I often see gorgeous, organized and spacious laundry rooms popping up on Pinterest. Pretty to look at, but clearly not practical for a girl without in suite laundry. Laundry is a dreaded a chore, and is that much worse when you don’t have your own facilities.
Having used shared laundry for the majority of the past seven years, I’ve developed a system or two.
1. Keep laundry supplies together by the front door.
Inside my dresser and closet, I also keep everything I need together to do a quick load of laundry.
Keeping it all in a bin saves me from rummaging around in our closet trying to find the right product. The bottle I need is easily tossed into the laundry basket on the way out, and it reminds me to take extras like oxiclean or fabric softener.
Laundry bin contents:
2. Get a supply of laundry money ahead of time.
I can’t believe I only thought of this a few months ago! Go to the bank, and get a roll full of the coins you need for your building or laundromat machine. In our case, it’s 2 dollars a load:
(I keep ours in the top drawer of my landing strip dresser.)
How did it take me so long to think of this?? No more rummaging around the house looking for loose change, last minute trips to the grocery store to break a ten… It’s a no-brainer.
3. Do laundry during “off-peak” laundry hours.
You’ve finally decided to conquer your pile of laundry. You’ve sorted it all, found some spare change, hauled it to the basement, only to find out your neighbours had the same idea. Sound familiar?
I think this is my biggest pet peeve about sharing laundry. To skirt the problem, get to know your own building’s peak laundry times, and avoid them at all costs.
For example, early Sunday morning used to be a great time for me to do laundry in my last apartment. It was full of young couples, and it seemed they were more likely to sleep in on a Sunday morning. This building, being home to couples, families and singles, is different. Someone is always downstairs washing their clothes on a weekend at 9am. I’ve realized I have much better luck when I come home from teaching on a weekday at 3 in the afternoon.
4. Presort your loads.
I used to have a huge heap of laundry to sort through, but have since learned it’s impractical. Instead, use different hampers and sort laundry as you go. It may be a bit of an investment, but it’s worth it. Sorting daily leaves less work on laundry day, less to haul to the laundry room, and hampers like these make use of precious vertical space!
5. Go on wheels.
I’m all about making my chores as painless as possible. I have lugged carts full of laundry up and down stairs, through the halls, across streets… If you have in building laundry, especially if you have an elevator, use castors on your hamper.
So. much. easier.
These hampers are from Ikea for about 25 Canadian dollars.
Hope that helps you fellow renters out there feel just as organized as those with a lovely laundry room! What drives you crazy about shared laundry? Have any systems that work well for you?