Make Laundry Easy: Laundry Sorting Groups, Wash Cycles, and Sew Your Own Laundry Bags

Well, I’m going to tell you right from the start that I’m leaving you with a cliffhanger at the end. These laundry bags make my weekly laundry chore of adult laundry so much easier, but you’ll have to come back to find out my whole laundry routine and how I make laundry for a family of six manageable.

Hanging Laundry Bags

First things first, I use these laundry bags in my closet for mine and my husbands’ dirty clothes. I might be simplistic when it comes to my kids laundry, like how I mix all the colors and wash 99% of them on the Normal Wash setting, but I take a little more time and care with adult laundry. My husband and I (hopefully) won’t be growing out of these clothes mid-season. Wardrobe basics like good jeans, dress shirts, and flattering sweaters should last a long time and need a bit more care to make that happen.

There are six different kinds of loads of laundry I do for mine and my husband’s clothes. I group laundry by the wash and dry setting.

The Six Types of Adult Laundry (aka My Six Sorting Piles):

  1. Dark t-shirts, socks, & jeans {Normal Wash with fabric softener, Ultra-Low dry}
  2. White/light shirts & socks {Normal Wash with whiten/brighten boost and fabric softener, Low dry}
  3. Dress shirts and pants {Permanent Press Wash with fabric softener, Low dry then hang immediately to avoid ironing}
  4. Under things {Delicate Wash with whiten/brighten boost and fabric softener, Ultra-low dry}
  5. Exercise clothes, colored t-shirts, pajamas {Delicate Wash, Ultra-Low dry}
  6. Sweaters, nice shirts, dresses, skirts {Hand Wash Setting, Hang dry}

{If you wonder what laundry products I use, refer to this post about my favorite laundry stuff!}

Laundry Sorting Groups and Wash Cycles

You are either shaking your head “yes” or think I’m crazy. Keep reading either way, I’ll either teach you something or continue to entertain you with my bizarre ways.

 

For our entire marriage (9 years this fall!) I have sorted into these piles on our laundry day. It has been manageable, but I’ve had this nagging feeling it could be easier. Sorting the laundry while my 9 month old tears apart my closet has pushed me to finally come up with a solution.

No more stepping on piles of laundry all over my closet on laundry day! No more doing tiny loads unnecessarily (I’m still a fan of smaller loads — just not tiny.) No more sorting!! Well, I guess we still sort, but really it is more like putting dirty clothes in the correct pile every time we change clothes. 

I created six hanging laundry bags. My inspiration was a hanging laundry bag we’ve used for years for our “under things” ;).

How To Sew A Hanging Laundry Bag

How To Sew a hanging laundry bag!

  1. Acquire six different fabrics (one yard each type).
  2. Fold the fabric in half with the ugly side out, so the fold of the fabric is on the side.
  3. Cut a point into the “top” of the fabric that matches the shape of a hanger.
  4. Fold the point back on each side of the fabric and sew across. Each hanger will have two points, and you will sew each one separately. This is where the top of the hanger will come through, so you do not want the two points sewn together.
  5. Fold back how you cut it. Pin it around the edges, marking off where you will not sew together at the opening. You need an opening to put the dirty clothes in. The larger the opening the easier to use. It might surprise you how short the bottom lip of the laundry bag needs to be to still hold the clothes.
  6. Sew around the edges, re-enforcing places that might take extra strain.
  7. Turn inside out and insert hanger.
  8. Hang on a closet rod.
  9. Wash every once in a while to keep the closet fresh.

These laundry bags are making my laundry chore so much easier

I hang the pink (Delicate) and yellow (Hand Wash) on my side of the closet and the others hang on my husband’s side.

Now I have 2 options on adult laundry day: Wash that load or wait another week if the load is still tiny. I can hold my baby in one hand and grab the pre-sorted hanging laundry bag with the other. This is making my life so much easier!!

So call me crazy, but making laundry easy for a family of six is a pretty awesome accomplishment, and I’m going to let myself feel satisfied about that.

What is your laundry secret? Be sure to subscribe or come back later to see how this laundry is part of my whole system of laundry for my household. Told you there would be a cliffhanger …

Keeping things easy,

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24 thoughts on “Make Laundry Easy: Laundry Sorting Groups, Wash Cycles, and Sew Your Own Laundry Bags

  1. Brilliant, I love your laundry bags and I am definitely going to try this. Early this year I started sorting with pillow cases, which has been working well but I like your system even better. Thanks for sharing

  2. Pillowcases have a deep hem on the open end, so you could place a grommet in the hem. That would give an opening to go over the hanger hook. Leave one side off the hanger; delicates and handwash loads will probably be light enough to not strain the pillowcase.

  3. Amazing!!! How do you think of these things? I guess that’s what makes you a professional. You’re amazing. Have I said amazing yet?

  4. I sort our dirty clothes every day too, only I use laundry baskets. We have more floor space than hanging space! It’s so much easier to see what needs to be washed than it is with one big pile.

  5. That’s a great idea! How long did it take your husband to remember what each color stood for? My only concern is remembering what goes in what bag. Maybe I’ll make little tags with icons for each of mine if I’m able to do this? Right now we don’t have a washer/dryer, so this may have to wait until we’re in a better situation. We have to wash things in as few loads as possible to save money.

    1. Really quickly! Like I said, I’v been separating our clothes for years in these types of categories, so that idea isn’t new. He only has four to use, since two are pretty much just mine.

    2. You could make labels and put them on the hangers or even sew a tag onto the actual bags by the opening to check easily. Either that or for light colors, make a light colored laundry bag, for darks, a dark laundry bag, for undergarments, use fabric with bikinis on it (lol) or even hearts, the one with dresses and skirts, use a laundry bag with fancy lettering or with pearls or something. You could totally get creative with this to make it easier to remember. I love this idea, Mary! I’m totally using it. Thank you!!!

      1. You’re welcome! I like your idea of the cute fabrics, though, with whatever you use, in a few weeks you’ll remember what the bags are for … so don’t be afraid to use something else that you like. :)

  6. Love this! We have very limited closet space in our house, but the perfect nook behind the back door (next to the washer/dryer closet). And when we knew were moving here, I described this “dream hamper” to my husband – it would have four compartments in it – whether mesh/metal baskets, bags, or even just large plastic bins – one for towels, one for jeans, one for lights and one for darks. It was just a random conversation about “Oh, I would love to have this in our new house,” and just after a few days of being in our new house, guess what the Mr. brought home for me?!? A ROLLING hamper with FOUR hanging bags to sort my laundry in!!! Oh, I’m still super excited about it!
    I have changed my sorting technique a bit since then – I put all the kids’ clothes in one bag/load, one for towels, one for grown-up clothes, and another for jeans and jeans alone.
    It’s a lot easier to do the laundry without having to sort it in a giant heap in the floor! Especially with little kids and “messes” that I don’t want to touch more than once! :-)

  7. My husband (like many others) has a problem with dropping clothes in FRONT of the laundry basket, not in it. Either you are picking up all the clothes and putting in the appropriate hanging basket, or you have trained your dog, er husband. If its the later, how’d you do it?

    1. Well, compromises have to be made in a marriage. Ask yourself how big of a deal it is to just do it for him if you see it on the floor. A great friend once told me that every time I think about something I’d like to “change” about my husband, ask myself if I’d trade that for something I LOVE about him. Turns out, his quirks aren’t so bad when I consider all the things he does right and that I love about him. If the laundry is feeling important, or symbolic of other issues, it definitely warrants a conversation with your husband about how much it would mean to you if he could take the time to do that. Then, appreciate EVERY time he does and forgive the other times. :)

      1. That is a great attitude to have about sharing cleaning responsibilities within a marriage! I get so frustrated with my husband sometimes that he doesn’t just put his clothes in the hamper and fold them after they are done in the dryer, but I have definitely learned that if it means more to *me* to have the house in order then I need to just take the extra time to do it myself. And in doing that my husband is very appreciative and when he does start helping out more it makes me so much happier than if I focused on all the times he doesn’t help…I’m just happy he washes his own laundry at this point! Haha. I don’t think the sorting bags would work in our case, but I do really love this idea and the sorting categories you use.

  8. My laundry trick is to add a dry towel to the dryer when I run a load. This helps cut the drying time and makes clothes soft (with out the use of fabric softener and dryer sheets which irritate my husband’s sensitive skin.

    1. Good idea. I don’t use dryer sheets either because of their contribution to dust. Since we switched laundry detergent, everyone with sensitive skin in our family has had no problems!

  9. Love this idea but truly don’t have the closet space in this current house. This worked for me when I had a bigger space. Thoughts on how to do this with very little space?

  10. I love the bags! I have been using 5 laundry baskets in our master closet for a long time, so I’m completely on board with the sort-as-you-take-it-off method. :) The baskets take up a lot of floor space (even after I converted to the tall skinny baskets), though, so these bags are intriguing! Now, if only I knew how to sew. ;)

Leave a comment! I love to hear what you think!