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