4 Things to Do with Worn-But-Not-Dirty Clothes to Avoid a Messy Room

Here are some alternative solutions to "the chair."


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The gray areas of home organization can lead to extra clutter in the house. For example, you might leave out a coffee mug you already used but plan to use again in the morning, or maybe there's a pile of mail you already opened, but aren't ready to deal with just yet. Without designated spaces for these in-between items, they just become counter clutter. And while a few miscellaneous items here and there are no big deal, there's another common scenario that plagues so many of us and leaves a mess that's much harder to ignore. It's that pile of worn-but-not-dirty clothes taking up real estate on "the chair" or on the floor in your room.

Worn-but-not-dirty clothes can apply to any clothes that you've already worn at least once, but aren't ready to wash, like a pair of jeans, a sweater that didn't touch your body, or clothes you only wore to lounge around the house. Since these clothes don't quite qualify for a wash cycle, you may not want to put them in the bin with your dirtier clothing. But, since you've already worn them, you may not want to put them away and risk "contaminating" your clean clothes, either. And that's how many of us end up with that all-too-familiar pile of worn-but-not-dirty clothes in our rooms—which can quickly make a space look messy and disorganized.

This is such a common occurrence, that it became a trend across TikTok for users to show their already-worn clothing pile. And luckily, as with many other cleaning and clutter woes, the internet has a number of solutions for this. While the best solution for you will depend on your lifestyle and space, the premise is simple: create a designated location for all your in-between clothes. Below, read up on some of our favorite ways to tackle your worn-but-not-dirty clothes pile.

Get an extra laundry bin

Instead of throwing your worn-once clothing into a messy-looking pile, consider tossing those items into a designated laundry hamper—separate from your dirty clothes bin. It takes the same amount of energy, and can reduce a lot of visual clutter in your room. TikTok user @morganleone went viral after sharing that she uses this method and that it solves the majority of her bedroom mess. (This idea was so popular that the video has racked up over 1.5 million views, and 176,000 likes.)

If you're looking to replace your laundry hamper altogether, you can swap it out for a divided hamper that has different sections for sorting clothes. (This option from Amazon comes with three sections, which you can use for dirty clothes, worn-but-not-dirty clothes, and clean clothes that still need to be folded and put away.) Or, you can invest in a separate laundry bin or basket, which you can put beside your existing one or stow away in your closet.

divided laundry hamper


Use a blanket ladder or towel rack

TikTok user @timdessaint shared a similar solution to "the infamous giant pile of clothes on the chair." Instead of a traditional laundry bin for in-between clothes, the creator recommends using a minimalistic towel rack. While the specific product referenced is no longer available, you can find similarly low-profile options at CB2 and West Elm. A blanket ladder that leans against the wall can also serve the same purpose, if you have the space for it.

black towel rack


blanket ladder


Use an over-the-door hook

Not everyone has the extra floor space for an additional laundry basket or towel rack in their room. So, as a space-saving solution, TikTok user @acleanbee recommends using an over-the-door hook to hang worn-but-not-dirty clothes. Depending on how many clothes you plan to set aside (and how big your pile tends to get), you could get a simple option with a few side-by-side hooks, or a tiered rack to sort and separate different types of clothing items.

over the door rack


Put everything away at the end of the day

Another option to avoid that pile of clothes accumulating on the chair or the floor is to give yourself the go-ahead to just put those clothes back with all the others. While this is a hang-up for some, there's no rule that says you can't put your clothes away after wearing them. KC Davis, author of How to Keep House While Drowning, says in a TikTok video that, for her, it simplifies everything when she only has two places her laundry can go: in the hamper to be washed or put away to be worn again. "Those are the only two places, the only two states laundry exist in my home and I am happier for it," she says. "I don't care if it's a little bit dirty, if I'm gonna wear it again, I put it back in the closet."

In the end, they're your clothes, your life. So, whichever option helps you to put your mind at ease and keep your space feeling more tidy is the option you should choose.

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