Friday, 19 January 2018

Laundry Baskets




I wasn't going to air this post on laundry baskets (which technically is less about laundry baskets and more about "not" laundry baskets), but the gauntlet has been thrown down and now I really must. Yorkshire Pudding made fun of the topic, and Steve Reed was somewhat incredulous about getting a whole post out of it (see comments on previous post), so if this post fails to astound/amaze/amuse/inform/instill pity, I blame both of them. Except that Steve was loopy on painkillers, so he's off the hook, which means I will have to put all the blame on Mr. Pudding Man. Aw, don't worry, he can dish out the teasing well enough, and he takes it well, too! (Right, YP? RIGHT??)


*****



When I left home in my teens, I bought the usual laundry baskets to tote my laundry to the facilities at the dorm and then at my apartment. It seemed like the best choice - bags were only for camping, while leaving clothes in a pile on the floor was against my upbringing, and a cardboard box, although affordable, was a bit tacky looking.

Regular laundry basket. Nothing fancy.



Those baskets functioned for years just like they were supposed to. Easy to clean, easy to carry, got the job done.

When I was in my early thirties, I started noticing it hurt to carry a full laundry basket; the ridge around the top dug into my side in a most uncomfortable way. This was also about the time I was beginning to find camping unpleasant because somehow the ground had gotten too hard, even with an air mattress under me, and I was wincing when certain spots on my back, arms and legs were subjected to any pressure at all.

At 2 a.m., camping felt like sleeping on these.


I stopped carrying laundry in baskets, and started using large plastic bags, the kind you'd put recycling in. I would have used black garbage bags except I was afraid someone (cough*husband*cough) would mistake the dirty clothes for garbage and I didn't want to replace all the clothes we owned on short notice.

"Where's the bag I left in the hall?" "You mean that garbage bag? . . . oops"



Plastic bags worked very well until we got a cat (and then another cat) who loved the flavour or possibly the texture of plastic and constantly tried to chew on the bags. Plastic does not make for a safe treat for any animal, no matter how much they love it; it can cause intestinal blockages or suffocation. Another solution had to be found.

"She is wrong. Plastic bags are delicious. And nutritious."



I decided to sew cloth bags, and for a couple of years (yes, years) I thought about doing it every time I washed clothes but never actually, you know, did it. And in the meantime we were - horrors! - dumping our dirty clothes on the closet floor, and when there was a bagful we'd take a plastic bag from the closet shelf and stuff the clothes in it and take it to the basement for laundering. And because I have a vivid imagination (and truly you don't need to have a vivid imagination if you do any reading because you'll already know about sloughed-off skin cells, and tiny fragments of this and that, and dust and dirt and food crumbs and dust mites, etc. etc. etc. that fall out of those dirty clothes when you take them off), every time I gathered up the dirty clothes I would clean the floor too. That's a lot of cleaning over the years, my friends.

Not me (I eschew lipstick). The cleaning equipment is about right, though.



So finally I found an old sheet and cut out the cloth bags and I found some thread that didn't match but that I wanted to use up because who in their right mind would ever use a whole spool of purple thread in one lifetime? and I had those suckers ready to sew. But first I had to hem several pairs of trousers, and the laundry bags took a back seat to other priorities and I STILL HAVEN'T SEWN THEM.


The other day I was thinking about how I wished there was an easier solution.


Also not me. Not me, not sewing. Too busy daydreaming.


I thought, wouldn't it be great if there was some sort of lightweight container, easily wiped out, durable and portable, to put dirty clothing into? Something the cats wouldn't try to eat every time they passed it?

Something like ... say ... a basket. For laundry. A laundry basket.

Good thinking, Sherlock Einstein.

However, it still hurts my side to carry one on my hip, and now it also hurts my back to carry it in front of me with both hands, plus that leaves me with zero hands free to do anything else, like opening doors or holding the stair rail.

Is there a solution for me? (besides sitting down and sewing those cloth bags, that is) (which, on reflection, I probably could have done in the time it took to write this post)

How do you store your dirty laundry prior to washing it? Or maybe more to the point, how do you transport it from the point where you take it off to the point where you wash it?

Let's all talk about our dirty laundry! Don't be shy!


Yep. Could have sewn those bags in less than an hour. Still haven't done so. Waiting for alternative solutions that might come from blog readers. No pressure. I'm just waiting. Patiently. Waiting.


Footnote: Yorkshire Pudding made a further comment on the previous post, and included a link to a book called "The Laundry Basket" and from the preview available on Amazon it looks like an interesting volume. So it IS possible to write something worthwhile about laundry baskets! Here is the link (thanks, YP):  https://www.amazon.co.uk/Laundry-Basket-Monkeys-Fist-Collection/dp/178306448X


Stay tuned for my next post, entitled "Drying Clothes."



(Just kidding.) (Maybe.)


All photos courtesy of Pixabay, except the laundry basket, which I snipped from Canadian Tire's website, so I wouldn't have to take a picture of my own, and the sheep, which I think I might have lifted from one of the blogs I read regularly. If so, please take it as a compliment, and tell me so I can credit you!

If you have read this far, you should win something. Something big and valuable. Unfortunately, I have nothing big except cats and nothing valuable except chocolate. Which I am reluctant to share.

So I'm afraid all I can offer is this measly wish: Hope your weekend is excellent! Maybe there will be prizes next time :)



54 comments:

  1. I am of no assistance. Again. Sorry.
    I use a laundry basket. Ours is round and ok(ish) to carry. Unless it is very full. Laundry baskets have the advantage that it is easy to see if you have left anything (an errant sock for example) in them. I suspect that a bag may be trickier on that front.

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    1. That's true; I hadn't considered that. More thought is needed :)

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  2. There are laundry baskets with one curved side so they fit around your hip not against it, making them much easier to carry. I don't have one, but I've seen them in stores. K-Mart, Target. BigW, Ikea. At least I think Ikea has them, can't be too sure on that.
    I have a tallish plastic hamper that gets my clothes as I take them off, it's in the combined bathroom/laundry which is handy because I don't have to carry it anywhere, just reach in and toss armfuls of stuff into the washer. Then I have a small basket with a carry handle that I use to carry the damp washing out to the porch where I drape it over a couple of large 'airing racks' that I use as my clotheslines. No stairs, lucky me.

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    1. Maybe the solution is for us to move to a different house with no stairs and with the washer next to the bathroom! Seems a bit drastic, but it sounds like a good set up :)

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  3. this is a great post, those of us who do laundry have all searched for the elusive perfect laundry carrier, I'm sure.
    I mostly go into each bedroom, pick up an armload of dirty washing from a chair, bed or floor, stop in more rooms if I have arm space and then walk it straight to the machine.
    I don't do this because it's a good system, i do it because the laundry baskets are usually full of laundry that I haven't hung out, or laundry i haven't folded

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Hah! I still have plenty of laundry baskets around but they are full of other things, too. Not laundry, though :)

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    2. Laundry not hung or folded??? My tidy mind just had a fit. OMG. I couldn't possibly live like that.

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    3. I think possibly kylie is doing laundry on such a constant basis that not hanging or not folding is not an issue, it's just a temporary stage :)

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    4. I really should think before I type.

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    5. Don't worry; my guess is that we have all done it!

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  4. Lol. You did the impossible, Jenny! An interesting post about laundry baskets!

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    1. I'm not sure about that! But I had a lot of fun finding the pictures. Maybe a little too much fun :)

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  5. You could buy a bag, Jenny. I have two, but they are used by my daughter and her family when they come to visit at Christmas. Where as the Retired Man and I do about two loads a week, they will have at least one large bag full daily. I do remember those days when I did the same, but thankfully no longer. One of the blessings of only being two and not so fussy. I do, dare I say, wear my jeans at least twice before washing.

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    1. I don't wash anything before it needs it :)

      I COULD buy a bag, but dagnabit I am a sewer (sewist?) and it's all straight lines, so it should be simple. Maybe this post will shame me into finishing them :)

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  6. Google pop up laundry hamper. They make these things you know. An entire life time devoted to not sewing a laundry bag (they make them, too, you know)--a record, of sorts. I use a little pop up basket. It's on the floor. I have to bend over for it. I want one suspended from the ceiling. Not too much to ask.

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    1. I will indeed Google pop up hampers. My question is: can you wash them? Because I need to be able to wash them!

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  7. Filled laundry baskets make great cat beds...espelcially when filled with clean clothes.
    We have hampers in our bedrooms but we keep baskets in the laundry room because the shower we use is next to the laundry room and dirty clothes are automatically deposited there...I mean...why carry them back upstairs right? If I had my way all our clothes would be stored downstairs which is where we clean up anyway.

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    1. Thinking outside the box, Delores! Good stuff :)

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  8. Hilarious! Sometimes very simple things can cause no end of problems. Now I have no experience with laundry so I can't tell you what I use for laundry. I don't even know how to run the washing machine!

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    1. That is horrifying, Red!! (Let's hope Mr. Pudding doesn't see that because I'm sure he can come up with an even worse comeback to you :))

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    2. My comeback is that I support Red 100%. It's not our fault if we are so hopeless in the laundry department.

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  9. We have a wicker laundry basket with a lid sitting in our bedroom, when it gets to the point that I can't close the lid no matter how much cramming and pushing down on the dirty clothes that I do..."Stop that Jimmy, you are going to break something!!" Then it's time to do laundry. I separate everything into their proper piles and carry the clothes in my arms to the washing machine, no laundry baskets here, you know just carry everything in a big ball then go back and pick up what I dropped...

    I may have to steal your idea and post one on laundry too, what do you think?

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    1. I would love to see your take on laundry, Jimmy - do it!

      I am too lazy to pick up stuff I drop; too much work :)

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    2. OK Jenny, I followed your suggestion and did it. Airing our dirty laundry

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    3. I've been there and back and it is awesome :)

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  10. Wishing me an excellent weekend is a pretty good prize because I wouldn't mind having one. I hope you do as well. We still use the traditional laundry baskets but since we have two kiddos in the household we are doing laundry all the time so the baskets never get too full. Take care.

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    1. You're easy to please, Mr. S :)

      Yes, with kids there is never a shortage of laundry!

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  11. I have a cloth bag for my laundry, and when I do my laundry, I just throw the cloth bag in there with it. I also have a large, green, sort of shiny cloth bag, but I don't really have enough laundry to use it, so Briana used it to store the huge stage curtain she used as a "wall" at the old foundry building in while we moved.
    I don't remember where I got my laundry bag, but the shiny green one was given to me by my friend Rob, full of wires he had found in the cars that came through the wrecking yard he runs. I used to make my own music gear and instrument cables, and he was a great source of raw materials for that.

    -Doug in Oakland

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    1. Sounds like an innovative way to recycle with those wires - kudos to you and your friend.

      I plan to put the cloth bags in the laundry every time they're emptied, too. If I ever get the darn things made :)

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  12. https://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/store/product/seville-classics-3-bag-heavy-duty-laundry-sorter-hamper-cart-in-chrome/1061404717?skuId=61404717&utm_source=bingpla&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=ProductType1%3Dlaundry%2520organizers&mcid=PS_bingpla_nonbrand_closetlaundry_&creative=9338890698&device=c&matchtype=e&mrkgadid=3022664231&mrkgcl=609&rkg_id=h-e037c9720a6107bab04a6641c8413137_t-1516408200

    A rolling laundry hamper with 3 compartments. And it looks like you may be able to take them off and wash them. :)Only $40. :)

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    1. Thanks for that link, Kathy - it's a very attractive solution, isn't it? I will keep that in mind!

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  13. Hey Jenny,

    After um, thoroughly skimming through your post. Start again, after thoroughly reading your post, I think I may well after turned into a bit of a basket case.

    I just put all my dirty clothes into great big bag and take said clothes to the charity shop. They then clean my clothes. After they clean my clothes, I rush back into the charity shop and buy back my clothes at a cost less than what it would of cost me to actually do my own laundry. Or, something like that.

    I'm typing this incoherent comment as gone one thirty in the morning. That's my excuse for my rambling .

    Have a good weekend, eh.

    Gary 😀

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    1. Now that is a truly unique solution, Gary! Trust you to come up with that one!

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  14. You are a basket case, Jenny_o!

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  15. QUOTE: "he can dish out the teasing well enough, and he takes it well, too! (Right, YP? RIGHT??)"
    ANSWER: Not right PD! Public humiliation is not my thing at all. However, I am already looking forward to the drying clothes post. I leave all laundry matters up to Mrs YP who is incredibly gifted in this area of everyday life.

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  16. HAHAHA! I enjoyed this far more than I probably should have :) Making such an interesting post out of laundry baskets is quite the accomplishment.

    We store our unwashed clothes in a hamper and when I'm ready to do laundry, I transfer our stuff to...you guessed it...a laundry basket and carry it downstairs. It hasn't bothered me yet but when the basket is too heavy, which really isn't very often, my husband carries it for me. I've never thought of using anything but a laundry basket!

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed it, Martha :)

      There's a reason someone invented laundry baskets, right? They mostly work!

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  17. Blogger has been acting so weird lately. I hope you got the comment I just sent because it just vanished :)

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    1. Yes, it's been slow. But also it might have vanished because comment moderation is on.

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  18. Ha! Well, for what it's worth, I think that was quite an entertaining post about laundry baskets. I'd say you succeeded in your unlikely endeavor! I think you're definitely making this harder than it needs to be, though -- can't you BUY a cloth laundry bag or two? Or maybe mesh bags? (Though that wouldn't solve the cleaning-the-floor problem.)

    We keep our laundry in the hamper until it's laundry day, and then I throw it all on the floor and sort it into two piles (usually) and then wash them. No carrying required -- but that's only because our flat is so compact!

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    1. But I'm SO close to having those bags sewn - they are all just straight lines of sewing and I've sewn much harder things. I just seem to have a mental block about them! Maybe this post will push me to finally do it :)

      Your system sounds streamlined and effective!

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  19. I have a cheapo plastic laundry hamper to collect dirty clothes and a cheapo plastic laundry basket to carry clean clothes from the dryer to the bedroom. But just for you: http://www.ikea.com/ca/en/catalog/products/20214731/. A wicker (breathable) hamper with a washable liner bag that you can lift out and carry to the washer. No sewing required. ;-)

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    1. Very nice solution! Thank you for the link, Diane.

      I am "cheapo" myself, so now I am wondering if I could find a container that my bags would fit into . . . because I'm going to sew those things if it kills me :) but having them in a solid container would make them easier to use. I'm sure I could find something if I start looking.

      I think you just made me extend the project again . . . (trying to spread the blame around :D )

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    2. Hey, I'm happy to share the load. Remember, those bags will need some pretty hand-embroidery around the top, too... ;-)

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    3. YES!! (You enabler, you!)

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  20. I lived somewhere for three months but can’t remember anything about the laundry. 🤔 it all went to a laundrette 🙄 The shit we smoked in those days was awesome. 😵

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    1. Hah! Maybe you didn't REALLY do laundry for the whole three months, Terry! :)

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  21. Hilarious writing my dearest Jenny!

    I LOVED reading about your ACTIVEness for sewing the bags for dirty clothes and laughed like never before
    yes reason is just you thought ,i am also lazy like hell at sewing and knitting (i wish mom forgive me for this crime as she was incredibly ACTIVE in all kind of stuff like these)

    in my huge iron oldest box there are proofs of my this laziness which i will share someday

    i think you need a basket with wheels so you can drag it easily .

    in my big house with four large rooms and one guest room i have only two plastic baskets to store dirty clothes which i never let be filled until this is some king of away from home and being unable to do laundry on time

    i wish i can lay and day dream like this as that adorable guy above

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  22. Aha! It's not just me! Thank you for that, baili! :)

    I think you are actually a very hard worker, baili. You have more people to look after than I do, too. There is just my husband and I now.

    A basket with wheels would be perfect, except that there are two sets of stairs in our house to go up and down. Maybe we need to install a laundry chute from the top floor to the basement!

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  23. How about a basket back pack of some sort? Can you carry things on your back or might that hurt also? The basket with wheels is a great idea.

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    1. The issue with wheels is the two flights of stairs that must be navigated. Otherwise, that would be the best solution, I think. I hadn't thought of a backpack - I'll have to cogitate on that, thank you Chicken.

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