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Hampers are containers, usually covered containers that are most commonly used for storing dirty clothing until it can be washed. Many hampers also have handles on the sides to make it easier to carry dirty clothes to the washing machine or the Laundromat. A hamper may be woven like a basket and some are wicker or rattan. Some hampers look more like a wooden box or a chest with a lid. They can also be made of plastic, and this type is fashioned in a similar style to that of a covered trashcan.
Hampers also come in assorted styles that help make doing the wash less of a chore. There are canvas designs that are divided into two or three sections, so that clothes can be sorted immediately. When an item of clothing has been worn, it goes directly into the proper section, such as the section for whites, darks, or colors. This saves time because clothes do not have to be sorted when it is time to wash them. Hampers in this style may also come complete with an overhead rack for hanging clothing to dry, or with an attached ironing board.
Large or small, hampers make doing the laundry more convenient even if they are not specially designed for sorting or hanging. Having one in the bathroom for towels and one in each bedroom for each person's clothing, helps keep things more organized. This way you can collect each of the hampers when you are ready to do each particular load of laundry. Hampers can also be used for storage boxes in the closet or laundry room and can be used to contain seasonal clothing when not in use.
Besides laundry hampers, there are other types of hampers as well. A hamper can be any type of basket with a lid, such as a picnic basket. These hampers are used for storing food, or giving care packages or gifts of food. Hampers may contain treats or baked goods, or they may be filled with all the supplies necessary to create a special treat or a meal.