• Mr. Jeff Neill

Transition Chat: Laundry

The topic of laundry may seem mundane and insignificant in the grand scheme of things, but it is a great one for early on in the transition process because it begs a number of questions about the skills seniors have or do not have. Also, don’t be misled into thinking that you will just get the laundry service offered at many colleges! They can be expensive and inconvenient. Inevitably, there will come a time when you need to do your own laundry. So, fundamentally:

Do you know how to wash and take care of your laundry?

Here are some corollary points to consider:

  • Do you know how to operate a washing machine?

  • Do you know the difference between laundry detergent, bleach, fabric softener, and other products for laundry?

  • Do you know how to shop for laundry care products?

  • Can you properly sort your laundry?

  • Do you know how to read a clothing label?

  • Are you aware of any clothing you wear that requires special handling?

  • What gets cold water wash? Warm or hot water wash?

  • What should and what should not go into the dryer?

  • Do you prefer fabric softener sheets or liquid?

  • Where is the lint trap? Know how to clean it?

  • Do you know what has happened when you shrink something in the laundry?

  • Do you know how to hang things out to dry?

  • Do you know how to fold your own laundry?

  • Do you know how to get a stain out of your clothes?

  • What should get dry cleaned?

  • Do you know how to wash bed sheets and blankets?

  • Do you know how to wash bath towels?

  • How do you hand-wash delicates?

  • Alumni Advice: Get the campus laundry plan! You can always do your own laundry if you have more than the service will do, but getting your sheets cleaned regularly is super helpful. It also just saves you time.

When the final college destination is known, here are some additional points of consideration:

  • Will you sign up for the laundry service?

  • How expensive is it? Is it worth your time and money?

  • When does it pick-up and drop-off? Does it do linens and bedding? Dry cleaning? Delicates?

  • Will the service provide bedding?

  • Where is the nearest laundromat on-campus? Off-campus?

  • Where is the nearest dry cleaner?

If you read this early enough, there will be plenty of time to learn how to take care of your own laundry! Parents, are there any other self-care skills that your child needs to learn before heading off to college?

And don’t skip the possibility of sharing this video:

This piece is part of a series on “transitioning to college.” We encourage graduating seniors and their parents or guardians to engage in discussion on a weekly basis about these topics. If you have feedback or additional ideas or perspectives to share, please let us know so we can incorporate your thoughts into revisions of our posts.

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