Our Best Tips for Living Without a Washing Machine

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When this topic came up as part of our monthly focus on "renters solutions" I jumped at the chance to write about it. I recently had the good fortune of having a washing machine in a unit that I lived in for a few months, and that was a serious luxury. But currently I'm living without a washing machine in my apartment... or anywhere within a city block.

While I definitely cop to bringing my dirty laundry with me on trips home (which is, oh, about 8 hours away), here's how I cope in the day-to-day.

1. Make more frequent trips to the laundromat to keep things manageable. When you are literally hauling your laundry two city blocks, smaller, more frequent trips are infinitely more manageable. While this chore can be a tempting one to put off, because, well, it's a pain to deal with, it's always worthwhile to do it now rather than later.

2. Meet fluff and fold. It's amazing. I try not to rely on laundry services too much, but they actually aren't that much more expensive and they're a lifesaver when I'm busy.

3. Find an ergonomic way to transport your items. Rolling carts are a great option, and I have a massive army bag that I can sling over my shoulder and carry without throwing out my back.

4. Don't forget to bring your own detergent and dryer sheets. The markups for the tiny packages they sell you at the laundromat will cost you in the long run.

5. Pro tip No.1: If someone has scratched an "X" into a washer, it is the universal symbol for "does not work." I don't condone the process, but do keep an eye out. And once you load a washer, stick around for the first few minutes to ensure that it fills and starts spinning before you head for the door.

6. Pro tip No.2: Put a couple quarters in the dryer when you first load your clothes, and check it after a few minutes by feeling the front. If it isn't hot, don't waste the rest of your change and move your things over.

Those are my tips! Share your own in the comments below.

(Image credits: Shutterstock)

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