The Joy Of Folding Pt1

OK so you've cleared out your clothes, you only have items you love.
So how are you caring for these clothes?
For lots of us it involves chucking everything in the machine together, powder, fabric conditioner.
Then dryer/outside.

Just an aside, I no longer use fabric conditioner or biological washing powder especially for female underwear and nightwear.
The chemicals in these products are a sure fire way to induce reactions ie itching, thrush and urinary tract problems.
I use  non-bio on all clothes now at 40 degrees on a thirty minute wash and our clothes are always clean.

What happens then?
Some spend hours ironing, some just hang up or fold from the dryer.
They then stuff said item either into an already full wardrobe where no matter how well you've ironed it or how quickly you hung it from the dryer it will crease due to being pressed up against other clothing.
Or the push it into a drawer stacked in a way that means you have to rummage to find anything, creasing all other clothes in the process.

I do not iron, I do not hang (other than a few items we'll cover that later).
I fold.
Almost everything, skirts, trousers, tops shirts, jumpers etc.
Not only do I fold, I turn each item of clothing into a pocket that stays folded no matter how many times the kids shove it out the way to reach the back of the drawer.

Why do I fold?
When I fold my clothes I become connected to them.
I spend time flattening seams, checking for flaws, reshaping.
I use my hands and my knees to smooth out the creases, I do this whilst the clothes are still warm from the dryer.
Don't run the dryer til you know you have the time and intention of sitting folding straight from the dryer otherwise the clothing can get too dry and creases become harder to fix.
Keep checking the dryer and move clothes around so they dry more evenly, half a full washer load only.
Pull them out once they are just dry.
If drying outside same applies don't let them get too dry.
For folding from outside I make a fabric conditioner and water mix, one part fab con to 4 parts water.
I spray the clothes with this mixture whilst they are on the line, pretty much dry.
This gets rid of a lot of creases and I use the spray again during folding for any stubborn creases or seams, just a light spray rubbed into seam or smoothed over the creases.

Then we fold.

We fold everything.
Kon Mari suggests we keep all our clothes folded in drawers, it keeps them neat, negates the need for a full wardrobe and says goodbye to hanging.
my first wardrobe reduction, 2 hanging rails.
I now only have one hanging rail in the house and this is sufficient for all items I need to hang.
These include:
Coats, one coat each is on a hook in the hall the rest are hung.
We only have two coats (me three) each a light jacket and a winter coat.
Items made of 'floaty' material.
Of mine I have one dress and one blouse hung up.
Of the girls they each have one dress hung up.
MrB has his suit hung up and the boy has none, even their shirts are folded.
The rest of the clothes are in drawers.
I do still store some items of clothing.
In my airing cupboard I have two pillowcases.
One holds summer stuff bikini's shorts etc.
The other winter stuff is scarves gloves etc.
I also have a contemplation box in the airing cupboard this is for items I identify during folding that are no longer needed due to flaws, size style etc.
Once this box is full I go through it and make a decision about where it ends up charity, eBay or bin.

Here is a break down of our much reduced wardrobe.

2 pairs of leather look trousers, one burgundy one black 
3 pairs of jeans one skinny one boyfriend fit one white
1 leather look skirt
1 leggings
1 dress
2 jumpers
1 shirt
1 long sleeved top
1 blouse
4 vests
2 cardigans
1 light summer jacket
1 heavy winter coat 
1 formal coat
2 sets of lounge wear, one warm cosy Sunday set and 1 slightly more grown up sophisticated set for ... you know.. those types of evenings.....
4 pairs of knickers 
3 bras
3 pairs long socks
2 pairs short socks
2 pairs tights

2 pairs of jeans 1 casual 1 more formal
1 pair formal trousers
2 Polo shirts
2 t-shirts
2 jumpers
1 suit
2 shirts
4 pairs of boxer shorts
4 pairs of socks
1 winter coat
1 light jacket

Oliver  Lee
4 t-shirts
2 pairs of jeans
2 shirts 
2 jumpers
4 pairs boxer shorts
4 pairs of socks
2 sets of school uniform
1 light jacket (I know its winter but the boy is too cool for warm coats) 

Lyla Rose
2 pairs of leggings
1 pair of jeans
4 t-shirts
1 jumper
1 cardigan
1 long sleeved top
1 dress
1 winter coat
1 leather type jacket
4 pair socks
4 pairs knickers

Lilly Willow
1 pair leggings
1 pair jeans
1 pair shorts
2 long sleeved tops
3 t-shirts
1 jumper 
2 cardigans
2 dresses
4 pairs of knickers
4 pairs of socks
3 pairs tights.
1 winter coat
1 light jacket.

This much reduced amount of clothes means that even if we washed the clothes only once every four days we still wouldn't have a huge mountain to deal with.
As it stands we wash every day,.
MrB is the hunter, gatherer, machine operator.
I am folding.
MrB and kids put away.
The beauty of the folded pocket is that when the kids put their clothes away they don't have to worry about it being neatly placed, they can just chuck it in the box I use these.

In my next post how to fold with (hopefully) a video to guide you.