I've been thinking a lot about laundry these days, mostly because the laundry room is one of the rooms we're currently redoing. Which means our washing machine and dryer are living a life of leisure on the front verandah, having a little holiday while we make their special room a bit more special.
I'm aware of this every time I take off my clothes, because the knowledge that we're going to have to go to the laundromat if we want clean clothes is making me give a lot more thought to whether any particular item can be worn just one more time. This is a good thing, because we've been pretty cavalier about the amount of laundry we do. We can certainly afford to be more frugal in our clothes-wearing and clothes-cleaning habits, for a whole variety of reasons: energy use, hydro bills, time and effort, and wear-and-tear on our clothes. So even once these last renovations are done and our washing machine and dryer return to their rightful place, I hope the habits we're forming now stick.
We made our first trip to the laundromat yesterday, partly because the dirty clothes pile was reaching toppling height, and partly because Kim's current dental adventures (dentist visit for tooth pain followed by crown followed by more pain followed by emergency root canal followed by infection followed by antibiotics followed by very uncomfortable side effects from the antibiotics - all of which is probably going to be followed by a search for a new dentist) meant she wasn't up to installing baseboard, but she was game for sitting in a chair at the laundromat while I fed coins into machines.
In case you lost your way somewhere in the middle of that ridiculously long sentence, we went to the laundromat yesterday. And it was a very good reminder of how sometimes being poor can make you poorer. Because it cost $2.75 to run a medium sized load through a washing machine, and about the same to get it dry. Five bucks a load? Plus soap? Plus whatever it costs on public transit to get there? Wow. This is where I start thinking about community cooperatives, where people could share washing facilities without being gouged by laundromat owners. My mom always wonders why every family has to own their own set of luggage - couldn't we all share? I wonder the same thing about washing machines.
Speaking of my mom, being at the laundromat made me think of one of the happy memories from my teenage years. Our washing machine broke down one summer and it took a few weeks to get repaired. So my mom and dad would take the laundry to the laundromat - just the two of them - and spend the evening having a laundry date, sitting on the hood of the station wagon and eating bean salad from the local KFC. Even as a fourteen-year-old I thought that was pretty cool - that my parents liked each other's company enough that doing laundry together could make a date.
Since I'm writing about all things laundry, you might be wondering how things are progressing on the last phase of The Slowest Renovations of All Time. Here's the Before picture of the laundry room, which you've already seen. (Do I need to tell you that wallpaper was not one of the selling features of the house?)
Then it looked like this...
...and now it looks like this.
I know our choice of flooring might not be to everyone's taste, but I laugh every time I see it. In a good way. I love that floor. In fact, because I love it so much, here's a longer view of the mudroom and laundry room.
Burger and milkshake, anyone?