Beyond the chair-pile: What do you do with not-quite dirty clothes?

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Three guests © by Javier Kohen, used under Creative Commons license.
With the exception of things like undies and socks, I wear clothes multiple times between launderings if they aren’t stained or smelly. It saves the time and quarters of doing laundry, the water and energy of washing, and helps clothes last longer.

However, I feel odd putting my semi-clean clothes back up in the closet. But between the Sunday school t-shirt I wear one morning a week, my don’t-have-to-be-perfect-after-work-running-errands clothes, and that work dress that I can wear again, before I know it I have a semi-clean-clothes monster piled in a chair! What systems — physical or mental — have folks come up with for managing semi-clean clothes? -Alissa

Ooh, we’re SUPER curious to hear what awesome systems Homies have for this everyday challenge. Bring on the advice!

Comments on Beyond the chair-pile: What do you do with not-quite dirty clothes?

  1. I absolutely can and will not just re-hang things in the closet that have been worn. Too many issues with allergens, and far too often I take something off and think I can wear it again, but with a fresh nose becomes clear it definitely is not (this happens less often now that smoking inside public places is banned where I live, but it used to happen more often).

    I have a quilt rack with 3 bars and a small shelf underneath. It’s placed perfectly so that it’s front and center when I’m looking for clothes, so I can see it first and be reminded that there is something wearable there. re-wearable PJS get wadded up and tossed behind my pillow, regardless of whether or not I end up making the bed.

    Where I have an issue is my wonderful, darling, scatterbrained partner. We have hooks behind the door that are intended for such things as robes and my purse and his work clothes if they’re rewearable, but he tends to put 2-3 sets of jeans, shorts, etc. on one hook in crappy drywall and now the hooks are falling out. So instead he started tossing his jeans in a pile at the end of the bed, thereby covering ALL my clothes on the quilt rack and then tossing a t-shirt on top and now the quilt rack becomes a giant pile because I’m not willing to move his stuff at the end of the day.

    I did just get an over-the-door hook set for the bathroom, so I’m going to tell him that THAT is where jeans and shorts need to live. It’s where they lived at our old apartment so I don’t see it being an issue. And then he can SEE them all and stop forgetting that he has a pair wearable already before he picks up a clean pair. Then hopefully the quilt rack system will work a little better again.

  2. I love you OffBeat Home! I thought I was crazy/lazy for rewearing my clothes so often! <3
    One day I plan on redoing my walk-in closet (I kicked my husband out of it and he uses the guest closet. muahahah!)
    so that there are hooks everywhere for my slightly used clothes. I also plan to write corny things like, "Hey girl! You are beautiful." Or "You are rockin those jeans!"
    I also thought it would be cool to have a hook for each day of the week. So you put together an outfit for the week on Sunday, and not have to worry about it in the morning. Its like a meal plan for your clothes!

  3. My husband found me a valet stand at a thrift store, so it was like $5. When our home systems are working well, I use that. Once it gets filled up, I have to wear the clothes or put them in the wash. Funnily enough, I have fewer re-wearable clothes now that I have a 5 month old. 🙂

  4. I keep a cheap laundry basket from the dollar store in my closet to hold my “not quite clean” clothes. or you could be like my husband and just throw them on top of the dresser -sigh-

  5. How often do you wash your clothes? I don’t wash mine very often unless it is socks, underwear, or an undershirt. I just hang everything back up. When, I notice a dirty spot, I’ll wash it.

  6. For pants and other foldable items, I still use the Chair Method, and stash them away in a drawer if I need to clean up quickly. For tops and other things that I won’t want to get wrinkled, I put them on a hanger and then on hooks on the back of my bedroom door. They hang neatly and flat and don’t crowd the door, and are hidden from view (since my door is in the corner of the room.) Sometimes, I air them out by hanging them on the shower curtain rod overnight.

    My husband still uses the tried-and-true Floor Pile method, which turns into the Cat Lounge, and then everything ends up in the hamper anyway. 🙂

  7. I have never moved beyond floor-chair-bed (because i might actually put them away…maybe)-floor-chair-wear method. Sometimes though I would be very happy with a couch in my bedroom for the accumulation.

  8. I like to get more than one wearing out of most clothes if possible (not undergarments or things that don’t pass the ‘sniff test’), but I also like for them to be as fresh and unwrinkled as possible. Hooks work for some things, but a lot of the clothes I wear would get stretched and mis-shapen if I hung them on hooks. To avoid that, I use a dedicated towel rod in my closet to drape those things over, and a freestanding quilt rack (could also use a freestanding towel rack) for pants, sweatshirts, and bulkier items. The clothes stay looking much better and fresher than if left in a pile.

  9. I have my closet space divided in clean and worn (I use a red coat hanger as divider). On the right side are all the clean clothes. Clothes worn once (or twice) and still in acceptable condition, go back in the left side of the closet on hangers. This allows for them to be aired out and prevents wrinkles. Dirty clothes go in a (brown) laundry basket. Underwear and socks are folded, go into drawers and are worn only once, after which they end up in a separate (white) laundry basket at the end of the day. This prevents contaminating the other clothes with remains of urine and feces as well as bacteria and fungi from the genital, toe and armpit area. That way the laundry is also presorted and my “whites” can go in the hot water cycle, allowing for fungi, bacteria and what not to be efficiently removed or killed, while everything else can go in the cold water cycle.

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