Apartment Living Conundrum: What is Proper Laundry Room Etiquette When Someone Leaves Stuff in a Machine?
Since moving away from home for college, I've either lived in a dorm room or apartment with shared laundry facilities on site. While it isn't as convenient as having a washer and dryer right in my living space, it is surely more convenient than having to head to a laundromat every time I need to wash some clothes.
I've been pretty lucky, with people generally being considerate enough to make sure they promptly empty the washer or dryer once the cycle is finished. On a couple occasions, including one just recently, I found myself in a very different situation.
My apartment complex has two washers and two dryers. Both the dryers were occupied (just finishing their cycle as I as loading the washer), and both washers were open. I threw a load of laundry into the washer and headed back to my apartment. In the case of these machines, I happen to know a full washer cycle takes about 20-30 minutes and a dryer cycle takes about an hour.
I sauntered back to the laundry room after the end of my washer cycle to see that both dryers were still full of clothes. Not wanting to handle someone else's clothes (as I wouldn't want someone else handling mine), I headed back to my apartment for another half hour. After watching some TV, I headed back to discover the clothes were STILL there. At this point I'm seriously contemplating emptying a dryer so I can finish my laundry. I mean, these clothes have been sitting in the dryer, done, for about an hour at this point.
Ultimately, I sat in the laundry room playing a game on my phone for another 10 minutes, at which point the owner of the clothes mercifully came to empty the dryers so I could finish mine. Had I waited much longer, I probably would have been forced to act. What would you do in this situation?