Laundry baskets aren’t just for laundry anymore. They double as organizing tools, transport devices and storage space. In the laundry world, there are even special styles of baskets that serve different functions. Laundry hampers, baskets, sorters and bags have each been designed for a slightly different use.
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It is no secret that I love laundry baskets. As a teacher at a “school on wheels,” I am ever so grateful for them. My preschool classroom supplies fit nicely in two plastic baskets with a couple of items on the side. Every school morning I pack the car up in them. End of day, repack and cart it all home. They make it so easy!
Hampers: Laundry hampers are best placed the bedroom where most dirty clothes are removed. Following a hard day’s work or play, a shower and change of clothes are in order. The soiled clothes can be conveniently tossed into the hamper before you go on with the rest of your day. Laundry hampers seldom leave the room. That is where the handy laundry basket comes into play.
Baskets: Laundry baskets are light-weight, portable, even stackable. They are designed with travel in mind. Pile them up with dirty clothes, plus other soiled items such as linens, and carry them to the washing machine. These containers will be used again to cart your brilliantly-clean wardrobe, neatly folded of course, back to its proper place in the closet, shelves and drawers for the next wearing. Other uses: store toys for kids and pets, create a fort or “car” for your little one to play in!
Bags: Mesh or canvas laundry bags are very useful, especially for college students, soldiers or athletes. Stuff them with clothes, sling them over your shoulder and take the contents wherever you want it to be. Teens and guys gravitate to the bag-method. Caution: if you use a trash bag for laundry. your clothes could accidentally wind up at the curb!
Sorters: Laundry sorters are great organizing tools for the laundry room. Keep one or two of them near the washing machine to separate the dirty laundry prior to washing. The sorters have several compartments in which you can separate your clothes: whites warm-wash, colors warm-wash, whites cold-wash, colors cold-wash, delicates needing extra care, and so forth. However you want to divide them, you will be able to quickly identify the necessary care and put in a load when that part of the sorter is full.
Many Styles to Choose From
Laundry baskets come in a variety of styles. The most common is a curved plastic design with easy-to-carry handles on each side. More decorative styles are woven and made of wicker or rattan, shades of their ancient counterparts. Some with lids, others without.
Yes, baskets have been tools for carrying and storage for centuries. The Bible tells that, as a baby, Moses’ life was spared when his mother put him in a basket and floated him down the Nile. Want to bet it was a laundry basket?
Decluttering? Use laundry baskets to speed things up!
What area of your home magnetically collects “stuff”? Start there. It may be a table or counter-top. Miscellaneous clothes, junk mail, keys, books, dog leashes, gum wrappers, loose change…you name it and it just goes to die there! Tackle that “hot-spot” first.
- First, identify where the items do belong. Think regionally. Put every item that should go in the bedrooms into your empty laundry basket. Take it to the bedrooms and leave the items there. If the items belong to you, quickly put them away. Don’t spend a lot of time. You need to get back to your “crime scene”.
- Now, return with the empty basket to bring the next load to it’s proper destination. After everything that doesn’t belong there has been cleared, then remove everything else to clean and shine it.
- Finally, put something decorative, like a vase of flowers or some knickknacks, on display as a visual statement to you and the rest of the family that silently says “do not touch”. It will look so good that no one will want to be the first to mess it up.
Robust Baskets For Tough Challenges
Over-sized versions of the laundry basket are a “laundry hero” for families with tough jobs. These jumbo sized containers work well for athletic families whose soccer, baseball, or football gear come back in desperate need. Have your kids shed their grimy uniforms first, in the garage or mud-room, before they enter. Keep a jumbo hamper or basket right there, where it will be needed the most. Send your sports-stars for a quick run to the shower. When they are squeaky clean they can get a regular-sized laundry basket and haul their uniforms to the washing machine. Sound like a plan?
Establish good habits early in life. Give your children each a laundry hamper in their own room. Laundry hampers and baskets are sold with cute designs, sports figures and action heroes. If there isn’t one with the exact theme of your child’s room, pick brilliant complimentary colors that fit. Most importantly, teach them what the hamper is for and what to do when it gets full!
Storage: put the dog’s toys or your child’s abundant stuffed animal collection in a colorful laundry basket and make it very portable. It can even disappear into a closet on quick notice!
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