The Unfortunate & Inevitable Laundry Day

26 Mar

There comes a time when one must conquer the laundry. For me, that time can be somewhere between 3-5 AM on a nice, crisp Monday morning. There are a few reasons for this.

When I Do Laundry & Why: The Cost of Defeat

I live in a very large cooperative building with approximately 100 units. I say approximately because I am not really sure and I am too lazy to figure it out. Just take my word that it is somewhere around there. I like to think my building is nice but sometimes it rears its ugly head in the form of the “laundry room.” Ah yes, the laundry room. For all of the people in my lovely building, we have a whopping four washers and four dryers. When we first moved here, there were only a handful of times I could not get a machine. But as time went on, I found it increasingly difficult to beat out everyone else. But at a decent price ($1.75/wash or dry) and the convenience (short ride down to the basement), I will not be making my way to any other location to do laundry.

I thought I found an awesome time—Saturday morning, approximately 6:25 AM, right after I got home from work. I remember thinking how nice and quiet it was, how nice it was to have the place to myself and even decided it would be my new laundry day. But then, the following week someone got on the elevator with me around 6:30 AM and she had a laundry bag in her hand. We looked each other over.

“How many machines do you need?” She asked, sizing me up.

“I only need two.” (I like to usually limit myself to two because of the passive-aggressive note downstairs about it.)

“Me too. But we’re getting down there late.”

“Late? What does she mean? There was no one down here last week. It is freaking 6:30 on a Saturday morning.”

We walk in and three of the four washers are taken. At this point, I submit to defeat and she asks me if I am sure. Yes, I am sure. I drag my bag back up to the elevator, the sad sack that I am, and give up on doing laundry for the day. Now that I have been paying attention I have come to figure out it is my next door neighbor, getting there slightly before I can since I am coming home from work.

So my friends, this is why I do laundry when I do. Also, because I work nights, I find myself going to bed like a normal person on Sundays only to be completely wrecked on Monday nights. I find that if I get up earlier on Monday morning, super early like 3-4 AM and take a nap at some point during the day, it helps me start to get back on track.

How I am a Cheapskate on Laundry Day

I will be honest—I never did laundry as a child. I had a stay-at-home mom and bless her heart, she did not like other people touching her washing machine. So I really had no idea how annoying it would be to insist that every single pair of my socks be white in color and the same cut. But because we were on the poor side, I did not partake in one obnoxious habit—throwing everything in the laundry as soon as I finished wearing it one time. This was simply because I did not have enough clothing.

I find that I am very cheap when it comes to the amount of money I spend on laundry. I read about other people doing their laundry and I start to think there is something wrong with me. Really.

(1) When we moved into our apartment over three years ago, at some point early on we bought 5 bottles of XTRA detergent for $10. One bottle got crushed and leaked so I had to throw it out. But aside from that, I still have four bottles remaining. One bottle is on its way out but the other three have tons of detergent left. I only put 1/4 of a cup into the washing machine because that is what the washing machine tells me to do. And I do what I am told because I do not want to be that jerk who broke one of the only four washing machines.

I do not even know if this detergent is even that great. I feel clueless. I am just not that domestic. Opinions? Ideas? Should I partake in the Tide black market? (Yes, it’s true. I recently read an article that said Tide detergent is a HUGE black market item nowadays.)

(2) I only do white laundry every six weeks or so. Maybe every two months. We have tons of white socks that last us a long time and except for undershirts, we don’t really have anything else in white. Thus, once it’s time, all of these items don’t even take up an entire machine.

(3) I am a not a clean freak so I can easily wear things over and over again. As long as the clothes do not smell, have stains or look ratty and overly worn, I will keep wearing them. Except…

(4) …underwear. This is how I know it is time to do laundry. I will never use underwear more than once before it finds its way into the hamper. If I am almost out of underwear or wearing the last pair I have, I know it is time.

(5) I try to skimp on the dryers. If I use three washers, I use two dryers. If I am washing a ton of clothes, I usually have to hang-up some of the jeans to finish drying but otherwise, everything else is dry.

And in the End…

Yes, I did write this while I was doing laundry. Yes, I am wondering about other peoples’ habits and if I am a freak for only doing laundry every 4-6 weeks. And yes, I am lazy. But I would rather pile up the clothes, wheel my push cart to the elevator, ride on down, put everything in the washers, come back up, wait thirty-eight minutes, go back down to move everything into to the dryers, come back up, go back down after forty-five minutes to take everything out and fold it and finally come back up than do the dishes.


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