Re: Common House Laundry
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Mon, 22 Jun 1998 12:12:33 -0500
I do not yet live in cohousing but have lived in many apartment buildings
and private houses where the laundry is in the basement. It is a real drag.
I believe that one of the reasons people hate doing the laundry is that it
is in the basement everywhere and considered an also-ran function. Laundry
is something everyone does at least once a week and if they have little
children several times a week or even every day. With a nice bright clean
(no fungus or mold) the laundry becomes a social center for the people who
do the laundry.

The nicest laundry room I have ever seen was in a private home with a very
large family--8 children. It was a room about 10 x 15 off the kitchen and
family room--sunny and lined with shelves where clothes were sorted and
folded. It was the room where everyone crossed paths. If they weren't
washing, they were ironing. Or folding diapers. Or sorting socks. Their
friends and relatives used to bring their laundry with them when they
dropped in. 

Laundry is an important function. And it is easier to start children (and
husbands) doing their own laundry if they don't have to go to the basement.
Children are afraid to go alone and husbands miss too much football.

In the early days of the women's movement when we struggled with how to make
decisions fairly when a minority group was involved we developed a system
where the people directly involved had more strongly weighted votes. In
cohousing where concensus decision making is the norm, this isn't necessary
but you might take a straw vote of those people who actually do the laundry.
Ask them if they consider the laundry to a non-prime real estate

Sharon Villines, Manhattan
Archives of Detective Fiction,
Deadly Serious Press,
Synergy Cohousing, Delray Beach, FL

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