It's the beginning of September. A new school year is starting. And the scariest FIVE words any parent can hear, (besides "We are out of coffee."), are...
OUR WASHING MACHINE IS BROKEN!
We have been without a functioning washing machine in our house for almost 4 weeks. On the surface this sounds like an absolute nightmare. A family of four, two of whom have at least two clothing changes a day for different activities, and one who also happens to be entering the stinky tween time of his life, and yes, this is not ideal.
Add to that a week and a half of everyone having some kind of illness that kept them in bed with fever, chills, and hacking up a lung or two, and the inability to clean linens at the drop of a hat does become an even bigger inconvenience.
During this time, I've had offers from many neighbours and friends to come and use their laundry rooms and I've taken up a few on their offers, but it always feels like an imposition, no matter how much they tell me otherwise.
Then I discovered The Laundromat.
Now, some of you might think, "What do you mean you 'discovered' the laundromat? Haven't you ever gone to one before? What kind of silver spoon life have you led woman?"
I can honestly say that I haven't ever been to one. I've never needed to. In all the apartments, basement suites, and condos I've inhabited throughout my life, laundry facilities were always in-suite or available one floor away. I've never had to cart my dirty underthings (and everything else) to another building to clean it.
The first time I went to the local place (after checking out the reviews on Yelp, of course), I needed help figuring out the machines. Luckily, I must have had NEWBIE tattooed somewhere on my face, because the gentleman running the place came over and told me which machines to use and even helped me get them all started.
That day I put three loads of laundry in at the same time, went across the street to a new antique mall I hadn't seen before to browse around for a bit, and then came back 30 minutes later to put all three in the dryers for another 30 minutes. I read a few articles on my phone while I waited, and then I was done.
It was an AHA! moment people.
What would have taken my fancy front loading machine 3+ hours (not including the drying) to wash at home, was done in 1 hour! Sure it cost me almost $20 in loonies (washers are minimum $4/wash these days), but if we count both the time saved, and the time I got to spend wandering the aisles of the antique mall, ALONE, it was well worth it!
Our washing machine repairs were delayed twice because the first repair guy just didn't show up (and yes, my Window of service was 8-4 PM) and then yet another week while we waited for a part to come in. And so, this past week, I headed back to The Laundromat once again. This time I had 5 BIG loads to do. All our clothes for the past 2 weeks, as well as every germ-covered dirty towel and bed sheet too. I hit up the place right after lunch, used the jumbo washers, and once again, had everything washed and dried within just over an hour. While everything was washing/drying, I also managed to pick up dog food, stock up on toiletries for my husband and I, buy a cute new top for myself, AND finish up last week's #FeministFareFriday post!
I can tell you with 100% certainty, none of that would have gotten done had I been doing the laundry at home!
I am happy to say that our wonderful (NEW) appliance repair person came yesterday and replaced the broken part and once again, I can take the usual 4-5 days to get all the laundry done in the comfort of my own home. You know the drill, wash a load, forget about it, wash it again, finally put it in the dryer, and then let it sit in a basket for another day or so.
Or, just maybe, I've discovered a great little life hack, and when I am feeling like I want to be a bit more productive (or I want an hour ALL TO MYSELF), I might start hitting up The Laundromat a bit more regularly.
I really does smell nice in there.