Huldra Forsvant (Theodor Kittelsen)

Huldra Forsvant (Theodor Kittelsen)
Huldra Forsvant (Theodor Kittelsen)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Halfway House For Clothes

After a great deal of thought, I've reached the conclusion that there needs to be some kind of halfway house for my clothes. There is a definite missing link in the chain between drawers and dirty clothes basket. A gaping chasm, actually.

I won't hide the truth. I wear clothes a lot before I wash them. T shirts need to get at least a second wear. I often even give socks a round two. Be disgusted all you like- I have very sweet smelling feet. You could hang one of my worn socks off your rear view mirror and fill your car with a lively pine scented, um, scent. And jeans, well, that can get a bit out of control for me. Weeks. At least.

So the question therefore arises. After I've gotten a clean item from the draw and worn it once, where does it sit while it awaits its' encore performance? It's certainly not going anywhere near the dirty clothes basket. But it would feel a bit gross (see, I do have some standards)to put it back in the drawer. I don't want to leave them on the floor or they'll get dusty and make me sneeze.

So where? This is where the need is great. I have always resorted to the Big Pile. Be it on a box, or on top of my drawers, or on a chair. There will always be a Big Pile. I'm okay with this, but it is a bit unsightly. To be honest, it can anger wives. They may resort to spitefully washing your pile painfully prematurely.

So what do you do? Do you do the Big Pile, or are you too well adjusted and wholesome to re-wear your clothes?

16 comments:

Wendy said...

I'm with you Ben.

I have a drawer for "partly used" clothes. Mostly used in the cooler months, but always useful.

Our two younger boys have a clothing "worm". Sounds dreadful, but it is one of those Ikea netting things which hangs from the ceiling.

The holes are too small for adult outdoor clothes (good for your socks, though), so we resorted to large plastic drawers or wire baskets.

Ali said...

This is a very important question. I am glad you have raised it. I told myself the other day that I have a new habit to cultivate - putting clothes away. See, I have the big pile, which hangs off the back of my desk chair (the sort on wheels), but it gets so big the chair almost overbalances, then it tends to take over the seat, so then I go to sit at the desk and there's no room for my, ahem, cheeks, and I'm nearly falling off myself. Then I go to roll back on the chair, and I jam, because I've run over a sleeve or a leg that's hanging off the pile. It's a very big problem.

Milika said...

Ben, you need a Gentleman's valet.
A beautiful piece of wooden furniture designed to hold preworn but not dirty clothes, usually with a handy place to store wallet, keys and loose change too. In previous generations they held suits between wearings, so many haunt auction halls and occasionally classy op shops.

Laetitia :-) said...

Ali - that's hilarious - I can picture it now! But PLEASE don't break your neck! :-)

We have a 4 poster bed so my husband drapes things over the rail. I resort to my carved box (one of those big camphorwood 'Chinese' carving ones) - putting things on top of there - as it's opposite the bed and I go past it to get to my side of the bed.

I'd like to come up with a neater, hidden place but there's nowhere really sensible for these items apart from the bedroom (or possibly the bathroom if you dress in the bathroom after your shower like I do) and as we live in a small house there's no space in those rooms.

Laetitia :-) said...

Milika - one of those valet things looks great; except my husband would want one too and we have no room for one, let alone two!

Christine said...

This is indeed such a problem! (Ben, I love how you contemplate the everyday things, that all of us deal with but may not see until you raise them!) :)

Hubby uses the floor, much to my dislike who likes things organised. I tend to put them on my overnight bag which sits next to my bed. Still looks messy though.

Thora and Dean said...

teehee! in our house we call them "half bakes"...I try to get mine over and done with (ie wear within a week)...and lately with a messy baby i don't have to worry about many half bakes...d on the other hand often has things sitting in his pile Forever! He keeps getting out New Clothes without referring to his pile...grrr!

Jessica said...

I got sick of the big pile, or multiple piles, or clothes draped on every draw handle and door handle and bed-post available. I figure if I can wear them again, they can go back in the draw or get hang up again. Now I've overcome my squeamishness about mixing the clean and unclean-but-not-dirty, life is simpler. As long as the wardrobe or drawer isn't tightly packed, I don't think the uncleanness transfers.

Deb L said...

My husband bought a big plastic multiple hook thingy (large rounded hooks) and mounted it to the back of the bedroom door. It takes most of the pile - especially jeans, tshirt and jumpers. Back of the wardrobe door? Tall hat rack in the corner of the room? My pile is the end of the bed. And, yes, it does get thoroughly out of hand.

Wendy said...

The thing you need to remind your wife, Ben, is that you are saving electricity, water, detergent, and (presuming she does the washing, folding etc.) work for her.

Georgina said...

Hooks!
Plus when I moved into my house, I designated the top shelf of the wardrobe the "dumping" pile. Perfect!

KIM said...

Most of my clothes hang in the closet, so I have a special system -- right side out, never worn, inside out, worn before but still "clean." Alternatively, if the clothes drying rack is still out, it is deemed an acceptable place to keep clothes in semi states of cleanliness.

Elsie said...

In my built-in wardrobe, I hang the clean clothes on the top rung/railing and the worn-but-not-yet-unclean clothes on the bottom rung.

onlinesoph said...

It took me a while but I overcame the whole 'I can't hang dirty clothes in the closet' paranoia. Now I just do it, because if I don't sam will throw the item straight into the washbasket!

Ali said...

Wow! Obviously I didn't tick that little email box, because I've just come back here and found all sorts of ideas for life improvement. I did buy a hook rack to hang on the back on my door once, but then I couldn't close the door with it there because the gap at the top is too small, so now the rack is in the top of the wardrobe with a lot of other stuff. How I wish I could fit in one of those valets too! But now that I have validation for the existence of this pile (rather than just thinking of them as clothes I haven't dealt with) I might try to find them a better designated spot.

Ben McLaughlin said...

Wow, well thankyou all for your input and tips. Gotta say I'm interested in this Gentlemn's valet business. Being the refined gent that I am, it seems only fitting that I have some sort of valet, wooden or otherwise. I'd want to customise mine somewhat. One puny rail and a platform isn't going to cut it. I'm thinking levels, and a couple of rungs on top. And a holder for my pipe and slippers.