Re: Washers & Dryers
From: fergyb2 (
Date: Tue, 21 May 2019 18:47:16 -0700 (PDT)
      I forgot to mention, we use a system of magnet letters to identify whose 
laundry is in a given machine (our units are identified by letter rather than 
number so this makes sense) and have three big plastic tubs that live in the 
laundry room.  If someone’s load is finished and you want to use the machine 
you unload their laundry into one of the plastic tubs and take their 
identifying letter off the machine and put it on top of their laundry.  Then 
the machine is available for use and you can put your laundry in it and your 
identifying letter magnet on the machine.  This avoids having to track down 
folks who are slow to unload their laundry when it’s done.  We have 3 of each 
letter available so you can identify up to 3 loads at a time.  There is a list 
of which people are in which unit but we’re a small enough community that we 
mostly know that.  
     We also have shelving where people can keep their laundry soap etc 
(labeled by unit letter to avoid confusion) so you don’t have to carry that 
stuff to the laundry room each time.  We also have a place to hang stuff up as 
you take it out of the dryer so it doesn’t get wrinkled. And a shelf for lost 
items (someones sock or napkin invariably gets left behind in the washer or 
dryer or dropped on the floor, so you need a place where folks can reclaim 
them).  All useful to think about if you are designing your laundry room from 
scratch. We’ve been around 19 years now so have had time to figure out what 
         Bonnie Fergusson
       Swans Market Cohousing (20 units)
       Oakland, CA

Sent from my iPad

> On May 21, 2019, at 4:45 PM, KAREN A CARLSON via Cohousing-L <cohousing-l 
> [at]> wrote:
> What's "plus the kitchen"?
> Sent from my iPhone
>> On May 21, 2019, at 12:54 PM, Janet Murphy <janetmusicrn [at]> 
>> wrote:
>> Gee, we like to talk about laundry devices!
>> At Arboretum Cohousing we have two laundry rooms, each with two washers and
>> two dryers. They are regular household appliances. Two are slightly
>> oversized which is well-liked. We have just started replacing them after 10
>> years.
>> The W&Ds are used by roughly half of our 29 "apartment-style" units, and a
>> small handful of our other 11 units that sit independently of the two
>> "apartment" buildings, so perhaps 20 families (that's one W&D set per five
>> households, plus the kitchen). We have a laminated card system (dryer, no
>> dryer) that helps us move our neighbors' laundry along so we don't have to
>> wait for the laundry's owner to do it. Only occasionally am I unable to put
>> my laundry right in.
>> Proximity to laundry does encourage folks to use it, so one set on each
>> floor would be nice. On the other hand, it is also nice to have two of each
>> machine in one room so you can do two loads in half the time. This is a
>> wonderful benefit I didn't anticipate, and especially nice for families.
>> Larger laundry rooms are also nice for storage (soap, iron, lost socks,
>> broom, drying rack...). We did install a closet and folding counters, but
>> wish we had also installed utility sinks.
>> People are pretty good stewards of the rooms and machines. The only issues
>> I recall were a neighbor who used cloth diapers (frequent, *very* long
>> loads), and an avid outdoors woman who put in laundry that was too dirty.
>> Talking with neighbors takes care of problems like these.
>> We don't charge for laundry or any of our collective amenities (guest
>> rooms, garden space, room use, bike share, grazing garden...). We figure it
>> all evens out, and charging reduces the use of the Commons, which we want
>> to encourage for both social and environmental reasons.
>> Murph
>> @ Arbco
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