I love doing my laundry. I never thought I’d say that. But it’s never been so easy. Why? I have a washing machine and – wait for this – a dryer. AND they are both INSIDE my apartment. I live in the lap of luxury. I can do all my laundry, without even leaving my house, in a matter of minutes.
Compare this to every flat I rented in London – none of them had a clothes dryer. In fact, I’m not sure I even knew anyone in London who had a dryer. Everyone just washed their clothing in the washing machine, and then hung the wet clothes up to dry, either on a on a clothes line outside the window in the summer, or over the radiators in the cold damp winter.
And even then I was lucky. In Holland, I didn’t even have a washing machine in my apartment. Doing laundry was an afternoon-long ordeal which involved hauling my dirty clothes bag to the nearest laundromat, hanging around for the washing machine to finish, hanging around longer for the dryer to finish, and then folding everything before carrying it back home (or, more likely, just shoving it all back into the laundry bag so it was nicely wrinkled by the time it ended up back in my closet).
And, even then, I was STILL lucky. In Tunisia and Somaliland, I didn’t even have access to a washing machine. I just went to the back yard or the roof and washed my clothing by hand in a bucket, like most of the world does. Because it was so time-consuming, I got in the habit of wearing each item of clothing as many times as possible before throwing it in the laundry pile. I knew I had done well when the water would come off brown while I did my washing. The days when I used to wear something only *once* and then throw it in the laundry basket were a distant memory.
Indeed, since doing my laundry has always been so taxing, the habit of wearing and re-wearing clothes and only washing them when they are actually dirty has become totally ingrained in me (for the record, underwear remains strictly one time use only, except in emergency situations… I’m talking about shirts, dresses, pants, etc. here… even socks can be multiple use, depending on the circumstances). But now that I am once again in the land of the laundry leprechaun, I can see myself starting to slack.