To sort…To rest a little…

To sort…Or not to


When it comes to linen sorting, there are lots of opinions. Aside from healthcare where it’s pretty much a given, some laundry managers (and Soapers) will tell you it’s a waste of precious washroom labor. Other’s will swear by its’ value.


The anti-sorting folks will argue that the small percentage of rewashes that result from not sorting is a small price to pay for the hours and effort saved. Alternatively, the pro-sorters say that you’ll save in the short and long run – and that the labor saved in eliminating most rewashes far outweighs the time spent sorting.


So, who’s right? Well, both – at least partially.


It’s true that in most lodging operations, the rewash percentage is normally pretty small – even if a diligent sorting program isn’t being followed. But the downside is that a good percentage of those rejects are often relegated to the rag bin because the stains are set by that first wash. And even if a reclaim formula can restore them to use, the cost of that process might make recovering them impractical.


There’s the argument that linen replacement cost is dramatically increased when there’s no sorting process in place – and that the percentage of rewashes will rise above the 2%-5% that’s normally considered acceptable. In the end, the decision sort or not is a balanced choice that may never be fully resolved.


To rest a little…Or work some more


Lee Iacocca, the former CEO of Chrysler once sagely quipped, “I never met a man on his deathbed who wished he’d spent more time at work”. Yep, we all realize that work ought to come after family and personal time, but despite that fact, we tend to skip taking the time to recharge our batteries and refresh our minds.


We all have a variety of reasons for avoiding vacationing, or even taking those long weekends. That’s despite the fact that those five or ten days away from the daily grind will have two very important benefits: First, in the short term we’ll come back refreshed and more prepared to tackle the service, the sales and all the rest that our days entail.


But it’s the long-term benefit that ought to motivate us to take that that needed time off. Think for just a moment how easy it is to vividly recall those times we spent with the family at the beach, the amusement park, camping, boating, or fishing. Now compare those wonderful memories with the fuzzy recollections of those extra weeks spent working. No contest, right?


We all need to work both hard and diligently, but we also need the time to unwind, rejuvenate and (especially) to create the memories that make all our labors worthwhile.



Next up: Addressing the linen life issue.