Fear not, it’s not as hard or gross as you think!
Modern cloth nappies use a system called DRY PAILING, as opposed to wet pailing which used to be quite popular. All that means is that you put your used nappies in a well vented basket of some sort, and they wait there until it’s time for a prewash, and then wait some more in a different basket until it’s time for the main wash.
You'll want two dry pails, let's call them dry pail 1 and dry pail 2 (concrete examples of what these could look like a bit further down).
Pee nappies or runny inoffensive newborn poop nappies: straight to dry pail 1. You can rinse the poop off a bit if you prefer, but it’s not strictly necessary.
Poop nappies for babes on solids (serious business!): flick what you can into the toilet, rinse the rest under a tap. Some people like to use a brush (make sure it’s labelled! Haha). Reusable nappy liners really come in handy here - you can lift the mess right off the nappy and deal with it separately. See HERE for details.
Dealing with poop gets a lot easier once solids are well established. The cloth nappy community affectionately calls the phenomenon “Ploppable poop”. I’ll leave you with that mental image.
Once rinsed and somewhat clean (don’t worry about stains, they will be taken care off in your prewash) - off to dry pail 1.
Time for the prewash - once nappies come out of prewash, they go into dry pail 2 aka the prewashed pail. That is all!
SO WHAT DOES DRY PAILING LOOK LIKE?
Get yourself two baskets that have holes in them for air flow - one that collects that day’s nappies (dry pail 1), and one that holds prewashed nappies waiting for a main wash (dry pail 2). It’s that simple. It's inexpensive, not messy, and it doesn't smell thanks to the air flow.
Here's a photo of my setup. DRY PAIL 1 which collects today's nappies, and DRY PAIL 2 which collects the prewashed nappies waiting for main wash.
You can get these anywhere, Kmart, the Warehouse, Briscoes, countless other places. You don’t really want anything with smaller ventilation holes than this though.
Open wire baskets work great too and look snazzy, just make sure they’re not made from a material that will rust (as the nappies are damp).