I have a secret. It’s a good one. It’s cheaper than you would think and it will change your life.
I don’t do my own laundry. I pay someone else to.
It has changed my life.
A few months ago, my washing machine broke. It worked, but sometimes wouldn’t spin. We have a pretty small stackable washer/dryer unit that gets a lot of use. We washed Roozle’s cloth diapers for 2.5 years. I wear a lot of hooded sweatshirts. Our laundry was always going. And piling. And switching. And then there’s the folding. For some reason, in my house, we are really good at getting the washer loaded. We even are pretty good at switching it to the dryer most days, but after that, we fail. Those piles of unfolded, yet clean, laundry haunted me.
But that’s not the worst part. You know what the worst is: Falling Behind. Because, once you fall behind, even by one load, you’re totally screwed. You will never catch up. It’s the end. You should just move.
My coworker has been sending her clothes out to be washed for years. She told me about it, but I never quite got it. Until the washer broke. We were just coming back from vacation and didn’t have either the money or time to deal with getting it fixed, so we gathered up all our laundry, 35 pounds of it, and brought it to the laundromat on the way to Roozle’s school. And we dropped it off.
For $35, they washed, dried, and folded three weeks worth of laundry.
It was amazing. But expensive. Way too expensive to do all the time. But it felt so good. I was determined to find a way to make it work. Because dropping off the big bag of laundry that day meant something magical. We were caught up. And that? That’s a really big deal.
I have since found a way to make it work and we outsource most of our laundry.
A few considerations:
- Do you have small children?
- Small children have small clothes.
- They are very dirty clothes.
- They are very hard to fold. And get lost a lot.
- They don’t weigh very much.
- Do you dryclean a lot of your clothes already?
- If you dryclean some or a lot of your clothes, are you already paying to wash your heaviest items or most frequently worn items?
- Underwear, socks, and tshirts don’t weigh very much.
- Sometimes the drycleaning happens in the same place as the pay-per-pound cleaning
- Do you have a scale?
- We use our scale that we don’t weigh ourselves on to weigh our laundry bag.
- Towels are heavy. Sheets and blankets are heavy. Weigh them.
- You can weigh your laundry to get an idea of how much it will be then take the stuff out of the bag that you don’t mind folding and wash that at home. For us, we wash towels, bathing suits, sheets, bath mats, and sweatshirts at home. They’re heavy and easy.
Once you aren’t behind and drowning in piles of unfolded laundry, everything in your life is better. Okay, maybe not everything, but mostly everything. For us, we’re now spending about $15 per week on laundry and only doing two heavy loads at home, when we feel like it. We drop it off on the way to Roozle’s pre-school and pick it up on the way home. It’s the most amazing thing that has ever happened.
For us, this works on a regular basis. Maybe it would for you too. Or it can be a back up when you are overwhelmed. Or if someone offers you a salon gift card for a birthday, ask for a laundromat card instead. Often, for less than $20, you can get your house back. Try it out. Life rules.