I didn’t expect to learn this much about laundry. When we were packing up the house everyone warned us that the kitchen would be the most likely place for me to
underestimate (they were right) but on the road it looks like laundry might be my undoing.
When we moved into the apartment in Texas I hit Craigslist and found a man who repaired and sold washers and dryers in Wichita Falls. In a seamless transition I went from my giant 4.2 cubic foot top load washer in Ohio to a tiny washer that may have been around when my mother was born.
Oddly enough I learned three things from this move.
1) Location, location, location-my giant washer in our former house was located in the basement. I never considered this to be an issue…until I had the washer and dryer in the bathroom of our apartment. Part of the ‘dreaded’ laundry chore appears to have been the location of our former washer and dryer. It sounds silly but it is sooooo much easier to to throw a load in the washer or move it into the dryer on the way in and out of the bathroom…a place that it is normal to be in and out of multiple times during the day, unlike the basement.
2) Bigger isn’t always better-my huge washer could handle about twice the load that my apartment washer could. I remember thinking how great it was that I could wash ALL the jeans when they were dirty…but what I didn’t realize was that I had quickly moved to ONLY washing laundry when I could fill the washer…which was when we all ran out of cloths. Oddly enough the location of the smaller washer and the fact that I could fill it with less actually encouraged me to do laundry more often, yet in a more casual way. The smaller loads were also less daunting for folding and putting away …who knew smaller loads could be better.
3) Gentle or clean- the two washers, small and old vs large and new, also seem to have one other noticeable difference. The small and old washer excelled at cleaning our dirty barn jeans, something we had noticed was a challenge for our new and large washer. It appears that the old fashioned agitator in the middle of the washer and/or the amount of water really does get cloths cleaner but at a cost. The old washer excelled with jeans but also removes years of life from more delicate items. A new dressy shirt from ‘The Loft’ within a load or two looked like a yard sale item…not an easy lesson. It seems that the new washer can seriously extend the life of nicer garments.
We moved out of the apartment three weeks ago and I made my first trip to a laundry mat last week. Laundry mats seem to encourage a return to my former ‘only wash when everything is dirty’ theory of washing. True, with that many washer and dryers I am more efficient but now I have a whole new learning curve of setting, temperatures and determining the wear and tear on clothing.
Unless I experience a new revelation, I think the next home we own will have the washer and dry on the first floor…and very likely located in the bathroom or on some other high traffic path. When we started this adventure I never would have guessed that laundry would provide this many lessons.