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Laundry system: hamper, basket, or just a big pile?
Old 12-02-2008, 10:51 AM   #1
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Laundry system: hamper, basket, or just a big pile?

Living alone, I'm finding that the most convenient place to put my clothes waiting to be laundered is in a pile on the floor next to the clothes washer. I finally ended up getting a fancy bamboo hamper so my apartment doesn't look like a college dorm, but I must admit that I only use it when guests are coming over. Most of the time, the pile on the floor works best for me:

- Putting sweaty workout clothes out in the open lets them dry quicker and prevents them from getting moldy inside a hamper.
- I can see what's out on the floor, making it easy to pick and wear a pair of jeans a second day if I choose.
- It's simply less hassle not to put things into and take them out of the hamper than to do so.

But there's something about having a pile of clothes on the floor that just doesn't seem right, so I'd like to find a system that looked more "proper". I'm about to try making more closet floor space available and storing them there, but wondered if anyone has better ideas.

What do you do with your clothes that are waiting to be washed.
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Old 12-02-2008, 11:00 AM   #2
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I have a hamper in my closet in the master bedroom. When it gets full, I dump the clothes on the bed and sort.
I hang wet towels on the shower bar to dry, then I take the towel to a hamper in the laundry room. No sorting needed for the towel hamper.
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Old 12-02-2008, 11:10 AM   #3
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on the floor next to the clothes washer.
I didn't get a washer/dryer with my new house. I use a laundromat - about $10/month.
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Old 12-02-2008, 11:21 AM   #4
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I just take mine to our main floor and throw it down the basement stairs. Through some miraculous process that I've yet been unable to explain it shows up cleaned, dried, and folded in my dresser.

I've never asked my wife if the same thing happens to her dirty clothes, but so far I wouldn't want her to feel bad if the same isn't happening to her.
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Old 12-02-2008, 11:30 AM   #5
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We have 2 hampers, one of whites, one for colors. And much to my wife's dismay, I still pile some of my clothes... on top of the hampers... Socks, underwear, shirts and undershirts, always go in the hamper, but jeans and sweaters can often be worn more than once before being laundered so I don't want them to get wrinkled and smelly with the rest of the laundry. My wife doesn't get it though... she thinks I am just being lazy.
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Old 12-02-2008, 11:31 AM   #6
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Photo op!

No, Free4Now I don't have a better technique, there is nothing better than the floor to see what's there. I keep mine in the closet, when I can no longer get at the printer, I know it's time to do laundry.

There are two washers and two dryers in the basement of my apt. bldg. five floors below me. I sling the bag on the left over my shoulder. It has a velcro pocket which holds the quarters and the vitally important dryer sheets. I just carry the bag on the right by its handles; SO calls it "the feedbag." I keep a huge box of detergent near the washers. There are more containers of detergent there than apts. so obviously many of the owners have long ago taken buyouts and moved, so in an emergency we borrow from each other. Honestly, I use that frugal technique rarely, and now have enough in the box to last into the next decade as the washers take only 1/4 cup detergent and I supplement that with the residual soap in the wash cloths.
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Old 12-02-2008, 11:34 AM   #7
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My washer and dryer are located in a closet in the hall. Both my bedroom and my dressing room are less than a foot from that laundry closet. So, my dirty laundry goes directly into the washer when I remove it. When the washer has enough clothes in it, I pour in detergent and push the button.

I am going to miss that when I move north, if my ER home is not arranged like that. If I can't remodel it to be like that, then I will probably use a laundry basket. Sometime in my 70's or 80's, I would expect that baskets of laundry may seem much heavier to me due to the aging process. At that point, I will probably get some sort of wagon or cart to help me transport it.

Edited to add: Oh, and I have a stand-alone towel rack just inside the dressing room door, where I place my towels on my way out from the shower (which is in a small room adjoining the dressing room). I am one of those who chooses to use a fresh towel each time I shower, a little luxury that I acquired later in life. So anyway, when they pile up there and the washer is half full, I snag the towels (dry ones only), walk a foot to dump them in the washer, and then push that button. If there are too many to fit, the extra towels sit on top of the dryer with the detergent until that load is in the dryer, and then they go in the washer to wait for the next load.
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Old 12-02-2008, 12:31 PM   #8
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I have always used a laundry bag. whether I had a house with W&D, or an apartment where I had to go out of the apartment.

I do it often enough that it hasn't been any sort of problem.

Ha
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Old 12-02-2008, 01:26 PM   #9
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All of the above in the bedroom? It's the progressive laundry experience...

Careful with the pile system if you have animals who sleep in the bedroom. One day you might pull out a sweater to wear while it's still a little dark out and realize when you get to work and actually look in a mirror that there's something icky near the collar in the front that your pet decorated the sweater with....
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Old 12-02-2008, 01:50 PM   #10
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Several pillow cases in the hallway (dark stuff, light stuff, white stuff); a full pillow case is a laundry load. A laundry basket to carry clean to clothesline or drying racks.
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Old 12-02-2008, 02:10 PM   #11
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A triple hanging-mesh-bag hamper thing in the bedroom. A bag for whites, reds/yellows, other colors. It works okay for the two of us.

saluki9: You are a brave man. I've got this post bookmarked for the day your DW logs in . . .
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Old 12-02-2008, 02:27 PM   #12
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I do the laundry basket in the closet and wet towels over the shower door to dry. Then I toss the dry towels into the laundry basket. I do sort on the laundry room floor.

If my kids are home, I usually have a full load of towels. Then I collect them in a second laundry basket.
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Old 12-02-2008, 02:37 PM   #13
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saluki9: You are a brave man. I've got this post bookmarked for the day your DW logs in . . .
That's ok, don't worry about me. My stay at home wife feels the same way about the checks that find their way into our joint checking account every two weeks. It's like mutually assured destruction.
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Old 12-02-2008, 02:54 PM   #14
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My washer and dryer are located in a closet in the hall. Both my bedroom and my dressing room are less than a foot from that laundry closet. So, my dirty laundry goes directly into the washer when I remove it. When the washer has enough clothes in it, I pour in detergent and push the button.

I am going to miss that when I move north, if my ER home is not arranged like that. If I can't remodel it to be like that, then I will probably use a laundry basket. Sometime in my 70's or 80's, I would expect that baskets of laundry may seem much heavier to me due to the aging process. At that point, I will probably get some sort of wagon or cart to help me transport it. (snip)
My w & d are in a hall closet too. I live in a townhouse and they are on the top floor between the bathroom and bedroom. So much more convenient than having them in the basement (and anyway, I don't have a basement). Put the laundry machines where the laundry is...what a concept!

I used to let the clothes pile up in the hall, sometimes sorted light & dark, sometimes not. Recently I have begun to put them right into the washer, regardless of color. None of my clothes are new enough for there to be any danger of dark clothes bleeding dye onto the light ones. If they were, I'd probably sort, but perhaps only by wearing all the dark clothes sequentially before starting on the light ones.

One of my ER goals is to build my own house, and it will definitely be designed to make this laundry method possible. About the only way it could possibly be more convenient would be to have the machines side-by-side instead of stacked, which would permit both of the doors to be at the "just right" height, but I don't think there will be enough space for that in my very very small ER house.

The only thing I need to add is one of those nets for air-drying sweaters over the bathtub.
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Old 12-02-2008, 03:07 PM   #15
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Mine are side by side, too!

I hate dragging laundry all over the house, and I'm really glad I don't have to. I don't separate my clothes by color, although I have a few delicate things that I leave on the top of the dryer to wash separately.

If I wanted to separate by color, I would leave a laundry basket on top of the dryer and just pop my whites in there. But, I could care less about it.
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Old 12-02-2008, 03:24 PM   #16
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The last two homes I've owned have had laundry chutes. I just throw my dirty clothes into the chute and they go down to a closet in the laundry room, where they stay (out of view) until I separate them to do the wash. Wonderful invention - the laundry chute.
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Old 12-02-2008, 03:40 PM   #17
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oh, so that's how a hamper functions. i thought it was just a big target for flinging underwear. now i get it: the dirty clothes go inside.

so then what's the floor for?

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Old 12-02-2008, 04:01 PM   #18
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One of my favorite features of our house is the laundry chute. We have 2 bathrooms, one is directly above the other and they share a laundry chute. The chute goes down to the basement and empties into a hamper, right next to the washer and dryer. From there I sort everything into baskets. Pretty handy.

We also use the chute for communication. Knock a few times on the metal wall of the chute and give the sons upstairs a minute to get into the bathroom and respond. Easier than yelling.

The disadvantages of the 3 story chute is that sometimes someone will send something bulky down and it gets stuck between the floors, usually it's pants that were balled up instead of sent down evenly.

I can always tell if the hamper in the basement is overflowing because one of the cats will pick up socks off the basement floor and bring them upstairs to us. He must think we lost them and he's returning them to us.

My husband used to throw his clothes on the bedroom floor into a big pile and let it sit all week. Then we redecorated our room and he figured out that the pile of dirty laundry looked bad so he stopped doing that.
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Old 12-02-2008, 04:26 PM   #19
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One of our favorite houses that we did had bathrooms atop each other, with the laundry room next to the downstairs bath. We did a chute that had a tall door on the laundry side and a small door on the downstairs bath side. From the laundry room we could access divided dirty clothes from both baths - only negative is that the downstairs downstairs chute door looked like the little door in the doctor's office for the urine samples...

The most useful setup (much lamented) had the washer dryer right in the big single bath. Dirty clothes came off and went right into the washer, "ironing" was done with the dryer and a damp washcloth. True luxury grabbing toasty warm towel and clothes straight from the dryer on a chilly day! Truth be told - most of the clothes stayed in the bathroom after cleaning, folded and stacked on the dryertop.

Now we're all civilized and have a main floor laundry room next to a bathroom and a chute that doesn't get used in an unused upstairs bedroom.
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Old 12-02-2008, 05:15 PM   #20
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Laundry system: hamper, basket, or just a big pile?
Yes...only replace the "or" with "&".
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