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.