How I Automated My Laundry

One of the greatest things I get to do for clients is help them make time for the things, people, and activities they love. Sometimes, that means handing off things they don’t have to do, so that they have more margin in their schedule.

My team and I work hard to make other people’s lives easier. A side effect of that is learning how to make our own lives easier. I chose to take on a specific part of my own life that I didn’t want to do anymore — one that I was curious if I could automate… and then teach my clients to automate as well. Enter… laundry automation 101.

I first decided to automate my laundry because it was a giant waste of my time. I spent my Saturday mornings transferring clothes from the bedroom to the washer, to the dryer, to the bed, to the closet.. and then the cycle started over and over. Instead, I wanted to be out hiking. I knew I’d get literal hours of my life back if I could have someone else take over my laundry.

Something else to consider was that I never really needed dry cleaning done, except a few times a year when I wear something extraordinarily formal. Usually I’m at my office, which means I live in casual clothes. My volume of laundry fluctuates every week, because sometimes if I’m working out or hiking or meeting a client in person, I might wear 3 outfits in a single day. This meant I needed to find somewhere with a low minimum weekly quantity for an order, in case I didn’t have a ton of laundry. This meant commercial places (i.e. they process hotel sheets/towels, for example) were out.

Enter the wash-and-fold.

There are lots of options for this across the country; a simple Yelp search might find you some great results for your local area. Basically, a wash-and-fold means that you drop off your dirty laundry, they wash it, fold/hang it, and you pick it up. However, if you’re local to Arizona, the Phoenix-based company I use is Ginny’s Wash House. I adore these amazing people, because not only do they do amazing work, my clothes come back cleaner than when I do them myself, and I’m a neat freak. I’m obsessed with them. I know by name the people that own the business, that pick up my clothes each Thursday, and the ones that wash, dry, and fold my clothes. They charge me just over $1 per pound, with a $35/ minimum each load, including pickup and drop off. Yep — you read that right. I never have to leave my house.

Here’s how the system works.

Each Thursday morning (the day Ginny’s picks up in my area), my printer spits out a paper that has my name, phone number, and special instructions for the load(s) if there are any. I simply dump my laundry from its basket (not sorted) into a black trash bag, or two if I have enough clothing/sheets/towels. I put the paper in the bag, and set the bags outside my front door. Sometimes I write “Ginny” on the bag, if I have other pickups outside. Then, around 2pm, I get a notification from my doorbell camera that René is picking up my clothes. I watch him pick them up, put them in the giant Ginny’s white truck, and laundry is off of my mind. Friday around 3pm, my doorbell camera chimes again, and it’s René, dropping off my folded laundry in a nice stack, double bagged, and a bag of clothes on hangers. He leaves these in a beautiful stack at my front door and is again on his way.

After that, the only thing left for me to do is to take the clothes out from the bag(s) and either hang them up or put them in shelves. Laundry literally takes me four minutes from start to finish. I now spend Saturday mornings in the middle of national parks, deserts, and under sunshine, not worrying about whether or not my clothes are clean. I don’t worry about things getting shrunk, turning anything pink, or separating colors out. They bleach my fluffy white bath towels and and washcloths which come back perfectly clean (I use these to take makeup off, so this is no joke).

If you’re not local to Phoenix, there are lots of wash and fold companies — a few our clients love: • In LA,SF, DC, Chicago, and Boston, there’s Rinse • In NYC, Flycleaners • There are also many apartment buildings that use Alfred, which can connect you with laundry porters/services Ultimately, there are always people willing to do the things you hate doing. My clients hate doing spreadsheets, answering their email, and scheduling their appointments. I love doing things like that. What I don’t love? Laundry — and I found someone to take that over.

Ginny’s, you’re my favorite.