Reader Diane submitted the following to Ask Unclutterer:
I live in an apartment without a washer or dryer in my unit. Unclutterer is rich with laundry advice, but none of it gives specific tips for regular laundromat users. How can I make the process suck less?
In a strange set of circumstances, the next day I received an e-mail from reader Hannah that directly answered Diane’s question. Spooky.
The tips that you guys have given about laundry routines tend to be oriented (understandably) toward home-owners who have whole rooms for their laundry-related paraphernalia. As an apartment-dweller (with roommates), I just wanted to pass along a system that’s been working well for me in terms of the four laundry factors specific to apartment buildings:
- general lack of space
- lack of privacy (not being able to leave stuff in the laundry room between washings)
- having to tramp up and down stairs (often ice-covered), lugging hampers or bags of laundry
- having to hunt up quarters
The magic thing that has changed my life and enabled me to stop procrastinating about doing my laundry: a “laundry tote!” I’m using a shower caddy (this one happens to be a soft-sided waterproof vinyl bag with pockets, but those square plastic ones would work as well) to hold:
- various detergents decanted into Gatorade bottles (which hold enough for multiple loads but aren’t as big and heavy)
- stain remover
- dryer sheets
- delicates bags
This way, when I finally get the gumption up to traipse down the stairs with a giant hamper in 2-degree weather, I don’t get bogged down searching for coins and juggling bottles and dryer sheets and my keys. And when I’ve got quarters hanging around, I know where to stash them.
I also use a couple of the pockets to hold the extra buttons that come with clothes, patches, elastic, etc.
And, to chime in at the end here, be sure to check out our post “How to use the laundromat to get our laundry routine under control” for a few more ideas.
Thank you, Diane and Hannah, for being a part of our Ask Unclutterer column. A solid question and an informative answer!
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