When I’m asked a question often enough, I try to turn it into a post. I figure if lots of women are inquiring about a certain topic, maybe it ought to be explored. Today’s question is this…
What should I do with the clothes in my wardrobe that I've worn, but aren't really dirty?
In my opinion, this category of ‘not dirty enough to launder yet’ clothing is mostly limited to the pieces we hang out in or wear casually.
The bulk of the clothing that I wear for life outside of my home...to work, on dates, to events...is hung back up after I wear it unless it truly needs to be laundered.
If I wear a blouse for a few hours, I usually hang it back in the closet until the next time I wear it.
Here’s how I handle the pieces I’ve worn that aren’t yet ready for the wash...
All of my denim is folded in a wire basket on a shelf in my closet. After wearing, I give my jeans a shake, unroll the cuffs, empty the pockets, refold the jeans and put them neatly into the basket. Once my jeans start to feel a bit too stretched out and saggy or show any actual dirt, I toss them into the wash.
Same goes for chinos and washable pants.
Sweaters are refolded and returned to the sweater shelf.
Blazers are hung up and buttoned.
Cotton t-shirts are usually washed after every wear. Unless I’ve only had a top on for a short time. I prefer the freshness of a clean t-shirt when I’m getting dressed to go out.
If a garment becomes soiled or smelly, I wash or dry clean it immediately.
Then there’s the already-worn wardrobe grey area.
I believe what women are really wondering is this…
What should we do with the items of clothing we wear almost every day?
The hang-out-at-home clothes, kick-around jeans and shorts, sleepwear, etc?
Here's my solution...
I have a large fabric-lined wicker basket (similar to this one) in my closet that acts as a holding tank, of sorts. When I’m changing out of my ‘everyday’ clothes and they aren’t dirty yet...I loosely fold them and place them into the basket. This way I can grab them easily the next time I get dressed.
This basket holds...
The clothes I wear when I'm working from home.
The pieces I throw on to drive my kids to school.
The comfy stuff I change into when I arrive home after I’ve been out in ‘real clothes’ all day.
I’m more than happy to wear these items on repeat until they really need to be washed.
Other methods for storing your 'not quite dirty' clothing...
Use a designated hook in your closet to hang the ‘wear again tomorrow’ garments.
Dedicate one drawer to hold the items you'll wear several times before laundering.
With five people in my family, I try to do as little laundry as possible. (I still do multiple loads, 4 days a week) So, I definitely want to avoid washing things that aren’t really dirty. Plus, machine washing and drying takes a toll on fabric and I want my clothes to last.
For the record, I do wash the obvious stuff after every wear...socks, undies, workout clothes, swimwear, etc.
As for the semi-clean clothing, the ‘holding tank’ solution works for me.
What do you do with your ‘not ready for the laundry clothing’ between wears?
Please share! It's always helpful to hear new solutions to silly everyday issues.
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Have a super week!
Hello, I'm Kristen.
As a personal stylist,