Freshman Five: Laundry Etiquette

College is a huge milestone for many people not just because it is a huge step for their education (though I am definitely not discounting it, it is a huge milestone and deal for everybody!), but because it is the time in *many* people's lives where they really start to become independent and discover what independence really is. 

As I have discovered over these past several weeks, many college students did not learn how to do their own laundry until a few weeks into the semester! Doing laundry in a shared/public facility is a bit different from doing laundry at home so here are a few tips on doing laundry in college!

Sort Your Clothes Ahead of Time // It may be a small inconvenience to take the time to sort out your loads in your room, but when the laundry room is crowded and you have to wait in line for a single machine when you need multiple, sorting out your laundry beforehand is a small release for you and it keeps your hallmates from becoming severely irritated with you. Some people buy laundry hampers that they can separate their clothes when they put them in, but oftentimes those can be difficult to transport up a few flights of stairs.

These tall, slim hampers are really nice for fitting into closets.

This is a really cute DIY way to go about it.

Wash and Dry Full Loads // Many universities, including my very own, offer free laundry services for their students. To help with the perpetuation of these programs (and once again, minimize the amount of irritation other students can have towards you) and helping out the environment, try to wash and dry full loads of laundry. I'm not saying to fill the washer to the brim with towels, but to be mindful of what you are washing and adjust. This can mean anything from putting in your three black shirts with your colorful load or drying lights with long previously-washed darks.

Extend the lives of some of your more delicate clothes by hang-drying them!

Don't Let Your Laundry Load Build Up // In college, you would be hard-pressed to find somebody who never puts off anything. Laundry is often the kryptonite to those who are always busy and almost never in their rooms. It can be really easy to say "Oh, I still have enough clean clothes to last me a couple weeks," but the fact of the matter is, the longer you wait, the more you will have to do. Letting your laundry build up over a month can take you anywhere from two and a half to five hours or more, depending on machine availability. Doing laundry not only gives you the sense of being clean once you are finished, but it also relieves a small piece of your mind that was worried about getting one more thing done.

Set a Timer for Yourself // If you do laundry on an off-night, this may not be as important. However, if you do your laundry on the stereotypically-busy nights (i.e. Sunday, Wednesday, and Thursday) and you prefer other people not touch your clothes, setting a timer (or even simply keeping an eye on the time) is a really good idea. In my building, the laundry room is right next to a lounge, so oftentimes my suitemate Sara and I go do homework while doing our laundry. This is really convenient and a nice way to keep an eye on your clothes just in case anybody tries to steal them (which, for the record, has happened).

The right song can make anything a little more exciting.

Leave Notes If You Move Somebody's Laundry // It is always preferable to not touch another person's laundry, but when those clothes have been sitting for a long time and the owner has not come in to either move them or take them, you may opt to move said clothing. If you choose to do this, leave a note of some sort, whether it be a sticky note or a laundry tag. Be courteous because you never know when you may end up in a situation where you forgot to transfer machines or pickup your loads.

They always say, "A little bit goes a long way!"
A little laundry room fun while waiting for previous loads to finish. . .

Always do work with a smile on - you will have so much more fun!

Sara proudly approves of this blog post!

Do you have any special tips for doing laundry in general? Let me know!

Catch you next time


  1. Love this post! It is so necessary. It would drive me insane to see the same laundry laying around for days at a time sometimes. I really like the laundry basket DIY that lists colors that should go in that basket. Definitely think I need to utilize that!

    XX, SS || A Little Seersucker Sass

  2. Can definitely relate to this when I started college a few years ago! I also learned that I should set a timer on my phone to remind me when my laundry is done. Keep the tips coming!



Hello, hello! I love reading your thoughts, favorites, and advice - I read every single comment so don't be afraid to share them! Please remember, however, to ensure your comments are kind and/or constructive. The content is yours, but I reserve the right to remove comments I see as irrelevant or rude.

Latest Instagrams

© Southwest Prep. Design by Fearne.