Airing Out Our Dirty Laundry

Laundry.  That seems like a pretty boring topic of conversation, but I actually get asked a lot about laundry.  How do we do laundry on our trips? What is our method?  Well, to be totally honest, sometimes, we don’t.  There have been a few times where a laundromat is scarce, but a Walmart has been available… and we just bought the kids a few clean items and kept going down the road.  

However, that is not the norm.  Usually, we find ourselves staying at a place (or in a town) with a laundromat available.  When we do, I always take advantage of it.  Because I never know if I’m going to see another washing machine for days, I always make sure that we pull out of the campground with as many clean clothes as we can manage.  Just like you should always leave a campground with your fresh water tank full and your gray water tank empty, you should always leave laundry facilities with clean clothes and towels.

When you’ve been raised by a Boy Scout (and then wind up marrying a Boy Scout), you learn to Always Be Prepared.  Therefore, I keep a laundry kit in the Monkey Barrel at all times because I would never want to be in a position where I have the dirty clothes, and the campground has the laundromat… but I have no detergent, coins, or any other way to clean our clothes.  And, yes, there have been times where, had I not been prepared, this would have been the case.  

I thought about writing up a description of what I keep in our laundry kit, but then I decided that since a picture is worth a thousand words, I should just show you. So here it is:

Here it is! I have a lingerie bag, a ziplock bag of quarters, a pop-up laundry hamper, a bag of clothesline and clothespins, a bar of laundry soap, a bag of laundry pods, a sewing kit, and a box of dryer sheets.
Place everything in the lingerie bag, zip it up, and you are good to go! We keep ours in our pantry, but it would fit in almost any spot in our cabinets.

We also keep a drying rack in the large trunk of the Monkey Barrel. It seemed frivolous the first time I put it back there, and I remember thinking to myself, “this is probably going to get left at a campground out of frustration,” but let me just tell you this: When you have 6 peoples towels and swimsuits all soaking wet, you want a clean place for them to dry… outside. I can’t stand for the Monkey Barrel to be unnecessarily humid or damp, and I was quite pleased to discover that I was not only using the drying rack, but was very thankful that I had stowed it in the first place.

When we’re camping, we usually keep the laundry hamper in the bathroom, nestled between the sink and the toilet. When we’re on the road, we just place it in the shower, and shut the shower door. It’s never really in the way.

So there you have it! Being prepared on the front end takes a lot of work out of being on the road. Sure, I’m doing laundry and setting timers to remind myself to go check on it, but having all the tools I need already with us makes life in the Monkey Barrel just that much more enjoyable.

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