Monday, November 14, 2011

Unpublished Memoirs, Part II: Procrastination works every time....or not

January/February 2010
Firstly,  I would like to note that before I moved to Germany, I used to think that the lines of laundry hanging over the streets was such a charming touch. I still find it charming, albeit also a bit disgusting, but still charming.  I cannot imagine that laundry really get clean hanging above a dirty street in a city.  However, I am certain that the laundry is only hung above the street because it has a no other place to go.  Apartments here are tiny, why fill the already limited space with racks of laundry.  On almost every balcony/terrace and in almost every garden here, one is bound to find hanging laundry at some point during the week.  It is just how life here is.

So today is laundry day.  Or rather, our laundry is out of control so I must start washing clothes now.  Why the wait? Why the procrastination?  Well,  I hate hanging and folding laundry.  Particularly the hanging, unhanging (is that a word, or did I just make it up), and folding  part.

November 2011

I know, I didn't write much back in 2010, but I still find this topic to be relevant. Plus, I left you all with a bit of a cliff hanger. Why is it exactly that I find laundry to be such a pain here? 

One reason: We do not own a dryer.  Here are my(our) reasons why:

1) A dryer is super expensive to own.  Energy is expensive here, plus David and I aim to live a greener lifestyle and excess energy use via a dryer just doesn't jive with our livestyle.

2) We don't have space. Even in our spaceous (80 m2 or 860 ft2) apartment, I have no idea where to put a dryer.

Now for the most important reason:

3) No matter how much I whine or cry,  David isn't going to let me buy one while we live in Germany. I have to get over it.  I have. I have moved on to bigger battles. :)

None of this changes the fact that I HATE doing laundry.  It is my least favorite chore, unfortunately it is the most necessary.  Even in the states, I found laundry to be a never ending task, but without a dryer it takes planning to have clean clothes to wear everyday. I am 150% sure that this the reason why my husband has enough clothes to go 2 months without doing laundry. The first time I went to his apartment, he had a chair COVERED in clean laundry.  I don't think he went through the laundry and put it away until his parents came to visit. 

There are 3 time related challenges that laundry presents:

1)  Everything must airdry.  This required somewhere between 1 day (above 80 degrees F) and 1 week ( below 40 degrees F).  Thus, if i want to wear something on a specific day I can't just procrastiate and wash it at 9 pm the night before.  Not happening unless I want to wear wet clothes or spend 30 minutes with a hairdryer try to get the waistband of my jeans dry. True story. I don't recommend doing this.  It is NOT worth the effort unless you have nothing else to wear.  By nothing else to wear, I mean that 100% of your clothes must be hanging wet on the laundry racks.  100%. Basically, it is never worth the effort. 

2) We don't like to run the washer past a certain time.  We live above other people who prefer that we not run our washer at all hours of the night. Technically, we do not have a written statement in our apartment forbidding us from running the washer after a certain time, but I try to be a good neighbor, even if one of our neighbors disagrees (another topic for another day). My goal is to finish running the washer by 9 pm.  10 pm in cases of absolute emergencies. Yes, laundry emergencies exist. :)

3)  I am not home much on weeknights. I get home before 6 pm maybe one day a week, maybe, if I am lucky.  I am a busy bee and I like it that way.  As you know from reason #2,  that mean that I am only home at most for 3 of the self-allowed washing hours.  A tough challenge when a load of laundry takes somewhere between 40 and 95 minutes to run it's course. Enter the best invention ever (Okay, maybe not ever, but a great one, nevertheless) :  the timer function.  Just load, add soap, set, forget, and come home to a freshly washed load of laundry waiting to be hung.  I did this just this morning.  I love the feature.  The only challenge that it presents, is that you have to remember to take the laundry out of the laundry upon arriving home.  Otherwise, you get moldy laundry, and that is NOT good.  Fortunally, our washing machine has a light blinks when a load finishes. We usually notice the light in reasonable time.  It also has an annoying buzzer, but that stops after about 20 minutes. 

It really isn't that bad. Laundry is a pain whether one has a dryer or not.  Laundry is a fact of life.  Just like death and taxes.

 I could be worse. I could have to wash everything by hand, hang it dry, and then iron it.

Ironing. Please, do make me go there. Ever. *Shutters in horror*


  1. I feel for you. I can't imagine the strategizing it must take to ensure a particular skirt is washed and dryed for a particular day. There must be times you have to plan your outfits a week in advance! I didn't get enough sleep on Sunday night because I didn't plan accordingly how long a load of laundry would take to wash and dry. Thank goodness I didn't have to *hang* it to dry!

  2. You can come borrow mine in case of emergency...just hope that it's a day that it's in a good mood and wants to function properly. It can be a bit testy :)

  3. @Kristy: The planning isn't too bad. I've learned to just go with it when something I want to wear the next day isn't clean. I wish I could plan outfits, that would certainly make mornings faster, but I am more of a night before/morning of kind of gal.

    @Cara: Thanks for the offer. :) I might have to take you up on that. David never tells me when he has business meetings that he had to dress up for. Just today he when to a business meeting and work something that was wrinkled and dirty. He is a walking advertisement for our laundry conundrum.

  4. i love laundry -- but only the modern version --- washer and dryer and a dry cleaner on every corner....