Instructables
Picture of Laundry Hacks - The Drawer System
I hate doing laundry.  I was fortunate enough when I was growing up to not have to do my own laundry, that is, until my late teen years.  When I did start doing my laundry, there were a few things that bugged me about this seemingly simple task.
  1. Whenever the laundry basket was full, you have to sort out the different loads.
  2. If you do all your laundry whenever the laundry basket is full, invariably you end up
    • A few overstuffed loads (which won't clean your clothes as well) 
    • A few loads that are only half full (wasting water and detergent).
  3. If I didn't do laundry on a set date, I would forget until it was too late and would, without a doubt, run out of the all important socks and underwear at the most inopportune moment.
I discovered a system that simplifies the laundry process, solving all of my different clothes-washing pet peeves and streamlining it into my everyday life.  All it requires is a set of plastic storage drawers (I used several of the 3-drawer stackable ones from Sterillite for my husband and I, and they work great!)
 
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Step 1: Sorting your Laundry

Think about what different loads of laundry you do.  Everyone sorts their loads slightly differently, but my categories are:
  • Pants / Slacks
  • Blacks / Dark Colors
  • Brights / Whites
  • Delicates
Back in high school, I hated sorting my laundry when I had an overflowing pile in front of me.  It was too daunting of a task for me.  For whatever reason I did not have any actual laundry basket.  What I did have were several of the plastic stackable drawers, which I would use to sort my laundry into.  I discovered when I was in high school that the amount of dirty clothing you can shove into one of the plastic storage drawers until you can't shut it anymore is about the same size as a large (but not overfull!) load of laundry.

Soon, I discovered that if I just put the dirty clothes directly in the drawer for that load instead of in the pile of random laundry, I saved time and floor-space in my bedroom!  So I continued on and picked up the habit of putting my dirty laundry into drawers for the individual loads.

When we moved into The Bungalow, I brought several of my plastic stackable drawers and made 2 stacks, four drawers high, for me and my husband to sort our dirty clothes into.  Whenever we pick up our dirty clothes, we just automatically sort them into the individual drawer for that load.  It is a lot easier to sort as you go rather than all at once. 
xrobevansx1 year ago
You obviously don't have children. Have fun with this system while it lasts.
TheProcrastibaker (author)  xrobevansx1 year ago
Thanks for your comment! I can understand how this is not a long-term system, especially with young children - That is why I mentioned it is better for teenagers or college students. It does require a bit of responsibility in picking up after yourself.

However, it has been working for me for several years and has solved my bad habit of leaving piles everywhere and putting overstuffed loads in the washer. I did crack one drawer at some point, about a year or so ago, but duct tape has stood the test of time on that.
Ahhh duct tape <3 but If we teach the older kids to sort laundry they can have one in their room that can be brought to you when its full. If you have more than one set up you can wait for two drawers or three depending on the washers size. Clothes can be resorted and brought back in the drawers to be hung up. Different colors for different children with labels like "Lights (white pink yellow)" Darks (black red purple) "Jeans" will teach them for the future :]

I was actually looking for a use for these drawers not that long ago and I'm going to adapt this system :D Thank you!!
i am in the process of using these Sterilite drawers to upcycle a 20 byear oldold blacl lacquear entertainment center.. i took out the tv shelf and upper shelf . The sterilite i have is is 4 or 5 drawers and takes the whole interior space. i am going to have to reinforce it with a cable or maybe a rod through the rear.
i want to hang a flat screen tv on a piece of plywood with a couple strong hinges or a piano hinge , so it swings open like a door and i can use the drawers.Removal of the upper shelf reduced the stabiility, so it is either a cable or threaded rod to restabilize it so the flat screen can swing open daily. Laundry would be a perfect use for them too., so i wii keep an eye out for them on the large item pickup day
TheProcrastibaker (author)  BarginsTech1 year ago
I love your idea! What a creative way to teach kids responsibility. :)

I hope it works as well for you as it has for me!
dmccomb1 year ago
I've been using a similar system for decades now. I started just with a set of shelves and a laundry basket on each shelf, then went to a set of wire baskets on a metal rack, which is much sturdier than plastic. When a basket is full, I just take the basket downstairs, run the laundry, put the folded laundry back in the basket and bring it upstairs to put in the drawers.

As for children, my six-year-old daughter had her own set of baskets and it was easy to teach her to put her clothes in there every day. In those days, we had to go to a laundromat, so we just stuck all the baskets in the car, took them to the laundromat, and had pizza while the wash cycle was going.
Kjata10131 year ago
I love this. It's so simple, yet it is an elegant solution.