Swedish laundry rules

May 4, 2010

in Cultural differences,Stockholm,Travels

We broke laundry room etiquette this weekend. We had signed up for Saturday and as friends were coming over for dinner that night, we inadvertently left the last load in the dryer. And then did not remember it until Monday morning. When I went down to get the load this morning, the sheets were in a wrinkled ball and sitting on top of the linen press as if in apology for being left in such a state.

In other less casual buildings, our mistake could have meant war. People get angry about their territory being encroached on in the communal apartment laundry. I know friends who have gotten nasty letters if they have gone even five minutes over their time slot. (All tenants have the right to use a laundry room, but must sign up for it – typically on a calendar. The procedure means that you have to plan to do your laundry.)

There is a tenant in my building who I will call “Sven” who always signs up for Sunday afternoons. But this past Sunday, someone else was signed up. I am thinking Sven was not happy because as I walked by the calendar this morning, I noticed Sven had signed up for every Sunday in May. Ha! Passive/aggressive behavior at its finest! You see, you just don’t mess around with someone’s laundry time.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 maria May 4, 2010 at 09:42

I must agree to agree on this one!

2 Antropologa May 4, 2010 at 10:07

Just once a week! Omigod, I do laundry just about every day. Maybe this is why cloth diapers are not as popular in Sweden. Anyway we have our own tvattstuga so we’re fortunate.

3 admin May 4, 2010 at 15:01

Antrpologa: When I lived in the US and had my own tvattstuga, I did it all the time too. I have learned to not do laundry so much here. Even so, when I book the laundry, it takes several hours and feels like a big event!

4 admin May 4, 2010 at 15:02

Maria: Funny. Do you have your own laundry in Dublin?

5 Roger May 5, 2010 at 15:46

as a swede I don’t see the problem, buy your own washing machine if you have problems to plan, that’s whats the ‘unplanned’ swedes does.

When I lived in an apartment some years back, I lost my time because I did not read the rules closely,
You could book the laundry room for 2 h, I thought you had it for the 2 h so i showed up after 30-40 min and thought i could do at least one machine. But no no, if you read the small lines in the rule-book, you have lost your time after 15 min, I was told by a very nasty old lady :-)

6 admin May 5, 2010 at 17:35

Oh hilarious Roger…I can just see you getting yelled at by a mean little old lady. As for the laundry, we have definitely learned to plan it!

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