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Laundry Day

March 06, 2017

by Maggie Tirrell

Apparently back in the early days of Purchase College, when the school was known for being a catalyst for radical change, students staged a protest in which they refused to do their laundry until the machines were made free to use. The protest was successful and we are now able to enjoy a life without keeping jars full of quarters in our dorm rooms; however, that doesn’t make laundry day any more pleasant. In my two years here at Purchase, I have had countless annoying laundry days. I can confidently say now that I have figured out how to plan and execute doing my laundry in order to make it as easy as possible. Now I’m here to share my tips for all of those students who are joining Purchase in the fall. Take note!

TIP #1: Don’t be too quick to throw clothes in your ‘dirty’ pile.

In the switch from living at home with a private washer/dryer to living at Purchase with communal ones, I have come to realize the privilege of clean laundry. At home, if I want to wear something once and then wash it before I wear it again, I totally can. At Purchase, it’s so so so not worth it. Not only is it not environmentally friendly for one person to run so many washing and drying cycles, it’s also just massively inconvenient. I find myself changing outfits a lot throughout the day– maybe because of the weather, different activities I have to dress for, or simply because I’m narcissistic and own a lot of cool clothes I want to wear out! No matter why I do it, I’ve come to find out it just means I can go weeks without washing certain articles of clothing. If you only wear your clothes for a short amount of time, or you don’t really do anything to make you sweat while you’re wearing them, your clothes aren’t really dirty enough to warrant a wash. If you care about the environment, and also about your freetime, I suggest putting your lightly-worn clothing right back in your dresser until it reeeeally needs to be washed.

TIP #2: Scope out the laundry room before committing.

Doing laundry on campus is really pretty easy when you don’t have to wait for other people to take care of their stuff first. The laundry room can be hectic sometimes, so if it’s a prime laundry day or hour (say, Sunday nights or Friday afternoons) make sure you check it out before you lug all your clothes downstairs or down the street to your laundry room. At Purchase we have a handy app called LaundryView that does the virtual version of this, but sometimes nothing beats using your eyes to scope out the laundry situation. You’ll know how your laundry experience is about to go the second you peer into that room.

TIP #3: Set aside time; don’t try to multitask too hard.

Do your laundry when you have at least an hour and a half free to be in your room/the laundry room. I usually set aside some time in which I can just go back to my room until my active participation in laundry day is necessary again. This way you can get it done as soon as possible and have some relaxation time while you do it.

TIP #4: Show up a minute before the timer goes off.

Because there is a limited amount of washers and dryers and a seemingly unlimited amount of people who need to wash their clothes, it’s really a good idea to move your clothes from machine to machine to laundry basket as soon as possible. I always set a timer and go to the laundry room a minute or so before the machine stops, so I can get out of the way and free up the machine for other people. It’s really obnoxious when clothes sit in the machines for hours after the cycle has finished, and this results in people sometimes taking other people’s clothes out in order to free up the machines. I’d rather just take care of my own stuff and not make a hassle for anyone else!

TIP #5: Sometimes it’s nice to fully immerse yourself in the warmest place on campus.

Sometimes, when I do laundry, I bring a book to the laundry room and just hang out in the warmth until my clothes are completely done. I’ve seen other people do this, too. This way, you can take care of your clothes as soon as possible, plus get relaxation time, PLUS get out of your room for a little while! Win, win, win.

Overall, laundry day is only as bad as you make it. Sometimes there are external factors that make the day harder– a broken machine, you ran out of detergent, etc.– but if you follow my tips you’re sure to have an easier laundry day!