Laundry Sorting: Our Best Tips and Tricks
Sorting your laundry is an essential part of doing your laundry well. As routine as it might be for many, there’s always tips and tricks we can pick up from one another, so we’ve put together this laundry sorting guide to help you enhance your well-practiced routine or help you get off on the right foot. The best way to sort laundry will always depend on your personal style and equipment, but a few laundry sorting ideas can be helpful to anyone.
Laundry 101: How to Separate Laundry
Knowing how to separate laundry will save you ruining your favorite items of clothing by accidentally putting them in with the wrong colors, materials or at the wrong temperatures. These three factors are actually the pillars of a good laundry sorting system. First off, checking the labels for the maximum temperature your clothes should wash at will create different laundry piles for you to wash. These then need to be sorted into different materials: Washing wool with cotton will not only damage the materials, but you may end up not getting your clothes properly clean as each different material needs a different wash cycle.
Finally, once you have sorted your laundry into their piles depending on material and washing temperature, sort them into color-coded piles. Whites, pastels and light colors can be washed together (as long as you aren’t bleaching your whites), brights have their own pile, and then darker colors and black laundry will have their own pile, too. This ensures you don’t end up with graying shirts faster than you expect to! These three types of laundry sorting are essential to running a good wash, but you may be wondering what else you could include. Here’s a few of our best tips for laundry sorting.
Laundry Sorting Systems
If you’ve done more than one set of laundry in your life, you’ll know that sorting laundry can be a bit time consuming. Knowing how to sort laundry can be a good way to save time when you’ve got to do it amongst the rest of your daily chores. Here are a few of our suggestions for creating an efficient laundry sorting system:
- Use different laundry bins. This idea is quite self-explanatory, but saves you having to create mini (or not so mini) mountains of laundry when the laundry basket gets full. This isn’t so bad in itself, but considering you can only wash one set at a time, you’ll probably have to throw the other piles back into the basket and start all over again once it is time to do your laundry. If you invest in a few laundry baskets and dedicate each basket to one type of laundry (e.g. dark cottons, wool, lighter delicates), then you won’t have to sort each time you launder. Your various laundry baskets can be small or kept in a closet so they don’t take up more space that your current laundry basket.
- A few small laundries a week… This technique breaks up the various stages of doing your laundry into manageable tasks that you can do here and there, rather than having to dedicate a chunk of a whole day to laundry. On one day you could, for example, launder one set of clothes and hang them to dry, and then the next day fold them and store them. Then on the next day you would put in another wash and then hang it, wait another day and then fold it and put it away. You probably won’t reach laundry-basket-zero using this laundry sorting technique, but you also won’t spend oodles of time doing one chore that mounts up anyway!
- Stick to Laundry Day! This is the opposite technique to the small-steps technique above. Pick a day of the week to do your laundry, and then launder like your life depends on it. This technique works best with a dryer, because you may not have enough hanging space for all the laundry that builds up over a week, especially if you’ve got kids! However, this way you can focus on other things during the week and then really get your teeth into it on your dedicated laundry day.