This week, we’re refocusing on the third step of laundry and dishes: put it away, goddammit! Washing and drying are great, but until it’s put away, it’s not done. So this week, as soon as the dryer or dishwasher’s done, or once your air-dried clothes or the dishes in the drying rack are dry, put them away! Our goal is to have nothing lingering in laundry baskets, dryers, dishwashers, or drying racks. Everything gets put away as soon as possible.
I have not tackled that floordrobe/closet. It is there. It mocks me. I don’t have it in me. Maybe it is because every single other unfucking effort from the last week has fallen apart and become refucked. Totally refucked. What’s the point if that’s what will happen? Yet…. I need clean clothes. Hmm. It is a dilemma.
We all know the UfYH system is awesome, but everyone’s clear that it’s not actually magic, right? Getting a space clean is a great habit, but it’s not going to stay that way unless you immediately shut the door and never go in it again. Keeping a space clean is an ongoing process. If you use the space, it will get messy unless you work on keeping it from getting that way. That means, on an ongoing basis, you need to make sure trash is making it to the trash can, clothes are being put away or put in the hamper, and that when you use something, you put it away when you’re done. There’s no magic wand that’s going to make your space stay clean without you putting any effort into it. It doesn’t have to be much, but unless you work at it at least a little at a time, yeah, it’s going to get messy in between.
Put a load of laundry in. Do it before you have the chance to get discouraged by it. Wash it, dry it, and put it away, goddammit.
I hang my skirts, but vertical folding works well for jeans and any pants that don’t wrinkle easily. I detest ironing, so anything that might wrinkle gets hung up.
I’ve seen the idea of using white distilled vinegar as a fabric softener bandied about, particularly by #unfuckyourhabitat , but not so much on how it works (like, quantities, how/when it goes in the machine, and so forth), and things I’m finding on google are contradictory. Can anyone tell me how it works?
Use between 1/2 and 1 cup, depending on the size of the load. My default is 1 cup. If you have a dispenser for fabric softener in your washing machine, put it in there. If not, add it to the rinse cycle. It will hep to remove residue from other fabric softeners, so it’s a good solution for towels, since fabric softener can interfere with absorbency.
If you’re using vinegar to de-funk musty or stinky clothes, you can just add it in (same quantities) with the detergent, or if you have a bleach dispenser that you don’t use for bleach (don’t mix bleach and vinegar), put it in that.
Put it away, not down.
Wash your dishes as soon as you use them.
Put your laundry away as soon as it’s dry.
Take five minutes a day to pick up in one room.
Most of the things that we do for maintenance are less about recovery and more about prevention. If you deal with your dishes, laundry, trash, and the things you use on a daily basis as you use them, there will be very little to have to recover from when you have more time.
Here’s my theory on once-worn clothes: if it’s clean enough to put back on your body, it’s clean enough to put back in your drawer or closet. If you’re really skeeved by it, you can designate a shelf or a drawer just for once-worn stuff, but honestly, I don’t see the need.
As to why no one taught you (the general you) this, I have no end of theories about that, but no one wants to read my thesis, so let’s just be glad we’re all learning about it now. :)
Run an empty load with hot water and use a cup of vinegar instead of detergent. Make sure you clean out the detergent cup and around any seals or gaskets. Once the cycle has run, wipe out the inside of the machine with a water/vinegar mix, and let it air dry with the door/lid open. Vinegar’s safe for clothes, so you don’t need to worry about rinsing or re-cleaning it before your next load of laundry.
If you try all that and it doesn’t work, repeat using half a cup of bleach instead. As always, I think bleach is generally overused and underdiluted, so save this only for if the vinegar doesn’t work. As bleach will discolor your clothes, either run another empty load or one with whites when you’re done.
You have a bunch of clothes sitting around. I know you do. Whether they’re clean and piled in a basket, or dirty and on the floor, or probably a bunch of both, they aren’t where they belong. Take 20 minutes to put that shit away. Clean: in drawers, hung up, or folded and put away. Dirty: in the hamper (or even better, in the washer). Vanquish the floordrobe.
Sweat stains are caused by the aluminum in antiperspirants mixing with your sweat and adhering to the fabric of the shirt. There are very few effective antiperspirants on the market that don’t use some form of aluminum and I DON’T WANT TO HAVE THE ANTIPERSPIRANT FIGHT: USE THEM IF YOU WANT, DON’T IF YOU DON’T, I SWEAR TO GOD I WILL TURN THIS BLOG AROUND.
Anyway. Don’t use bleach. Bleach will make yellow stains more yellow. I swear by Oxi-Clean. You can add it to the wash, or make a paste of it and apply it directly to the stain before washing.
As far as prevention, if it’s not prohibitively hot, consider a fitted undershirt, which will take the brunt of both the sweat and the discoloration. No need to get fancy; a 6-pack of men’s undershirts in your size will do just fine. Otherwise, be diligent with treating stains and washing your shirts as soon as possible. The longer you let them sit, the worse the stains will be.
I still have quite a lot of laundry I’m going to need to wash. Some of it - like the extra bedding and shit - I’m going to pack away in anticipation of our move. And I’m kind of limited as to how much I can get washed, because of the fact that I have to use the laundry racks in the living room, and filling those up means it usually takes about 2 days for everything to dry.
But I actually have a laundry room now. YOU CAN SEE FLOOR!
To recap, this is what it looked like last year, when I first jumped on the UFYH bandwagon:
It got better and worse to varying degrees over the past year plus, and then I got help to finally go through it all. And this - this is what it looks like now:
Everything we’re keeping is in the baskets and boxes you see (I’ve run out of baskets, so boxes are better than nothing), and even then, some of it (odd socks and stuff C1 still has to try on to see if it fits or not) are still gonna get tossed.
I ended up throwing out over 20 garbage bags full of stuff. Not all clothes - my kids pretty much treated the room like one big garbage can - but still. TWENTY BAGS.
We even had enough time to get started on the girls’ rooms. They’re not done yet, but we managed to make a really good start on them. We’ll work more on it next week.
So, it was the day after Fall Finals, and after ten or eleven long weeks of ignoring the beast of my room, I finally allowed myself to sort of face the collective mess and just reality in general:
My room wasn’t just a sty, my room was completely and totally fucked.
There’s a lot of pictures coming, so I’ve put the rest of the story and the fucked-room evidence under a fancy little cut.