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 Monica Ricci on

    Erin, when I lived in a tiny apartment outside of Philadelphia in the early 90s I had no washer or dryer. I also had no tv or stereo, but that had more to do with my divorce than lack of hookups! But I digress…

    I took my laundry to the local laundromat and I too enjoyed the feeling of getting it ALL done at once. I think if you’re like many of my clients who DO have a big backlog of laundry, taking it out to the laundromat is a great way to get caught up so you can get back to a regular routine at home. Hopefully one that involves children doing their OWN laundry. :)

    ~Monica

  2. posted by Anne on

    please don’t hate me…I love laundry! I enjoy the whole part! Four kids and my hubby, and I really like this chore…we have set days for each person’s laundry, and it helps me to see what the kids are wearing over and over, if they need new undergarments etc. I do our sheets and towels on certain days, and wash curtains monthly! Perhaps I like this chore too much… :)
    I think I like the multi-tasking possibilities, I can have laundry running, and do so much other things.
    Laundry mats seem to be a whole lotta work! Taking everything there, back then putting away all at the same time. I understand the post, with broken, anger and dryer!! Hope it gets fixed!

  3. posted by Catherine on

    I used the wash-and-fold service for 4 years when I lived in the city with no washer/dryer. It cost about $5-$10 more every two weeks that it would have to do myself, but my time is worth something, too, so I happily paid it. Added bonus: they folded things beautifully, (even underwear!), my socks were all mated, and everything was wrapped up like a present when I got it back. I never needed to iron anything. Detergent is generally included in the price, so you don’t have to lug your own to the laundromat (unless you have a special brand you like/need to use), and they accommodate special requests (cold water only, etc).

  4. posted by DAB on

    I have a laundry room in my building, but it’s been closed the past few weeks due to leaks and a new cement floor being installed. We have access to the laundry room in the building next door, but at that point, if I’m taking it outside to get it clean, I just go ahead and take the extra steps to the laundromat to have them do it for me. And it reminds me of MY time in the West Village, when I always had someone wash and fold it for me, and I realize how much I missed that service. So I’m now again thinking of outsourcing my laundry from now on — it’s just such a valuable time saver for me. (I still have to put the clothes away, but it takes half the time, since they’re already folded, and folding has always been my least-favorite part of doing laundry.)

  5. posted by allen on

    I love the idea of using the service as a kick-start, as it were, to getting back into a good habbit.

    I dislike, however, the cost. I rarely see the time as wasted, as said above, since i can do other things while it’s going on. I often have the laundry going while i clean. This gives me a sort of timer, so i don’t feel like i’m spending my whole day just cleaning! :D

  6. posted by Sheryl on

    Anne, I enjoy doing laundry too. There’s something about putting dirty, smelly clothes in the washer and taking them out of the dryer, all fresh and clean, that gives me a lot of satisfaction. I sometimes like to watch the clothes agitate too (maybe I don’t get out enough… ;))

    Anyway, I was thinking along these lines last week when I was at the laundromat washing some of the bedding from our king-size bed. I wouldn’t do this for all of my laundry, but I usually have at least a couple of loads of towels to do, and I think it would be great to just take them to the laundromat, throw them all in one of those big washers, and be done with it.

  7. posted by Jessica on

    I once washed a sleeping bag in my apartment’s laundry room. I’m not sure what exactly happened, but I came down to put it in the dryer, and it was still soaking wet and there was water all over the floor. I reported what had happened, but there was still the problem of the sopping wet sleeping bag the day before a group camping trip. I put it in a big garbage bag and dropped it off at the Laundromat on the way to work, telling them there was already soap in it. I picked it up on the way home, dry as could be, and it cost less than $5.

    Personally I only use the dryer for sheets and towels. I’ve found that hang-drying doesn’t take very long, and saves on ironing too. I save $10 a month as well.

  8. posted by Jackie on

    We’ve used the wash-and-fold service offered by our local dry laundry relgiously since we moved to NYC a year ago. They pick up and deliver for free (well worth the tip) and if we need something pressed it’s a minimal charge to ask for some items to be washed-and-pressed, and then they come back as crisp as if they’d been dry cleaned…. WAY better than trying to iron myself.

    It is one service that makes city living doable for us. I can’t imagine trying to stay on top of our laundry through a weekly trip to the laundromat.

  9. posted by Coni on

    I live down in Texas and we had beautiful weather this past weekend. Once it gets hot here – it doesn’t go back. Well anyway – I spent most of my precious weekend and it’s beautiful weather doing tons of laundry. My boy’s clothes, baseball uniforms that have to be done all the time, my husband’s clothes (he was in a triathlon and worked on Sunday), towels, sheets, and finally my clothes. (which I did not completely finish)

    I know that with the amount of clothes I do – it would be impractical to send it out – but if anyone has a better plan or suggestion for me – bring it on.

  10. posted by phillip on

    When this happened to us (a few weeks ago) we took advantage of the plentitude of child gates/yards we have scattered throughout the house to just hang all our laundry indoors for the 2 weeks it took to get a new dryer.

  11. posted by M on

    I’ve never owned a washer/dryer, since I live in an apartment I use the communal laundry room in the building and it doesn’t take all that long. I can’t imagine trying to get all my laundry done using just one washer/dryer set, though.

    However, for clothes that need to be ironed, I usually do have those laundered at the laundromat or dry cleaners, since the ironing takes too much time if I have a lot of items to iron.

  12. posted by Cynthia on

    I do a load of laundry at least once a day. Since I usually let white clothes soak overnight, I do those last.

    Our washer broke about 6 months ago and I was left with going to the Laundromat. I actually enjoyed it, I would load all of our clothes in at one time and read a book for the 30 minutes it took for the wash cycle. Then I would put in the clothes in the dryer and the clothes I usually hang dry I would take home. I’d then return to pick up the clothes, fold and sort them there. It was great I had all the laundry done in a day. My boyfriend on the other hand didn’t really like the idea of washing clothes at the Laundromat so we bought a refurbished washer a few weeks later. But I still occasionally head to the Laundromat for the big things that don’t fit in the washer.

  13. posted by Gabriel on

    I can’t believe on this website, no one has mentioned the benefits of having less clothes!

  14. Profile photo of Erin Doland
  15. posted by jon on

    I’m getting the hang of this de-cluttering lark. I’m starting to review a normal activity as a decluttering opportunity. My two wash baskets, one for clothes, one for towels & linens, both over flow. This is because I have a lot of stuff, which I do wear or use. I was working on the basis that if I wear something frequently that needs frequent washes, like work clothes, I’d by a load of them, and work my way through before doing a full load. I have something like 20 basic white tees I wear as under shirts. I did have about 10 slacks for work, but I’ve had a rash of left knee wearing out, so they’ve been thinned out. I have a lot of table cloths. I have a lot of sheets and covers.

    Now I look at my piled baskets and I see a pile of waste. Yes, I’d have to do washes more often, but since I have to do several washes to keep stuff separate anyway, I’m just making more work for myself in the long run. Wasted capital, wasted effort, wasted space.

    I have two lots of towels. Nice new ones I bought a few years back, and ones I’ve had for ages, but are still very good. Not raggedy or worn at all, just not as plush as the recent ones. So after my last towel wash, the old ones are folded up and have gone into the top cupboard. And if I’m getting along fine with just the new towels, then the old ones will be decluttered.

    Less clothes, less linen, less clutter, same washes, but less clutter.

  16. posted by Louise on

    I do laundry once every two weeks for myself and my husband. We have two laundry hampers that serve as the laundry baskets: one for whites/very light colors and one for dark colors. We live in our RV and drive the rig directly to a laundromat and I use one giant machine for each basket. I’ve used laundromats all over the country (probably over 100 by now) and had only one load of clothes be damaged. While the loads wash and dry, I return to the RV to do other things besides watch the clothes spin around.

    We have deliberately narrowed our clothing down to very simple items that can all be washed this way: plain colored t-shirts and polo shirts, khakis, jeans, polyester blend skirts/shorts, etc. I got rid of everything that needed ironing or dry cleaning or gentle/hand washing. For every tempting dry-clean only blouse for sale, there is another that can be laundered easily. Why choose the expensive/time consuming route?

    We wear our clothes until they are dirty, instead of arbitrarily changing into something new each day. Obviously, if something gets stained or is smelly, it goes right into the hamper, but otherwise it is hung up to be worn again. I have a very sensitive nose and everything gets the sniff test.

    A set of towels and a set of sheets lasts one week, so we have two sets of each. It always boggles my mind that people use a new towel every day. So much extra laundry, water, soap, and waste that way! Again, if something is dirty sooner than expected, I use fresh sheets or towels. Sometimes we have to do laundry in 10 or 12 days instead of 14, but are fortunate to have the flexibility to do so.

    I’ve had my own washer and dryer, and I’ve used household-sized multiple machines in small apartment complexes. I prefer the current method of two giant loads every two weeks.

  17. posted by Karen on

    I don’t have a washer, so I consider the fluff-n-fold a great luxury. When money is tight, I’ll gladly give up most anything else, before I give up my fluff-n-fold.

    However, I’m amazed at how many of you have empty laundromats! Maybe I just live in a busy place, but every time I go to the laundromat (especially on the weekends or in the evenings after work), I have to wait for washers and then wait for dryers, because the place is so busy. It’s rare to find 2 or 3 washers that are all empty, and usually I have to wait with my wet clothes until I find a free dryer. Doing laundry can easily turn into a 4 hour job if the laundromat is really busy.

  18. posted by ARB on

    I just moved to a bldg w/o a laundry room for the first time, and have been avoiding the whole laundry issue. HELP! Here’s my thing…while I’m totally comfortable using the “Wash N Fold” service for my sweats, socks, t-shirts, etc., what about the semi-nice clothes that I hang dry or am sure to wash and dry on delicate?

  19. posted by JW on

    I have a washer/dryer: my BF. I highly recommend this method.

  20. posted by Alexandra on

    Thank you so much for this reminder; it came at the perfect time! (My boyfriend seems to have brought home a bed bug from his business travels, {I am the only one getting bitten!!!} and as he is travelling again, I am cleaning everything while he is gone; the laundry was to be the largest chunk of the work.)

  21. posted by Cheryl on

    I know this sounds weird but I really do like doing laundry. I don’t iron and never knowingly buy something of fabric that needs ironing. Mostly I love the super clean smell and the chance to multi-task.

  22. posted by Ann at One Bag Nation on

    I thought my dryer had bitten the dust a few weeks ago, so glad it’s still okay. I find appliance shopping is so time-consuming!

    I do my laundry on a schedule; this has worked well for me since my daughter was a baby. Routines are best for someone like me who gets distracted easily.

    I do take oversized bedding to the laundromat; the big machines do a better job and are much more efficient. And there’s always interesting people-watching . . .

  23. posted by John of Indiana on

    I DESPISE going to the laundromat. Takes forever, the closest one to me is 15 miles away near campus, and it’s combined w/a fake-bake, so it’s either full of students and people who don’t speak English with screaming ill-mannered kids, or the students are gone for the summer.

    I’m saving up my pennies for one of those combo W/D things that condense the vapour from the drier so you don’t peel the wallpaper off the walls from having no vent.

  24. posted by Karolina on

    ARB: you could hand-wash and hang-dry the delicate clothes, and get everything else done by the laundromat.

    I’ve gotten into the habit of soaking a sweater or other delicate item every day before dinner and wringing and laying it out to dry after dinner; that way I don’t fall behind on hand-washing. Many of my clothes can’t go in the washer and dry-cleaning is just way too expensive.

  25. posted by Jacki Hollywood Brown on

    A laundromat is sometimes required when you are busy scraping lipstick off the inside of your own dryer.
    http://j-organize.blogspot.com.....dryer.html

  26. posted by Fluff on

    I love the “laundry bankruptcy” idea!!! Awesome post…when you’re really behind, this is definitely the way to go :)

  27. posted by JenK on

    When I lived in a big condo complex with 3 laundry rooms – each having a 10-12 washers and dryers – I would do laundry once a month, between 10pm and midnight, doing 6 loads at a time.

    Ever since I’ve had my own in-home washer / dryer, and I generally do laundry as a “background task”. But I do remember the efficiency of 6 washers all chugging away…

  28. posted by Empress Juju on

    I live in a building with a laundry room (1 washer, 1 dryer), but I prefer to make a bi-weekly trip to the laundromat and get it all done at once.

    After the clothes are in the machines, I get a latte and relax with a book. Pleasure reading only: no homework!

    I live with my teenage sister who does exactly the opposite on her weeks: homework only, so she can tackle two chores at once!

  29. posted by EMM on

    When our dryer broke, um that was 18 years ago, we just said to heck with it and bought a really nice wooden folding clothes dryer. I love it and love the savings in money from not using a dryer.

  30. posted by Chris on

    Hi Erin Now I can see you have an issue with clothes at the moment. How would you do a bankruptcy of your clothing storage or organization. I would really appreciate some ideas on that. I have a lot of clothes and sadly I require them all.

  31. posted by N. & J. on

    I use to enjoy taking my clothes to the laundry mat. It wasn’t that I particularly enjoy doing laundry but I could get it all done at once and use the time to do homework or read a book or catch up with a loved one on the phone.

  32. posted by Malcolm on

    I just got rid of the dryer we had – we got it from a friend when we moved in (as the house didn’t have one) and never plugged it in! Everything gets hung dry on racks, which fold away into much less space than the dryer took up when not in use. So less cost, and less space. :-)

  33. posted by Dream Mom DBA www.dreamorganizers.com on

    Ah, a Fluff N Fold would be nice! I priced having my king sized sheets washed and pressed at the local dry cleaners once but it was a bit cost prohibitive. Good for you for getting the laundry done and going to the laundromat. Sure beats waiting for the new dryer.

    As for my own laundry, I do a load a day and have color coded baskets for it-one for bath towels, one for lights, darks, special wash and another for whites. I put them in the baskets once they are dirty so I don’t have to sort later. I put in a laundry chute in my last home which I just loved.

    One interesting note. I was working in a rather large custom luxury client home recently (6,000 square feet plus full basement) and was working in the home office. I came across three sets of washer/dryer manuals and I was creating a warranty book for her. I asked the client which washer/dryer set she now owned. I had passed the 20 x 15 foot laundry room on the way to the home office but had not paid any attention. She replied, “I own all of them. I have a washer and dryer on each floor.”

  34. posted by Artemidoros on

    If I take immediately the clothes out of the washing-machine and hang it in the terrace, there is no need to iron them (except the blouses) and I do not need a dryer (less clutter and the clothes last longer). Benefits of having good weather!

    I think this is my first comment on Unclutterer. I have been reading it since the past 4 months, and my life (my desk and my closet) is less cluttered now. I am so happy to have found it.

  35. posted by ML on

    I was reading the comments wondering when someone would suggest a dryer isn’t needed – finally there were three people saying they don’t have/use a dryer.

    I haven’t had a dryer for oooooh about 15 years now and I’ve never missed it. The climate I live in is hot in summer and cold in winter – some people say they can’t get their washing dry in winter here but I’ve never had a problem, I wash only one load a day (some days no wash) so I can hang everything on racks, and I only wash sheets on sunny days so I can hang them on the line.

    Dryers are such an incredible waste of electricity and therefore increase our carbon production – so bad for the environment and so bad for your wallet, not to mention it’s harder on the clothes to use a dryer. So think about your dryer use – even people in apartments can manage without one if they plan their washing and use a rack.

  36. posted by Recovering Food Waster on

    I do like the last poster; I air dry my clothes(I do fluff them in the dryer for 5 minutes first…makes ALL the difference in the world!). There are six of us that live here, so to make it work I have to do a little bit of laundry every day(every other day in the summer, when clothes are smaller and lighter).

    It really doesn’t take all that much time, especially in the summer when I can set clothes outside in the sun to dry.

  37. posted by Laura on

    I just bought my first washer and dryer after living in an apartment without one for 2 years. I couldn’t take it!! Moving to a place I could have my own washer and dryer was the whole reason I moved. I understand doing several loads at once, but I would rather do one load at a time in my own house so that I could multi-task and get things done around the house, or just sit comfortably in my own place reading or watching TV. As opposed to loading it all up in baskets and bags and dragging it out in the cold to another place. It was well worth it. I will never again choose to live in a place where I would have to take my stuff to a laundromat!

  38. posted by lana on

    I’m with Anne and Cheryl – I actually enjoy doing laundry. It’s such an easy chore (I much prefer it over scrubbing the bathroom for example) and I can multi-task while doing it.

    Of course it does help that we’ve used some of the tips found here about decluttering our wardrobes and 80% of what we wear doesn’t need to be ironed. One of my favorite tips is using a spritzer bottle of water to mist wrinkled clothes; hang it up and the wrinkles fall right out again. For tough wrinkles like on denim, use more mist and toss in the dryer for a few minutes. Works every time.

  39. posted by Lee on

    We have a small (Asko) washer and dryer. The dryer doesn’t get used much, unless I’m running behind on the laundry. We have a tall Elfa system with baskets labeled for the loads I do. We will have a shorter, double wide system in a house we are moving to. After a couple of loads where a color ran all over the other clothes (older piece of clothing, cold water, go figure), I sort my laundry very carefully.

    I have a day for basic loads – M=bath towels, T=sheets, W=white kitchen towels (corresponds to the cleaning day for those rooms), and do other loads when the baskets are full. Most items can be hung, although towels feel softer when they’ve been in the dryer (we can’t use fabric softener), and sheets can be unwieldy when dried inside. I have a ribbon line stretched from one towel bar to another in one bath and dry most things on the line or on hangers over the line. Four socks can be pinned to a hanger with a clothespin clipped on the line as a spacer to be able to dry more things at once. Longer items dry on hangers on an over the door rack in the laundry room. When desperate, I hook hangers over a slat on my son’s bunk bed. In moderate to warm weather, I use a retractable line outside – one side is attached to the fence and the end loops onto a hook across the patio. I just retract it when it is not being used, so we don’t have to deal with clotheslines 24/7. Again, some clothes are on hangers and others pinned to the line. I learned the hard way not to fold colored t-shirts over the line, as the sun often bleaches the fold line.

    We will have a new soaking sink, as my husband is tired of tupperware containers scattered around and I’m not happy with the 2 hour “presoak” in cold water that the Asko offers. If I could find the perfect method to treat tomato sauce and chocolate stains, my life would be easier. I’ve given up on fountain pen ink.

  40. posted by karen on

    In response to Lee:

    I don’t use fabric conditioner with the towels as it can affect absorbency. A splash of white wine vinegar in the conditioner drawer works well, and may help keep the fabric conditioner drawer a bit cleaner.

  41. posted by Suzanne on

    another thing that you can “declare bankrupcy” on: dishes. If you’ve been terrible about dishes lately, STOP USING THEM. Not that you need to eat off the counter or anything (which also may be having troubles keeping clean, if the dishes are). Just stop using dishes that need to be washed every time for a while. We had this problem at our house and ended up using disposables for about a month, while we caught up on the dishes (in an embarassingly slow process). After a while the trash guilt (environment, etc) overcame the need to not do the dishes and we got back to using the regular ones.

  42. posted by jgodsey on

    MOST PEOPLE OWN TOO MANY CLOTHES.
    if your clothes is in mountains, you have too many.
    cut down on the number and you cut down on the laundry.
    I do 2 loads a week, a white and a dark. then hang everything up. the only thing dirty are the clothes i am wearing while i do it.

  43. Profile photo of Erin Doland

    posted by Erin Doland on

    @jgodsey — My assumption is that you are the only member of your household. The same does not hold true for me. :)

  44. posted by chzplz on

    I used to live in 6 unit walkup with one public washer and dryer. It was never available, so I turned into a “two hours once every two weeks at the laundromat” person. It was great except – putting away all the clean clothes suddenly became a chore! Or ironing everything in one shot! Blegh.

    For me, small batches works. I *LOVE* my clothesline. I have a microscopic backyard in my tiny townhouse, with a single strand of clothesline running from fencepost to fencepost. Being able to put a load of whites out on a sunny morning before I go to work is cathartic.

  45. posted by NH Mom of 3 on

    We are waiting for our new washer and dryer to be delivered, and will need to make a laundromat run this week. We just moved into our new home, and the prior owners took their washer/dryer with them. I actually don’t mind doing laundry, it’s the putting away that gets me every time! I am actually contemplating the start of a personal laundry service for others as a way to earn a little extra money. I will be doing my “research” at the laundromat this week. LOL

  46. posted by Kitch on

    I just recently posted something similar to this article. Although I am forced to the laundomat I am happy to be back for the very reason that I can get it done much faster. I will totally look into the fluff-and-fold though. That is genius!

  47. posted by Beverly on

    Ironically, we just had to replace our dryer (it puked on Memorial weekend). Picked out a new one the following Friday and it was delivered yesterday afternoon. Yes, I’m still doing laundry today. But it’s worth it to me even if it takes longer to do it at home. The local laundromats (only 3 within 25 miles of where I live) are hot, dirty, grungy, full of screaming kids, etc. There’s no place like home.

  48. posted by Charity on

    I am absolutely terrified on the laundryroom in my new building. Outside access only, light in an akward place, etc. So, i wake up, wash before i go to work, then hang everything to dry around the apt. Added bonuses – put a fan behind a wet sheet and it cools down the apt in the summer. In the winter air drying clothes in the house help with the humidity and good moisture means less sickness.

  49. posted by Elizabeth on

    Doesn’t anybody have a clothesline?

  50. posted by hiccup42 on

    I’m a student living in a flat with three friends. We have a washer, but no dryer, but I don’t like using it because its connected directly to our hot water tank, so it doesn’t do cold washes. I’m fortunate enough to live in the same city as my parents, so I take a load of lights or darks or reds or sheets or something with me when I go visit on a weekend. Sometimes I’m doing other things on weekends and don’t get anything done. I don’t change my clothes every day, and I have a lot of underwear. I change my bed sheets every 2-3 weeks (I’m not a sweaty person!), although sometimes I have to take both sets home with me the same weekend so I can have clean ones when I get back.
    I can’t remember the last time I used a dryer for anything – my parents don’t have one either.

  51. 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.

  52. 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.

  53. 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.

  54. 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.

  55. 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.

  56. 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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