27 May 2008

Clothes sorting quick tip

Everyone sorts their laundry differently. Not 100% differently, but most people sort their laundry using some slight variation on the method used by the parent who did laundry as they were growing up. So I learned Mom's sort and varied it to suit myself when I took over doing the laundry when I was about 14.*

Mom's method divvied everything into four piles: white, based-on-white***, light, and dark. Underpinnings, delicates, and such in little mesh laundry bags that don't go in the drier but are washed with their color cohort. So Mom is a color sorter. I know other people who do all the denim or all towels separately. Or sorting based on fabric weight.

Which means I'm a color sorter, too, in my own way. And because I merely absorbed Mom's system rather than putting it to any kind of rigorous questioning, I'm not always sure what counts as a dark vs a light. Especially as lights are often also lighter fabric, so if a towel is a kind of medium blue, but it's a towel and therefore heavy, does it go with the jeans (dark) or the t-shirts (light)?

Problem solved. I now have a sure-fire test to determine whether something is dark or light in color. Remember when Jack Germond compared writing editorials to wetting one's self while wearing a dark suit? "You get a nice, warm feeling, but nobody notices."

So if you want to know which of Mom's laundry piles you garment goes into, spill some of your dessert on it. Then walk down the hall to the kitchen, remove the stain with wet paper towels, and walk back to your desk. If your co-workers are making an obvious effort to keep their gaze at your shoulder height or above, you are wearing light-colored clothing.

The grey skirt that I am wearing today, as it turns out, is not dark.

To figure out if the garment is just kinda light or really light, drop a Necco wafer on it after you get back to your desk. Compare/contrast the white sugar mark with the rest of your garment.

The things that I do just to provide you guys with handy tips, I swear.

* A very helpful phrase to know when you are going to take over a chore from someone else is "Do you want me to do this? Then I'm doing it my way. Why don't you go read the paper or do a crossword or something"?** See? Two handy tips in one blog post.

**Updated for these modern times "Why don't you go update your Facebook status or play sudoku or something?"

***Like checks and houndstooth and stripes and such.


aquazoo said...

You would think a clothing & textiles minor like me would have a strict view on this.... I hold great stock in the "how recently did I buy this?" school of laundry sorting. Maybe it just happens organically, but rather than darks & lights I tend to have blue/black and red/orange as a subgroup. If something is a dark red for example, if black bleeds onto it then the results are less than pretty. Once things have been owned/laundered a few months, they are rendered inert and then I can throw caution to the wind regarding the hues.
Towels go anywhere, since I seldom wear them in public. Knowing you are an actress, Leta, your mode of dress will be different than mine.

Maureen said...

One of the women in my show learned last week that "white - hot water" isn't the hard-and-fast rule she thought. The white item in question was a rather expensive, 100%-cotton blouse. Yes, it shrank, though fortunately not so much that she can no longer wear it.