RE: Washer/Dryer in Common House/Units
From: Debbie Behrens (
Date: Wed, 12 Dec 2001 14:04:00 -0700 (MST)
Our laundry room (Highline Crossing/Littleton CO - 40 units) is kinda stuck
off in the basement.  2 washers, 2 electric dryers (hand-me-downs from
residents).  We're plumbed for gas, for future use.  50 cents wash, 50 cents
dry, honor system.  We sign in on a list, and the costs get added to our
homeowners fees, along with other miscellany such as common house dinners,
soda pops, and grocery certificates.

However, I don't generally hang out there while my laundry is washing.  One
of the nice things about cohousing is that it seems safe enuf to leave our
laundry going without guarding it.  I'm generally doing my laundry in
conjunction with other chores.  I had plenty of years of apartment living
where I was forced to sit guard at the laundromat for hours on end.  I'm
glad I don't have to do it now.  

Most of the singles use the laundry room, while the families generally have
their own.  Occasionally there is a queue, but not too often except on
Saturdays.  I don't have any problem currently with our laundry room being
in the basement - I'd rather use the main floor for other less noisy things.
But I do wish that we kept the room cleaner - it can get a bit trashy, with
bits of lint, powdered soap, etc.  Our lack of chore system is a whole
nother issue.  That is another reason that I wouldn't do much folding,
ironing, etc, there.  If I wanted to, I would take my laundry upstairs to
the dining room, but I generally take it home to do.

Debbie Behrens
Highline Crossing
Littleton CO

-----Original Message-----
From: Kay Argyle [mailto:argyle [at]]
Sent: Wednesday, December 12, 2001 1:13 PM
To: cohousing-l [at]
Subject: Re: [C-L]_Washer/Dryer in Common House/Units

> I'd like to hear how those of you doing laundry in the common house feel
> about it.

Laundry rooms tend to get stuffed into leftover basement corners, a hangover
from the days when ill-paid overworked twelve-year-old maids did the
washing.  Most architects having wives who do the laundry, they see no
reason to change the location or ambience.

Regard the common house laundry room as a place for socializing, and design
it accordingly: pleasant, well-lit with preferably natural light, and with
counters or a table big enough for several people to be folding and sorting
their dry laundry at the same time without bumping elbows.  Make it big
enough, with extra hookups, so you can add more machines, if needed.  A
built-in ironing board that folds down from the wall would also be nice.

In addition to being small, our laundry room features the common house
furnace hanging down through a huge ragged hole in the ceiling.  Ugh.
They'd never have been permitted to do that in any other room.

I do appreciate the big window.

We have 26 units, of whom maybe half(?) have their own machines.  The
laundry has two front-load washers and two gas dryers.  That would be
enough, if so many residents didn't have similar work schedules.  As it is
we have laundry rush hours nights and weekends -- one more reason for this
particular procrastinator to put the laundry off!

Wasatch Commons
Salt Lake City, Utah
argyle [at]

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