Laundry Room Fail

Occasionally I’ll get it into my head that I can do anything.

Note to self: NOT.

Here’s the deal: I love my washer and dryer.  They are the stuff.  They were cheap, they fit into a tight space, they’re white, and they work wonders with my laundry every single time: it comes out clean AND dry all in less than an hour.  (I know, I know, it’s a minor miracle.)  In fact, I love them so much that I sing their praises to Tim every laundry day evening (while he tries not to be jealous).  And I felt like they deserved some extra special treatment.

So three months ago, during a particularly busy stretch of work for Tim (one which was supposed to last a week and has morphed into the last nine months), I took it upon myself to carpet the laundry room.  The one with the floor otherwise known by geologist-wannabes as a concretion.  (Unfortunately for this geologist wannabe, real concretions sometimes contain pearls.  Our laundry room floor?  Not so much.)

We already had the carpet (a big scrap of green berber that was left rolled up in the corner of one of the bedrooms), so what did I have to lose?


Note to self: HA.  HA.

First I had to measure.  You know what they say about measuring: with what measure you use twice, cut once.  Or something like that.  Just to be safe, I measured about 7 times.  Don’t ask me why, it just sounded like the perfect number. 

Then I had to draw.  I drew out the laundry room.  I drew out the carpet.  I tried to fit the laundry room into the carpet.  Then I realized it would be just as easy to fit the carpet to the laundry room.  So I did.

The carpet was too long and not wide enough.  So by my calculations, if I cut it in half length wise and stacked the two pieces side by side–I was good to go.

So I made my cuts.  I used a utility knife and followed the weave on the back of the carpet to make sure my cut would come out straight.  Whoever invented weave on the back of carpet was a genius.  Maybe he and the guy who started printing that grid on the back of wrapping paper are brothers, who knows.  But I’d like to shake the man’s hand.

On accident, I cut in half width wise instead of length wise even though I’d measured twice x 3 1/2 so I’d only have to cut once.

I do not want to shake the man’s hand who made up that stupid wrong rule about measuring twice.

But all was not completely lost, since I could still cover all the visible parts of the laundry room concretion with some clever editing and minimal overlap.

The fourth (and purportedly final) step involved laying the carpet.  I was particularly proud of this accomplishment, since it involved some single handled maneuvering of some rather large furniture.  Oh, and I pulled a tricky trick where the carpet tucked under the laundry room door and met head to head with the tile in the hallway: I folded the carpet under and stomped it flat, so it looked like a real, professional seam.  Shwew.  Go, me.

Enter the happily ever after that wasn’t.

First and foremost, the carpet unbalanced the washing machine.  My beautiful, perfect, quiet, purring machine turned into some sort of raging lunatic every time I pushed her buttons.  Not only was it loud and annoying and cumbersome, but then I read somewhere that the life expectancy of unbalanced washing machines is dramatically reduced compared to their level-headed peers.

If that’s not bad news, I don’t know what is.

Obviously, the carpet had to go.

I procrastinated for a few weeks, but as the time neared for our triannual trip to the dump, I knew I had to act.

So I did.  I enlisted Tim’s help, and together we singlehandedly wrastled that carpet back out from under said heavy furniture, rolled it up, carted it out to the trailer, loaded it up, and drove off into the sunset.

Enter the end of story that wasn’t.

While removing the carpet from underneath the dryer, we (I) accidentally pinched (punctured) the dryer exhaust hose.


So off Tim runs for a new hose, some extra hose clamps, and a bottle of vodka.  (Just kidding about the vodka.)

Alas, alack, the hose clamp doesn’t quite fit the exit pipe.  So back he runs for some sort of pipe re-sizer and more vodka.

At this moment in the saga, something terrible happens: outage season–otherwise known among control engineers as the ‘drop everything and run to work death dance ‘–begins at the power plant.  So Tim did just that two weeks ago, and he hasn’t been back since ‘s been home just long enough to eat and sleep since.

Well, good wife that I am, yesterday I decide to contract another case of the I-can-do-anythings (my only other symptom being a huge basket of dirty laundry).  So I muscle around that hose, figure out why the clamp doesn’t fit, fit it, tighten it down, and take my trusty-dusty machines for a test drive.

Here’s how that went:

Not well.

So, dear readers, in case you missed it, three months, a big mess, and a few wasted days of work later, we are now right back to where we started (a laundry room with a concrete floor), except that now:

The washer’s still off kilter, despite being back on a level playing field.  I know this because of the loud protestations she made yesterday at even the most simple of tasks.  Oh, she’ll do what I ask her to alright–but not without making herself heard.

The dryer hose leaks steam (at both ends), despite being tightly sealed (at both ends).

And outage season isn’t over for two more months.

In conclusion:

The moral of this story is I am not as amazingly skilled as I’d like to think, so please don’t ask me to do anything even remotely simple for you anytime soon.  And remind me next time I get a case of the I-C-D-A-s to just leave well enough alone, thank you very much.

Oh, yah, and the other moral is I’ll probably be wearing this same shirt for the next month, so don’t get too close. 

Good thing I scored a deal on deodorant last week.

  1. #1 by A.K. on October 6, 2011 - 4:57 pm

    I’m sorry Cristy! Nothing is ever as easy as we think it’s going to be. I think that’s part of the definition of entropy, or living in a fallen world, or something like that;) You definitely get points for trying. I have quite a few projects around here I haven’t even started… And you’re great at laughing at yourself!

    • #2 by Cristy on October 6, 2011 - 6:28 pm

      Thanks, Anna! The bright side is, it only makes me bummed about every other week when I do laundry. Imagine if I’d done something to the stove or my toothbrush and had to be reminded of my inability multiple times daily!! 🙂

      • #3 by A.K. on October 7, 2011 - 12:24 pm

        Wow, how do you do laundry only every other week? I do at least 2 loads a week here.

        • #4 by Cristy on October 7, 2011 - 1:15 pm

          I know that’s not much, but Pop does his own laundry and I don’t have scrubs to wash every day, either!

  2. #5 by joannamv on October 6, 2011 - 6:12 pm

    Oh dear 😦 Maybe you should try to build a washing line next? :-/
    Maybe the floor is every so slightly uneven, so if we spend an entire day moving the washer around a few millimetres we can eventually find the exact spot it used to be in??

    Once my vanilla extract runs out I’m going to make my own, so it will be vodka time for real 🙂

    Someone just estimated renovating all our chimneys at 13k so we’ll be doing it ourselves, so I need to run and stop Josh from demolishing them all right now :B

    • #6 by Cristy on October 6, 2011 - 6:30 pm

      We have a clothesline (that used to be a dog run) under the trees in the backyard….but no clothes pins. Guess I’d better remedy that, huh?! But I keep thinking what if some stupid squirrel poops on my newly clean sheets?!?!

      • #7 by joannamv on October 6, 2011 - 11:29 pm

        I worry about birds, I hadn’t thought to worry about squirrels! Virginia is worrisome because it has way more bugs and stuff than England. But generally it’s ok. Fortunately our clothes line is in the middle of a wide open space so we don’t get leaves and bugs and stuff. Unfortunately it’s far far away so right now I only use it for sheets and otherwise I just use the airer in the kitchen haha. Diapers will probably get hung outside except on super lazy days… Josh’s work is going to start doing uniforms aka laundry service so that means I should have room enough inside for baby clothes to dry!

        Lowes has super cheap wooden pegs; Josh bought them for me but it took a while for him to find them because the Lowes employee didn’t know they sold them, he didn’t even know people used clotheslines any more… o.O

        I think you should tie some old rags on the line for a while and just check them every so often. That should let you know what kind of conditions to expect! (Wish I’d thought of this before!)

  3. #8 by Sally on October 6, 2011 - 11:02 pm

    Oh Cristy, this is terrible! Maybe you should Google on how to rebalance your type of washing machine. I think for some of them at least (Mom’s at home was this way), you simply picked up the front of the washing machine, lifting the two front feet off the floor, and set it back down. I don’t know how that did it, but it worked.

    My next thing is, you are so BLESSED not to have carpet in your laundry room. I think all laundry rooms should be nothing but concrete. Our washer and dryer are in the basement, which has a concrete floor and drains to the sump pump hole. My reason: those things will leak sometime! Better a leak on concrete (especially if you don’t find it out for a while) than on carpet!

    I still feel sorry for you, having put so much energy into all this.

    • #9 by Cristy on October 7, 2011 - 8:24 am

      Great idea about googling the fix, thanks!!

  4. #10 by Betty on October 7, 2011 - 10:36 am

    This made your father and I laugh. I guess we aren’t as nice as your friends. Does Tim have a level? Glad you are blogging again.

    • #11 by Cristy on October 7, 2011 - 1:18 pm

      Oh, don’t worry, you’re pretty nice. 🙂 Tim laughed when he read it, too.

  5. #12 by Laura on October 10, 2011 - 10:34 am

    Oh my. Nice work. But don’t let one fail discourage you from being a fix-it girl! 🙂 I’m starting to think maybe we should just call a fix-it man to fix our uber-squeaky dryer after reading this, though! Phil’s initial attempt with gun oil (which has fixed several sewing machines) totally failed.

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