From your friendly local Laundry matt,
As I have grown older, I have lost some of the creature comforts I grew up with. My parents are very affluent. My father has worked for a company that, at least until recently, seemed to value the knowledge of it’s employees and tended to retain the ones that made it through the beginning of their careers. My mother has had the privilege of being a house mother and was there cooking, cleaning, running errands and raising us most of the time and when that wasn’t enough, she would start hobby jobs like embroidering or event planning. All of that is just to point out how blessed I have been and how I have had access to something many blue/white collar Americans take for granted.
Washing machines and dryers..
I haven’t had a washer and dryer in my place of living for the last 5 or so years. I have used laundry matts, friends houses and my parents houses to clean my clothing. Before, when I had a massive amount of clothing, I could put off laundry for 3-4 weeks at a time and still have clean clothing. Often, I would bring trashbags upon trashbags to the laundry matt and 10-20 dollars to wash all of my clothing at once. I would take up a row of washers and at least 4 large dryers. I was one of the people that keeps laundry matts open.
As I have adventured out on my own (a lone apartment dweller), I have debated getting a washer and dryer for my apartment. Before, with 10 or more loads of laundry, I justified not having one because of the amount of time it would take doing all those loads. I completely ignored the just do it more often option. Now, I don’t have near as many clothes and could actually use at least a washer. I would wash one load a week to wash and hang then to dry. For towels and jeans I would still borrow friends sets so I could also dry them. My apartment rents washers for 30 dollars a month. Before, I would have been well in the clear to rent a washer but now… since I have gotten rid of so many sets of clothing and have pared down what is available for me to wear in my closet, this is not the case. It costs me at most $8 a week to wash clothing and bedding but most of the time would only cost around $5. If you just counted that I would be almost breaking even to rent a washer but… Since I see friends and my parents at least twice a month and do laundry washes there, I come ahead by not renting a washer. I could also purchase an older washer off of craigslist. That has some promise since I see them go for $100 and less but.. It would have to stay working for at least 4 months and then I would have to figure out how to offload it when I move in my trailer.
Notice that I don’t even consider the option of getting a dryer. I am one of those people that doesn’t dry most of my clothing and actually like sun dried clothes. I wish I was somewhere that I could actually just hang dry everything.
I also tend to use my trips for laundry as productive time. I hate to admit it but lately being at my apartment seems to be sucking away my energy. I haven’t been near as productive as I should have these last couple of days. I usually use laundry matt time as a time to lesson plan or type updates to blogs/budgets ect. It’s my planning time for the projects I would like to see come to fruition. When I wash at my family’s house, I am enjoying their company and keeping relationships that are important to me nurtured and healthy. At friends houses, we are often cooking meals together and visiting or catching up on the shows I don’t get to see. I also consider that relationship nurture time.
I need that time with the people I love to feel whole and connected. I think that if I could, I would group a lot of my friends in tiny tiny houses around me and then we could have a communal large kitchen that we share and open rec rooms for everyone. Well.. maybe not. That is a rather selfish wish and many of my friends clash, but man that would be neat for me if it worked.
Anyhow, at least for the next year, I will continue not buying a washer and rotating my wash place around. Ensuring that I focus of friends and work instead of hiding in my house. =)
Do you have your own washers? What are the pros and cons of owning them?