How I Sort My Laundry

I do not sort my darks and lights. With the exception of brand new, vividly colored clothing items, I do not separate my colors.  Hopefully, my family isn’t shocked by this.  My mama didn’t raise me like this; trust me, I headed off to college knowing how to sort clothes and when to use the delicate cycle.  ;)  This “non-sorting” method of doing laundry was born when I was well into my married life…


I wash all clothing on cold with a basic detergent.  I don’t use fancy products in my laundry and I almost always rely on a “normal” cycle.  I’ve had no issues with color bleeding using this method.


I do, however, sort clothes.


I wash all three kids’ clothing together in one load, followed by a load of my husband’s and my things.  The benefits of this are two-fold:


  1. Once they’re all dry and folded, they’re already pretty much sorted where they need to go.  My children are split between two rooms and, obviously, my husband and I are in one.  Sorting the loads makes putting things away super easy.
  2. I only have to pick carefully through ONE load as I transfer items to the dryer.  I am the only one in the family who has things that I don’t put in the dryer (bras, some knits, my dark skinny jeans, etc.).  I know I can toss the entire kid load straight from washer to dryer.  That makes it quicker for me.


So there you go.  I most certainly do not sort in the traditional sense of the word, but I’ve found this method saves me lots of time and aggravation!


How do you sort your laundry?


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24 comments to How I Sort My Laundry

  • Courtney

    I go just a tad deeper than you. I put all kid clothes together, then have three bins of adult stuff: darks, lights, and towels. I put delicates in the darks for the same reason as you — just one stack to weed through. I don’t use softener or bleach, just regular detergent and the Normal cycles. Glad to hear I’m not the only one who has found this approach to be good enough.

    • Oh, I guess it is true that I do a separate “towel” load… I do sheets separately, too, and I wash those on hot. Perhaps I’m not quite as streamlined as this post would have me appear! ;)

  • earleyml

    I’m very similar as well. My daughters clothes are one load, towels, and then a dark load and white load for my husband and myself. Once we have another, I plan on putting all the kids clothes in one load too. The kid load takes the longest to do b/c I go through each piece spraying for stains, whereas our load I just drop it in the washer. I use cold water, regular detergent and normal cycle. I think the more separate loads and using multiple detergents is more of our parents generation, I don’t know many people my age who do that anymore.

    • I try to treat bad stains right when they happen (or I’ll forget), but I’m probably not as meticulous about it as many people. I would say, of the people I know in our generation, it seems to be kind of 50/50 on the sorting. But I think you’re right… we’re definitely less apt to do it than previous generations!

  • Ellen

    I am a sorter! kids darks, our darks, towels, sheets, whites (kids and ours, we use to these seperate, but the kids load would be such a small load, we desided to just put them together.). Just how I roll i guess! And my DH does proably 95% of the wash!

  • I like this idea! I’m going to try it.

    • I hope it works for you, Mandy! It saves me a LOT of time, I think. I didn’t realize how much time I was spending sorting and running from room to room. And, when you have little ones like we do, you can’t really expect them to do it themselves yet. :)

  • I sort our clothes. I always go through all the loads because I don’t dry a lot of my and my daughter’s clothes. Then since I have so many boys, I check their clothes to make sure I don’t set in stains by drying them! This post I did on kids’ chores (because I don’t sort the laundry, my kids do) and it explains how they sort the laundry! I also have mesh bags (1 for each person) and that person puts all their underwear & socks in it. I wash the bags and then hand them back to their owners to put away when they are dry! I love it!!

  • I do something very similar. I wash each child’s clothes separately, once each week. There is absolutely no sorting or figuring out which undies belong to which boy since it’s only one kid’s clothes in the wash. I’ve found that at their current ages/sizes, one week is almost exactly a full load!

    I also wash my husband’s and my clothes separately. He creates about 2 loads each week and his do need to be separated b/c of all the uniform components that are expensive and could potentially be ruined by a stray colored item. I just chuck all of mine in one load, though.

    I do NOT wash towels with anything else. Everything is assigned a wash day.

    • I wash towels in their own load and sheets in their own load. I sort of neglected to address that in my post. ;) I can totally understand having to separate your husband’s uniforms… that’s a whole different ball game!

  • I quit meticiously sorting too!

    I was raised on using different temps and cycles and such.

    Now its cold water for everything, one kind of detergent, and I don’t even use dryer sheet.

  • I must say laundry is my favorite chore. I sort because I want to :). I have a separate load for my daughter (because I use scent-free detergent for her), whites, jeans and other things to be washed in cold, hubby/mine other clothes and towels. I love doing this because it makes me feel like such a homemaker ;). Since I only have one child, I have more time but once it gets to be too demanding, I’ll keep your method in mind.

    • You know? I definitely sorted a lot more when we just had our son. I also used the special detergent with him. With this last baby? No special treatment! Ha! :) It will be interesting to see if your laundry routine adapts over time or if you find you always like it this way. (And I would say laundry is one of my top chores too… right after cooking. ;))

  • Susie G

    Like everyone else, I’m dying to share on this one!
    I don’t sort for color anymore either.
    I have four categories, tho.
    Heavy (jeans, socks, etc)
    Delicate (men’s dress shirts, bras, lightweight tees…)
    Hot/sanitize (sheets, underwear, towels..)
    Whites (men’s socks and underwear mostly), sometimes I add some bleach to this.
    I usually add some vinegar to the rinse of every load. I pretreat stains with Stain Stick from Spray and Wash as I load and I love it, especially for greasy stains.
    Oh, and really dingy old stuff (like the white blouses I found at the back of my closet …) or challenging stuff I soak a few days in Oxy-Clean, I swear by that stuff too…
    Bla bla bla – who knew laundry was so fascinating?

    • I really do find it so fascinating to hear about others’ routines/methods! I keep meaning to try the whole vinegar thing, but then I remember when I’m by my machine… and the vinegar’s upstairs… and I get lazy. ;) I need to store a bottle down there!

  • I think I do several loads a day because of having a larger family! I do sheets/towels, cottons, jeans/pants, delicates and my husband insists that I do socks/underwear in their own load. His mommy taught him that “whites” were exactly that. My family did “lights” not “whites”.

    I have Spray and Wash, etc that I pretreat stains with and with one child I can go through them quickly. I have a messy child :)

    • You do have one more kid than me… and that can make a definite difference! :) I just keep getting floored by how big my son’s clothes are getting… I think THAT’S going to increase my laundry load significantly as the years wear on!

  • Celine

    I am definitely not a laundry sorter. My clothes go in one load and the kids clothes go in another load. Sheets, blankets and towels usually get their own but I will toss them in with each other or in the clothes if I don’t have a full load.

    I also try very hard not to buy clothes that can’t be dried. Sometimes I do have to sort through wet laundry to check stains. I don’t seem to have the best luck with getting stains out.

  • I just chuck it all in one hamper – mine, my h2b’s and step-son’s clothes then sort out in to lights and darks.

    However I think when I have my own baby this may change and I’ll go more down your route of laundry-by-person. Although I am not sure about washing colors together – I have had my fair share of accidents and color runs!

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