What Is An 'In-Between Hamper,' And How Will It Help You Stay Clean

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We're all familiar with the concept of the separated laundry hamper — one side clean and the other dirty, or one side darks and the other lights — but there's a new way to divide your closet setup that can help eliminate a major source of mess. Clothes need to be washed frequently, but not necessarily every time we try them on or wear them. Normally, these potential outfits or items that are frequently re-worn end up on the floor or tossed into the dirty clothes hamper, but they deserve their own place to go: the in-between hamper.

After taking off a pair of jeans or shirt you know that you want to wear again before washing, you typically have two options: tossing the item of clothing on the floor or placing it in your dirty clothes bin. The first is a recipe for a mess, while the second forces your almost-clean clothes to mingle with sweaty gym leggings and dirty socks. Creating a new place for them allows you to find your re-worn clothes easily without having to waste 14 to 20 gallons of water on running an extra load of laundry before putting them away.

How to incorporate the in-between hamper

Creating your own designated space for in-between clothes is simple. All you need is a secondary laundry basket or bag that you can use for clothes that aren't quite ready for the dirty bin. This can be a typical laundry basket if you have one lying around, or you can utilize something like this Folding X-Frame Hamper from Target that already has divided sections. Typically, these in-between hampers will end up having to hold less clothing than your regular hamper, so you can also use something smaller, like a simple basket or organizational cube, in a pinch.

If you wear a lot of clothes that tend to wrinkle, it can also be helpful to designate a section of your closet as an in-between section. This way, you can hang your in-between items away from your regular clean clothes so you don't have to constantly whip out your clothing steamer when you get dressed in the morning.

Why is this helpful?

Having a designated in-between hamper might seem a bit silly, but it can help encourage you to re-wear your clothes that aren't immediately in need of a wash. Plenty of common items like bras, jeans, and pajamas don't have to be washed after every single wear, especially if it's only for a short amount of time, and doing so can actually shorten the lifespan of the item. The in-between hamper is also great for keeping delicate fabrics that need to be hand-washed or dry-cleaned from slipping into your typical laundry cycle and getting ruined.

Additionally, having a special space for in-between items can help you conserve water in your home, especially if you're rationing during a drought, while still allowing you to keep your bedroom and closet mess-free. The laundry chair may work for some, but an in-between hamper is a much more streamlined solution that doesn't turn your clothing clutter into everyday décor.