It’s amazing how much we get used to certain conveniences in life.

In the last couple of months, our washing machine, and then our dryer, crapped out. We got them each replaced pretty quickly, but in the small time between electronic death and the installation of new appliances, we spent a not-inconsiderable amount of time at the local laundromat.

First, I was struck by how much more expensive they’ve gotten than when I was in my 20s and sitting in steaming laundromats waiting for my clothing to get clean and dry. That was some time ago, though, so I suppose it’s no surprise that prices have gone up. Even so, it struck me as awfully expensive if you go through as much laundry as I do in a house of multiple active children.

So you take those who (on the whole) earn the least money and force them to go to laundromats where they spend however much of their weekly income (not to mention their time) on getting their clothing clean. Not that I don’t understand that the owners of these places deserve an income – it just reminds me how much more convenient and inexpensive certain things can be if you have money.

Besides the cost is the time investment, as I noted. When you have your own washer and dryer, you can do laundry at any time of day or night. You can turn it on, do your thing and don’t have to worry about being back at the machine at the exact time that it’s finished. No one’s going to take it out of the washer – and if they do, they’ll probably put it in the dryer (at least one would hope so). Your time is your own and the only time it truly takes is the amount of time you spend putting it in the washer, putting it in the dryer and then folding it all at the end.

With the laundromat, we’d put our load in, come home to do some chores, then head back. We would be sure to get back a few minutes early so we wouldn’t lose our machine. Ditto using the dryer. Fortunately, it’s only a couple blocks away, so going home was an option for us. If we had to sit there the whole time, we’d lose a few hours to doing laundry. Also, with only one machine on the fritz at a time, we only had to do one cycle there. We’d time it all to get one load done at home in time to go into the machine we were vacating.

It’s not a huge deal, I suppose, but it definitely saves us a lot of time (and, over the life of the machines, a lot of money, too).

Thank goodness for small favors.

Image by StockUnlimited.

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