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Thursday, April 22, 2010

dirty laundry equals cash

Our family of 6 produces an ungodly amount of dirty laundry each week. It's always been that way - even when we lived in suburbia. A natural law of the universe is: A lot of kids equals a lot of laundry. I bet you haven't seen that law of the universe discussed on Oprah.

But I've noticed a MAJOR difference doing laundry in New York. Now when I see hampers full of dirty clothes, I also see hampers full of dollar bills. And not the kind that will be entering my wallet. These dollars are leaving my wallet.

The harsh truth is that it cost money to do laundry now. As if the pain of washing my delicates was not enough, I now pay money for this honor. And please understand the depth of my pain because I'm not talking about paying someone else to do my laundry. I'm talking about money I spend so I can do the laundry.

I realize I am fortunate to have a laundry room in my building. So, I won't whine too much. A laundry room was actually on my list of "must haves" when we hunted for an apartment. My list included a safe place for my children, laundry in the building, and a place to pee. In private. I don't ask for a lot of frills in life.





I've figured out we spend about $200 each month for the luxury of having clean clothes. That's crazy, isn't it? So several times a week, Lily and I haul our dirty clothes down to the 2nd floor.



I will tell you that all my boys do their own laundry and have for several years. So I don't do their laundry, I just pay for it.

All in all, I knew things would be different when we moved to the city. I knew I'd miss my large capacity washer and dryer. I just didn't know I'd miss this much cash.

12 comments:

Sohailah said...

yeouch!

~Ginger said...

So, I guess complaining that my dishwasher just broke is out of the question. I'm counting my blessings that I can wash my own dishes and NOT pay to do it. Thank the Lord there are only two of us eating around here!

Kirsten Smith said...

Ouch! "Bless your heart." Do you have to hang out in the laundry room while the laundry is going too? So much about this NYC living enthralls me. Are you sure that you didn't move to Mars? I think that it's more intriguing than living in with Australian aborigines. ;)

Jamie Lee said...

1. Michelle, when I was looking for law schools to go to- I have to say that this was one of the reasons why I didn't think I could make it financially to go to school in the city! (amongst many other reasons...) But I can't help but still long to be there!
2. Can I just say "BRAVO" for getting your boys to do their own laundry. My mother made us do our own laundry when we were teenagers, and I have to say it's those little steps of independence that I think are so good!
3. Im coming to NYC this summer... and your blog is feeding my day-dreaming. :)

Anonymous said...

As a fellow NYer, I would like to add that your idea of what "clean" is changes a lot when you think about how much it cost to wash things. Don't get me wrong... this is not the same standard of "clean" as the college days. However it's good to have a little perspective and know that clothes can be worn more than once and should really be dirty to make the trip to the laundromat!

The Neo-Traditionalist said...

Ouch! I know how that goes! You are lucky to have it in the building though! When I lived in San Francisco and Manhattan I didn't have it in the building and that was both expensive AND inconvenient. Cheers to city living...sigh. xoxo katie

The Vagabond Priest said...

Think of it this way: you were always paying to do your laundry. You just didn't realize how much it cost because you didn't have the chance to separate it out from your utility bills. You didn't start paying- you now know exactly how much it costs to do laundry.

Elizabeth said...

This might be the first time that I've heard you state something negative about NYC apartment living. I lived in a walk-up for three years and had to cart the stuff down to the basement. It was awful. I remember the first time I sent it out to be done and how heavenly that was. Do they still have places that will do it or is it just prohibitively expensive? And by the way, I'm so impressed that your boys do their own. That's awesome.

Heidi Jo said...

i was thinking what the vagabond priest said. if everything was broke down like that for us, we might all shudder at what expense we incur.

btw--you are not helping the cause of large families by posting such things ;o) j/k!

dkzody said...

I don't see this as a negative, just a fact of life. Laundry is a chore that has to be done. Look at those gleaming washers and dryers. How many people in the world would be thrilled to have such a place in which to wash their clothes. And dryers! Aren't they just the best. I grew up with a clothesline, no dryer, so I appreciate that appliance every time I use it.

Michelle said...

It's true. It is just a fact of life. I guess if I had to find the silver lining it would be that I can throw more than one load in at once. Only an hour and a half to do all the laundry as opposed to an entire day:-)

Stepha said...

I don't know if this is an option for you, but I hated carting my laundry around (our laundry room only has 2 washers and 2 dryers for about 30 suites, so we often went to the laundromat) so I bought a portable washer. The one I have hooks up to my bathroom sink, and when it isn't in use, we just roll it into the hall closet. They come in different sizes, too. I'm in Vancouver, BC but I'm sure you could find a supplier in New York. I wish someone had brought portable washing machines to my attention before, because I never knew they existed before!

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