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If you’re buying a city apartment that doesn’t have a washing machine and dryer, then you’re going to have head somewhere to get your clothes clean. That likely means using a laundry room in your building and following these steps can make this chore a bit easier.

Get Organized:
One drawback to leaving your apartment to wash laundry is that if you forget something, you have to head back home to get it. Buy a hamper or laundry basket on wheels to make transporting your clothes easier. Keep your supplies—detergent, stain removers, fabric softener, etc.—together and store them in a convenient spot. If your building’s machines are coin-operated, make sure you have plenty of quarters available. Or if it uses a card system, don’t forget to bring your card.

Prepare the Equipment:
Before starting a wash, make sure the washing machine is clear, you never know if someone has left behind a red T-shirt that could ruin your clothes. Also make sure there isn’t anything else in the machine, like money, pens, keys—things people often leave in their pockets. When it’s time to dry your clothes, clear the dryer’s lint vent. You may also want to take the step of cleaning the dryer with a mild cleaner or a wipe.

Be Considerate:
Don’t leave your laundry unattended in the machine or dryer, because then you’re putting people in the position of waiting or taking the step of removing your laundry themselves. Likewise, if someone else has left their laundry in a machine, give them some time before removing it, about 10 minutes is fair. If you want to go the extra step, fold the unattended laundry so that it doesn’t get wrinkled.

Keep the Area Clean:
Once you’re finished cleaning and folding your clothes, empty the dryer of lint. Wipe up any detergent you may have spilled on the machines or floor and pick up anything you may have dropped so that the room is ready for the next user. And if you see an issue such as a big spill you can’t clean or a damaged machine, contact your building management.

A smart and considerable approach to your building’s laundry room can make your life a bit simpler and set an example for others to follow.