Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Laundry Woes

If cooking is a bit of a challenge here in Berlin, laundry is a down-right chore! I usually don't mind the task at home with my washer and dryer just steps from the kitchen. In fact, I enjoy sitting down with a laundry basket of clean, fluffy, warm clothes straight from the dryer in need of folding.

But here, we are on the third floor. And the washing machine is in the basement. So that means I have to carry the dirty clothes down four flights of spiral stairs. The washer is a tiny front-loading European model. The regular cycle takes an hour, so if I had several loads, laundry would drag on and on. Thankfully, we are a rather clean people so I use the “quick” mode for a light wash that only takes about 40 minutes. Then it's over to the clothesline to hang, pin, and arrange everything for maximum drying and minimum wrinkles. The drying takes at least a day for most items, and more if it's cold out or the items are thick. I'm just glad we don't have manual labor jobs that produce lots of heavily soiled garments!

But whenever I get a bit “loaded down” by all the work, I think of my long-suffering sister-in-law. She has been hauling the laundry for a large family to and from the laundromat several blocks away for over a decade now. Surely I can manage to make it to the basement and back for two ;-)

Socks drying on the steam radiator in our bathroom


  1. There are several people we know in this area that walk four flights of stairs to do laundry.
    We shared a public laundry facility until we moved to where we are now. My biggest complaint was that it was DIRTY, and the other tenants didn't care to even try to keep the place clean.
    Your washer and drier will be something to look forward to going home to when you're saying goodbye to Berlin! :)

  2. Yes, I think laundry is always a little harder when you live in a more urban area, whether in the US or abroad. I guess because it's not a daily task, it's one of the few chores that can be shared with a communal facility. But couldn't there at least be a communal dryer here? ;-)