I Love My Laundromat

When I was five years old we lived in a triplex on Fremont Avenue in Seattle and went to the Laundromat on the corner every week. It was one of my very favorite places. It had a warm, clean smell and squeaky yellow linoleum floors. My sister and I loved taking turns pushing each other around in the wheeled laundry baskets, playing tag, and climbing inside the dryers and the extractor. In retrospect, I’m amazed we didn’t get kicked out of the place!

So even if I wasn’t a Whedonite and a fan of Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along-Blog, I’d still have a soft spot for Laundromats. Laundry facilities were available at each of the three other places I’ve lived since moving to Portland, but not at my new digs. So I was secretly delighted when I realized I’d have to find a Laundromat in my new neighborhood. And find one, I did. I think I might have found the coolest Laundromat in the world!

Now once a week I head to the Belmont Eco Laundry with a backpack full of laundry to wash. I alternate between biking and bussing depending on the weather. The Laundromat is an especially nice place to be on a rainy day. I've just gotten a Smart Klean laundry ball at the suggestion of my friend Karin, another tiny houser. So far I'm liking it quite a bit, even though it's one more thing (since it's not disposable it counts as a thing in my Thing Challenge). It's nice to not have to think about buying detergent anymore!

Unless I'm doing sheets and blankets I'm able to fit everything into one of the 18-gallon washing machines, which are the smallest they have. I pay $2.25 for the quick wash on my credit card (no need to bother with all those quarters!) and settle down to do use the free wifi while waiting the 16 minutes for the magical washing machine to finish up. The machine sends me a text message when it is time to switch my laundry to the dryer. I grab one of the wheeled baskets (so tempting to crawl inside and scoot around the Laundromat, pushing myself off the washing machines, but I resist!)

I've been impressed by how my clothes are already nearly dry because of the rapid spin cycle of the industrial washing machines. I've discovered it usually takes only 2 quarters (14 minutes) to dry my clothes. If I'm only doing one load clothes I can get things washed and dried in just half an hour! I don’t have to deal with quarters and I even got to check my email. The only thing that would make this place truly perfect would be if they happened to have a coffee shop next door, but I'm still pretty pleased! I’ll do my best to refrain from turning laundry day into a musical…

Taking the Heat

I've lived in the tiny house for a month now and I'm still a little giddy every morning when I wake up. I've settled into some routines that work well for me and it's feeling more and more like home. A friend helped me fetch my oh-so-comfy Savvy Rest latex foam mattress from Walla Walla where I'd stored it with a friend for a few weeks while I settled in. It's 10 inches tall, which reduces the headroom when I sit up in the loft, but it's so luxurious I'm perfectly okay with it. It's such a cozy spot, especially on chilly mornings.

Out of sheer stubbornness I decided I wasn't going to turn the heat on until November. It's the 2nd of November now and I'm really grateful for the heat. I'll take it! Brittany installed a propane boat heater but she said she actually preferred using the electric oil radiator heater on wheels, so that's what I've used today. It's been nice and toasty. I think the heater will become part of my daily routine, too.

Each day I crack the windows top and bottom to provide good ventilation while I'm out since there isn't an exhaust fan in the house. Brittany had trouble with condensation last year, so per her request I'm also running a tiny dehumidifier. When it fills up (which happens about once a week) I use the contents of the little pail to water my two house plants.
I do a load of laundry at my host house once a week. When the weather is nice enough to dry clothes outside I do. I haven't tried line drying inside the tiny house because of the moisture management issues, but I might give it a go now that I'm using heat again. I do have a five-line retractable clothes line I could run between the lofts.
The water heater is a four gallon tank instead of an on-demand model. I don't figure I need it on when I'm not using it, so I flip the water heater on when I get up in the morning. I do my cooking early in the day and pack food to eat in between classes. I turn the water heater off before I leave for school so it isn't using up propane during the day while I'm gone or over night while I'm sleeping.
Tidying up the house goes pretty quickly since everything is close at hand. I put things back in their places, wipe down the counters, shake the rugs, sweep the floor. It only takes about fifteen minutes!
And I don't need to deal with the least favorite of chores: cleaning the shower. The tiny house does have a shower but I haven't used it since I have access to the gym on campus. I bike to school several times a week which takes me about an hour since I'm a slow poke. When I get there I shower and get ready for class. I like that the tiny house has a shower and if I wasn't going to shower at the gym almost every day anyway I think I'd probably be using the one here. Instead I'm using it as a closet. The shower curtain rod works perfectly well for clothes hangers and it makes the bathroom a sweet little dressing room.
It's such a good Little Life!