No one at Columbia is a stranger to space shortages. Whether it’s a seat in the Butler reference room or a space for an event you filed seventeen forms with CUEM to book, sharing facilities with thousands of other people is rough. That said, some things are sacred—and by “some things,” we mean “your and other people’s clothes.” The politics of laundry rooms at Columbia can be tough to negotiate, but we’ve compiled this handy etiquette guide to help you not be an asshole the next time you journey to your building’s basement.
Take your stuff out on time: No one’s saying you need to race down to the laundry room the exact second the dryer stops tumbling, but don’t be that kid who forgets about their stuff and leaves it in there to wrinkle for two days. The grace period for done laundry lasts about ten to twenty minutes; sign up for one of those newfangled text message alert things, set an alarm, or just remember where your clothes are. You’re smart, we have faith in you.
Be respectful of other people’s laundry: Once the grace period is up, the freshly washed and/or dried clothes are fair game. There’s no reason to be upset if someone respectfully puts your clothes on top of a clean washer or a folding table—other people gotta do laundry too. Still, if you’re the person responsible for moving clothes, don’t dump them on the floor or, worse still, throw them on top of the seven foot tall stack of dryers (it’s happened).
Let other people know when things are broken: You know what sucks even more than paying $1.25 for clothes that are still wet and smell weird, or having a machine eat all of your quarters? Letting the same thing happen to five more people because you didn’t call Hartley or just grabbed some tape and paper and made a DIY PSA. Spread the karmic love, even if it just makes the chronic machine shortage worse.
Miscellaneous: There are lots of little things that, collectively, make everyone’s laundry-doing lives easier. They include: not surreptitiously stealing other people’s detergent when you don’t have enough; cleaning the lint off the dryer filter; making sure all your random socks are out of the machines when you clean them out; checking that you have enough Flex and/or quarters so you don’t waste everyone’s time by loading a machine then having to pack up all your stuff while you wait for the deposit to come through.
Laundry Queen via Shutterstock