One Completely Ridiculous Hack for How to Sort Laundry

December 18, 2019 | A Little Easier #20
I've got one completely ridiculous — but very effective — hack for how to sort laundry. I'll bet that you've never thought to wash your clothes this way before!

Summary — Hack for How to Sort Laundry

  • I’m always curious about the best way to do things, including how to sort laundry
  • I think sorting by color (whites / darks) is useless
  • Instead, I sort by whether or not I care if the clothes wrinkle
    • If I don’t care that the item wrinkles, it goes first (towels, underwear, etc.)
    • Stuff that I don’t want to wrinkle gets washed second (shirts, pants, etc.)
  • So, when I inevitably leave my clean laundry sitting in a basket for a week, the don’t-care-if-wrinkled stuff is all that’s there.
    • The wrinkle-free stuff is usually still in the dryer
  • When I finally go to fold, I simply turn on the dryer (which eliminates the wrinkles in the second load), fold the first, and then fold the second
  • Also, I mentioned the amazing BAGAIL Packing Cubes — I’ll never pack a suitcase without them again!

Transcript — Hack for How to Sort Laundry

Anthony Wagner: (00:00)
You’re listening to A Little Easier, a tiny version of my productivity podcast. I’m Anthony Wagner and this week I’ve got one completely ridiculous but very effective hack for how to sort laundry. I’ll bet that you’ve never thought to wash your clothes this way before.

Anthony Wagner: (00:17)
Just a quick thing before we jump right into that. A reminder, and I am recording this actually the same day as I recorded the last little chunk of last week’s episode. So I’m in a space where I don’t know if my course is launched yet. That’s the downside to starting to kind of get ahead of the eight ball here.

Anthony Wagner: (00:35)
But, that said, if you’re interested in craft your big goals, it is either launched or is just about to launch depending on what I was able to do when I was, before I go into Chicago. So if you’re interested,, check it out, The page may have changed if it did, that means of course is live. If not drop your name and email. You get the founding member price and are part of that group.

Anthony Wagner: (00:58)
Okay. Enough, a boilerplate ad stuff. We’re going to jump right into this hack. And this is something I think that is completely ridiculous, but it has made me more successful with actually completing the laundry process. Right. I don’t know about you, but for me, whenever I do laundry, I have, I am great about all the lead up and all the process through the completion of the clothes getting dried. Right. So I’m really good at keeping my clothes like neat in a hamper. My socks separate in a bag, all that stuff happens. Like everything stays really neat. And you know, I don’t wear a lot of clothes so I don’t have a ton.

Anthony Wagner: (01:35)
And then usually each weekend I get up early on Saturday morning to work and I put the clothes in the wash and I run them and those, that load gets dry and then I wash another one and then that load gets dried. And that’s where it all kind of, um, gets shot to hell. Right?

Anthony Wagner: (01:50)
So I typically do the thing where the clothes sit in a basket for forever. Yeah, I’m really guilty about that. So this is something I’ve been trying to figure out. Like I just cannot get myself into a space a lot of the time to fold clothes. So that being said, I started to do a thing that makes the folding process suck less because my clothes have sat out for so long, which is why it sucks in the first place. Right? So if you’re familiar with this, you don’t do your, you know, folding right after the stuff comes out of the dryer.

Anthony Wagner: (02:24)
What happens when it sits in the basket? Of course it gets all wrinkled. It doesn’t matter what you do. If you leave it sitting in the basket until it’s cool, it will inevitably everything will be wrinkled. So what I started doing in this hack is I completely came up with this myself. Not maybe a thing that other people have thought of. I’ve done zero research. I just know that I came up with this idea. Maybe other people came up with the same thing and that would be great.

Anthony Wagner: (02:49)
But my idea was one morning I was putting clothes in the wash. actually just recently. I mean like a couple months ago and I was like, alright, I know I’m really bad about getting my laundry. What if I only put the stuff in the machine? Let me just say this first. I’m usually doing my clothes in two loads.

Anthony Wagner: (03:07)
It’s just my clothes and I usually like to fill the machine about a half to three quarters max of the way full. I find that they get far less wrinkled in the dryer if you don’t overfill, I know you’re not supposed to overfill, but I was always like, why would I bother? It fits. I can shut the lid. Like who cares if it’s sticking out the top? Why on earth would I bother if I just stuff it so shut stuff, it’s so full.

Anthony Wagner: (03:30)
Well I learned that it doesn’t dry very well and so that is the big downside to trying to stuff it all in one load. The dryer does an ineffective job and crap comes out of the dryer still just as wrinkled as it went in because it doesn’t have any room to move around. So I started dividing my laundry into two loads and I don’t do sorting at all except for this trick, which I’m gonna tell you in a second I’ve been teasing.

Anthony Wagner: (03:49)
But I don’t do sorting. Like I don’t do all the color and crap. I don’t know about anyone who is my generation. I am through and through smack dab in the middle of the millennial generation. And I don’t know anyone else that is my generation that still sorts clothes by color. I think that that’s nonsense. Like I put all my whites in the same as all my colors. Like it doesn’t matter. I don’t know if they’ve gotten better with treating the clothes and the colors. I don’t know. But I don’t, I’ve never bothered. So that is not a thing for me. However, the problem comes down to the wrinkles.

Anthony Wagner: (04:20)
So as I was saying a second ago, what I do when I put my clothes in the wash is I just kind of pick through the basket, right? I have a basket on top of the dryer, which is sitting next to the wash and I just grab all the clothes and I asked myself, okay, do I care if this will wrinkle? If the answer is yes, it gets set to the side. If the answer is no, it gets put in the wash and I divide the basket up. It’s usually about half and half, which is perfect.

Anthony Wagner: (04:46)
It’s usually, I have one mostly full basket and half and half perfectly splits it up into two baskets or into two loads and all the stuff. I don’t care if it will get wrinkled goes in first. Things like towels, underwear, my sock bag because those don’t really wrinkle, washcloths, dish cloths, things like that, that don’t matter. If they’re wrinkled pajama bottoms, I don’t care. They don’t really wrinkle that much anyway and I don’t wear them out. So what do I really care? Right. So those go in first. Those get washed, those get put in the dryer to dry.

Anthony Wagner: (05:19)
Then the whole load of the clothes, I care if they wrinkle gets put in the wash and then those are the, the first load comes out and sits in a basket and the second load goes in the dryer and it I dry it. Okay. Now we get to the point where the problem is occur in that the clothes have come out of the dryer and there’s a load sitting in the basket getting wrinkled. Well now it does not matter how long they sit in the basket because I don’t care if they wrinkle. Right? So I don’t get to folding. Cool. They just sit there.

Then the clothes that are in the dryer also just sit in the dryer. And so when I go to fold my clothes, I pick up the, of all the clothes, I don’t care if they get wrinkled, start working on those.

Anthony Wagner: (06:00)
But right before that I turn the dryer back on, let it pull out all the wrinkles out of the other clothes. And by the time I’m done folding the first load, the second load is all wrinkle-free again and they come out and I waste no time. And it’s such a nifty little hack. So ditching the whole crap about folding based on color. That’s nonsense. It does not work for me. I don’t, well, it may work, but it doesn’t do anything. It doesn’t save my clothes. It also that went out the window.

Anthony Wagner: (06:28)
But if you’re like me and you delay folding your clothes, try this trick sort by whether or not you care. If it wrinkles. Again, the things that I don’t care about, things like pajama pants, socks, underwear, towels, washcloths, all those kinds of things. That’s what goes in first and then everything else goes in second and your laundry is happy because you’ve delayed another two weeks of getting it folded just like me.

Anthony Wagner: (06:52)
Okay. One other quick little thing here. I wanted to share another laundry related favorite thing and I just want to give you a preview. I’m actually moving my favorite things. I’m doing another, a nifty little transition and I think you’re going to love it. It’s a really robust tool that I’m putting all of my favorites and a whole slew of book recommendations. It’s 140 books between the like 80 or so that I’ve read or the 70 or so. It’s about half and half ish.

Anthony Wagner: (07:20)
I think the the ones I’ve read are a little more than my list of what I am looking to read. That’s all going into a big thing that I’m going to share with you all for free and you’re going to love it. Anyway. Uh, another favorite thing that I have, my mother introduced this to me. I did not understand what on earth she was talking about when she said packing cubes.

Anthony Wagner: (07:38)
I was like, what are you talking about? We were going on vacation. She’s like, I’m going to give you these packing cubes. You’ll just understand when you see them. And I was like, okay, whatever you say. And I did not understand the absolute brilliance of this particular product. This is a product.

Basically what they are, they come and they’re like fabric and they don’t have to, they have like a little bit of structure where they’re like hold their shape a little bit depending on the brand you get, but they don’t even have to be, they’re basically little bags of varying sizes in which you pack your similar clothing items and then those as a whole unit go together in your suitcase.

Anthony Wagner: (08:15)
For example, the little ones I have, I have one packing cube for socks, one packing cube for underwear and then the bigger ones I have one for tee shirts and then I have one for jeans and then I have some and on and on.

Anthony Wagner: (08:26)
The big benefit of this is like, you know when you’re living out of a suitcase, when you’re on a trip, if you do unpack, this is great. If you don’t unpack, this is also great. The clothes stay together, so all you have to do instead of rooting around your whole suitcase and tearing everything apart, trying to find what you’re looking for. All you have to do is if you know you’re looking for that button up, you grab the cube that has all the button ups and I should say they always have like mesh on them.

Anthony Wagner: (08:50)
They’re like usually a combination of solid fabric and either plastic or mesh. So you can see through without having to open them. What I need to do is I need to figure out how to label them. That’s the big key. I’m trying to get my mind around that one.

Anthony Wagner: (09:01)
But if you’ve done that, let me know. I would love to know or if you found a product, but I have a recommendation this week. I’m on like a lot of caffeine. I’m just saying. Anyway. Um, so these are such a great product. They make traveling so much easier. You don’t have a mess of crap in your suitcase. All your clothes stay together. It is just so, so, so much better. I will never go back to just packing in my suitcase. I will always use these cubes.

Anthony Wagner: (09:30)
Now I’ve got my mom bought me a set and I’m probably going to buy another set. Um, the ones that I’m recommending are the BAGAIL six set packing cubes. They have three sizes, so it’s two of each size. It’s a set of six for 25 bucks right now as I record this, there’s a 10% off coupon on Amazon that you can click on if you do it.

Anthony Wagner: (09:48)
I don’t know if it will still be available when the episode airs, but right now that is the case, and this is the one I recommend because I don’t own this one yet. I’ll just say that flat out, but BAGAILis the same brand as the amazing mesh laundry bags that I’ve recommended like three other times on this show that I use for my socks.

They are the ones that have held up in the wash for almost two years now without tearing. They still look like they’re brand new. So I trust this brand right now because of that, the ratings are very good. It’s got 4,000 almost 4,100 ratings and it’s got a solid five stars. It’s like 4.8 out of five stars on Amazon. It’s an amazing product. I’m a sure. So this would be the one that I would get.

Anthony Wagner: (10:30)
They have about 20 different colors that you can pick from, which is pretty cool and the price is great. I think this is better than you’ll find in a department store. I love these things.

Anthony Wagner: (10:40)
So if you travel and if you hate a messy suitcase, this is the product for you. I swear I would sell these things if I could because they are so great. So head to this is little episode number 20 and when you’re there, there is a link to this product in the show notes. You will love it.

Anthony Wagner: (11:01)
You know what? I love it so much. I’ve decided that this needs to have its own link. Like you all are going to want this and I don’t want you to have to take any extra steps so it’ll be easier., all one word, and that will take you to this exact product that I’m looking at on my computer screen right now for you to pick up. Trust me, this will make your travel life so much better.

Anthony Wagner: (11:28)
So quick recap. This week’s little episode, sort your laundry by whether or not you care if it wrinkles and by these packing cubes because they will make your travel life so much easier.

Anthony Wagner: (11:41)
I’m Anthony Wagner, and in the words of Gretchen Rubin, I hope this makes your week a little easier. Bye for now.

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