Laundromat Rules

ETwice a year I bundle up all my bedding – allergy covers, dust ruffle, sheets, comforter and pillows – then I head on down to the laundromat. I could do all this laundry at home but I’d rather get it all done in an hour or instead of running up and down the basement steps all day long.

Since I’ve been schlepping down there for almost 20 years, I’ve realized that there are some rules involved in the laundromat.

  1. Early is better. Even if I go at 6 a.m. there is usually someone else there at opening. By 9 a.m. it’s starting to get hopping. I’ve driven by later at night and it’s mostly empty.
  2. Leave at least one machine open between you and the next person. Unless all the other machines full, then you have to squeeze in between others.
  3. After you have your washers going, don’t stay. Either doze in your car out in the parking lot (with your dog perhaps) or go run another errand.
  4. But time your nap or your errands. If the machines are all full and people are waiting, you’ll find your wet laundry sitting on a table. (This also applies to still damp laundry in the driers.)
  5. Take finished laundry out to your vehicle as it gets dry – don’t wait until everything is done to start your departure.
  6. Don’t look others in the eyes, don’t engage in small talk, don’t’ smile.

I follow most of the rules, although I’ve never taken anybody else’s laundry out of a washer or dryer. I do try to look at others and smile, but it doesn’t do much good, as nobody else looks up.  And I don’t sit in my car either – something to drink, maybe a donut and a book and I’m good for the time I’m there.

When do you make your own rules?

27 thoughts on “Laundromat Rules”

  1. If by “rules” you include recipes, directions and instructions, my tendency is to weigh them against what makes sense to me. If the two don’t match, I favor my logic.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    It was fun to make my own rules and procedures when I started my practice years ago. It was not really necessary until people started working for/with me, but up to then, I made them up just for me. After years of working for rule-laden bureaucracies it was really weird to have none at all. I think I made up my own just so I could get out of bed in the morning.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I think some of the people in the news who made their own rules for tax and financial disclosures will be answering this question in Federal Court.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I have my own rules for my play therapy room:

    1. No one is for hurting.
    2. Toys are not for breaking on purpose.
    3. Toys are not for throwing.
    4. We stay in the room until our time is up (unless we
    have to go to the bathroom).
    5. I clean up.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I developed my own rules or principles for parenting. Some were derived from years of training dogs. I know that sounds odd, but it actually isn’t. For example, when training dogs you learn that shouting is not more effective than calm speech. Similarly, shouting at children is not better than calm speech for correcting undesirable conduct.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. OT. At the last Blevins, we waffled between December 3 and 10, with nobody objecting to either. We chose the 3rd, but I would like to move it to the 10th, if that’s ok with everyone???


    1. I can’t make it on the 10th, but carry on. I’ll be at the Hosanna Lutheran Church Christmas extravaganza. Always an amazing production and followed by dinner at Jensen’s with daughter #2 and her husband.


  7. HI–
    I don’t think I’ve ever used a laundromat. I’m not even sure I’ve ever been in one. I must have for some reason… but I don’t know why or when. Interesting about leaving space between. Why is that VS?

    Yeah, I make up the rules often. Sometimes I plow a field the other direction than normal just because i can. Walking to the clinic buildings, I often go in a staff door. Just because. They’re not all card access and it’s just another hallway. If I just had the white lab coat I’d fit right in.

    Course I know the Seinfeld episode…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m not sure if the space is territorial or if it’s part of the whole “don’t look anybody in the eye” thing.


  8. I used to have a theory that laundromats would be the ideal place to meet someone I might want to marry. Two reasons. Married women don’t generally patronize laundromats, so it would work as a place to meet singles. Mostly I thought that any woman in a laundromat who was in a great mood as she folded her blouses would probably be a friendly partner along life’s path.

    It’s just a theory. I never tested it out.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. After my divorce at age 60, I did the pedestrian online dating thing for about five years. After trekking through the entire learning curve and not finding even one man with whom I was compatible, I started thinking creatively. One idea was to hang out in an aisle at Home Depot, near an attractive, older man. I’d then play dumb and ask for his help to pick out a tool and how to use it. It was a great idea, but I never tested it out.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. From my experience in laundromats, I’m not sure that your theory about who frequents them holds true. Too bad you didn’t test it out and could report on it.


  9. OT – Posting this on the off chance that it may be of interest to a baboon or two:

    Dar Williams presents
    What I Found in a Thousand Towns: A Traveling Musician’s Guide to Rebuilding America’s Communities–One Coffee Shop, Dog Run, and Open-Mike Night at a Time
    Wednesday, November 8, 2017 – 7:00pm @ Common Good Books

    Not a ticketed event. We’ll pack as many in the store as we can!

    A beloved folk singer presents an impassioned account of the fall and rise of the small American towns she cherishes

    Dubbed by the New Yorker as “one of America’s very best singer-songwriters,” Dar Williams has made her career not in stadiums, but touring America’s small towns. She has played their venues, composed in their coffee shops, and drunk in their bars. She has seen these communities struggle, but also seen them thrive in the face of postindustrial identity crises.
    Here, Williams muses on why some towns flourish while others fail, examining elements from the significance of history and nature to the uniting power of public spaces and food. Drawing on her own travels and the work of urban theorists, Williams offers real solutions to rebuild declining communities.
    What I Found in a Thousand Towns is more than a love letter to America’s small towns, it’s a deeply personal and hopeful message about the potential of America’s lively and resilient communities.

    Liked by 1 person

        1. All the joys of having the moderator watching the website during the afternoon. Assuming this was the link you meant Wes.

          Liked by 1 person

  10. I was in a laundromat just last week. I sometimes take bulky things to a laundromat just up the street if they look like they will overfill my little front-loading machine at home.

    Someone had a dog tied to a table, and the dog was fairly friendly at first, but then decided I was someone who must be barked at.

    As I was unloading my washer to transfer to the dryer, a small black cat wearing a harness walked across a table to check me out.

    It was apparently Bring Your Pet to the Laundromat Day in my neighborhood.

    Liked by 6 people

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