first batch of laundry out of the washer, I was utterly dismayed to see white cat hair on everything. I suspect there had been one or two things that were really covered in cat hair, and in the wash, it redistributed evenly over everything else.
I used a couple of Bounce dryer sheets (which smelled gross and are not the greatest choice in general) on that load, which helped a little. I didn’t want to switch to liquid fabric softener because I usually wash towels and clothes together and fabric softener + towels = less-absorbent towels. The next day, I used about half a cup of white vinegar in the rinse. Much MUCH less cat hair, plus soft clothes and super fluffy towels (and no, everything does not smell like a salad).
I now have absolutely no excuse to use as many paper towels as I do. Holy crap, I had no idea I owned this many towels. I had to rearrange a kitchen cabinet just to have a place to put all the dishtowels AND I’ve got a huge stack of former dishtowels (now too ratty for display) under the sink as well. Still deciding what (if anything) to do with the unlovely bath towels I have, but I’m looking at some tutorials on turning old towels into bathmats (something I could really use).
I had some clothes to get rid of—but not nearly as much as I expected. Of everything that I washed, we donated about one-seventh of it (one full laundry bag’s-worth), but much of that was kid clothes; either cold weather stuff she’d already outgrown or warm weather stuff she’ll certainly outgrow by next summer (44 things in all, including some I had weeded out earlier). I got rid of some items I only wore when I had nothing better to wear (12 items) and my husband got rid of a pair of pants he didn’t like but overall, not as much as I thought would go.
Last, and perhaps most importantly, I can finish a project when I set my mind to it. Honestly, I think I even surprised myself by getting everything done this week. It helped that a.) I publicly announced I was going to do all this laundry and then kept updating as I went along and b.) yesterday, my husband and I went to the laundromat together and did all the remaining laundry—which would have been at least three trips for me on my own—saving me from almost certain burnout.
Now that that’s done, I’m already looking about for a new project. Maybe decluttering?
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