Hampers & Laundry Baskets: How Many? and Where? - Mothering Forums

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Old 05-27-2008, 12:01 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm getting overwhelmed with Mt. Wash Me! Hahaha! We're a family of four: me, DH, and 2 six-yo-DDs who share a room with each other.

I'd like to have my laundry bag/sorter in my room for Dark, White, and Colors; the girls' room to have two portable net hampers for Light and Dark; and one basket for taking clothes up and down the two flights of stairs to the laundry room in.

It seems like that should be enough.

But often the basket is full of "needs to be folded" clothes, the portable kid hampers are also full of "needs to be folded" clothes, the kids dirty clothes are on the floor, and my sorter is overflowing.

So, please tell me how many hampers and baskets you have, and where you keep and use them.

Thanks!
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Old 05-27-2008, 12:29 AM
 
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We have 3 adults (me, dh, my mom) and one pre-schooler in our home. We have one hamper in the bathroom, where the combined washing machine/dryer is, and 2 laundry baskets that are usually in there too, to separate clean items. I think my mom has a separate hamper in her room; we have one in ours but never use it (dh, dd and I all get undressed in the bathroom only, so it goes straight into that hamper).

We do *at least* one load of laundry a day- the capacity of the combination machines is less than standard W/Ds, and loads take a bit longer, so we pretty much have to constantly be washing things. So no time for big piles to accumulate- unless we just stripped all the beds or just got a big bag of hand-me-downs (like this weekend ) We don't pre-separate. After a few days, I will literally do a whole load with only pinks and a few reds, so I think pre-separating would get a bit hairy.
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Old 05-27-2008, 12:35 AM
 
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We have a laundry shoot in our bedroom and a hamper in the girls' room. One of the only chores my 4 old does happily is put their clothes down the shoot. For me, the biggest thing is getting the laundry in the laundry room. Sometimes we get more behind and other times we are caught up, but I feel if more clothes are clean than dirty then everything is fine.
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Old 05-27-2008, 12:41 AM
 
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Let's see. I've got 6 that hold dirty stuff. And 2 baskets for taking clean folded stuff upstairs to be put away.

There are 3 bins / baskets in our master bedroom for me and DH. One for dirty clothes. One for towels. And one pretty Longaberger basket where I keep my clothes that have been worn, but aren't really dirty/ can be worn again. Pretty much anything DH wears, needs washed. He's stinky. Then there is a basket in the twins' room. And a basket in the kids' bathroom. And finally I keep a basket in the laundry room, to throw random dirty clothes, wash cloths, etc in.

That is for 5 people.
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Old 05-27-2008, 12:46 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hmmm... what do you guys do for dish towels, napkins, and dish cloths? Esp. since they are sometimes wet. I've been using a metal bin (hang wet things on the side, dry go inside) and doing a load with the kitchen mat when it gets full.
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Old 05-27-2008, 12:52 AM
 
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Family of four. We have three baskets (cold, warm, hot) in our bedroom right off the master bath. That is where all of us shower so when the boys change to shower their clothes go there too.

In the pantry in the kitchen I have a laundry basket for dish towels/cloths and hand towels which I also wash on hot but I like to wash those on their own. We used to have a basket there for the boys clothes too. Our laundry is in the pantry.

But I found it easier to just have the four baskets for the four types of loads we do. When the basket is full I do a load.

I've got two baskets for clean laundry. Only one might be better because then I can't let two pile up but so far trying to go down to that has ended up with unfolded clean clothes in other places. And I still do with two. So that isn't worked out but it's more a matter of making myself do it than organization. Oh, I do boys bedsheets/blankets, etc. together on the same day and put them right back on the bed.

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Old 05-27-2008, 12:54 AM
 
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I mentioned that I put the basket for those is right there in the pantry/kitchen. But I was posting while you were so didn't really address the question. I hang the wet ones on the side of the plastic basket and as they dry just push them in.

I forgot; we've got a bag in the bathroom for underwear and socks. I wash bath towels with the hot clothes or on their own; however it works out.

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Old 05-27-2008, 01:16 AM
 
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We have one tall hamper in the master bedroom, one small in ds's room and one small in dd's room (in their closets). We also have a plastic garbage bin under the kitchen sink we use for towels, napkins, and placemats. We don't separate ahead of time. I usually drag the hamper to the washer, set aside jeans & whites, then wash the rest together. For towels and sheets, I just gather up a load and carry them to the washer. We have 3 laundry baskets that live on the top of the dryer. I fold the clothes right as I take them out of the dryer because otherwise they get super wrinkly. I try to put them away right away as well, but often the basket is on the master bedroom floor for a little while first.
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Old 05-27-2008, 01:43 AM
 
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Family of 3, and we have a sorter in the laundry room right next to the machine, a hamper in each room and three baskets for returning clean clothes. It also helps that we have a clothes bar in the laundry room that I can use for empty hangers and hanging up clean clothes.

For wet things, I hang them over the side of my sorter. It's PVC with mesh bags, so the wet item dries and I can just sort of push it in until it's time to do that load. That works well for me because I tend to soak stained items as soon as I can get them off of the offending party and that might not be the day before I do that load!
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Old 05-27-2008, 01:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Teffer, I like the idea of putting the sorter in the laundry room - then everyone can run their hampers down and sort things out. BUT, the laundry is between the garage and the main part of the basement/entry we use. So I'd see LAUNDRY every time I walked in the house. I'm trying to keep the laundry room not so ugly (I think I'm weird but I get depressed seeing ugliness first thing in my house. I even park outside sometimes and use the front door so I can see the nice area I keep for guests to see...). OTOH, it is the laundry room, cat litter box and all, so it might work. I could TRY it, anyway.
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Old 05-27-2008, 02:23 AM
 
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we have one in the bathroom and one in each bedroom (thats 2 more) + the diaper pail which stays in the kitchen and gets dishrags and stuff too. oh and an empty one in the laundry room to separate out anything that i don't want to wash with the sttuff i'm loading into the washer....

mostly dirties go in the hampers and clean clothes either get folded and put away or accumulate in one chair until they can be folded and put away.

thats for 4 people
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Old 05-27-2008, 02:59 AM
 
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We (me, DH, DD 3 1/2, DS 2) have a single laundry basket, that holds one load of laundry. When it's full to the top, we need to wash stuff.

The basket used to live in DH's and my closet, but now spends much of its time down in the laundry room on top of the washing machine. Most of the time we only use it to carry loads of laundry up to the living room to be dumped, awaiting folding.

Our new system--during the day clothes and stuff go either directly down to the washer or on the floor of our closet. At night, clothes are tossed down from upstairs (a great game for the kids before getting into the tub) and, if I have the motivation, are gathered up and brought down to the washer when the kids are sleeping. Sometimes the pile of clothes is still there in the morning and I bring it down to the washer while the kids eat breakfast. When the washer is full, we run a load.

We don't separate anything--all is washed together in huge loads, on cold, and tossed in the dryer. Clothes that bleed, shrink, or require special care don't last long in this household; I just don't have the time or patience to sort and then wait for full loads to pile up of different types of clothes. My mom would be HORRIFIED, I'm sure, if she observed my laundry practices.
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Old 05-27-2008, 03:35 AM
 
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We are a family of 6, I hate taming the laundry monster!!!

We have a basket in our room for our laundry, a pretty large hamper in the girls' room, and teh baby's clothes at this point go in a laundry bag hanging off his changing table. Add the diapers of course... We also have a spare laundry hamper out on the service porch for yucky stuff (wet rags, kitchen stuff, etc) and another one on the porch which is spare.

In theory what I do is take the laundry to the laundry room (the whole hamper of what I'm goign to do) and decide if I'm doing colors or whites by scanning. I put the approprite washing in the machine and the otehr type (color / white) in teh spare basket. Then the hamper goes back where it belongs. When it's time to bring the laundry in I sort it on the diining room table and take it one pile at a time where it belongs. This means teh baskets are free quicker, and I'm less likely to leave it on teh table long term. Plus the dining room is centrally located. So I just bring it all in and sort by girls hanging / girls folded / our hanging / our folded / baby / kitchen / etc. It's much quicker to put away because I am only going to one place at a time and I can get everything away in 2 - 3 minutes, then on to the next pile.

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Old 05-27-2008, 04:33 AM
 
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family of 6 here, as well ... me, DH, DD#1 (13), DD#2 (2), and the boys.

We have 3 tall hampers that hold dirty clothes. One is in mine/DH's closet, one is in DD#1's room, and we have an 'extra' that usually ends up in DD#1's room as well.
For the little ones, I have a large wicker basket for dirty clothes, as well as a kitchen sized garbage can with lid for cloth diapers.
I separate as I go with laundry ... it doesn't really take me any longer, and that's the way I've always done it.
For wet dishtowels, rags, etc, they usually are placed on top of the washer, and then get thrown in with the next load.

I use my smaller round laundry baskets for 'distribution' of clean clothes. I fold clothes in the living room (my laundry is in the kitchen, in a closet ... no designated 'room'), and put everyone's clothes into baskets .... me, DH, DD#1, and the little ones. I have a big rectangular basket that is for socks .... you know, the ones you are always waiting for the match to come back around?? PLEASE tell me I am not the only one who does this!!

For me, the big deal is not getting the laundry clean, but actually getting it put away. Right now, DH has a basket in our room that needs to be put away, I have an overflowing basket for both DD#1, as well as the little ones. Also, there are clothes laying all along the back of the couch that need to be hung up .....

I'm trying to find a system that works, but I'm not sure what that will be!
Sometimes, I declare hiatus on washing clothes, until the clean ones are put away, but that doesn't work all the time.

Oh, and on the VERY rare occasions when the 'clean baskets' are empty, they are stored on top of the washing machine.

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Old 05-27-2008, 05:40 AM
 
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We have one basket and one hamper for the 4 of us.

The kids, DH and I take our laundry downstairs to the laundry room every day so they're not really needed. The one hamper is in the laundry room and it's for delicates and hand wash items only. The basket we have is for orphaned socks, but right now it's holding my to-do sewing and mending items. When I fold laundry, I simply carry it upstairs by hand.

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Old 05-27-2008, 07:27 AM
 
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Just two adults here, DH and I. We use trash cans in the laundry area as sorters. I have one for darks, lights, bleach, and DH's work clothes- they get super dirty.

I have two laundry baskets that I use for transporting the laundry. I have two laundry days a week and will fill both baskets up with the clean clothes. DH carries them upstairs for them and I put the clothes away right then. Then I take the baskets back downstairs and put them in the laundry area for next time. I find that if I leave the baskets in other rooms, they become clutter collectors.

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Old 05-27-2008, 08:13 AM
 
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family of four here. me, so and two dd's, 8 and 10.

We have a hamper in our room, one in the bathroom, one in each of the girls room and probably three more in the basement. I use those to sort and/or rotate as i'm tackling the mountain.
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Old 05-27-2008, 08:33 AM
 
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We are a family of 6. I have a pretty tiny laundry room, but we tore out a closet and put in a shelving system so I could organize better. We also have a laundry chute from the upstairs directly into the laundry room. I keep 4 baskets on the shelves and then one extra basket on the dryer to fold clothes into and take upstairs. We do at least 2 loads a day.

Here is the shelving unit. The linens/towels are on top, next is darks, then lights, then whites. We installed a shower rod above it to hang shirts on. My grocery bags that need to go back to the car are hanging on one side and slings to grab on the way out the door on the other. Our laundry room goes straight out to the garage.

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Old 05-27-2008, 10:02 AM
 
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I have five Sterlite stacking baskets- each one holds a load of laundry. They are kept in the laundry room for whites, lights, darks, pink/red and towels. Each night everyone's clothing goes into the bins so I can see at a glance if I need to do a load of a particular color. I line dry all our clothing so I fold it into piles for each person when I bring it in.
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Old 05-27-2008, 10:59 AM
 
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I have one big cane basket in our one and only bathroom. Our washing machine is downstairs so when the cane basket is full I lug that down to the washing machine. As this is a utility sort of area I have enough room to then have about 4 or 5 different plastic baskets and I separate stuff into light/dark/delicate etc.b and put on a load when there's enough. If I desparately need something I will do a smaller load but try to avoid this.

Everything is line dried unless raining (we have good sunny weather all year round even in winter like now it is 22 degrees celsius (71.6F). I give everything a good flick before I hang it out (dries flatter and minimises ironing) and fold it all at the line to save double handling.

The empty cane basket goes straight back to upstairs. Washing that hasn't been sorted into piles for family members sits somewhere in a plastic laundry basket till I do it - usually wherever the plastic basket put! I am pretty relaxed about such things! One day I'll have a better system but this works for me at the moment.

I make sure the night before the children have school uniforms and I have whatever work clothes I need - in case of emergency chuck a load on at night and hang it on a rack inside and it's dry by morning
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Old 05-27-2008, 01:53 PM
 
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We are a family of 3 (me, dh,ds 6y/o) We have one hamper upstairs in the master bedroom closet. Dh and I toss our stuff in there. Ds either throws his stuff in there or it goes directly to the laundry room if it is really dirty and needs to be soaked. I have to baskets on the laundry room floor. One is for whites and one is for everything else. I have one basket to return the clean laundry. My laundry room is around th ecorner from my kitchem, so dish clothes, towels, napkins, etc. just get tossed in the laundry room.

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Old 05-27-2008, 02:14 PM
 
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Family of 7 here. 2 adults and 5 kids. Teenager does his own laundry, has a dirty hamper and washes and puts away his own clothes on Sunday night.

I have a large hamper in our bedroom for mine, dh's, and my daughters clothes and sometimes what the kids throw in there. My little one (2 year old) has his own hamper and I only do his laundry when he runs out of things to wear, which is after a couple weeks.

Then there is a dirty hamper in the laundry room right next to the boys room so they throw their stuff in there.

I do about 2-3 loads a day, we do not pre-sort. I just dig through the baskets and do all clothes other then whites and towels in cold. Whites get down once a week in hot, and towels as needed. Around here towels must be re-used, they know better then to throw a wet towel in the hamper.

I am great about washing, but awful about putting away so instead of trying to fight it, I went out and bought one big laundry basket for everyone.

So in my bedroom lined up is one basket for for whites, one for me, one for dh, one for my daughter, and one for the two middle boys. As soon as a load comes out it gets dumped on the bed and then tossed into the appropriate basket.

Every once in a while I will get in the mood to put away, but it is much easier to tackle just one basket at a time. The 2 year olds stuff gets put away right away, because it is such a small load and is easier to handle.

I have been really trying to at least put away one of the baskets every day, but my kids know to just come in my room and look through their basket. I won't put the baskets in their room, because it just ends up everywhere and ends up a mix of clean and dirty.
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Old 05-27-2008, 02:14 PM
 
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Family of 4.

1 hamper in the bathroom. On laundry day I bring it downstairs and sort the piles. Sometimes, I have the kids sort the piles.

2 laundry baskets for lugging the folded clean clothes back upstairs. I fold as things go into basket.

Sheets and towels get brought down to the laundry room on wash day. Kitchen towels, napkins, and the like get tossed down the stairs to the laundry room as needed.

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Old 05-27-2008, 02:29 PM
 
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I have one hamper in my room and all laundry goes in here. I sort it by color/whites, etc on my floor and just bring down the piles and do them. I bring it back up and fold it all on the couch and then the kids take it to their rooms. I do dd2 and myself. I leave dh clean stuff in front of his dresser. My older kids wear uniforms to school so I don't have a ton of clothes considering their ages -- next year when dd1 is in public hs this will be another story. I may have do her own then. But I have a front loader and like to do big, full loads.

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Old 05-27-2008, 03:10 PM
 
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Family of 3.

We have one sorter. It has three sections: whites, mediums, darks... which loosely correlate to warm, cool, and cold wash settings (all cold rinse). Sometimes a load is bumped up to a warmer temp, depending on grunge factor. LOL Everyone puts their clothes in the appropriate section on a daily basis. DD learned her colors by doing this for all of us when she was younger.

We own one laundry basket. Each morning, I use the laundry basket to carry whichever load is full (whites, mediums, or darks) downstairs to the laundry room. As the load is washing, the laundry basket sits atop the dryer. When it is finished, I use the sides of the basket to hang any items that don't go into the dryer so they can air dry. These are easily found because we use mesh bags for those items. I move the basket to sit atop the washer while the clothes are drying in the dryer. AS SOON AS THE DRYER FINISHES, I take things out and hang them on the sides of the basket or fold and place them in the basket (depending on how the item is stored). I don't put clothes into the dryer unless I plan to be home and available to do this step. At this point, the clothes get put away whenever I go upstairs again, which can be right away or can be before I go to bed and everything in between. I don't worry about that part because it has to be done before I can do another load and that happens every morning.

I usually do four loads of clothes from the sorter each week. Mediums are higher in the warmer months and darks are higher in the cooler months. Sometimes whites don't need washing every week. If I don't have enough for a full load of clothes, then I either wash sheets or towels or rugs. Rugs get washed infrequently and are line-dried. Bedding is also line-dried.

I have six washcloths and I use a fresh one each morning in my shower. It air dries across the top of the shower door and the next day I move it to a wicker towel bar. When I am out of washcloths, then it is time to wash our towels. There is never a mess of dirty towels and I never forget to wash our towels anymore. I toss them all onto the bathmat and carry them downstairs that way. I only dry them partway in the dryer and then hang them back up where they belong. The washcloths get dry in the time I allow, so I roll those back up and place them on the wicker shelf (above the rod where the dirties await washing).

Bottom line for me is one load gets done every single day and by done I mean completely done: washed, dried, folded/hung, and put away. One load is a manageable amount of clothing, even the dreaded socks and undies.

Something I didn't see mentioned and wanted to note... Laundry is a LOT easier to maintain if you have a reasonable amount of clothes and linens. Most people tend to run into trouble when they have so many clothes that they CAN go 3-4 weeks without doing laundry. That makes for quite a chore when you finally get around to it. On the opposite side, I ran into a bit of trouble by having too few of certain items and was scrambling to wash a specific load by a certain time. For our family and my laundry habits, I have found two weeks of real world clothing is the best balance.

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Old 05-27-2008, 03:36 PM
 
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Family of 5 here.

We do way too much laundry! I average between 2 and 3 loads a day, thanks to an apartment-sized washer and dryer, and cloth diapers. We wash diapers about every second day. The pail is in the bathroom, which is right by the laundry (located in the hall).

For clothes, we have two mesh hampers in our room, one for lights and one for darks. Clothes go in as they're taken off. In the kids' room, we have one mesh hamper. They put things in there if they feel like it (though often they just bring them to our room and sort them), and I empty it every few days to once a week, depending on how much is in it and whether I need to fill out a load.

Keeping up with washing and drying is easy enough. Folding usually isn't too bad, because the laundry gets dumped on my bed when it comes out, and I need somewhere to sleep. Putting away, on the other hand, is a challenge. We usually end up with stacks of clean, folded clothes beside my bed, which annoys me. I need to weed everyone's clothes, especially my own. I also need to make sure the kids keep their room tidy enough that I can walk through it to DS's dresser. (DD's isn't a big deal, since it's right by the door.)

I'm really looking forward to moving a year from now, and having a regular washer and dryer again, so that I don't have to do so many loads!

Oh, and we don't have a laundry basket. I just carry each clean load down the hall to my bed in my arms (or, more often, one arm, because the other is holding the baby on my hip). Sometimes it takes two trips, but that's no big deal.
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Old 05-27-2008, 03:44 PM
 
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Family of 5.

My laundry is organized by how I wash it . . . some loads go in the dryer; most are hung up.

We keep one basket in our room for dirty clothes. When it's full, it's sent to the basement to be sorted. Ideally, it comes back up with clean stuff in it to be put away . . . but that's always a challenge . We also have a habit of throwing things down the basement step that need to be washed. We're down there a lot, so I just pick it up when I go down (or I know people are coming over) and put it in the right place

In the laundry area in the basement, I have four tall baskets and one three sectioned sorter for the following:

to be hung
dh and I
DS
DD
DS2
DS uniforms (only during the school year)

to be dried
kitchen linens
bathroom linens
socks, underwear, and gym clothes

When each is full, it's thrown in the washer and dealt with. I don't have one for sheets because I usually throw those in the washer right after I strip the beds.
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Old 05-27-2008, 09:19 PM
 
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We have one hamper for our family of four, and it lives in our powder room. I don't like stinkies accumulating elsewhere .

sharing life with | 10 yo ds | 8 yo dd | dh (since 2012)
"I am not what happened to me...I am what I choose to become." ~ Carl Jung
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Old 05-27-2008, 11:21 PM
 
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Family of 4. I keep one laundry basket on the landing at the top of the basement stairs (which is also the landing for the back door to the yard). I throw all of our laundry into this basket during the day and when I go down to the basement I take it with me and dump it on a big laundry heap on the floor of the laundry room. I don't sort prior to doing a load, really. When I'm ready to toss in some laundry I glance over the pile and think about what we need most and then just grab everything from that category and toss it in the washer. The loads I run are either:
#1. Kitchen laundry (bibs, dishrags, dishtowels, etc)
#2. Yucky laundry LOL (underwear, socks, onsies, bathroom towels and washcloths, burp cloths and puke rags, PJs)
#3 Good laundry (dh's work clothes, my clothes, the kids clothes)
#4 Not-so-good laundry (Jeans, sweatshirts, t-shirts)

Dh is eventually going to install a laundry chute at the bottom of the second-story staircase and that will eliminate my need for a basket

mommy to ds 11/05, dd1 01/08, and dd2 01/10!
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Old 05-28-2008, 11:41 AM
 
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Family of 6 - our bathroom is also our laundry room.
1 hamper in our bedroom for my clothes -washed once a week usually 2 loads (light/dark)
1 laundry basket in corner of bathroom for dc clothes -washed twice a week 2 loads each time (light/dark)
1 heavy duty strength laundry basket on shelving above washer/dryer in bathroom for dh's clothes (he works construction so his work clothes get DIRTY so he can come home from work jump into the shower and clothes stay right in the bathroom/laundry room- washed once a week usually 3 loads (super dirty work/lights/dark)
wet wash rags/towels get hung over empty laundry basket or shower rod or tub rail to dry then collected in an empty hamper until it's filled with more towels/bed linens to wash (usually twice a week)
Oh and 2 empty laundry baskets for folding that sit on top of the dryer. I probably don't really need them as I could use the empty hamper/dc laundry basket for the folding/putting away of clothes but I can't bring myself to get rid of them as I also use them for collecting and putting various things away.

Maaaammaa!! to A 2/99 M 7/00 J 10/04 B 4/07 S 3/09
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