Sunday, January 4, 2009

Laundry Day

laundry day ikea bagNo picture of my actual laundry, but here is my ingenious transportation: IKEA bags. 69¢ ea. (or was it 59¢?). Three fit in the back of my car, and carry 1-2 weeks' worth of laundry. (I have the smaller bag for the detergent, dryers sheets and quarters.) The long straps make it a breeze to carry at least two bags in, and they fit squarely in the carts for easy packing after everything is folded.

Until this move, I don't remember ever using a laundromat, although I did love doing laundry at the dorm when I was in Grand Rapids. See, we were required to go to church, but I couldn't find a church I liked. So I volunteered to work Sunday mornings at the nursing home (my part-time job), and hid in the laundry room during the evening services. It was ideal: I could use every machine if I needed to, and no one ever looked in there. (They determined whether or not you were at church by seeing if your room was empty. Love the logic, but it made avoiding church simple.) I'd fill all the machines I needed, then sit down against the wall and read until it was time to transfer to the dryer, and then back to the book. Only problem was getting all my laundry back up the the third floor at once, but it was a small price to pay.

Now that I'm in the position to need a laundromat for a while, it's been an interesting adventure. First, I checked online, and saw that the closest coin-op had a low rating (but just one review). The next closest place had a higher rating, but by the same person (suspicious); however, it was in an area that we wanted to check out, so we made the drive. We discovered a fantastic grocery store, but an over-priced laundry with a way-too friendly owner/attendant. (He would not leave us alone the entire time.)

The next time, I opted to try the closer place with the lower rating, and found a bunch of older machines, but $1 a load cheaper and quite clean. My only complaint, as usual: the other customers. The first time, the non-smoking side was practically empty, with just myself and a woman ranting on her cell phone at full volume. This time, I went on Sunday morning, hoping to find the place empty. Surprise -- not so much. But not too terrible, either. A few minutes after I arrived, my least favorite kind of person (or one of them) arrived: Mr. Nextel, who got directions on how to do laundry via his push-to-talk phone at full volume. Not long after, a family arrived, just to use the dryers;* both parents with books to read, and one of two children with nothing to do except circle the place and ask when they'd be leaving.

Note to self: make sure your iPod is in your bag next time!

*I like to try and guess why people do this kind of thing. Either their dryer is broken or they line dry clothes in better weather. (I can't wait to get a clothes line, at least for things like towels.) When we went into the first place, the attendant asked us if we were just there to dry, so I guess it's a common occurrence.