Laundry Room Rules, Vol. 4, Issue 27

Dear Etiquetteer:We seem to be having some troubles in our community laundry room and I’m writing for advice. This is a condo association of four units, all owner-occupied but with some roommates renting second bedrooms. For the most part everyone gets along day to day, and those of us on the condo board have been able to manage our affairs pleasantly.Of course everyone does things differently, and the only place this turns out to be a problem is with the laundry. For instance, I think it’s very important to clean out the lint tray before each load goes into the dryer, but the lint is usually so thick I think I’m the only one doing it.Even worse, some people will leave their laundry in the machines (there is one washer and one dryer) for as long as two days! This is a real inconvenience, and not just because I don’t want to get that close to my neighbor’s underwear. How can I approach this problem without looking too stuffy?Dear Steamed and Pressed:Etiquetteer suspects that you are not the only person who feels inconvenienced (though you may be the only person who cares about the lint trap.) At your next condo board meeting you will need to present for approval Etiquetteer’s Laundry Room Rules and Regulations, as listed below, and then post them in the laundry room:

Etiquetteer’s Laundry Room Rules and Regulations

Laundry facilities are provided by the condo association for all residents. Please be considerate of your neighbors by remembering that other people are using the same facilities as yourself.

  1. Please check the lint trap before each load that goes into the dryer, remove all lint, and throw away in the trashcan provided. This will reduce the risk of fire.
  2. If you wish, you may leave your detergent and other laundry equipment on the shelves provided. DO NOT use anyone else’s detergent/equipment without first asking permission. Wickedly using other people’s belongings will result in reducing the trust and neighborliness needed for a successful condo association.
  3. Please show courtesy to your neighbors by removing your clothes from the machines as soon as possible. Leaving clothes overnight in either machine is just plain rude anyway.
  4. Other residents have permission to remove your clothes from the machines if they are in the way. If you do not like having other people handling your clothes, it is your responsibility to be sure that they aren’t in someone else’s way.
  5. Please don’t forget to remove fabric softener sheets from the dryer with your clothes.
  6. If you make a mess, please clean it up yourself as quickly as possible.
  7. We do not have room in the laundry room for you to flat-dry sweaters, etc. Please do so in your unit.
  8. This is not a dormitory. While laundry day tends to be casual for most people, please don’t get so casual that anyone walking in might be embarrassed.

Your condo association should definitely be providing (as space permits) the trashcan and shelves mentioned. It’s also a very good idea to provide at least one table for folding clothes, ironing board, and hanging rack with hangers for shirts.Etiquetteer hopes this is enough starch to keep everything smooth without being too stiff.

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