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In this post: We discuss a common struggle in the massage industry and a solution—a system for laundry for massage therapists during COVID.
Laundry, laundry, laundry!!!
One of my biggest struggles since resuming massage has been laundry. As massage therapists, we all know the battle with laundry is real, regardless of whether or not we are working during a pandemic. It just never seems to end! And pandemics make it that much worse!
For me, personally, there are a few reasons laundry has been extra challenging these days.
Why Laundry Has Been Challenging For Me Since the Pandemic
1) I used to have a washer and dryer at my old location, and staff that helped shoulder some of the responsibility of doing this laundry. (I know talk about spoiled!) Since my downsize, I no longer have laundry at the office, so I’m bringing everything home.
2) My laundry room is also my son’s bathroom, and every time I do laundry, I feel like I am potentially exposing him to the virus. Consequently, his bathroom became “off-limits,” and we were sharing my bathroom.
3) I’ll admit it, I wasn’t washing my top blanket between every session prior to the pandemic. But I am now! Which means twice as much laundry.
You guys, the anxiety I have been feeling, I desperately want to reclaim my son’s bathroom. I want to feel safe having him brush his teeth as he teeters to reach the sink! I want my home to be my home!!!
After two weeks back at work, I decided something had got to give! I had to figure out a better way to do laundry than to scare my son from entering what has been dubbed the “COVID BATHROOM.”
And so, I devised a system for doing laundry.
My system for laundry for massage therapists during COVID
While the evidence is still inconclusive as to how long the virus might live on fabric, according to Health Line, the longest period of time the virus lives on any surfaces is seven days. So, if we assume that fabric is seven days or less, we could have a seven-day laundry rotation.
On Monday, the laundry goes into the Monday Rubbermaid. After it is sealed up, it is stored until the following Monday when it gets opened and laundered. Same system for Tuesday, and Wednesday, and so on.
Originally I purchased one Rubbermaid bin for every day I do massage. I massage five days a week, so I had five bins going.
Quickly I realized that it is nice to have an extra Rubbermaid. As you pull laundry from a bin, but still have more laundry in it, it is nice to have the extra bin to put the freshly laundered linen into.
So if you work four days a week, have five bins. Three days, four bins, and so on.
Figure out how many massages you max out at per week. For me, I have decreased my workload since reopening. The most I do in one week is 15. So I have 15 sets of sheets, 15 blankets, and 15 work shirts.
The downside of this method is that you must have plenty of sheets, blankets, face cradles, and shirts. You also must have enough space to store your Rubbermades.
Amazingly, I was able to scrounge up 15 blankets from around my house. Another solution might be to use oversized beach towels instead of blankets. They are cheaper than blankets and take up way less space in the laundry!
I know this could be a hefty initial investment if you are currently running with just a few sets of everything. For me, the amount of anxiety it has reduced in my life has been worth the price tag!
As much as I would like to clean and disinfect my bathroom between every load thoroughly, the truth is, for me, it’s not realistic or effective.
No matter how hard I try not to have the laundry touch my clothes, skin, or hair, inevitably it does. Which then makes me want to wash my clothes or take yet another shower. One day I took four showers because I kept feeling like I was being contaminated. I can’t keep that up!
Or the laundry will fall on the ground, or my son will desperately want to help with the wash (now how can I discourage this kind of initiative!)
And so, while my garage is already busting at the seams, somehow I found room in there for 5 Rubbermaid’s.
On each Rubbermaid, I have written a day of the week. So I clearly know what day I am supposed to launder the content. And as always I wash and dry on the hottest setting available to me!
Guys, I am now so much more confident resuming bathtime than I was two weeks ago! It feels like I can breathe again! I’m reclaiming my space!
Or you could just hire a laundry service…such a novel concept!
What solutions have you come up with in regards to laundry since resuming massage? Please share! Maybe you’ve got something better than the 7-day rotation! Or, if you implement my system, please share how it works for you!
- Boulder College of Massage Therapy Graduate
- Nationally Certified through NCBTMB
- Colorado Licensed Massage Therapist
- Certified CranialSacral Level 1 through Upledger
- Certified Herbal Therapist through Nutrition Therapy Institute
- Certified Fujian Massage through Barefoot Masters
- Fort Lewis College - Majored in Art, Minored in Business Administration
- 6 Year Winner of Best Massage Therapist for "Best of The Boat" Competition
- Massage Business Owner Since 2008
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