I’ve come to expect the very worst from laundry room users. My stuff has been thrown on the floor, split into various bins, taken out mid cycle, and stolen. Never in my wildest, laundry-focused fantasies would someone have folded my laundry into organized piles. But the fact that I’m still baffled by this unexpected kindness should attest to the issue at hand. The laundry room is an archetype of inconsiderate behavior, second only to shared bathrooms.
I hate to dedicate an entire column to a topic as mundane as the laundry room but hold onto your eye rolls and scathing comments for just a second and hear me out. I’m just asking that we shape up — myself included. I don’t expect everyone to be folding the underwear of the mystery person who used the dryer previously, or even to use the whiteboards because we all know there’s never a freaking marker anywhere to be found, but there are some practices of common courtesy that should be routine. In short:
1. If you take someone’s clothes out of the wash after a full cycle, put all of them on top of the machine. Check for wet socks stuck to the drum. Pick up the t-shirt that falls into the dusty abyss behind the machine. It’s not that hard.
2.Not everything is meant to go in the dryer. It seems nice to put the clothes you’ve taken from the washing machine into a dryer, but my poorly-made, cheap, but deceivingly expensive-looking tank top cannot take the heat. Don’t start the dryer!
3. If there’s already stuff in a bin, don’t put another dry load on top of it. I have accidentally taken far too many random socks by mistake because someone mixed my stuff with that of the previous bin occupant. If there are no bins available, move it to the counter or on top of a washing machine. Anything but the dreaded mixing, please!
4. STOP STEALING! If you want my pink and cream sweater, grab $10 and I will direct you to the nearest Forever 21. That being said, if you currently have my pink and cream sweater, I’d really like it back.
5. Don’t forget to pick up your stuff from the laundry room. I say this mostly because I’m absolutely terrible about remembering my laundry. I’m ashamed to admit that there have been mornings when I go to the laundry room, take a full outfit from a bin of my clean clothes, and leave the rest. And then I repeat for a few days until my roommate yells at me for my remarkable laziness. Turns out other people need the bins and it is not my personal closet space. Also, if I would only get my clothes from the laundry room when they were done, 1 through 4 wouldn’t really be issues; now would they? Bottom line: Get your clothes in and out and get gone.
If you’re reading this, I’m going to assume you go or have gone to Princeton, which means I’m also going to assume you have a pretty good head on your shoulders. So let me apologize for insulting your intelligence, but between the sweater-shaped hole in my heart and my astonishment at the weird kindness of my dear anonymous folder, I figured I’d throw out a kindly PSA. All I want is a safe place to wash the beer stains out of my gray sweatpants after Filthy Rap Night. Is that so much to ask?
Chelsea Jones is a sophomore from Ridgefield, Conn. She can be reached at email@example.com.