How To Stay On Top Of The Laundry If You Don’t Have A Washer & Dryer

April 23, 2013

It’s been far, far too long since laundry was the topic of conversation around these parts given my great undying love and affection for the clothes cleaning process.

Let’s just say that during a recent visit, my friend handed me the biggest chuckle this side of Puget Sound (?) when she earnestly inquired, “What day are you going to do laundry?”

And then I laughed and laughed. As if it would only be “one day.” Laundry day is everyday silly!

I digress. I understand that many innocent and deserving souls lack proprietorship of clothes machines. The poor things must deal with the carting of clothes up and down from apartment to basement or worse, from place of residence to laundromat. In such situations, the dirty clothes have a way of piling up. I’ve seen it once and I’ve seen it more than once. Today, my deprived kindred, this post is just for you.

Here, then, are the best ways to maintain control of your laundry:

Sort immediately

Do yourself a favor and sort your dirty clothes when you take them off– darks, lights, delicates. (A hamper with three different sections is thus considered ideal). Doing so will ensure you spend less overall time in whatever dingy basement you’re privy to, which is a win.

Pick a laundry day

This is the most conventional idea in the book, but sometimes convention is such because it just works. Resolve to designate a day on which you will attend to the laundry. Then, when that day comes, do it. That’s the trick.

Multitask

Laundry is perhaps the one scenario in which multitasking is actually a successful strategy. If you have to babysit your laundry in your building’s basement or a laundromat, come armed with things to keep you entertained. This includes but is not limited to: magazines, crosswords, books, et. al (read: your iPhone won’t cut it- Instagram loses its luster well before the 2nd rinse cycle).

You can also view this window as the perfect opportunity for you to attend to those nagging to-do list items: homework, returning phone calls, responding to emails, researching that thing you’ve been meaning to research. Doing your laundry forces you into having “free time,” and you should be purposeful about how you use it.

Line Dry To Save Time & Help The Environment & Stuff

Forgoing the dryer will cut out a huge chunk of the time you have to spend sitting around waiting for the laundry to be complete. Your clothing can hang dry in the comfort of your own home, and at its own pace. It’s good for the clothes, it’s good for the planet (here’s help where selecting a drying rack is concerned).

Alternate laundry duties with a roommate/significant other

This scenario works if your roommate/significant other is one whom you trust (entrust with your clothing), who has a similar standard of clean and level of attention to detail. The idea is: as long as one of you is doing the laundry, why not throw the other person’s in as well? If you each do the laundry once a week then you can both have your clothing washed twice a week.

*Warning: do not dare to embark upon such an arrangement until both parties have reached an official laundry compact. Things to cover before striking a deal: the treatment of particular and especially beloved clothing items, “NEVER PUT THE BLUE TOP IN THE DRYER,” responsibility or exemption of laundry-doer to fold non-laundry-doer’s clothing, other weird laundry quirks and preferences, a signed consent form releasing (or not!) laundress or launderer from responsibility should any damage to the clothing and/or linens occur throughout the laundry process.

(note that this warning applies mainly to the female set, who are spilling out their bras with neuroses when it comes to their clothes. Contrarily, males are generally entirely exempt from forming such a treaty, as most lack any and all awareness of or investment in things such as detergent preference, water temperature, and the overal concept of “delicates.”)

Pay for laundry services

If it’s financially feasible, there is always the option to send out the wash. (I do hope you people are aware that “laundry services” are a real thing, one distinct from “dry cleaning”). It’s true, in cities all across this fine nation are people in the business of doing laundry– capable minions just waiting for you to dump your pounds and pounds of dirty clothes on their doorstep.

If exporting the laundry on a regular basis isn’t do-able for you monetarily speaking, you still might consider using such a service intermittently, and at key moments. If, for instance, you know there’s an upcoming week that will be particularly stressful and busy for you because you have a boatload of papers due/you’re going away right after a boatload of papers are due/you’re working overtime for like seven days in row or however that works I’m self-employed helloo/etc etc etc, then it would be wise and oh-so stealthy of you to plan ahead, throw yourself a bone, and arrange to relieve yourself of laundry duty that week.

I have taken the liberty (and by that I mean I have done you the gigantic favor) of identifying a few such laundry establishments in three major cities to pique your interest:

NYC

The Laundry Stork

Pick-up and delivery laundry service with 1 day turnaround that’s eco-friendly (uses environmentally-friendly detergents that are biodegradable, odor-free and non-allergenic). Offers multiple pricing options, including one time, bi-weekly, recurring weekly. Allows for special instructions on things like fabric softener, detergent, drying method preference. Gets good Yelp reviews, and I like the looks of their website.

Fluff-n-Fold

Pick up and delivery available at a fee. Caters to special requests, including detergent preferences. Gets good reviews on Yelp.

Chicago

Real Deal Laundry

Pick and delivery laundry service. Order form online allows you to select your preferred detergent (by brandname), the option to bleach whites, hang dry, and provides you with a comment form for any other special instructions. People on Yelp rave (and side note, this is perhaps the first time I’ve really read Yelp reviews in-depth and holy pajamas, people really get to writing on there!)

L.A.

Laverie

Pick up and delivery laundry with 24-hour turnaround. Allows for specifications such as hand washing, and honors other special requests. Does have a $35 minimum, but according to the reviews this place gets on Yelp, it seems the consensus is that it’s well worth it.

Hopefully those tips will help you manage your laundry situation, and if all else fails, just come over to my house and I’ll do it for you!

Image credits: House To Home, BHG, Vogue Italia, October 2005, West Elm, SneakPeeq

 

1 Comment

  1. Courtney on April 23, 2013 at 6:49 am

    i’m one of these people who tote around their laundry. saturday mornings are laundry time for me and i try to workout or bake in between loads. i’d never thought of dropping of the loads to be washed for me and was surprised to see a couple places in my town that offered that service. next crazy busy week, i’ll be giving them a go for sure.

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1 Comment

  1. Courtney on April 23, 2013 at 6:49 am

    i’m one of these people who tote around their laundry. saturday mornings are laundry time for me and i try to workout or bake in between loads. i’d never thought of dropping of the loads to be washed for me and was surprised to see a couple places in my town that offered that service. next crazy busy week, i’ll be giving them a go for sure.

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