I was wondering if I could get advice on this....
We recently moved into a house where laundry has become a huge pain in the neck. Our W/D is in the basement and our bedrooms are on the second floor, and since I injured myself twice trying to carry laundry upstairs, I've decided I'm not going to do that anymore. Part of having money is being able to pay people to do stuff you don't want to do.
So we have a cleaning woman to whom I pay $150/session, and she has agreed to do the laundry. But she feels our dryer takes too long, so last time I came home from an exhausting day at work to find dry clothes in the dryer, wet clothes in the washer, and ANOTHER load of wet clothes in a basket. I literally started to cry because I had a headache and I couldn't deal with three loads of laundry right then.
I don't know what to do. I feel like there must be a solution to this problem, but I haven't found it. I don't know if I'm expecting too much from our cleaning woman either. But I know I don't want to come home on her cleaning days to a shitload of wet clothes I then have to deal with.
If you had a task that took a fair amount of time, wouldn't you start it at the beginning of your shift? Sounds like you need a new cleaning lady.ReplyDelete
If she's doing the linen, she can't start THAT soon because she has to strip the beds first.Delete
Agreed - she should start the shift by putting on a load of laundry - and if she can't do 2 loads, at least stick to one load.ReplyDelete
I'm wondering if just hiring a laundry service makes more sense...Delete
Our dryer takes about an hour and 15 minutes per load, sometimes more, so I get where she's coming from. But I wouldn't be happy in your shoes, especially because you have an agreement. Coming home to two loads of wet clothes wouldn't be okay with me-- that's how the mildew smells get a chance to start.ReplyDelete
How many hours is she supposed to be at your house? If she needs to complete (I'm guessing?) 4 loads of laundry, are you paying her to be there for about 5.5-6 hours? If you aren't, that may be the first thing to talk with her about: does she want to revise her hours/pay upwards to accommodate the need? If you're already paying her for that amount of time, then you probably need to talk with her about your expectations and let her know that it's a condition of her continued employment with you. And follow through on replacing her if it doesn't change.
Other options, if you want to take it off of her plate because you don't want her at your house for that long:
1. Don't let the laundry pile up that much. I'm in a family of three with one potty training, and I do smaller loads every day or every other day. You're less likely to injure yourself with the smaller loads.
2. If you own your house, see what the cost would be to install a washer/dryer on the second floor of your house. I've seen second-floor linen closets and parts of walk-in closets repurposed to accommodate stackable washer/dryers--it could work.
3. If you want to be more radical, switch to a "family closet" plan, where you have clothing racks and drawers in the basement, and everyone's clothes are kept down there.
4. See if there's a laundry service in your area, where you could have your laundry picked up from your doorstep, taken offsite to wash, and bring it back.
5. Depending on the ages of the people in your family: offload all washing/drying onto them. My mother switched us to "do your own" when my youngest sibling was 8, and I suspect that sibling could have managed it sooner if she'd been given a chance.
I've definitely got the kids pitching in on the laundry. Our basement has zero insulation, so we don't want to keep too much down there. It's not our house... we are just renting so what we can do is limited.Delete
find a local high school/college student that needs a bit of extra cash. they are the best dog walkers/laundry/random errands people. they study while the loads are running.ReplyDelete
Yeah, but then I've got a teenager hanging around my house all day! ;)Delete
See if you can move the washing machine/dryer. I had a similar issue, and moved both of them upstairs, washing machine into the ensuite, dryer onto the enclosed verandah (on the other side of the window to the ensuite, was surprisingly convenient to throw the wet laundry into the waiting basket outside the window. Yes it did look weird but it WORKED and it meant I didn't need to deal with stairs).ReplyDelete
Most washing machines take less time than dryers, and most of the time I get two loads of washing to one dryer time-wise. This is fine, you time manage to go and do other things so you don't get stuck with two wet loads. Most machines have count down timers on them to help with this.
I do like the teenager suggestion above though, not one I would have thought of.
If it were my own house, I'd definitely move them upstairs...Delete
My parents made one of the closets, in a spare bedroom, the laundry room so they didn't have to haul the laundry up and down the stairs. They had a plumber do it. - MaryReplyDelete
I can't imagine anyone leaving the job they are paid to do undone. Did this person have references?ReplyDelete
She's been with us for three years. In the past, she was very good. But we moved nearly an hour away and that's changed things. I wanted to hire a new cleaning person, but she really wanted to stay with us... I have no clue why because I found a bunch of other people who would hire her. I guess we're just awesome? I raised her payment from 100 to 150 with the understanding she'd do the laundry, but I think the time she could spend here is limited.Delete
With this extra wrinkle: I'd say find someone new and make sure that laundry is part of the agreement. My guess is that the extra commute time is proving to be more of a problem than she expected. She may not want to let you go because you guys have a good history and it's good, reliable money... but the driving time is probably pushing her to not spend the extra time at your house.Delete
It seems like the folding and the carrying upstairs is the problem. Would it work to put a load in the washer/dryer the night before and then another load in the washer before leaving in the morning before she comes? That way she has one load ready to fold and one load to put straight in the dryer once she get there. Then, all she has to do is wash/dry one complete load. That's our system and it works well. (the load the night before is usually scrubs/pajamas/underwear/kids play clothing that doesn't get too wrinkled if left in the dryer overnight. )ReplyDelete
I have a feeling your problem isn't so much your cleaning person, but your laundry equipment. You probably know how long your cleaner is there each session, and you can time the typical wash and dry cycles to see just how many cycles can fit into a cleaning session. My cleaner only comes for 2 hours and if the dryer cycle takes an hour then there is only enough time to dry one load, maybe two if she's really on top of it. Have you cleaned the dryer lately? Lint build-up can cause it to take longer to dry. And since you're renting, it's possible no one has performed this chore for a long time. Plus, you're eliminating a fire hazard. Dryer balls can also help shorten drying time. You could also get a drying rack or two so your cleaning person could hang out the clothes she won't have time to put in the dryer. You can always make more trips with smaller loads, and if you're not picky about how things are folded, it's very easy to fold clothes as you pull them off the rack. Bonus points if you have room for the racks upstairs. And if you put the dry clothes in a bag instead of a basket you could drag it behind you and have a hand free for the railing. We use blue IKEA bags as laundry carriers. You could also buy an extra set of sheets for each bed so that the dirty sheets removed from the bed today get washed next week. And if she can bring dry loads upstairs then all you'd have to do is fold them and put them away. Also, if your trouble is with bringing the laundry up, then perhaps you could get a load started in the morning and have her finish it.ReplyDelete
You could also spell-out your expectations more clearly. If you're paying her for x hours and a reasonable person can complete y loads in that time, then state that and tell her you'll pay for the time it takes to get y loads washed, dried and folded. As an alternative, many dry cleaners also do regular laundry by the pound and that may be more economical than paying your cleaner for the extra time. If you time the pick-ups right, your cleaner could still help out by carrying the clothes upstairs, or even by picking up the laundry on her way to your house.Delete
Simply buy another dryer. When I was in college I did housekeeping for a woman with a bunch of kids. The only way she could keep up was with two dryers.ReplyDelete
Having read the other comments I gotta say, you have two options:ReplyDelete
1) get a new dryer (I have the opposite situation, my washer takes an hour per load while the dryer takes half that)
2) make this the teenager's new permanent job (hey they'll have to learn before college anyway)
Send out laundry service.ReplyDelete
I will start loads on the day my cleaner comes... the part I really hate is folding, anyway. That being said we have a laundry chute so I don’t have to carry it down.ReplyDelete
The dryer should not take that long. Either the machine is not spinning enough water out, or (more likely) the exterior dryer hose is packed with lint which is inaccessible unless you pull the dryer away and disconnect, then clean the hose.ReplyDelete
Check out this image:
There are duct cleaning companies that could do this fir you- better and easier than DIY.
Lint build-up can cause it to take extended to dry. And since you're reserving, it's achievable no one has executed this task for a long time. Plus, you're eliminating a fire hazard. Dryer balls can also help shorten drying time. You could also get a drying rack or two so your cleansing individual could hang out the clothes she won't have time to put in the clothes dryer.ReplyDelete
I do like the young person idea above however, not one I would have believed of.ReplyDelete
Likely washing machines consider fewer time than dryers, and most of the time I get two loads of washing to one dryer time-wise. This is fine, you time handle to go and do other factors so you don't get trapped with two wet loads. Most machines have add up down electronic timers on them to help with this.
you need a new cleaning person.ReplyDelete
Also, no idea how old you are but getting injured carrying laundry is concerning in terms of reduced muscle mass and fall risk as women get older. Consider some self care in the form of strength building (weights, yoga, barre). Find your jam and stick with it.
Drop your clothes to a cleaners and pick it up at your convenienceReplyDelete