In the event of an emergency, sleep in as few clothes as possible!

Ok, I’m mixing my title again. I just watched our building’s emergency preparedness video and was quite impressed. They actually filmed our building with our property staff (this was before me) and engineering team. That made it feel relevant, instead of just another safety video.

Yesterday, I mentioned Fiveberries’ post about sleeping naked to save money and save the planet.

That got me thinking on how I wear clothing, what steps I take to avoid extra laundry loads, etc. I divided it into three types of clothing—business, normal, and sleepwear—and how I handle each one.

Business – I only own 6 (?) blouses/business shirts. As a general rule, therefore, I wash them weekly. I have 3 suitable pairs of pants, which I wash biweekly. I also wash my jacket (goes with one pair of pants) biweekly.

Everday/Normal – After I get home from work, I frequently change into something less formal. However, since I only wear them for a few hours, I tend not to wash these clothes until I’ve worn them at least twice or gotten all sweaty in them. Jeans are washed every two weeks, barring emergencies.

Sleepwear – As light as possible. So often this just means old t-shirts and panties. Sometimes little shorts. In the colder parts of winter it’s a long-sleeved nightshirt and pajama pants. Generally pajamas can go for a whole week. Sometimes I use a t-shirt that I’ve already worn twice.

Underwear – Yeah, that gets changed daily. I have a limited supply of thongs (amazingly comfortable ones from Target) which I hand-wash and hang dry. Keeps them from being eaten by the machine. Bras are washed at least every 2 weeks.

This is how I’ve learned to strike a comfortable balance between washing everything every time and not feeling too grungy. Plus it saves money. I use a dryer rack on most occasions, which means that in a given week I often don’t spend more than $1.25 on laundry. My whites are few and I sometimes ask Mr. Micah to put them in with his. I hand-wash others.

How do you strike a balance between laundry, ecology, and frugality?

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