Simplify: our pre-sort laundry system

When we first moved in to our house in Lawrence, we got a pret­ty big walk-in clos­et in the mas­ter bed­room. We’d not had one like that before, and imme­di­ate­ly set about using it to sim­pli­fy our laun­dry tasks.

Before this, we’d col­lect all our laun­dry in one bas­ket (occa­sion­al­ly we’d try two, whites and darks). We’d do laun­dry on the week­ends, and it would invari­ably require a tedious sep­a­ra­tion of the laun­dry (usu­al­ly onto our bed) into warm whites, warm col­ors, cold whites, cold col­ors, tow­els, and jeans (fam­i­ly of four, dontcha know). Then we had to spend all day doing all that laun­dry, lest we end up with a slight­ly small­er huge pile of laun­dry on our bed when it came time to sleep. Then you end up with Mt. Laun­dry on the floor.

Instead, and armed with all this extra clos­et floor­space, we bought six laun­dry bas­kets. I gave in to my OCD and labelled each as above, warm whites, warm col­ors, etc. Then we trained the kids (and our­selves) to sort the laun­dry in situ, as we went. Undress, sort your clothes. When it came to laun­dry time, we just picked up a bas­ket and off to the races.

This had the added ben­e­fit of let­ting us do one load of laun­dry every night, leav­ing the week­ends mer­ci­ful­ly free of laun­dry chores. In prac­tice, we usu­al­ly have two or three loads to do on a week­end, but that beats six loads in one day (or sev­en if we went through a lot of jeans).

One of my great­est con­cerns in find­ing a new house was whether we would be able to accom­mo­date our six ham­pers. As it turns out, not quite. We have four in our not-walk-in clos­et (whites and col­ors), the tow­els in a bas­ket in the linen clos­et (big linen clos­et) and the jeans in a bas­ket at the bot­tom of the laun­dry chute. Yeah, we got a laun­dry chute.

Regard­less, the sys­tem still works, and I haven’t had to sort laun­dry in five years.