After many, MANY months of laundry angst, I have overcome! No more piles. No more sorting. I'm pretty sure when I walk into the laundry room I hear angels singing the Hallelujah Chorus.
It's so simple! Here's how it works.
Each bedroom has one hamper. I no longer separate lights and darks - unless absolutely necessary. For the most part it doesn't make a difference.
The laundry room has five labeled baskets for clean clothes - one for each bedroom, plus towels.
On a designated day of the week I grab one hamper and put the clothes directly in the wash. When the clothes come out of the dryer they go directly into the appropriate basket, and the basket goes back on the counter.
Once a week each person grabs their basket of clean clothes, takes it to their room, folds and puts away. We take turns helping the little kids and doing the towels.
I can't tell you how much my life has changed now that I no longer have to sort laundry. And if someone needs an item of clothing that hasn't been folded yet, they can easily find it in their basket, instead of digging through the family's pile of clean clothes.