Illustrated by Starline Hodge.
By Hallie Cantor
1. Gather everything you want to wash.
Diagram of your room has labels for "the garbage bag you use as a hamper," "shirt you were too tired to hang up," and "socks buried deep under your bed."
2. Treat for stains.
Finger rubbing at a stain
Secret stain removing trick: get a little saliva on your finger and just rub at it. This will either get it out or make it much worse!
3. Separate your whites and darks.
Giant pile of laundry of all types and colors
An easy rule of thumb about how to separate your whites and darks: don't.
4. Go to the laundry room/laundromat.
You juggle the huge pile of laundry, your keys, your phone, and a bag of quarters as you walk down the hall
Get about halfway to three-quarters of the way there before you remember that you forgot your detergent and have to go back home.
5. Load your clothes.
One giant washing machine and one tiny washing machine, labeled "too expensive" and "too small," respectively.
Stare at the different sized washing machines trying to work out the most cost-effective way to fit all your clothes. Miscalculate it so that you fit almost everything in one washer but don't have enough left to really justify a second load, so you end up cramming it all into the one washer so that there's way too much in there for it to all get clean.
6. Adjust the washing machine's settings.
Many knobs and dials which all have nonsense labels "Copperize, Broaden, Krebs Cycle, Canada?" except for "Cold."
Automatically push Cold for everything because you heard somewhere that that stops your clothes from shrinking.
7. Plan your next move.
You stand in the laundromat, thinking
Are you really gonna just hang out here for an hour? You don't want your clothes to be stolen, but on the other hand, you really don't think anyone is going to steal your used underwear. But if you go home, you'll probably forget to come back at the right time and then someone else will want to use the machine and they'll take your wet clothes out and put them on the dirty laundromat floor and everyone will laugh at how lame your clothes are.
8. See an attractive person.
A sexy person folds their sexy clothes a few machines over
Think about what a cute story that would be to meet your significant other at a laundromat but how that would never happen to you in real life because you're too much of a wimp about rejection to actually approach someone at a laundromat.
9. Look at your phone.
You try to play it cool by looking at your phone as the sexy person walks by but you mostly look weird
Make sure that when the attractive person is nearby, you're reading a really highbrow article so they don't think you're superficial.
10. Transfer your clothes to the dryer.
A sock on the gross laundromat floor
Always make sure to drop one or two socks on the filthy laundromat floor in the process. The correct way to clean them is to shake them once and put them in the dryer.
11. Get more quarters.
The evil change machine has a sign reading "FEED ME YOUR MONEY"
This is probably when you'll run out of quarters. Visit the change machine, have it eat your $5 bill and not give me any quarters back, and then go to the deli across the street and buy something you don't want so you can get change.
12. Hang up your non-dryer items.
Diagram of your room with a button-down hanging in front of your laptop, a pair of pants hanging out of the top drawer of your bureau and blocking the other drawers, and various items strewn across the bed.
It's important to hang them in places you need to access so it'll be a real inconvenience when they're still hanging there for days after they're dry.
13. Fold your dry items.
Your hand shoves a pile of shirts into a drawer
The best way to fold your laundry is to sort it into type of clothing item and then, very carefully, cram those piles into your drawers.
14. You're done!
You spill something on your sparklingly clean outfit
Now spill coffee on everything you just cleaned as soon as you put it on.