Now that the days are short and damp, and the weather has forced us to abandon the garden washing line, dealing with the household laundry has become even more tiresome than usual. But do not despair. I have some simple tips that will help you reduce your load. Follow them if you dare:
1. Only put things in the washing machine if they have conspicuous signs of dirt. This will happen much less frequently if you…
2. Ensure that every member of your family always dresses in the most suitable colour for their scheduled activities. A muddy brown is best for walks in the autumn woods, while acid green is good for football or cricket. (Cricket whites were invented by a man whose mother did his laundry.)
3. Only wear white if you’r planning to spend your day emulsioning white walls – or you work in a salt mine or flour mill.
4. Bear this tip in mind when your choosing the colour scheme for your home. Try matching your paintwork to your favourite clothes: denim blue is good for me. That way any splashes will never show up. Commiserations to my good friend whose husband always wears black: you may need to invest in some extra bright lightbulbs to prevent your home from feeling too gloomy.
5.Pretend you’ve had a power cut and that you’ll have to do your laundry by hand. This will help you focus the mind on washing only those things that are truly dirty.
6. Alternatively adopt the techniques of the age before the washing machine. Take a leaf out of Jeeves’ book and clean your master’s clothes with a damp sponge, dabbing only at the patches that need attention. A quick once-over with the iron, put them back on their hangers, spritz them with fragranced linen spray, and he’ll never realise that they haven’t actually been washed.
7. Oh, and linen spray. Buy it in bulk. It covers a multitude of sloth.
8. Buy lots and lots of clothes. That way you will always have plenty more in the wardrobe, however much is trapped in the laundrycycle. I have always bought more sets of school uniform for my daughter than there are days in the week. That way I’m never forced to do laundry at the weekend if something more interesting comes along and she can still go to school fully clothed on the Monday.
9. As a last resort, become a naturist. Admittedly this will necessitate moving to a warmer country, but at least you’ll never have to wash or iron clothes again.
Still can’t bring yourself to break the laundry habits of a lifetime, do not despair. Then comfort yourself with the thought that there are few tasks as deserving of a reward in the form of chocolate as getting to the bottom of the ironing basket. Just make sure you’re wearing brown the day you reach yours.