Make a filing cabinet for your laundry

August 29 | Guest post by burks2013 meganfinley

laundryOur two-adult-one-child household produces a crap-ton of laundry that drove me absolutely insane. There was always a pile in every room, and an absolute mountain of it right there beside our glorious washer and dryer. My very small home does not have a laundry room — this is actually IN my tiny kitchen. So, thanks to Pinterest, I got creative.

I spent about $40 and 15 minutes on this, including buying the shelves and baskets, but you could do it cheaper if you already had a shelf similar to this one.

The signs are just MS Word WordArt printed, inside of page protectors with velcro on both sides (there are "dirty" and "clean" sides, despite the fact that most of these say "dirty." Time to do laundry!).

This is how we make our small offbeat space work for us! (Note the missing basket, which is sitting on my bed waiting to be put away!)

  1. I can really recommend having an "ODD SOCKS BOX" where you chuck any clean and dry socks that have no obvious partners. I started to do this as pairs would become separated in the act of bagging up the washing and it might take a couple of wash cycles before the other one got cleaned.

    Now when the Odd Sock Box is full (or more realistically, we run out of clean socks) I sit down and pair up whatever is in there. I can't think why I never did it before – I guess it was my "Baskets!" moment!

    3 agree
    • I do that too! Yay for my cute laundry space being on OBH

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    • it needs a
      "The ministry of missing socks"
      sign written in harry potter font

      5 agree
    • Since I usually buy socks in packs of several-pairs-of-identical-sock, I don't even bother matching them after washing. Everything goes in the sock basket, and I pull out two that look similar enough.

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      • I do this too. I get packs of ten pairs of ankle socks from Costco. I favor the ones with colored stars on them. You can't tell they're not the same color of stars when you only see a tiny sliver of white sock around the edge of my shoe. And it only matters to me that they feel the same when I wear them. Matching socks are over-rated.

        2 agree
  2. We had a sorting system similar to this growing up. There were no hampers or piles allowed in bedrooms etc. it was sorted by whites, towels, reds, dark knits, jeans etc… Then when a basked was full, the person who filled it, had the responsibility of throwing a load in the washer. It worked pretty well. Everyone was doing everyone's laundry. We also had the "odd sock basket"! when it got full you match up pairs.

    1 agrees
  3. I've got a similar system, using 2 Expedit shelves. Everyone has a cubby where I put their clean laundry. Dirty stuff goes in a basket hamper near the shelves. It's not super-pretty, but it works.

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  4. We had at one point seven kids, two adults, and more pets than could fit in our house growing up, so baskets were key to laundry. All the dirty went in two large hampers next to the washer, but each kid had a shelf on two large bookcases in the laundry area, which transitioned into baskets on the shelves because clean laundry kept ending up on the floor. Everyone was responsible to get their dirty down, their clean up and put away, and we took turns doing towels/washing/drying/folding into baskets. I don't have a functional washer/dryer or kids right now, but when I do… totally doing baskets.

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  5. We do this, but each basket is labeled: Jeans, Darks (the majority of this gothy household's clothes), Reds, Whites, Work Clothes (having a mechanic as a partner, this is a must), etc. We never have to waste time sorting laundry and I always know what I need- bleach for whites, stain remover, etc.

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    • I like that other people out there have the 'gross clothes' category. My husband works for the animal shelter, so his clothes are always covered in urine, blood, feces, pus, rabies vaccine, you name it. He is also a hobby-mechanic, and 'projects' guy. So all of those clothes are washed separately, on the hot cycle and maybe even twice.

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    • I'm a zoo keeper, and I TOTALLY have a separate basket just for work clothes. Never OK to get monkey shit on your nice sun dress. This basket also lives in the back bedroom instead of the our bedroom, because tiger pee smells…a lot.

      3 agree
      • Not nearly as gross, but when I was working for corporate coffee, I had strictly SBUX wardrobe-which was my old bras, and uniforms clothes that I didn't wash with anything else, as they all smelled like sweat and sour milk. You would like to think that working in a coffee shop made you smell like coffee…sigh…

        1 agrees
  6. I *LOVE* laundry- but only doing marathon versions of it (like two straight days every month and a half). I am not good with the do a load a day deal- it usually never makes it to the 'fold and put away' stage, and just sits in a basket. I also do not allow my husband to do my laundry (this is the only 'traditional' gender chore in our house, really. He just doesn't understand how I like my clothes sorted/washed/etc so I do it myself). I have two hampers (his and mine) and two baskets- I sort out laundry (dark, lighter-ish, whites, and towels/bedding). Then I was his work clothes or working-on-car/motorcycle clothes altogether, since they are the dirtiest. Then the regular darks, then bleach the whites, then the towels/bedding and finally, the smallest group, the lighter, regular clothes. I keep the two laundry baskets in rotation and they are empty when it's not 'laundry/Firefly marathon time', tucked away so my brother (housemate) doesn't steal them. It's not a super organized system, but it works and tends to keep the piles down.

    1 agrees
    • I am a Jessi who also loves marathon laundry! Since having a toddler, it's bit by bit and piles in baskets everywhere. It makes me sad that I don't have enough hours in a row to do this anymore.

      1 agrees

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