Ghetto Laundry-hanging

...our mighty little washing warrior

My six housemates and I have been desperately avoiding the dreaded task of laundry since our arrival in Europe. We’ve lowered our standards and raised our creativity to reuse, mix & match, and conserve the limited amount of clothing we could bring here.

This weekend, we finally reached that point that left us no choice but to inevitably take on the daunting task of doing laundry…all in the same two days…without a dryer.

Our apartment has one small clothes washer in one of the bathrooms. It fits a little over half of what’s a typical load of laundry for me at home, and the wash cycle takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes. You cannot use the oven during this time, or else the power will go out in our apartment.

While washing is not luxurious, it is perfectly manageable. Drying, however, is where the struggle exists.

Careful not to get clotheslined in our living room / dining room / hallway ๐Ÿ˜‰

If only that light produced heat...

There are two drying racks in our house; there are seven of us. (It is rumored that a third drying rack exists, but we have yet to discover this lost treasure).There may be a clothesline hanging out someone’s window, but fa freddo (it is cold), and we don’t see any neighbors hanging clothes outside from our courtyard window view.

So, we combined out domestic laundry skills with typical Boy Scout survival skills. Never have we had to implement such strategic knot-tying and optimization of spacial resources.

On the downside, we have clothing hanging all over the place–our common room, dining room, bedrooms, hallway lamp posts and dartboard. On the upside, if our apartment were to be entered by burglars, they’d probably be intimidated by what appears to be intricate twine booby-traps all over the place.

While we’re making due with this ghetto laundry-hanging system for the first time around, we do have a few concerns:

  1. How long will these take to dry?
  2. How baggy will stretchy clothes become without a heated dry?
  3. How long can we tolerate having wet laundry hung in every view of our apartment?
  4. How mortifying will it be when we have family visits and guests over?

Desperation at its classiest.

There are two self-service laundry places on our street, which two of my housemates have already used. (Imagine how ghetto we’d get if none of us used it this time around)! Most of us are trying to avoid using a laundromat, because the small but pricy 3,50 Euro dry cycles will add up quickly. But this may be a resource worth allocating for ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

3 comments on “Ghetto Laundry-hanging

  1. Mom says:

    I say splurge on the laundromat!! Hanging laundry all over the apartment is going to get old real fast, especially when all 7 of you need to wash clothes at the same time.

  2. Anonymous says:

    From Aunt Rose and Uncle Louis,

    Elizabeth, we’ve been following your blog and it looks like you are already having fun and looking for “creative” ways to adapt to the cultural differences. My time in Florence was more like a breeze through. The experience of living there is going to be great and when both of us read your blog we are so amazed at your resourcefulness and positive attitude!

    I love the pictures so far! I have to laugh at the merry go round because the tour guide that we had with us in Italy refused to let any of the kids go near it. He had been the guide for a trip earlier last summer, where the teenagers all went on and one of them feel off and needed stitches at the hospital. He was not going to repeat that complication again!

    Don’t you just love all the architecture and statues? Enjoy those Italian guys but, keep them at a distance like Mom advises. You never know what their perception of American women is.
    Looking forward to hearing more about your adventures!

    • Liz J says:

      Thanks so much Uncle Louis & Aunt Rose ๐Ÿ™‚ …I’m glad you’re enjoying the blog. That carousel story is really funny btw haha. And yes, I LOVE the buildings and sites. I can’t wait for it to get warmer because I could easily be entertained for hours just re-exploring the city over and over again.

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