February 10, 2012

Reflections of doing laundry as an apartment dweller

There sits behind me at the moment a substantially large mountain of freshly washed and dried laundry. For a myriad of reasons, we usually do large volumes of laundry in one fell swoop (it's ultimately easier to go that route, we find, when you don't have a washer and drier in your own apartment unit), yet never in the course of the three and a half years we've lived in this building has such a massive volume been done at one time.

The reason for the chunkiness of this pile stems from both ill health keeping us from the laundry room as of late, as well as a desire to wash and freshen up many out-of-season garments in preparation for our move in two weeks.

Nearly $60.00 in washer and dryer fees later, dozens of garments and linens are stacked on the dinning room table, the last of which was brought upstairs shortly before the laundry room closed at 10pm last night. Today, amidst several other tasks, we'll begin to fold and sort this great wall of laundry.

While there will no doubt be a trip or two more to the poorly heated, often majorly over-crowded basement laundry facilities of this building before we part ways for good, this is definitely the last large haul we'll do. Not only, if luck is on our side, in the building, but (dare I say) ever.

Our new home, a charming little townhouse, has it's own (free, as in not coin operated!) washer and dryer in the basement, a point that seems like a longstanding wish of mine has finally come to fruition.

As such, we can now do a load a day, if so desired, or designated one day a week for laundry. Whatever we want. Budgeting for the laundry, devoting several hours at a time to going upstairs and down, rationing clothes until laundry day arrived (or, as was sometimes the case, washing them by hand in the bathtub), is nearly behind us.

My husband and I truly hope that the house we're moving into will be the last we rent before we're able to one day purchase our own home, which - of course! - would also have its own washer and dryer.

So hence while, as I said, if the universe is in the mood to cooperate, this could very well be a much anticipated end to years upon years of having of not having in-house laundry and of having to pay out of pocket in the moment for each and every load.

{Like the cute little girl in this lovely vintage image, I could see myself being so enamoured with the washer and dryer in our new home, that I'd pull up a chair and just watch the clothes tumble about for a while. Delighting in the fact that I didn't have to take an elevator down 23 floors any more and pay an arm and leg for the sake of clean clothing. Charming 1940s illustration via saltycotton on Flickr.}

Seemingly simple, mundane things like this cause my heart smile. Having our own washer and dryer makes my life a lot easier and will be one less thing for me to worry about in the course of my day-to-day life. It is, in its own way, a blessing and one that I couldn't be more grateful for.

Though our new place have enough of a yard to string a clothesline in, I don't doubt that I'll pin a pillowcase or two to any available surface outside during the warm months, so as to take the joys of doing laundry one step further and be able to fall asleep with the comforting scent of freshly washed and sun-kissed, air-dried bedding lulling me off to sleep.

So as I limber up for a marathon of folding laundry today and over the weekend, I do so happily, knowing that each moment I spend matching up socks and putting away towels brings me a little closer to our moving day and the new house, complete with washer and dryer, that is waiting for us in British Columbia.


  1. When you first move in, you'll probably do laundry all the time. But then ultimately you may get to be just like me - I've had my own machines for years, and I wait until I can't stand it anymore and do 8 loads in one day because nobody in the family has any socks, underwear, or jeans without holes to wear to school.

    Actually, they still sometimes wear the jeans with holes to school - usually the day before I finally do the laundry. ;)

  2. I quite enjoy washing laundry and here in the Med, we usually rely on good old sunshine to dry out laundry. People who have dryers will attest that it is way too expensive to keep using them all year round. I personally don't have a dryer but hang out my clothes to dry on the line outdoors or on a clothes horse on a partly roofed terrace if it's raining. I have found that the easiet way to get round folding clothes is to fold them as you get them off the line as that considerably lessens the creases. If you have open garden in your new home, perhaps you will look forward to trying to dry out the laundry naturally and save on a lot of electricity bills!

  3. Hope the laundry folding goes well:) You really will appreciate having your own washer and dryer in the basement. I can't imagine having to go down 23 floors every time I needed to do laundry. As soon as the weather is warm and dry enough I shall be hanging my laundry outdoors in the garden. I only use my tumble dryer in the winter or if it's too wet to put washing out. Apart from anything else drying on a clothes line outdoors is absolutely free!

  4. Hello Jessica!

    You have a done a wonderful job of this blog, I have not been much of a reader for long, but I do enjoy each and everytime I visit! Your optimisim is lovely in a day and age of sarcasm and aggression! Good luck on your move!

    A fellow British Columbian!