Here’s some news you may not yet be ready to process: Masks are here to stay. Yep. For real. Which means you need to acknowledge this new reality, and address the mask chaos brewing at your home with an organization system, just like you do with your keys and phone and bags. Otherwise you’ll find yourself frantically unable to locate a clean mask when running out the door, or worse, unable to enter a store or meeting because your “mask” pocket is maskless. Here are six ways to organize them—none of which involve baskets, bowls, or piles:
The Lingerie Bag Method
Hang hooks near your front door, such as a wall key sorter or Command hooks, or if you’re particularly lazy, two nails in the wall. Hang clean masks on the hooks, and put dirty masks in a lingerie bag hung on one hook, which you then toss directly into the laundry. The genius of this plan is that masks are only two places in your home, either on a hook or all together in one bag in the laundry.
Similarly, you can hang colored mesh produce bags from hooks near your front door, one color for clean masks and another color for dirty masks, or one color for each household member.
The Caddy Method
Put a caddy like this one near your front door. Each person gets their own mask cubby, plus a shared “dirty” cubby (and, this being a pandemic, perhaps pockets for hand sanitizer and gloves?). Bring the whole caddy to the laundry.
The N95 Method
If you’re reusing N95s or similar, invest in a sleek-looking Coral UV 3-in-1 Sterilizer. Simply plug one in near your entry way, and drop masks into its cleaning cycle when you come home.
The Octopus Method
Finally, a raison d’être for the Ikea Octopus. If your masks must hang dry, take them right from the washing machine onto the Octopus, and hang the Octopus near your entryway or in a coat closet. A tie hanger also works.
The Bin Method
Hang magnetic bins near the front door and one magnetic strip on the side of your washing machine. Put “clean” and “dirty” bins near the front door; you can simply take the dirty bin, attach it to the side of your washing machine while you do wash, and then sort the clean masks right back into the bin.
The Car Plan
If you need to have a stash in the car (you do!), first stick a few disposable masks in your glove compartment, just in case. Then buy car hooks that install below your headrest like these, or use Command hooks. One hook is for clean masks, and one hook is for a mesh bag to hold the dirty masks, which you can toss into the laundry, and bring right back out to the car.
You’re welcome. Stay safe out there.