I’ve chatted up the benefits to living with a capsule wardrobe, like finding my style + having more time + having more money + finding more contentment.
But let’s have some #realtalk about the whole “more time” thing. How does this really break down? Specifically with laundry.
I hope you’ll keep in mind that the info I’m sharing is specific to my opinions + lifestyle, so not everything I say here may work for you. But I have faith that you’ll take the information presented and apply some of it to your own wardrobe in a new and creative way.
To understand my laundry habits, it might help to understand my lifestyle: I’m a photographer + a blogger + a small business coach. I work from home, and most of my daily outings are for client meetings + creative meet ups + photo shoots + regular life errands + dates with my husband. We live in a small one bedroom apartment, we don’t own a ton of stuff, and we don’t have kids.
When I took the plunge into this whole capsule wardrobe lifestyle, I was a little concerned about doing laundry. Would I have to do laundry a lot more so as not to run out of things to wear? Would my clothes wear out faster?
Now that I’m about 7 months in, I’ve got my answers.
Q: Will my clothes wear out faster?
A: My clothes actually haven’t worn out faster since having less in my closet.
Say what, now?
Here’s the deal: Even when I had more in my closet, I was reaching for the same pieces over and over again anyway + rewashing those a billion times each. Makes sense, huh? It was a lightbulb moment for me.
But beyond that, I still put a lot of thought into making my clothes last. For example, If I’m going to be outside or sweating, I plan to wear my sturdier clothes that can handle lots of washings. Like my chambray shirt. I’ve had that thing for 2 years, wearing it multiple times a week, and it hasn’t worn out yet.
Speaking of tough clothes, I never buy anything that’s dry clean only + I stay away from clothes that I can’t just throw in the washer and dryer. I buy certain pieces a tiny bit too big because I know they’ll shrink down.
I only wash my clothes when they really need it. If I didn’t get sweaty in it and it smells and looks clean — no reason to wash it. I’ve been known to wear things multiple times before washing depending on what I did that day, of course. To some of you that will be cool. To some of you that will be gross. I’m okay with that. :)
When I’m at home, I wear workout clothes or lounge clothes (fancy name for PJs) so as not to wear out my capsule wardrobe prematurely. They aren’t included in my 37 piece capsule wardrobe, but I still apply a less is more concept to them too. I have about 12 pieces of workout/lounge clothes — 6 tops (mostly cute, cheap tees like this) and 6 bottoms (half yoga pants, half running shorts).
Sidenote: I avoid buying running shorts with briefs built into them. That way I don’t have to wash them after each wear.
And finally, I wash everything on delicate and use very gentle, natural soaps.
Q: Will I have to spend more time on laundry, so I don’t run out of things to wear?
While I haven’t compared the actual minutes and seconds of doing laundry pre-capsule and post-capsule, it feels like I spend less time now. And I’ve definitely noticed a big difference in my attitude about laundry.
Here’s what I mean. Before dressing with less, I’d let my laundry pile up to the point where I needed to set aside a whole day to do it. By that point, it was a huge + annoying chore that I dreaded facing.
Now, I usually do a quick, small load of laundry once a week. There’s no piling up to the point to dread — because if I let it pile up that much, I wouldn’t have anything to wear. And because I’m doing smaller loads, there’s only about 2-3 minutes worth of folding + putting away to do. The whole task feels so much lighter. It doesn’t feel like a hassle — it just feels like a no-big-deal habit that feels good to do, like washing my face before bed.
(And we aren’t really talking about towels, but I’ll go there for a second. We have a total of 5 bathroom towels in our house — two for me, two for my hubby, and one for the occasional guest. My two towels get washed with my clothes — they aren’t separate loads.)
So there you have it. I’d love to hear any other tips you may have on doing laundry with less — sound off in the comments section!
P.S. If you have kids, here are some helpful articles on kids + laundry + living with less: 1 / 2 / 3