This may sound a little out of left field, but laundering has a direct effect on how long your clothing lasts. This impacts your wardrobe’s longevity and thus how often you have to shop for replacements. I know I like my things to last as long as possible. I paid good money for those items.
I used to simply wear something, take it off, and toss it in the hamper as dirty, to be washed. This puts undue wear and tear on our clothes. Most of the time, gently worn items aren’t truly ‘dirty’, unless you’ve spilled on them or rubbed up against something dirty. Add to that, many times we don’t even wear something for the whole day, but maybe just to lunch with a friend or out for errands, then switch into casual lounging clothes once back home.
My first step was to stop washing everything automatically. Good start. Only, I didn’t have a system to deal with it. I’d just drape the worn but not dirty clothes over my dresser. This created a few issues. First, I felt forced to re-wear items that same week in order to make them ‘dirty enough’ to put in the wash. Maybe I didn’t really feel like that same top again, or worse it didn’t pair as well with that bottom as a clean top in the closet might have, and so I chose a consolation outfit instead of what I really wanted to wear. Secondly, piling clothes up (on a dresser, over a railing, on a chair) is visual clutter and chaos and does not lend itself to an organized wardrobe. Lastly, if you have pets you know they often seek out your clothing as a substitute lap and then you have a major pet hair situation. There is a better way.
This is what I do, you may already have a system of your own – that’s great! I know some folks air out items over night and then hang them back up, etc. Here’s what works for me:
Tops I deal with in one of two ways – I either hang it back up backwards with the hanger facing out, or I hang the shirt itself inside out. I don’t have a specific rule for which of the two I choose, rather I use either method interchangeably. I suppose the collared shirts I tend to hang backwards, as turning collars inside out would just result in unnecessary crumpling and wrinkling. I’m probably more apt to turn a tee shirt inside out and hang it back up that way. For those concerned with getting the clean clothes intermingled with the dirty, inside out is a better choice. The ‘dirt of the world’ (as my BF describes it) is then inside the shirt, not touching other adjacent clothing items. The part that was next to your skin is now what’s touching the neighboring tops, and you must be cleaner than the world is, right?? 😉
Jeans I store folded on the shelf above my closet rod. I put worn but not dirty jeans with the waistband or hems facing out. It may help to see a visual to get an idea of what I mean.
The jeans in the pile on the right are all clean and freshly laundered. The ones on the left are a mix of lightly worn and clean. I can see the red motos, blue python, and black skinnies have been worn, as the hems and waistbands are facing out, toward me, not facing back toward the back of the closet. Make sense? To be honest, pants often get a 3rd wear before washing.
At first I was a bit stumped on sweaters since I file them in a drawer. But then a fellow forum member, Rae, over at You Look Fab suggested I store worn sweaters inside out. Brilliant! Again, the ‘dirt of the world’ is not rubbing up against your clean fresh sweaters.
Shorts are dealt with just like pants, waistband facing out if worn. Skirts I store on a fixed tiered rack, so they get the inside out trick.
Do you stretch washings longer than every wear? Is your main concern the longevity of the items? Do you use a similar system?