Every stage you go through while doing laundry at Queen Mary

Why is it so scary?

Why has the simple means of doing your laundry become one of the most daunting obstacles of independent life? We all know we don’t do it often enough, and when we finally get round to washing clothes – it’s an ordeal.

Here are the thought processes we go through.


Laundry? Who? What? When? Where? Why? How?!?!

The dreaded conundrums leaving 60 per cent of freshers hanging literally ‘high and dry’. This study conducted by Birmingham City University attested clueless freshers’ laundry experience was “next to never”, with many falling victim to the false sense of security of laundry home comforts (Mum).


The pain of shrunken clothes

My first encounter with the fateful laundrette occurred three weeks subsequent to freshers after running out of ‘clean’ underwear. After gathering my clothes, I apprehensively embarked on an arduous journey to the laundrettes situated at the basement of halls. Getting acquainted with the washing machine was met with immediate confusion over where to insert the detergent, which festered more angst. In the midst of panic, I made an emergency international distress call to Mother. Being it was 3am, my dearest Mother was understandably disgruntled, condemned my ignorance and proceeded to hang up the phone telling me to “work it out yourself”.

Laundry is a Chore

Being colour-blind, laundry would always be an inherent issue with regards to arranging colours. The stray pink sock has commonly been mixed with white sheets causing dastardly consequences.

Nevertheless, the fabric of doing laundry at university is intrinsically convoluted.

Brace yourselves for an ongoing love-hate relationship with Circuit/Washstation. Or worse, saving fiddly coins to feed washing machines.

Prepare for those long, arduous walks to your halls laundrette before realising you’ve forgotten that underwear.

Get ready to wait hours for available machines to finally wash those clothes.

Awkward Moments

When is a socially acceptable time to remove someone else’s laundry? What if they arrive as you do so? This amalgamates in unnecessary stress over when to undertake laundry, which in turn would deter doing the practice entirely.

This conveniently leads to the other day where I reluctantly emptied a machine whose cycle had finished for 45 minutes. It soon occurred to me that I was holding lingerie. In shock, I resorted to frantically unloading the lingerie to the nearby ironing board. Thereafter, just as I thought I had escaped a potentially embarrassing moment, I realised there was one remaining bra. Sod’s law, as I carefully removed the bra, its owner arrived. Much to her amusement, she playfully accused me of “fondling her bra”. Bewildered as to how to respond, I departed bemused, mortified and never wanting to do laundry ever again.

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The bright side

If/When you have eventually overcome the fears of laundry, there are some incredible benefits of freshly laundered clothes, which (hopefully) should serve as motivation to do your laundry.

The reality of clean clothes

Finally! Never again criticised for wearing that SAME shirt.

The Smells

There is nothing better than the aromas of freshly laundered clothes diffusing around your room. Remember this moment.

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The warmth of tumble-dried clothes

Bask in the warmth that supplements your clothes’ aroma. That comforting feeling of warm clothes piled on top of you. Guilty Pleasure.


The laundry igloo

Ultimately, regardless of your willpower to do your laundry, always listen to your mother: change your underwear.

Queen Mary University of London