Friday, August 10, 2012

Laundry sorter

I realized I never fully blogged about one of my favorite projects:

Laundry dresser from Ana White

Ana's original idea was to keep it in the laundry room and essentially have a drawer for each member of the family to keep dirty laundry in. Then, it's easy enough for each person to take his or her own basket to fold and put away laundry. Which is a great idea, one that I will one day replicate.  However, with only 2 laundry-needing members of our household (the other, of course, is the type that "nekkid" means we've taken his collar off :)), that wasn't what we needed.

Finally, I get my brilliant idea...which means I was probably in the shower. It's where all my great ideas seem to know, where I can't write them down to remember! Anyway, I realized what was so trying about doing laundry was the whole sorting process. Instead of separating out lights, darks, etc., I sort based on what the tag reads. You know, manufacturer's suggestion. If there is no tag, or it's so worn, I can no longer read it, I assume cold. Obviously, this system took FOR-EV-ER to hunt down each tag, even though I knew many pieces without looking.  Why not build my sorter based on sorting?  Genius, right? Yeah, I went to Transy.

So we now have our sorter organized as Hot (whites), Warm, and Cold. I got a wicker basket to set on top for Delicates/Line Dry. Again, we don't worry about colors. Gasp. Reds washed with khaki mixed with black? Guess what. Never had a color run problem. Sometimes I wash new stuff with darker stuff, just in case, but I don't stress about it.  And "doing laundry" simply means removing the basket, washing, drying, folding, and putting away (I try to hide Husband's work shirts so I don't have to iron them, but darn it, he always seems to eventually run out).

The reason it occurred to me to actually describe the system? It's so easy, a husband can follow it! Mister and I went on vacation earlier this week to the family cabin in Canada, while Husband stayed home, having to work. He got productive that weekend and washed a couple of loads. He even commented on how easy it was. Before I left, I did a quick load of things I knew I needed, but I didn't have to hunt through all the other dirty laundry. Easy-peasy!

The biggest compliment to the system is that it works for us. If there's only one thing I take away from all the cleaning/organizing/decorating blogs I read is that if the system doesn't work for your particular household, it's doomed to fail no matter how awesome it sounds. Like I said, when we eventually have kids, the system may change. My parents are planning on building their own version, but adding doors and a back (ours has a back, but I don't think it's in the original plan) so one of their cats doesn't confuse the dirty laundry with her litter box (which has happened before). That's what has to work for them. And that's OK!