My Weird Quest to Solve the Problem of Laundry

My reality is that I live in an apartment without a washer or dryer.   For many people, this may not be a big deal and the laundromat may just be a part of everyday life, but I refuse to accept it.  I’ve done the laundromat thing and I can’t stand it.   It is stressful, time consuming and expensive!  I would just let laundry pile up for as long as possible until I couldn’t take it anymore.  For a while, I would even drive my laundry 40 minutes away to my sister’s house just to avoid the laundromat (thank you, sister).  It was ridiculous.

About a year go, I started searching for ways to do my laundry at home.  I needed to simplify this process before it drove me insane.   I ended up finding a few videos that led me to create my first ‘washing machine’ out of two 5 gallon buckets from the hardware store for $3 each (pictured on the left).   Basically, the buckets stack on top of each other and the inside bucket has small holes drilled throughout the sides and bottom.  Fill with clothes, water and detergent, agitate it with a plunger and let it sit for 10-15 minutes.  Then, pull the inside bucket out to drain the water.  Repeat this process without detergent for a rinse cycle.   Then wring the clothes out and you’re ready to dry!

More recently, I purchased the Avalon Bay EcoWash Portable Non-Electric Washing Machine for $45  (pictured on the right) in an effort to streamline the process even more.   This little machine, which was undoubtedly designed for camping, does a slightly smaller load of laundry but doesn’t require the heavy lifting or the plunger workout.  You simply fill the barrel with water, detergent and clothing, tighten the lid and turn the handle to agitate.  When you’re done, you attach a small spigot to the bottom to drain the water.  Repeat without detergent for a rinse cycle.   Again, wring out the clothes and they are ready to dry.  Magic!

Both methods work great and have saved me a ton of money as well as my sanity.  I don’t care how crazy it looks.  I usually do a small load of laundry every other night to keep the laundry basket empty.   For those of you with a traditional washer and dryer, that might not seem like any major accomplishment, but for my friends out there who are hauling piles of laundry to the laundromat every week, you understand how beautiful it must be.

Due to my recent efforts to minimize my wardrobe, which so far has meant purging over half of my clothing, I find that my new laundry solution is even more suited to my life.  I have far less clothing hanging around and it is much easier for everything to be in its place.  No more piles of clothes in baskets that were never put away.  This means less laundry, which is good when you’re doing tiny loads like this.

Now, you might be wondering how I dry my clothes.  Well, I had lofty goals of air-drying my clothes but that quickly faded when I realized it took pretty much forever.  Ultimately, I ended up purchasing an incredible little apartment dryer, the Panda Portable Compact Clothes Dryer , which did set me back about $300.  This thing is truly amazing, though.  It plugs into a regular U.S. outlet and it dries clothes as well as any other machine in my opinion.

As it relates to minimalism, I can honestly say that these items add so much value to my life that I am happy to own them.  I use them almost daily, they have eliminated a routine that i found incredibly stressful and they have allowed me to free up my Sunday afternoons to do things that I actually enjoy.   Not to mention the pure ecstasy of having an empty laundry basket.

If any of you are curious about this, please ask!  I had a lot of fun figuring this out and hope it can add value for you too!

Note: This post is not sponsored and these are not paid reviews.  These are simply my opinions based on my own experience using them. Enjoy!

 

10 thoughts on “My Weird Quest to Solve the Problem of Laundry

  1. Great idea with the buckets. I don’t think a family with a lot of kids would go for it, but for one or two people, it should be managable. I figured I could even wash my clothing in the kitchen sink and it would be easy. I do have a washer and dryer, and an outdoor clothes line, but in the advent of a machine breakdown, I could wash by hand. I also have two plastic tubs that would work for washing and rinsing.

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    1. I agree, it probably isn’t a perfect solution for families (unless you could teach the kiddos to do it!). It really doesn’t matter where you wash the clothes, the secret is the plunger! Drill little holes all throughout the rubber part of the plunger and the suction will help water and detergent to flow through the fibers and get your clothes squeaky clean.

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      1. I have done that with a plunger, but have yet to use it. However, I think Lehman’s (www.lehmans.com) sells a plastic plunger with a handy handle on it, for the purpose of using it to wash your clothing (not for toilets!) I think it runs about $20.

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  2. That little portable dryer is an awesome idea. It does take forever to dry clothes indoors! Gone are the days where we could all hang laundry on lined outside due to regulations etc!

    Just new to your blog and already s fan! Thanks so much for sharing!!!

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    1. It is the best!! I’m using it right now for my comforter cover and I’m thanking my lucky stars I’m not at the laundromat. So glad you like the blog so far, hope to hear from you again on future posts!

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  3. I have a double sink so I just wash by hand in one..my clothes don’t get that dirty since i am in an office job…you could plunge right in the sink or get a little scrub board. I have a spinner which works very well and gets clothes damp dry…then i just hang on a rack near an open window..works great. can do one sheet or towel at a time so i do occasionally use a coin laundry.

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