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wiscoblond's avatar

Shared laundry: what do you do when your neighbor always leaves their clothes in the machines?

Asked by wiscoblond (1573points) 1 week ago from iPhone

I live in a large house that’s divided into two apartments. We share laundry in the basement. My neighbor will leave her clothes in the washer or dryer for days. She is currently drying a load she left in the washer for a week. Yes, an entire week! I’m waiting for her to take the clothes out so I can dry mine. I’ve been waiting for three hours.

What would you do? I want to be a friendly neighbor and not ruffle any feathers. Her dog bit my husband last weekend while he was sitting in the backyard. She already feels horrible about that.

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27 Answers

janbb's avatar

Get an extra laundry basket and take hers out of whatever machine it’s in.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

She’ll probably steal the basket @janbb. I’d go with plastic grocery bags.

chyna's avatar

They are only a dollar at the Dollar Tree.
But I would take her stuff out, put it in the basket, dry my stuff and put hers back in the dryer and take my basket with me.

janbb's avatar

^^ your way would work too @chyna. In college, we would just take the clothes someone left in the machine and leave them piled on top.

SEKA's avatar

I’d give her 5 maybe 10 minutes and then I’d take them out and pile them up on the machine. I’d do mine and then take them out. If she complained, I’d explain that I had laundry that needed to be done right away and ask her to please be more diligent on doing her laundry. Or knock on her door and tell her you’re ready to do your laundry and give her the opportunity to handle hers as she sees fit. If she does nothing, they’d be sitting on top of the machine.

As a last resort, I’d speak with the owner and request that they speak with her. Yes, it’s going to piss her off but so is your leaving then top of the machine. She’s not worried about your needs so I’d return the favor

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

What I did in this scenario is one of two things:
1) Do my laundry, and pile their laundry in on the dryer until mine is done, and put their laundry back in the washer/dryer.
2) Do their laundry for them and maybe be as a doormat to fold their laundry and put by their door.
3) I never did this, but I could make a profit by doing their laundry for a price.

kritiper's avatar

Place it in a pile on top of the machine.

Inspired_2write's avatar

This happens with one neighbor who is forgetting a lot.
We used to pile it on top of the machines, but it sat there for a week.
If I happen to be doing my loads I place his ( if he left it there) in the dryer.
By the time my washing is finished I take his dry clothes out and leave on top of the dryer
(not folded).
As his scheduled time is before mine I used to then call him to see if he would be washing that day as sometimes he doesn’t and therefore I can get mine done earlier.

wiscoblond's avatar

I’ve been placing her clothes on top of the dryer like you all have suggested. If they are wet I’ll put them back in the wash once I’m done with mine.

It just perplexes me that she isn’t mindful of others needing the machines. For an entire week she left a load in the wash. I could tell she rewashed them twice during the week but never put them in the dryer until today.

Thanks for your input.

canidmajor's avatar

I would get the cheap laundry basket and put her stuff in it, then either talk to her or leave her a note explaining that it irritates/annoys/bothers/inconveniences you, and ask if there is something you don’t know about her (RA? MS? MD?) that maybe you can help out with.

As this seems to be no more than a mild inconvenience, I would not involve the landlord.

josie's avatar

Put it in a shipping box with a message on it
They might steal the basket but will probably leave a cardboard box
I used to do this when I had the same situation

JLeslie's avatar

I’d try to be friendly in general, and I might tell her that “I’ve found her clothes sitting in the washer or dryer sometimes for more than a few hours, so I’ll just put her clothes on top if that’s ok.” Hopefully, she apologizes and says it’s fine if you do so. I say a few hours, I wouldn’t point out you have noticed it’s days sometimes.

Or, I might say nothing and I’d put the clothes on top of the dryer. Her clothes sitting in either the washer or dryer will make either one possibly moldy. More risk in the washing machine.

Since I haven’t dealt with the neighbor personally, I don’t have a gauge on whether I’d give her fair warning or not. I’m really bad about my laundry sitting in the dryer, but when I’ve shared the dryer I’ve had my act together better.

Is she an alcoholic or something?

wiscoblond's avatar

I have no intention of contacting the landlord. We didn’t even contact the landlord when her dog bit my husband.

wiscoblond's avatar

She’s a single mom who owns a high end salon on our street. We’ve met her and spoken a few times. Her kids are 9 and 11.

I put her clothes on top of the dryer. I even folded them for her this time. I was only curious as to what the proper etiquette would be.

Inspired_2write's avatar

Just a note that if there is underwear in the load it is embarrassing for the person, so don’t fold the dry laundry.
One lady in our building spread out a large pair of panties on top of the dryer for everyone to see, it embarrassed the other resident who forgot her load of laundry.

This was cruel as she was humiliated publicly.

SEKA's avatar

My only experience with a situation like this was living in an apartment building where I had no clue who was being so rude as to take up washer or dryer space while many waited their turn to use the machines. I wasn’t concerned with the proper etiquette as they weren’t using any etiquette. Most salons that I’ve used had their own washer/dryer in the back room so they could keep up with the needed supplies. If she had a medical problem, I’d think that she’d have an employee do the laundry at the shop. I see what she’s doing as being rude and I bet that you soon discover that folding the dry laundry has become your job

raum's avatar

I’d just put it on top of the machine while I’m using it. And put it back in once I’m done.

I’ve been on both ends of this situation and I think that’s totally acceptable.

Though there have been people who have gotten upset that their clothes were removed. I think it’s fair game if it’s been there awhile.

You can usually tell by the temperature. I won’t remove stuff from a dryer if it’s still warm.

I think @chyna ‘s suggestion to get a basket is really considerate since the top of the machine isn’t always the cleanest and sometimes stuff may fall down. Above and beyond though.

raum's avatar

(It was actually @janbb ‘s original answer to get a basket. But I’m just imagining @chyna trekking to Dollar Tree.)

janbb's avatar

@raum Agred since it was my idea but I would not put hers back in or she’ll never realize and never change.

raum's avatar

Hmmm…good point. Except I’d want my laundry basket back! :P

Cupcake's avatar

I would have a chat in person. Would she mind if I texted her when I needed to do laundry and hers needed to be moved? Would she mind if I put her clothes in the dryer for her? If I folded her clothes? I would be friendly and engage in a spirit of collaboration and communication.

My adult son leaves clothes in the washing machine and he is very particular. So we have a system where I text him that I need to do laundry and if he doesn’t fix it within a certain amount of time, I set his wet clothes in a laundry basket and go on with my laundry. But we discussed it first. :)

I don’t mind doing laundry and I’ve been a stressed out single mom before. So I might even broach a negotiation where I might offer to do her laundry and she could do something else for me that she wouldn’t avoid for a week at a time (hair/nails? prep some food?).

wiscoblond's avatar

Her laundry that I folded is still there. Two weeks later.

She also left a couple bookcases in the entry the other day. My husband and I came home with groceries and had to move the furniture to get into our flat. One piece is still in the entry. She’s physically capable of doing these things. She also has two children and a boyfriend who could help.

I’m not getting a great first impression but it could be worse. Our previous neighbor would yell and curse all night at his wife in front of their two year old daughter. I’ll take the annoyance of an absentminded neighbor over a former meth head.

wiscoblond's avatar

I left a load of towels in the dryer yesterday. I fell down the stairs on our deck in the rain and landed on my back and head. I’m lucky I didn’t break anything. I’m in terrible pain still two days later. Hopefully she’ll fold my towels if she ever shows up.

SEKA's avatar

^ Take care of yourself!

JLeslie's avatar

I hope you are feeling better. Why not have your son go and get the laundry you left in the dryer?

Cupcake's avatar

@wiscoblond I’m so sorry! That sounds awful! I hope you feel better soon.

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