Communal laundry: Do you move someone else's clothes?

Here’s the scenario: you use a communal laundry area such as in an apartment or condo building. Washers & dryers are at a premium on the weekends, and you manage to snag a washer while someone else’s clothes are in the dryer. Wash cycle is 30 minutes, dry cycle is 60. The dryer’s timer shows 15 minutes remaining until it’s finished. You keep a close eye on the timer you’ve set for yourself back at your apartment, and return 30 minutes later to switch your clothes out.

Only problem is, the dryer is still occupied by the other guy’s clothes. They’re done, they’ve just been sitting there for 15 minutes by your estimation. So you go back to your apartment and return 10 minutes later to find the clothes still there.

You have other stuff to do, and laundry is on your long list of chores to get finished today, and the longer you wait for this joker to come get his stuff, the longer your schedule gets pushed back. After all, you kept a close eye on your time so you’d be back to move your stuff, knowing that other people are waiting for the machines.

Do you move the other guy’s clothes?

I’ve only ever actually done this once, because I assume most people wouldn’t want their stuff touched and I don’t want to make anyone mad. However, for myself, I always assume that, if I am that late picking up my laundry, someone might move it. That’s why I always leave my basket next to the machine I’m using.

In general, I’d say if you don’t want your stuff touched, come pick it up when it’s done. I wouldn’t move someones stuff after just a few minutes, but you’ve waited a half-an-hour, and that seems acceptable to me.

Yep, where I live there is often a line to use the washers/dryers. If you get to the front of the line and don’t take out someone else’s finished clothes, the person behind you in line will be happy to do it and take the machine. But I’m sure there are places where this is accepted practice and places where it is not, so I would take my cues from your local laundry room community.

I move other peoples laundry out of the dryer/washer all the time in my building. A lot of people where I live are bad for forgetting about their laundry. Never had an ugly confrontation about it. Yet. I’m sure some people think its rude. But then it’s rude to assume everyone else should revolve around their lives.

I once had a prick take my clothes out of the washing machine mid-cycle. Throw theirs in and leave mine on the dryer, soaking wet and soapy.

The fucking dirtbag was lucky all I did was unplug the washing machine.

I think the only thing that works for a communal laundry is a schedule, whether it’s by sign-up or the times are assigned (a la the dormitory where I went to college).

Otherwise there is always at least one jerk who has no consideration for the other people who depend on the facilities.

It’s kind of like the anonymity of the internet - if no-one knows you’re the one who leaves his stuff in the machines, or takes someone else’s stuff out mid-cycle (good grief!), you feel free to behave badly, unless you have that kind of consideration.

Sure, in the scenario in the OP, I’d move the stuff. Actually, the last place I lived had the custom of loading the dryer with quarters and setting the dial when you put your stuff in the washer. If I got to the washer when it was done but before you’d gotten back, I’d throw it in the dryer and start it for ya. (If you had something in there that shouldn’t be dried, you wouldn’t leave quarters, and I’d simply move it.) We’d all leave a basket with our load too, so the dryer top didn’t get too overwhelmed.

Even better, there was a sweet little old lady with OCD who lived in the apartment across the hall. She LOVED to fold other people’s laundry. You’d sometimes go down there 10 minutes after your dryer was to have stopped and there it would be, all neatly folded in piles on the (clean) dryer. She loved to fold the laundry, but drew the line at putting the laundry *in *the basket. Odd, but gift horses and all that…

I have to admit, I started waiting 10 minutes on purpose. :smiley:

Back when I used a laundramat I did it all the time. I’d just put it in one of the little carts they had. No one ever confronted me about it. Usually it was because they had hopped in the car and driven off somewhere.

I’ve removed stuff from the washers or the dryers back in the dorms in college when there was always a wait for the machines. Fortunately, my apartment building has enough washers and dryers that I can always find another machine. (BTW, if you leave your clothes in the washer long enough, they start to mildew and eventually dry all twisted up in the drum. So don’t do that.)

in my olde apartment building, people would move other folks’ clothing as a matter of course… usually dropping it on the dusty table in the laundry room. I would camp down there with a book when it got close to switching time. Then, I found someone blithely yanking my still-wet clothing out of the drier one afternoon… after that, I stayed with my clothing until it was all done.
I’m glad my new home has washer and dryer. I got tired of not being able to do anything else while laundry was going on.

If it’s just a free-for-all to grab the available machines, I probably wouldn’t. In my building, though, there’s a set schedule, and if someone runs over into my time that far, I’d first knock at the door of the person scheduled before me, and if they didn’t answer or said it wasn’t theirs, I’d put the clothes into the person’s basket (if it was there) or on top of the machine (but no folding).

Damn straight I do. People around here sometimes leave their shit sitting in there all day. How rude is that? I don’t like to do it, but you do what you gotta do in this crazy world.

I wouldn’t want somebody folding my stuff, or especially putting it into the dryer for me – I wouldn’t mind them moving it into a basket or otherwise out of the way. I will move other people’s stuff if I have to.

The laundromat I use always has ample machines available so I haven’t had to do that in a very long time.

I used to move other people’s stuff when I used laundry rooms that filled up. I really didn’t think it was a big deal if someone left their stuff in a dryer, maybe they got a phone call or they just fell asleep on the couch. Likewise I wouldn’t feel bad about moving their stuff on top of the dryer. No big deal. If it bugged them they’d find a way to be there when the buzzer went off.

One of the main reasons I own my home is because I hate using laundry rooms. Actually, I hate using communal property. I’m kinda non social for those occasions. I also use self checkout whenever its possible. I don’t even interact with the Library people.

I now own a front loading washing machine that can handle large blankets.

My ode to the washing machine: owning a washing machine means that I have good supplies of water and power. It means that I have more clothes than just what I’m wearing. It means that I can buy soap at a store…which implies that I have fully stocked stores where I live. It also means that I have money to spend on soap.

I am truely blessed.

In my building it’s customary to leave your basket on top of the washer or dryer you’re using. If some needs your machine and your load is done, you just throw it in the basket.

One place I lived was a complex with small buildings with 8 apartments in each building, and one 2-washer 2-drier laundry room in every other building. It was a problem finding a laundry room not in use. Anyway, one evening I removed dry, cold laundry from a drier (at a previous address) and put mine in. When I came back, I found my wet laundry had been removed from the running drier and thrown around the room.

Since then I almost never touch other people’s laundry.

I’d say that after a load has been left for over half an hour, it’s OK to move it as long as you don’t dump it on a dirty or dusty place. However, if people are gonna leave their laundry, they need to leave a basket, too, especially if the table is dirty or dusty.

I used to go to laundromats with a book or some knitting. I had a few clothes stolen at a laundromat, over several visits, because people felt free to move clothes, and I guess someone liked the looks of mine.

I wouldn’t do it because I was taught you don’t touch other people’s stuff without permission. When I lived in my apartment we only had two washers and dryers for 30 units. It stayed pretty busy. Only rarely did I find them full and off while unattended, and when I did I left and came back another time. If I was in that big of a rush I’d have gone to the laundry mat instead.

I would prefer that nobody touch mine either but in my neighborhood you don’t leave your clothes or you might find them gone forever. I learned that in my first month there. Someone stole a full load of brand new towels and wash cloths.

I guess if it’s understood, and you know your neighbors well enough it’s okay to move each other’s stuff but it seems rude. I get it’s rude to leave your clothes too but two rudes don’t make whatever the hell the opposite of rude is.

I used to do it and it was considered okay if you just set the other person’s clothes aside. If you were in a nice mood you might even fold them.

Someone did it to me and even folded the clothes. I wasn’t at all offended-- until I noticed my underwear had mysteriously vanished.

I move clothes if I know they’ve been sitting longer than 30 minutes. I used to leave a basket when my clothes were drying, in case something came up and I couldn’t get back on time (very rarely happens) but I stopped doing that when some asshole stole my basket.