It’s frustrating for you, and especially for them, when your residents have to wait for a laundry machine because everyone showed up on Sunday afternoon at the same time. Here are some ways to prevent these common traffic jams:
Prevent laundry creep.
Encourage residents to launder more often, and more regularly! If your residents are washing their laundry at least once a week, they’re less likely to let it all pile up. When they’re out of clean threads, this inevitably leads to more loads being done on the most popular days and times because they didn’t plan ahead. Consider offering some sort of rewards program or card for the number of times they use the machines. Odds are that you’ll make up the revenue, because they’ll do more loads and less inclined to overload the laundry with this kind of incentive.
Coin Meter gives tips on preventing traffic jams in laundry rooms.
Lift-off the load.
Consider offering some sort of incentive for using the facility on off-days or times, too. Perhaps you could give them a discount for slow periods – or increase the price slightly on the most popular days. You could also make the laundry experience more enticing on these off-times, by providing snacks or entertainment, such as free movie rentals, for example.
Clean the clock.
Create a calendar where residents sign up for allotted time slots. This could be a paper schedule posted next to specific machines, or an online process, depending upon how much of an issue or priority this is for your property.
Be creative with what works best for you. A small percentage of machines could remain first-come-first serve, to accommodate those that prefer not to schedule and are willing to risk not having an open machine. Or start small, if you wish, by implementing a scheduled system only on popular laundry days. It wouldn’t necessarily have to be something you monitor either. Create an honor system, and make it clear to your residents that it’s self-monitoring.
Keep it nifty swifty.
Create a well-organized community laundry room to keep things moving quickly and smoothly. Provide detergent and keep it on shelves that are near the washers, so it’s quickly within arms reach. Place tables near the dryers for residents to capture and fold their clean clothing. Provide baskets that they can use while in the room, in between washes and dry cycles.
Be their guide.
Post tips in the laundry room that keep them on task. They’ll love the info, and gives them one less thing to have to look-up or do. You could post great tips such as:
- List of symbols on clothing labels, and what they mean.
- The best ways to treat stains.
- Tips for energy efficient laundry .
- How to sort your wash properly by color, fabric, etc.
Nobody likes a traffic jam! So even if some of these ideas need some period of adjustment at first, the payoff is huge. It could save your residents a huge chunk of time every week, that they don’t have to spend waiting and checking on open machines. They’ll be grateful to you for a smooth and easy laundry experience.