An “in-Between Hamper” Is My Simple Solution to Lightly Used Clothes

published Jun 17, 2023
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Small round wood table with rug underneath. Someone vacuuming
Credit: Photo: Sidney Bensimon; Prop Styling: Anna Surbatovich

It’s a familiar problem: What do you do with the clothes you’ve worn once that aren’t necessarily dirty or necessarily clean? Take, for example, a sports bra used for a yoga class. The bra is not soiled, per se, but you don’t want to put it back in your drawer either. Some people rely on a “clothes chair” and others have found brilliant, wall-hanging solutions to tackle the issue. 

If you’d rather not hang items because your wall space is limited or you want to avoid making a hole, I invite you to consider the “in-between hamper” — a simple solution for those clothing items that aren’t dirty enough for the washing machine but aren’t clean enough for the wardrobe.

The idea comes from Rebecca Enberg, the voice behind the substack “Your House Machine.” There, she shares system hacks and introduces the idea of thinking in systems when organizing your home. She’s inspired by a quote by French architect Le Corbusier: “Your house is a machine for living in,” meaning that when systematized, maintaining organization is easy. 

Enberg told me how she first identified the issue of in-between clothes when she was living in a small apartment in San Francisco. An annoying collection of clothing items were sprawled around the bathroom and bedroom, until the “in-between hamper” was born and, voila! A system was in place. 

Your in-between hamper should live wherever you take off your clothes, whether that be your bathroom, bedroom, or closet. I suggest finding a pile of discarded, lightly worn clothes and placing the hamper there. In-between clothes are one of many small conundrums related to laundry and storage. But oftentimes, a small solution can make a big difference in a routine as daily as getting undressed. 

A simple basket or unused hamper will serve you well, but if you’re in the market for something new, here are a few that are small and aesthetically pleasing, and perfect for a lightly worn tennis dress or overshirt. 

HAY does it again with a minimal, fun hamper that’s cute enough to keep out in the bathroom or closet.

This mini basket from Amazon is slim and foldable, perfect for small spaces.