One of the biggest questions non- New Yorkers have asked about city living for centuries (or however long washing machines have been around for) is “How do you do your laundry?”. One of these days someone should answer “We don’t, we just buy new clothes”.
You have three basic options for cleaning your clothes, unless you really have the money to buy new stuff all the time… if so, just do that.
The Lucky Way: Your Building Has a Laundry Room
First of all, if you fall under this category, file this under a reason to never leave your apartment. There are hassle-free ways to do your laundry if this doesn’t apply to you (described below), but this is generally the cheapest and usually the most convenient. There should be signs posted in your building’s laundry room about cost and/or operating hours if your laundry room closes. Remember to obey proper laundry room etiquette (i.e.- don’t leave your clothes in a machine for hours) so you don’t piss off your neighbors.
Depending on your neighborhood, there’s a good chance there’s a laundromat within five blocks of your building. Five blocks, however, becomes exponentially longer when carrying a huge bag of laundry. Because of this, many laundromats offer a pick-up and delivery service for a few dollars more than you’d spend if you did it there yourself. This is beneficial for a few reasons:
1. You don’t have to carry a bunch of laundry through the streets.
2. You don’t have to revolve your day around laundry. Most people want to stay at the laundromat (some require it) while their clothes are washing, which means you either need a really good book, or you need to like sitting in one place doing nothing.
3. Usually, the workers at the laundromat do a much better job of washing clothes than you would.
The downside, obviously, is that it costs a few dollars more. Best advice= find a few local laundromats and assess how far away they are and what the price differential is between doing it yourself and having them do it for you. Note: your mind may be changed after one trip with your laundry bag on a Saturday.
An online service that picks up your laundry, does it for you, and delivers it. You can check out their site (hamperville.com) for more information. It does pretty much what a laundromat’s pick up & delivery service does, but it is ideal for people in neighborhoods that don’t have one nearby that offers that service. It’s slightly pricier, so it might be best only to use it if you can’t find a local laundromat.