Remember the days of doing story problems in math class? This is one of those kinds of posts. If you are not in the numbers-are-my-friends category, feel free to skip the math problem and jump to the answer key.
* 5 people
* 5 clothes/pajamas per day
* 7 days in a week
* 2 towels per person per week
* 5 sets of sheets on a random basis
* Enough clothes to allow us to not have to do laundry more than once a week if we so choose (and we often so choose)
* Getting only 7 of 10 loads per week done, resulting in a backlog of laundry for next week
How much laundry is done in week 1? Week 2? How much is left undone at the end of week 2?
* 140 pieces washed in week 1
* 182 pieces washed in week 2
* 78 pieces left over to be washed some other time
That answer is depressing and exhausting and stupid.
But -- arms up and ta da! -- I have spotted a light at the end of the tunnel. Light, thy name is 7 clothes. I am not even kidding.
My laundry pile when I got home from my trip last night was thrillingly teensy, and I am equally thrilled that it WILL NOT be getting any bigger because that is all I have to wear! This does not remove me from the oppression of teenagers who have not bought into wearing only 7 clothes, but their laundry slacker days are numbered. (I think I will make them read this post.)
The other part of the equation is to pass along our surplus clothes to others so that we do not have the option of doing laundry "when we get around to it". It is a win-win.
Radically fewer clothes is a freakishly simple solution to a devilishly nagging problem. I do not think that I will be cutting back to only 7 clothes in my whole closet, but 40? That's a lovely round number that seems like enough to me. I will keep you informed. (But I won't spring anymore story problems on you for a while.)