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Hamper or catch-all: Tips for organizing dirty laundry

Elaina is a Phoenix-based freelance writer, blogger and co-founder of the Kidlee baby book app. Check out her blog, Fun Finds For Mom, for product reviews, recipes and fun activities for moms and kids.

Choose the right hamper

Picking out a hamper may not seem like a big deal, but the right hamper system can transform the way you feel about laundry. Here's a quick guide to several popular hamper styles and their uses.

Laundry baskets

If you need a hamper that is flexible enough to squeeze in and out of tight spots, and light enough to carry across the house or up and down stairs, try flexible, handled laundry hampers like the baskets from Storables. They're lightweight and easy-to-carry, making it easy for even young children to help out with the laundry chores.

How to teach your kids to do the laundry >>

Laundry bags

Drawstring laundry bags make it quick and easy for college students or apartment dwellers to tote laundry from home to the laundromat. Laundry bags are also great for kids who are old enough to carry their own dirty clothes to the laundry room. Encourage the kids to shoot “baskets” into their laundry bags by giving them a bag with a hoop-top opening.

Modern canvas laundry bins

If you want to make a design statement with your hamper, you can find a number of gorgeous canvas hampers that can be used for dirty laundry, or for storing anything from toys to towels. Some of our favorites are from Hable Construction, Land of Nod, Lovell and Oliver Yaphe.

5 Organization tips for every room in your house >>

Pop-up laundry hampers

Mesh pop-up hampers provide ventilation -- a necessity when it comes to damp laundry. Stash one in the bathroom to toss in the washcloths after giving the kiddos a bath -- a much tidier solution than draping them over the side of the tub. Pop-up hampers are also ideal for stashing dry-clean clothing and delicates so they don't get mistakenly mixed in with the rest of the dirty laundry.

Laundry sorters

If you like having laundry sorted and ready to go when laundry day rolls around, try a multi-bag sorting hamper. As you take off your dirty clothes, toss them right into the removable bags, sorting them into darks, colors, and whites. When you're ready to wash, remove each bag as needed or wheel the whole hamper to the laundry room. Avoid wrinkly clothing by using a laundry sorter with an attached hanging bar, and hang clothes right out of the dryer. Urbanclotheslines.com offers a wide selection of laundry sorting hampers.

Taking control of your laundry >>

Laundry carts

Don't let your family's massive amount of laundry get you down. Use it as an excuse to splurge on an industrial laundry cart. Make a stylish statement as you roll your loads down to the laundry room. Our favorites are the Steele Canvas Laundry Truck and Restoration Hardware's Dandux laundry carts, which come in three sizes. Plus, if you allow it, these wheeled carts can serve double duty as endless entertainment for the kids.

Try these laundry tips

Ways to make laundry fun for the family
How to teach your kids to do the laundry
How to manage the family laundry

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