Generally, the most exciting aspect of me doing laundry is to wonder for a few minutes how much I might ruin a shirt that says “dry clean only” or “hand wash” by adding it to the pile of clothes that has a similar shade of color. But due to the physics of my apartment laundry room, I have had to begin my training as a laundry ninja.
The first few times of doing my laundry I had no problems, but in hindsight this was probably part of the training too – becoming too acclimated to the setting is never a good thing. Rule #1 Be Aware of Your Surroundings.
To give myself some credit during these initial visits to the laundry room, I had noticed off the bat the item that would become the enemy. Rule #2 Know Your Enemy.
The laundry room fits one dryer, one washer, a sink, and a trash can. By ‘fits’, I mean that this takes some creative arranging. The washer and dryer are arranged in this L-shape – the washer is propped to the right of the room, it’s side slightly away from the wall. Meanwhile the dryer faces the door pressed against the wall. This L-shape ultimately leaves a rectangular shaped hole at the wall. When I first did my laundry, I noted to myself that I had to be careful putting my clothes in the washer as one bad swoop of laundry, might result in it falling into that hole.
So naturally, with this observation, I would then do exactly that a few months later.
Of all things to drop? A slightly, awkwardly rolled sock. Therein lies Rule #3 Learn How to Jump, Rule #4 Walk Quietly, and Rule #5 Be Invisible. These were the skills required of me to look at what had fallen in the laundry room hole. I leapt onto the dryer, tip-toed on to washer, (hoped that no neighbors would be walking by) and peered over the side to see this slightly balled up sock on the lint ridden floor of the laundry room.
I sat perched on my washer for a moment thinking and tried to reach out for the sock. This would have worked if my arm was twice as long as it actually is. After another moment of contemplating, I went to my apartment and grabbed a hanger.
Perched on the washer, I tried grabbing the sock with the hanger like a cat trying to swipe the fish from the fish bowl. But it was still just slightly too short.
Then I went to grab my generic Swiffer type mop (ninja bo?). Sitting on the dryer, I used the swiffer stick to hook onto the sock, pressing it against the machine for leverage. I make it sound easy, but this took about ten minutes of it dropping repeatedly.
But Round 1 of Ninja training was achieved and the sock was placed into the washing machine for that day’s wash.
A few weeks later I would encounter the same problem of overzealous placement of laundry into washing machine. Another sock in the space between the dryer, washer, and wall. Perched on top of the washer, looking down, I realized Rule #6 Be Aware of Your Size Within Your Surroundings.
So with a bit of Rule #3 Learn How to Jump, I found that I could fit inside that space, pick up that stray sock, and jump back out.
I am Laundry Ninja.