Declaring laundry bankruptcy: How to use the laundromat to get your laundry routine under control

As I’m writing this, I’m sitting in a laundromat. I won’t divulge too many details, but the words “broken” and “dryer” and “angry” would aptly belong in a statement about why I’m in my present location.

Since I’m trying to look on the bright side of this situation, I’m reminding myself that all of my clothes will be washed, dried, and folded in less than two hours. If I were doing my laundry at home with just one washer and one dryer, it would take me close to two days to get my mountain of clothes under control. (This particular mountain being a direct result of the “broken dryer” mentioned above.) If I were to wait to do my laundry until after the new dryer is delivered, I then would have to walk up and down the stairs about 20 times and I would be tied to my house since I’m not too fond of letting the machines run when I’m not at home. So, instead of doing this mess in a couple days, I’ve declared a laundry bankruptcy and headed to the laundromat.

If you’re someone with a mountain of laundry who is having a problem getting your laundry situation under control, I think that the laundromat bankruptcy plan is a good plan to follow. Go once to the laundromat, get all of your clothes washed, and then get started on your new laundry routine at home with a clean slate. To complete the laundry bankruptcy plan you can do your laundry yourself, or you can use the Fluff-N-Fold service that most laundromats offer.

I have friends who don’t have washers and dryers and they exclusively use the Fluff-N-Fold services in their neighborhoods. One friend of mine who lives in New York’s West Village has found that it is only $4 more to have his laundry done for him than if he were to do it himself. His believes his time is more valuable to him than $4, so every Monday he makes a trip to the Fluff-N-Fold on his way to work and picks his clothes up that day on his way home. My local Fluff-N-Fold charges $1 per pound of laundry with a minimum $10 purchase.

There is something simple and wonderful about using the laundromat as your first step in getting on track with a home laundry routine. If you find yourself under a mountain of clothes, it is definitely worth considering. Also, if you don’t have a washer and dryer in your home and don’t already use it, you may want to consider using the services of your local Fluff-N-Fold. You may find that the expense of the service is less than the amount you value the time you could spend doing something else.

56 Comments for “Declaring laundry bankruptcy: How to use the laundromat to get your laundry routine under control”

  1. posted by Scott on

    I’ve been living in an apartment with a laundromat for just over a year. I detest the laundry arrangement, but refuse to let it get to me as it would only make matters worse. To make it all livable, I’ve done the following: First, I found a small cart (the kind little old ladies take shopping). It is approximately 18″X22″X30″ deep, and has four wheels, and it beats the heck out of lugging a “too small basket” around. I sort my laundry in the apartment, then throw it in the cart in layers. I put my detergent bottle on top of the mess, dryer sheets for each load in my pocket, quarters (which I buy by the roll) in a quart size zip lock bag, and roll on down to the laundromat 140 yards away. I do all of it at once, usually four machines, using warm water on the energy saving cycle. This allows the process to take less time because it fills water faster and the energy saving cycles are slightly shorter. I return to my apartment while it cycles. There I set my oven timer to go off about the time the wash will be done, and I can accomplish other things without having to watch a clock. I then return to put it all in the dryers. Again, back to the apartment and my timer’s set. I gather as many hangers as I think I’ll need, and head back down about about 5 minutes before the drying is done. When the drying cycle ends, I pull all those hanging items first to avoid wrinkles. I then fold T shirts, jeans, and towels and stack them in the cart. Underwear and socks go back in the cart in a heap, and I organize and fold them in the apartment. I Strive to get it all done as quickly as possible, and avoid ironing, period. I figure that items really needing ironing will get it when it’s actually needed–the day I wear it. I don’t do all this because I’m analytical or even really organized. I do it because I want to avoid prolonging the suffering, and because it allows me to multitask by getting other household chores done while doing laundry. Things that don’t get quite dry enough go onto the retractable clothesline I’ve installed on my little patio. It all works out pretty well, and I probably do it about every two weeks. The cart’s a lifesaver.

  2. posted by Brian on

    Erin,

    This is a great post! Most people living in apartments don’t understand how much easier it is to just get all their laundry done at once at a Laundromat. I personally on several Laundromats, and my customers love the fact that they don’t have to wait in line at their apartment to use a small washer, or take all day to do the wash.

  3. posted by Jason on

    I will have to agree as well. I find that the laundromat services offer faster, larger machines. and you can do all your loads at the same time.

    10 times better then the apartment washers, which in every apartment I have lived in has been old, slow and dirty. plus you get the rude tenants that take your loads out the minute they are done, not giving you the courteous 10 min to come get them.

  4. posted by Greg on

    I appreciate the view of Louise, the curtailed laundry rogue. Like her, I feel that it is unnecessary to launder clothes so often. We tend to wear until dirty or smelly, make sure to give the sniff test, and proceed as needed.

    Granted, depending on where you live, your diet and your choice of attire, this may vary. For example, if you eat highly processed foods, your body will excrete more oils, toxins, urea and lactic acid through sweating. The latter two are more commonplace for everyone regardless of diet, but certainly the quantity of these will increase with a poor diet.

    If you live in New York and sweat a lot, you probably should change your undergarments daily, but perhaps not your trousers. You might think about purchasing clothing that breathes a bit better, effectively evaporating excessive sweat and in turn keeping your attire more fresh.

    If you live in Washington, Alaska, or perhaps winter has rolled around, you can easily get away with laundering less often, saving yourself money and saving your clothes from wearing out so quickly.

    My point is, don’t wash your clothes arbitrarily after wearing them only once. Think about it before tossing it into the hamper. Perhaps its not as as bad as you think.

  5. posted by MSJNT on

    About a year ago, my apartment complex went to wash cards. These are like cards that you load with money. It did away with the hunt for quarters every time. I spend $1.25 to wash and $1.00 to dry. Our laundry room is not the best. It is moldy, full of cobwebs, and one of the dryers is broken in a good way. It works without using your wash card. My problem is that the washer don’t accommodate big items. I am planning to take my comforters and blankets to the laundromat. Plus, since it is the summer season, I am going to for go the dryer on my uniform and hang them in my bathroom. I am trying to save money than to dump so much on my wash card every month.

  6. posted by LRZ on

    Interesting reading. What I can’t believe is how few people use an outside line. I don’t have a dryer, well I do but I’ve never really used it as it was 2nd hand and dosn’t work anymore. All my clothes are hung outside to dry. I have a husband and two children but I do a weeks washing in half a day. I have a twin tub washing machine and I usually wash Mon morning and have it all done and hanging outside by lunch time. Then by tea time it is dry, folded, and put away. The ironing is done Tuesday. Yes it is labour intesive but guess what? I only use 1 scoop of powder for a whole weeks washing and only use about 200 litres water max. That is what some automatics use for 1 load!!!

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