As the parents of 5 kids, now grown, we understand the vital interplay between how you arrange your space and the activities (or conflicts) that occur within that space. As Leslie puts it: “You have to create the conditions for success”
As we think about the laundry room, we asked ourselves if we had created the physical conditions that made change possible and likely that we would make a significant change in how we do laundry … and our answer was, not yet.
The Physical Space for Washing
Our laundry room is the only unfinished room left in the house. It’s big but we use it for a lot of things besides laundry – food storage, tool storage, beer brewing, seedling growing, box storage There’s very little room to move – which means very little room to hang clothes to dry. And a lot of room is taken up by the washer and dry and detergent holder.
Our ideal laundry room would now use that hand spinning washer ($50) and the laundry spinner ($175) from Laundry Alternatives. We’ve bought the washer. That’s not too much, but the laundry spinner is an investment. I think we’ll take Phil Grove’s suggestion and spin in our washing machine. We’ll see how that goes and reassess at the end of winter.
We think the drying setup we have would work if we cleared a few things out.
Can We Expect This of Others, Like Our Renters?
Here’s the real challenge. We rent rooms to college students. Renters expect laundry facilities. Renters can’t be expected to be committed to sustainability or to willingly give up modern day conveniences. There is a laundromat 2 blocks away but I think it would be a deterrent to our finding tenants.
How We Use Our House
Like most Americans, our house is more than a place we sleep. We think of it as an extension of ourselves, a manifestation of our lives and our personalities. It’s certainly not a showcase — although it was featured in the 2008 Tour of Homes — but we try.
I’m realizing that the changes we may need to make to power down will likely mean that our house becomes more “functional.” The washing machine and dryer are very attractive, compact units. Hanging clothes to dry in the laundry room and sewing room is not attractive. It’s functional. We may find that our home usage takes on the patterns found a century ago – with a formal parlor for entertaining guests and visitors don’t see other parts of the house that are performing their function.
How We Use Our Time
This is going to be the biggest shift, the most difficult shift and possibly the best. I’m going to talk about it in the next blog post — Mindfulness.