What's the best system to store and transport laundry?
January 16, 2011 10:04 AM   Subscribe

What's the best system to store and transport laundry?

Currently I have several piles on the floor of my closet: one for wool socks that need to be washed separately, one for stuff that needs a stain remover applied before washing, one for things that need to be hand-washed or dry cleaned, and one for everything else. I use an old duffel bag to transport a pile to or from one of the apartment building's two laundry rooms. I would like to streamline this process somewhat with containers for each of these piles instead. What sort of containers (mesh bag, hard plastic) work best? Have any other laundry organization tips and tricks?
posted by grouse to Home & Garden (11 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Some hampers have multiple sections and wheels. We have a multi-section hamper that we use to split up our whites (towels and sheets), colors and blacks.

We don't need to roll it over to do laundry, but perhaps there is a model that would facilitate easy transport between your apartment and the laundry room.

Or, you could use a multi-section to pre-sort your laundry, and then use a small satchel to bring over a subset of your laundry in batches, depending on how convenient that would be.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:10 AM on January 16, 2011

After years of having my laundry piled in two separate IKEA bags, I finally broke down and bought this relatively expensive Pottery Barn hamper and love it. The two removable liners make sorting laundry extremely easy, with the added bonus of being able to just pull them out of the hamper when they're full and use the actual hamper liners to transport my dirty laundry. The lid is sturdy enough that I can put things on top of it without worrying it is going to collapse under the weight of some blankets. Or my cat.
posted by banannafish at 10:22 AM on January 16, 2011

For the wool socks, I'd use a mesh bag (the small zippered kind for delicates)then you can just throw the whole thing in the wash. In college I had some kind of stain stick which said it could be left on the clothes for up to a week (or something like that) and I would treat stains right when I took the clothes off, then they could just be sorted with the regular laundry. I also discovered I preferred the plastic hamper over the duffel bag, so I could fold clean clothes right out of the dryer and not have to stuff them back into a duffel to get wrinkled again.
posted by Green Eyed Monster at 10:22 AM on January 16, 2011

I like mesh bags, as they allow airflow and can easily be thrown in the wash with that load. Three mesh bags might do you, though I'm guessing someone will have a better platform for the bags that might even hold them open and off the floor.
posted by ldthomps at 10:23 AM on January 16, 2011

Best answer: I use a simple multi-bag hamper from the Container Store. You actually clip the mesh laundry bag directly to the frame, so when it's time to actually do the laundry, you just have to unclip whichever sorted bag you want and carry it over.
posted by Metasyntactic at 10:38 AM on January 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

We have three of these that we really like. They're more structured than duffels or mesh bags, so they're easy to toss things into. But they're less structured than hard plastic, so they don't take up a ton of space when they're not full. They each hold about as much as our washer can do at once. This one looks like it occupies that space between structured and unstructured too, though I don't have first hand experience with it.
posted by daisyace at 10:45 AM on January 16, 2011

Similar to what daisyace linked to, I've used this type of hamper before and it works quite well for a low budget (not the most aesthetically appealing thing to have out, though). You can usually get them at CVS/Walgreens or Target. It collapses to a flat disc, if you're able to twist it properly. (And be cautious when you're opening it for the first time, because when you take off the strap keeping it closed, it flips open with considerable force and you could get a black eye if you're not careful!)
posted by enlarged to show texture at 10:56 AM on January 16, 2011

Airflow is good for preventing clothes from getting stinkier as they sit in piles. I think frames for removable laundry bags are good. It makes it easir to chuck stuff in immediately and then take the bag off to head to the laundry room.
posted by oneirodynia at 11:46 AM on January 16, 2011

... forgot to mention that the other good thing about bags is that if they get musty you can chuck them in with your laundry.
posted by oneirodynia at 11:49 AM on January 16, 2011

Can't help with the hampers, we use mesh bags that hang on the door, and I just carry them down to the washer when it's time. But do definitely give a stain stick or the shout stain gel (with a handy scrubby top) a try - that'd eliminate one of your piles right there. And the sooner you treat the stains the more likely you are to get it out, as well.
posted by lemniskate at 2:07 PM on January 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

IKEA shopping bags are ~$1. The larger size is almost exactly one load of laundry in size when using the smaller of the 2 sets of fabric handles.

They are durable, robust and washable.
posted by KevCed at 9:05 AM on January 17, 2011

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