I was doing a bit of light laundromat reading tonight and came across an interesting article. This article about a single mom and her laundry outsourcing. I didn’t necessarily agree with all of it but I felt it did raise some very good points.
Argument for outsourcing
Outsourcing your household chores is not necessarily for just the rich and famous. The cost to do laundry at a laundromat works out to be around $5-$10 per load depending on washer size. It also takes roughly 1 and 1/2 hours of time to run loads through the machines, fold the clothes and bring them home.
In this article from unclutterer.com they give a chart of how many hours a week a family of 4 spends on laundry. It’s staggering really, the routine they suggest is:
Monday: Launder all the sheets from all three beds. (1 load)
Tuesday: Launder child #1 and child #2′s clothing. (1-2 loads)
Wednesday: Launder adult’s clothing. (1-2 loads)
Thursday: Launder towels. (2 loads)
Friday: Launder child #1 and child #2′s clothing. (1-2 loads)
Saturday: Launder adult’s clothing. (1-2 loads)
Sunday: Rest, or launder a load of delicates.
If you take the light side of their estimates it ends up with 7 loads of laundry per week. If you do all this at home it could take 8+ hours of pushing laundry through a small machine. At a laundromat in one trip it would be 3-4 loads of larger size washers and take at least 2 hours start to finish. If you had to split it into multiple trips you add a lot of commute time and end up around 6 hours. The cost would be $15-$30 depending on what size washers and how bulky the items were.
In order to have this laundry done at a local Wash-Dry-Fold service it would cost $45-$80 (again depending on weight of items). Is it worth $30-$50 to free up 2-8+ hours per week of laundry time? That’s the hard question, for some people it’s a definite yes, others it can be a “sometimes” and still others say absolutely not.
Most of our customers that have a washer and dryer at home end up doing a hybrid. It might be too costly to do all 7 loads at a laundry service, instead they only outsource part of their laundry. The will bring 2-3 loads in while doing the remainder at home. The cost might be $30/week but still save them 2 hours or more of laundry time.