'My method either delights or disgusts people'. Sally Hepworth just started #laundrygate.

We need to talk about laundry. More specifically, Australian author Sally Hepworth's dirty laundry. Because it's all anyone wants to talk about, apparently.

The New York Times bestselling author recently shared her effective 'laundry system' that she uses to stay on top of dirty clothes — and people have thoughts.

Because laundry can be a surprisingly spicy topic. From how often you wash your sheets to why you need to wash your pyjamas more and how you're supposed to clean you're washing machine — everyone who wears clothes has an opinion on how to do your laundry better.

And Hepworth has a time-saving method you're either going to love or hate.

Cue: #laundrygate.

Speaking to Mamamia about her controversial washing system, Hepworth said: "Isn’t it so funny? Who knew laundry would be so polarising? My next novel will involve a laundry-related murder for sure."

And look, we're not even going to pretend we wouldn't read that book.

Watch: Just while we're here - apparently, our pillows should be washed every two days, but are any of us actually doing that? 

Video via Mamamia

In a viral Instagram post, the author shared her tried-and-true laundry routine for her family of five. 

Her system is made up of individual baskets for each family member (each laundry basket is labelled with a name). Each person is responsible for putting their dirty laundry in their baskets and taking it back. 

It's a change Hepworth said has reduced stress while also encouraging her kids to take responsibility for their own stuff.

"I was reflecting on how much I used to stress about laundry," said Hepworth. "I have never been particularly good at domestic chores and, as a working mum, managing the laundry of four people felt overwhelming, thankless and never-ending."

So six months ago she implemented the new system. 

"I wash any clothes that arrive in the laundry. I do not collect clothes from bedroom floors or dirty clothes baskets, and I do not shout at the kids to bring me laundry. If they don’t put it in the laundry, I don’t wash it," Hepworth explained. 

"I drop the clean laundry in the large blue basket pictured... When a child requires clothes, they sift through the blue basket, find what is theirs, put it on, or (ideally) they fill their basket, take it upstairs, bring it back down empty."


She added that if her kids forget to put their dirty laundry in the allocated basket, they have to wait for the next wash cycle.

"They don’t fold anything. I don’t care. If they have no clean clothes, they have to wear dirty ones. It’s not ideal but I’m a fan of natural consequences," Hepworth said. 

"They’ve stopped asking me where their stuff is. If they are looking for their blue t-shirt they know it is either on their floor or in the communal basket. If it’s not, their guess is as good as mine."

The post attracted a huge response, with many saying they have implemented a similar system in their own home, labelling it a "genius" way to give children responsibility. 

One comment read: "I have a system like this! I wash clothes and throw clean clothes into baskets. There is no folding. Only shoving into drawers or hanging on hangers by the kids. I have very low household standards but I'm good with it!"


Someone else said, "I used to have a similar system. And as my children got older — during high school — they were responsible for their own laundry. This usually involved a mad panic on a Sunday evening — them not me — as they realised they needed uniforms for the next day. But they got it done. I worked full-time and didn't see why I should have a full-time job when I got home. And now I have two well-rounded grown-up individuals who completely understand the meaning of unpaid domestic labour!"

But there can be hazards to this method. 

"Beware the child who cleans their room by placing all clothes regardless of clean or dirty in the laundry as a quick way of cleaning up. Also, they need to know that if you have worn an item that is not dirty, smelly or underwear it's okay to wear it again!" one follower warned. 

Hepworth said she's since learned alot from #laundrygate. 

"My method either delights or disgusts people. Nothing in between. As someone who enjoys polarisation, this excites me beyond measure," she said. 

"Laundry systems are less about how we do laundry and more about WHO WE ARE. This one was powerful.
(I am fast and loose and hate laundry enough to let my kids wear wrinkly dirty clothes. Who are you?)"


One person simply said, "Laundry and ironing especially, are overrated. I iron nothing. Ever. My life is so much happier for it."

And honestly, this is a vibe. 

In a follow-up post, Hepworth interviewed her polar-opposite friend, Emily Kent, who uses a carefully thought out process, proving everyone has their own "system" that works for them. And honestly, where has this series been our whole adult lives?


(Side note: If you're drooling over Emily's laundry, like everyone in the comments, Hepworth said it was designed by these guys. You're welcome).

The bottom line? Like most things, laundry is a 'you do you' kinda game - there's truly no right or wrong when it comes to your preferred system of washing clothes. As Hepworth said, it's less about laundry and more about who you are willing to be. 

Now, where do we start with the dishwasher?

Okay, tell us. What's your 'laundry system'? And why do you rate it? We wanna know! Share with us in the comment section below.

Feature image: Instagram/@sallyhepworth.

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