Dork-o-Rama: The Random Thoughts of a Total Goofball

Embracing the Dork Side....Because Life is Too Short to Take Yourself Too Seriously

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Outsourcing drudgery...

Yeah, it's another laundry post. But with a twist.
If you've been here before, you know how much I hate dealing with my laundry. HATE it. I've written about this a few times.... like here ... and here ... and oh yeah... here too. It's the most tedious task of my week, and a giant time suck, since I live in an apartment and we have no laundry room on site. And installing small machines in my apartment is out of the question.
Several months ago, after I got my new job, a colleague suggested I send my laundry out. To be washed, dried, and folded by others. I balked at first, because the washing instructions on some of my clothes (mainly, my favorite stuff) are too complicated. No, it's not that my clothes are so nice they require special handling; these items are cheaply made (yet overpriced), so I fear they might disintegrate if handled improperly.
But last week, I finally decided to send out the stuff that didn't need special handling. Here it is, all sorted and ready to go. I chose a service that even came to pick up the stuff for me!

Laundry pick-up guy showed up right on time (before 7 a.m., even), took my laundry AND my dry cleaning away, and promised to return the next day at the same time with clean stuff.

Here it is, all clean and folded. (They even washed those laundry bags!)

Cool, no? I still had to do some laundry myself, but having a service take care of my other stuff saved me TONS of time and trouble. A process that typically takes 2 hours or so, from the time I start sorting to the time I am done folding and putting away shrunk to about 30 minutes, if that.

My only complaint is that they used fabric softener on the towels, and I had asked them not to, but that's not a big deal. It cost about 18 bucks, the stuff I sent out, plus a $5 delivery fee (which they waive if you send out larger loads)... but when you add it all up, including the double-load I did myself, my laundry last week cost about $15 more than usual, give or take.

I think my time and trouble is worth 15 bucks. But I'm going to check with the dry cleaner nearest to my home, to see how much it would cost to bring my laundry in myself. If it's signifcantly cheaper, I'll do that, and not indulge in the luxury of having someone pick up and drop off. Or maybe I'll switch off, every other week. I'll have to see how this works out over the long term.

Since I released myself from this chore, I had to make a deal. With myself. To use the time I freed up productively, and not to sit on my ass, watching TV. So I worked out two more days last week than I typically do.

And I finally got it into my head that I could bring my workout duds to work, and go for a long walk at the end of the day, BEFORE running errands. I tend to run errands on my way home, then get home and decide I'm too tired to walk after that. Excuses, excuses. I'm good at that. And it's so easy to reverse that process, now that I get to drive to work.

I even took a long walk on Friday, which I never, ever do. I'm always pooped on Fridays. But I was in such a good mood after that walk along the Embarcadero Friday evening! It was a great way to start the weekend, on a total endorphin high. The slow browsers at Trader Joe's didn't even bug me as much as they usually do.

This week is a little more challenging, as I have some social engagements planned (for instance, I'm meeting Jon tomorrow!), but I'm fully committed to taking better care of myself. No, really. REALLY.

I even bought more workout clothes last weekend, instead of more going-out or work clothes. Now THAT'S a commitment, in this Dork's book.

At 14 March, 2007 05:11, Blogger SignGurl said...

We lived in an apartment when we first got married and I hated doing laundry. Once we got our house with a washer and a dryer, it doesn't suck so much (except that I now do laundry for 4).

$15 sounds pretty cheap to me. You are so smart to use the time to work out. I'm sure I would have sat on my ass on the computer.

Jon is awesome! You will have a blast!

At 14 March, 2007 06:08, Blogger Balloon Pirate said...

Yay you!

Wait 'til you have kids...the laundry is a complete revolving door.

One weekend I decided that I would do ALL the laundry--washed, dried, folded, and put away.

Turns out we have more clothes than we have storage space.


At 14 March, 2007 08:29, Blogger buddha_girl said...

Terry is GREAT! Give her some chocolate CAKE!

Congrats on taking better care of yourself. I'm all about that these days! Good times.

SUPER congrats on sending out your laundry. I think your time is WAY more valuable than $15, so I think you got a STEAL on that laundry service!

At 14 March, 2007 10:42, Blogger cadbury_vw said...

wow - 18 bucks

it costs me about $10 and week right now just for the communal laundry in the building...

At 14 March, 2007 11:42, Blogger terry said...

signgurl, it would be so nice to just throw some stuff in the wash when i need to, instead of plotting elaborately to get my clothes clean...

pirate, kids? me? not gonna happen. if for no other reason than that i can't handle any more housework.

buddha girl, i'd love some cake! might defeat the whole purpose of taking better care of myself. then again... a little cake from time to time is a requirement.

cad, when i do it all myself, it runs me about 12-13 bucks, depending on how much laundry i have.

the dryers are the real problem -- a quarter gets you seven minutes of drying time.

At 14 March, 2007 12:43, Blogger Reg said...

That's awesome that you've saved so much time every week! And I'm very impressed that you've actually taken to working out and using your time productively. You're my newest hero and I will light a candle in your honor. As for the sending out of laundry. That's a great idea but I have this really weird thing about other people touching my laundry. It creeps me out that someone else could touch my underwear. What can I say? I'm a freak.

At 14 March, 2007 15:15, Blogger JMai said...

YAY for freeing up time! I used to send my laundry out (I did drop it off, though) when I lived in an apartment with no washer/dryer. It was a lifesaver. Obviously I preferred it when I did my own laundry (for example, I think theydry your stuff on super atomic high-high heat settings, which probably isn't the best for some fabrics), but I prefer even more to have free time. Hell YEAH your time is worth $15.

That's so exciting that you're meeting Jon! Just another blogger whose day will be brightened by your lovely, dorky Terryness!

At 14 March, 2007 21:46, Blogger The Savage said...

I saw a washer/dryer combo at an auction once that would be nifty if you lived in an RV.. but totally obsurd otherwise.. One load consisted of one outfit.... scratch that.. one outfit for a guy.... you know.. jeans, t-shirt, socks, undies.... about that much with maybe room for another shirt....

At 15 March, 2007 04:53, Blogger Chelle said...

Oh, I would so continue to have it sent I hate...hate...HATE doing laundry!

GOod for you on the taking better care of yourself. It's easy to blow all those things off that are good for us. Yay for you!! :)

At 15 March, 2007 17:05, Blogger Jon said...

HEY!!! I made it home... barely. I'll blog about it later.

It was awesome laughiong it up with you at the bar, the restaurant and the other bar... Terry knows her bars

Isn't signgirl the sweetest :D

jmai... I am sorry I was there on a day you could not tear yourself away from lost. The 3 of us would have been quite a scene.

At 15 March, 2007 17:54, Blogger terry said...

reg, you're not alone. a few other people i know feel strange about that, too.

jmai, i had the same thought, about quality control... but the stuff i'm having others do isn't delicate -- mostly tshirts and workout wear and towels and socks -- so i'm not too worried. yet.

savage, that's hilarious. i'd spend all week doing laundry with something like that!

chelle, i might just do that. i dropped my stuff off elsewhere today and they charge more per pound... but there's no delivery fee... so it's all going to come out about the same in the end...

jon! glad you made it home. i'm waaaay tired today -- i had no idea it was so late when we parted! oops. it was too much fun to pay attention to what time it was.

and you're confusing the lovely jmai with the lovely queen of cheese. understandable, as they are both lovely...

At 15 March, 2007 18:29, Blogger Love Monkey said...

Sometimes it's well worth the money to free up your time!!

At 15 March, 2007 22:02, Blogger Jon said...

I am easily confused

At 16 March, 2007 07:30, Blogger April said...

i love new workout clothes! :) something new to wear to work out in always perks my energy level up.

( i know, i'm a dork.)

At 16 March, 2007 08:19, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah for you, I love the little paper wrapped packages. I don't have enough dresser or closet space to have all the clothes in the house clean and with 3 kids it's impossible to think it'll ever happen.

Your time is worth so much more than 18 bucks keep it up sista!

Lots of love to you,

At 18 March, 2007 06:07, Blogger That's one clever little Yvonne said...

That is the most genius thing I've ever heard of.

At 18 March, 2007 19:14, Blogger Jon said...

OK Terry, it's been almost a week. Did I wear you out that much?

Interesting word verification:



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