Heading off to college is both an exciting and frantic time. There are so many changes ahead and one of them may be having to do your own laundry. Here are some tips to make that part of your transition a bit more simple.
Do A Practice Run at Home
If you've never done your laundry before, believe me, college is not the place to start. You don't want to start your second week of classes in pink underwear and bleach-stained jeans. Read up or ask someone to show you how to do different types of laundry - underwear, color clothes, jeans, bed linens and towels.
Gather Your Laundry Essentials
Get your laundry essentials together before you run out of clean underwear. Make just one trip to a big box store or activate your Amazon account to get the eight essentials you'll need for the next four...or five...or six years!
Learn When To Do Laundry
The correct answer to "When should I do laundry", is not when the underwear drawer is empty. Actually, you should do a load of laundry then but you may not need to wash other things. Certain items - like underwear - should be washed after every wearing. Other items can be worn several times before washing; saving you time and money and wear and tear on your clothes. Here is a suggested schedule for when to wash clothes if you are a guy and how often to wash clothes if you're a girl.
Skip The White Stuff
Opt for darker colors or prints for bed linens - especially comforters or bed spreads - and towels. They don't show stains or soil as quickly and they don't turn dingy. This doesn't mean that you don't have to wash them, it just means they'll look better longer between trips to the laundry room.
Opt For Wash And Wear
For bedspreads, blankets, futon covers and decorative pillows, choose items that don't require dry cleaning and can be washed. Again, go for darker colors and slipcovers and pillow covers that can be removed and tossed in a washer. Even if you only clean this stuff at the end of each semester, your pocketbook will thank you. And, you might get more than one year out of each item!
Thin Is In
The luxurious towels that Mom and Dad furnished at home should be left there. Select less expensive, thinner towels. Not only do you save money, they dry faster and you'll avoid mildew problems between washings.
Most less expensive towels are small and may not give some big guys the drying surface (or coverage) they need. Look for end-of-the-season beach towels at discount stores. They are large, thinner and on sale!
Get A Handle or Wheels
You'll save space with a soft-sided laundry bag or hamper (and you can cram more dirty clothes into one). But always look for a bag or hamper with shoulder straps or wheels. All those dirty clothes can get heavy as you head to the laundry room.
Spend a Bit More for Convenience
Those huge bottles of laundry detergent and fabric softener are a good buy. But think of carrying those things down a couple of floors to the laundry room and back up to your dorm room. And, don't even think you can leave them in the laundry room...well, you can, but you'll only get to use them one time before they disappear.
Timing Is Everything
Almost all colleges and universities now offer apps to let you know when laundry room washers and dryers are available. You can also get alerts when each load is finished so you can avoid having your clothes tossed on the floor by another student. After about a month, you'll also discover the best times to do laundry - like early morning on the weekends or Tuesday afternoons.
Need Some Extra Bucks?
If you become proficient at laundry, you can make some extra bucks by setting up a laundry service for others in your dorm. Do a little math, look at your schedule and you can offer pick-up and delivery service and clear a tidy profit.