Life Without a Washing Machine

For a lot of homeowners, having a washing machine is a standard and expected part of housekeeping. However, for many who live in apartments or who have had their washing machine and dryer break, getting used to washing clothes without one is a necessity.

Apartment Therapy contributor Alison Gerber explains how her family does it—here are some of her ideas:

Have a Laundry Day. You’re going to wear yourself out trying to cart clothes to a Laundromat every day, so instead, plan one big laundry day every week. One big trip to get it out of the way will be easier than many small trips.

Accommodate the time between laundry days with large baskets and hampers to hold your clothes. You can also make laundry day an event: get snacks and coloring books or library books for the kids and go to the Laundromat together.

Keep a Retractable Clothesline. While you won’t be hanging your clothes up often since you will be washing once a week, there may be times you have to wash something to have for the next day or delicates that have to be handwashed in the sink or bathtub.

When this is the case, a retractable clothesline in your house or apartment can be a convenient way to dry your clothes without being in the way the rest of the time.

Create a Place to Soak. If you frequently have extremely soiled clothes, wash them off as much as possible, then soak them in a bucket just for this purpose. You can put a little bit of vinegar in the water to help remove stains and keep the water fresh.

Obviously, you don’t want to leave the clothes in there for a whole week, so if laundry day is still a week away, wash that particular piece at home the next day.