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How to Survive the Laundry Mat {North Hollywood Edition}


*Note* This post was originally written over a year ago, but is just now being posted.

It's still useful! And enjoyable if I do say so myself! :)

 

Oh laundry mat. You're a magical place: I go with dirty laundry and lots of quarters and come out 2 hours later with clean laundry and no quarters. Yes, I love clean laundry, and yes I love people watching, but I really don't like the time I have to spend there.

Here's the thing: I have one day a week off - Sunday. Basically, THE WORST day of the week to have to go to the laundry mat. I think people are just wound up because it's the day before Monday and they're not happy about it. I don't blame them. But it seems that tensions run high at the ol' laundry mat on Sundays.

I have not had the greatest experiences there: washers that don't stop spinning, dryers that don't actually dry, I-Pads being stolen, and most recently, being threatened with physical harm. I'm a pretty agreeable person, but the laundry mat seems to disagree. My laundry mat routine is pretty simple: get in, get 2 washers, when finished, get 1 dryer, fold clothes when finished drying. I keep to myself, I don't take up much space, and I'm very polite. I don't know why the laundry mat has a problem with me! Although, I have been told, on several different occasion, by a friend, that I have a very punchable face. Thanks Lesley. This is the only reasonable conclusion for my laundry mat issues.

SO!! I have decided to make a list of ways to survive the laundry mat.

Step 1: Don't go to the laundry mat.

I know, I know, this is a bit over-simplistic. I'm sure you're thinking, "Ummm, listen lady, if I had options or a washer and dryer of my own I wouldn't be opting for the laundry mat". I get it! But hear me out.....

I was talking to my friend Erin about my laundry mat adventures. She's a Mom of 2 (ages 3 and 5 - please see photo gallery for reference of adorableness) and has always been really good at 'homestead' type things: cooking, cooking with out recipes, growing stuff, home remedies. After regaling her with my most recent encounter she said to me, "Why don't you just do your laundry in your tub? I've done it many times. Throw a load in HOT water in the tub, let it soak for an hour, stomp it out like a bunch of grapes, scrub the crotches and pits a bit extra, rinse. No drama." I thought to myself she's insane. Then I thought to myself that I've done plenty of sink washing with socks, undies, and t-shirts on vacations, this is just a larger scale. Hmmmm, I'll give it a try.

Bath Tub Laundry - aka #laundrybath

I sent this picture to my roommate while she was at work and said, "Life Hack by Erin".

Her response: Seriously?! You're doing laundry in our tub?!

She doesn't have the same laundry mat issues that I do - she goes on Wednesdays.

#laundrybath

I sent her this photo after and said,

"Beware Bath Laundry Paraphenalia"

She said, "Guess I won't be showering tonight."

Outcome of said Bath Laundry: It's a lot of work! I have severely underestimated the importance and amazingness of the spin cycle. Apparently I underestimated the rinsing part too - my tops and pants felt a little soapy when I'd sweat, and no body is ok with that.

Except my roommate - she thinks it's Hilaaaaaarious.

I shall continue Bath Laundry, but I think I'll stick to socks, undies, and thin shirts. It'll still help me avoid the mat for another week.

Step 2: Bribe Your Roommate

This option didn't work for me, but it may for you. This is how it went for me:

Me: Hey Becky, caaaaaan you do my laundry for me? I'll pay for it.

Becky: No.

Me: Plllleeeeeease. You know how much I hate the laundry mat!

Becky: (slight pause) No.

Me: Come on! It's two loads: Darks and Colors! All you have to do make sure NOT to dry my work out clothes and shirt Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y & Z."

Becky: That is an awful lot of demands for someone who washes her clothes in the tub.

Me: You know I have a lot of sweat-wick stuff that can't go in the dryer, Beckeeeeey!

(Insert a lot of sass when saying her name)

Becky: Rolls eyes and gives me "The Becky" look.

You know, for someone who wants to shower so badly, you'd think she'd be a little more amicable......

The Becky Look

This is the look she gives me 93.7% of the time I'm speaking.

Step 3: Take a Book

Like I said above, Sundays are my only day off work. Except, when you're self-employed you never really have a day off. I only have a day I don't have to go into the 'office'. I still work. Often times, this work consists of stuff online. You know, marketing, and setting up Facebook posts, continuing education programs, and writing blog posts (not my strong suit!). To do this, I usually bring my I-Pad because 1) it's smaller than my lap top and 2) it's not my laptop.

So, one day, I'm on my I-Pad doing some work and my timer goes off to switch from washer to dryer. I bundle up all my things into a nice pile and walk the two feet from my chair to the washer to the dryer. My back is to my space for the 2 minutes I threw wet clothes into a dryer and put in 2 quarters. I return to my seat, and Viola! I-Pad is gone.

I then go to the owner of the laundry mat and ask if the cameras work. He says no. I go home and check my I-Cloud 'Find my I-Pad' locator thing: it says the laundry mat's address. I go to the police department. They say they can't do anything but I can file a police report. I return to laundry mat. A nice lady comes up to me and whispers, "Garbage can". I go over, move a few papers, and there's my I-Pad. My guess is that it was put there for 'safe keeping' to come back for later. Haha! Fooled you I-Pad thief! There are good people around who will ruin your plans!

My advice: Just take a book instead. No one would steal a book.

......except maybe Becky. She's shifty like that.

Step 4: Stay In Your Car

Since I have to work, the whole 'just bring a book' thing isn't the best use of time. My solution: park right in front of the laundry mat, utilize the Wi-Fi, work, and lock everything to switch loads.

It works quite well, except during warm weather. You'll learn to adjust your laundry outings around peak temperature times, but once you figure it out - SUCCESS!

Step 5: Fold At Home

Apparently, the folding tables are not in fact for folding. They are for Bogarting. And are a cause for threats. I didn't realize this until a recent trip to the laundry mat.

There was a folding table open. A lady standing next to it who I just saw put her wet laundry into a dryer. She's on her phone, leaning against a washer on the side of said table. All other tables are being used. I get my half load of clothes (because most of mine are hang dry - sweat wick!) out of the dryer and head to the empty table. I use half the table to make piles of folded clothes and that's when I hear, "Oh hell no! Can you believe this?! I just wiped down my table and this B**ch thinks she can just use it!"

I keep folding, because 1) this lady has zero clothing items on the table and 2) I will literally be finished with my folding in 10 seconds. She did not like this. She continued, "This B**ch is ignoring me, acting like she can't hear me. I'm gonna punch this B**ch in the face. I swear to God."

At that point, I grabbed my basket and said, "I'm done. All yours when your laundry is ready." (Yup, I needed to add a little sass.) Then I ran to my car and locked the doors.

My advice: Just gather your laundry from the dryer, put it in your basket, and fold in the safety of your own home. Pairing this action with #4 works extremely well.

There you have it! Lindsey's Laundry Mat Survival Guide! I hope it serves you well!

If you have any Laundry Mat Survival advice, feel free to leave a comment!

 

*UPDATE*

Step 6: Do Laundry At Your Boyfriend's House

This has been my game plan for the last year or so. It works quite well and I highly recommend it! :)

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