Laundry revelation

Note: This post is about the oh-so-riveting topic of laundry. You have been warned.

I love IKEA. Yes, even when I’m grumbling because the assemble-it-yourself piece of furniture I’m trying to put together is missing a piece of hardware (usually one of those little stubby things that holds up adjustable shelves). We have a lot of IKEA stuff in our house—a gazillion bookshelves, storage units, our dining table, Sylvia’s bed, my bed, my bedside tables, an armoire, a computer desk, two armchairs, bed linens, towels, and lots of other things. We sometimes call our home “the house IKEA built.”

I also love IKEA hacker. I’ve been far too timid to attempt any radical modifications of IKEA stuff myself (who knows, though—maybe 2008 will be the year I dare to try this!), but I recently came up with my own hack. I’m sure lots of people have been doing this for a long time already, but it’s new to me and I’m pretty pleased with the result: I use IKEA’s giant blue plastic bags for my laundry.

Until a few months ago, we used a rectangular plastic laundry basket in our house—a pretty standard one that Jan bought long before we met. And then one day in October, one of my cats peed in the basket. Those of you who have been around cat pee know that it’s pretty nasty stuff, and it can be really difficult to remove all traces of it. With the laundry basket this proved to be impossible.

So I grabbed a blue IKEA bag that I’d bought recently and started using that for my laundry. Wow. I can’t believe I never thought of this before. It would not be an understatement to declare that this has changed my life.

Because the bags are so inexpensive (59 cents!), I have six of them now. Some are in the basement (never again will I find myself in the basement, ready to retrieve stuff from the dryer, only to realize that the one laundry-toting receptacle is up on the second floor somewhere), some are next to the upstairs laundry hamper, and some are holding yet-to-be-folded laundry. (Yeah, I’m one of those people who don’t put away clean clothes right away. I laugh in the face of wrinkles!) When going up and down narrow stairs, a full bag of squishable clothes is far easier to maneuver than a rigid basket any day. And those bags can be mashed or folded up when not in use, taking up very little space.

So I’m a mega-geek for getting all thrilled about IKEA’s blue plastic bags. What can I say? They make me happy.

8 Responses to “Laundry revelation”

  1. Sarahon 13 Jan 2008 at 9:07 am

    What a great idea! I am going to get some of those bags the next time I go to Ikea. I especially like that I’ll never have to be stranded in the basement without a basket again. This happens a lot when I’m running a load of diapers. They don’t go down to the basement in a basket and I often forget to bring one.

  2. Chrison 13 Jan 2008 at 12:12 pm

    Dang. That’s simple and brilliant – and I have one of those bags in my car. It’s there in case I need an emergency mini-tarp. :)

  3. Kiranon 13 Jan 2008 at 12:30 pm

    I use Ikea bags for laundry too! I discovered it on a day that all of our other laundry baskets were full of clothes that needed folding. One of my marathon washing days that didn’t include folding. They are the best!

  4. Marshaon 13 Jan 2008 at 10:28 pm

    Emergency mini-tarp, eh? What a great idea! Those bags are indeed pretty big…

  5. Katie Jon 14 Jan 2008 at 12:15 am

    Yup, you’ve converted me via Beth.

  6. Frankon 16 Jan 2008 at 2:10 pm

    I think the closest IKEA to me is like 300 miles away. Now I feel like I’m really in the wilderness!

  7. JDon 17 Jan 2008 at 4:08 am

    I do the same! It helps esp because I still take my laundry to do either at my folks’ or my bro’s (how collegiate is that?!)–and its squishyness fits in my closet where a plastic hamper or laundry basket wouldn’t. Ikea love, indeed.

  8. Bethanyon 21 Jan 2008 at 5:38 pm


    I LOVE this idea!

    Thanks for sharing!

    And laundry isn’t THAT boring — i have done multiple art pieces of laundry on the line…