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Down the Laundry Chute :: Echos of Yesterday


Some of you may know that we have been staying at my mom’s house. We, in this case, was just the girls and my wife, but now, and for just the last two weeks, well . . . me too.  Reason: We have a guy working on the exterior paint at our house.

The paint that covers the old farmhouse is nearly a quarter inch thick in some spots.  And, phew, wanna talk about pitting, alligatoring or other catastrophic paint failure – this house has it . . . . and lots of it.  Concern: Lead = Yes!  Solution:  Containment, Clean-up and . . . the girls now five and seven – Exodus.

Now, let’s see . . . hmmm . . . my mom’s house and an extended stay? Last time?  For me, well, I was probably still in college, which . . . feels like a long, long time ago.  So, of course, this visit, and maybe it was cutting the grass for the first time since Thriller topped the charts — I have reflected on things . . . a little.  And OK, maybe it really hasn’t been that long since I cut the grass.

And this (it has come out in recent Twitter shouts), I spent some formidable-type years living here with both my (never remarried) mother and my sister — three years younger than me.  I mean – don’t know if I could even help it . . . Yep, pretty much in touch with my feminine side.

And now . . . I am not saying they are especially girly, but as I am into my third week here — I reflect and realize that my all-time most favoritist thing about my mom’s house is, was, and always has been, well — the laundry chute.

Maybe you know them. And while it works very well in my mom’s 1972 split-level, I have actually been paid (good money) to rip these things out and dispose of them.  For my clients, a chute dumping into a finished area was too unsightly and impractical, even when dropping right from the master bedroom directly into the laundry room. The big issue being, of course, the receptacle — in one case, for the homeowner — a simple laundry basket.

I wonder (and I admit that I don’t really get out much); why don’t you see these things often?  And sure, I know . . . the laundry room has progressively migrated to the upper floors of the modern house.  For us, our laundry room has either been on the  first floor, as it is now . . . or ooo lala (sp?), as with our last house – even located on the 2nd floor.  Here it was near living quarters, near closets, and near where our clothes and other washables lived.  A second floor laundry room makes perfect sense for anyone who has ever done, well . . . laundry.

But still, I always thought this thing was way cool.  And as I watch my girls this week taking turns at each of the two stations, I think back 30 years or so . . . to q-time spent with my own little sis.

Station one — up top in the hall bath, and standing at the rounded and white portable to gravitation . . . Evyn holds the flap up and all echoy yells , You ready Eva?! ‘va ‘va.  Eva’s response is filled with excitement . . . Yeah, Yeah – I’m ready! screaming louder than needed to reach back up from the basement just down below.  (A classic delivery for a 5 year old, btw.)

Just then Evyn sends a bit of clothing (or maybe a towel) down, and with barely a whoosh, it lands in the laundry-chute-catcher container.  My grandfather constructed this thing (probably) 3×5 and 3-feet deep out of 2x3s and thin, possibly Luann, panels some 25 years ago.  I should mention — it is now deteriorating with age, and can you say – “bad son” or “a how-to article he’ll never write”?  But nonetheless, Eva finishes — “My turn, my turn!” and trucks upstairs to continue the loop.


Bottom Line: It just works really well here, in the split-level, dumping dirties into the unfinished area just off the finished clubroom. It is perfect really, and probably the best (and only) place to set the washer and dryer in this home print.  The chute in this case works doubly well as a chase for electric and other mechanicals that must run up to and through the attic.

And yes, for sure, back to my house in only one more small week — where my wife (never me) will haul our dirty laundry from the second to the first floor, or maybe into the basement (on heavy days) where the original washer/dryer combo still sits.  Life — it is hard, I say sometimes, well, because there are a lot of stairs — and sometimes, you just need a visit (every now and then) to dear old mom’s.


Thanks for reading & BMoxie BMore!

More Moxie (Related Links):

Here is a couple links I dug up for laundry chute (actually truth: I just grabbed the first three articles that Google returned). Little unsurprised by the handful of references to them in forums:

The Family Handyman: http://www.familyhandyman.com/DIY-Projects/Indoor-Projects/Laundry-Room/Laundry-Room-Improvements/how-to-install-a-laundry-chute

The Natural Handyman: http://www.naturalhandyman.com/qa/qalaundrychute.html

This Old House: http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/article/0,,199015,00.html

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