Thursday, June 3, 2010

Wheeling and Dealing

I haven’t talked about our move and unpacking because I have been a little flustered with the process. We moved from a house that is by no means large but the apartment is smaller and there’s just no room for everything, which makes this tetris exercise frustrating. I managed to convince my hubby that we need a storage unit and we got one in our building for an additional $20 a month. The storage room is smallish but it does help because my mother is coming to visit in 10 days (she’ll be with us the whole summer) and we just have to make room for her. (And yes I warned her – absolutely no blankets this time. She promised not to bring any.) Her room is still a mess. I use it as a staging area for all the things that we are going to donate or try to sell (house-y stuff like edgers/trimmers, miter saw, chain saw, you name it…). Feels like we just did the huge donate/sell thing before we moved from Florida, yet here we are downsizing again. But it’s a good thing – it’s good practice for when we start moving every two years or so.

When we got this apartment there were several important factors at play. Affordability was, hands down, numero uno! Falls Church is not the most affordable place in the world. Take that and combine it with the fact that we are still paying the mortgage on our house in Florida and you get a pickle. That’s where we were when we were looking for a place. This was pretty much the only thing we could find that was affordable and did not involve sleeping under a bridge. Am I sounding like a broken record?

Our second criterion was washer and dryer (W/D) in unit. This was a big one for me. Sure there is a laundry room in the building but I always forget I have stuff in the washer/dryer, people take it out to put their stuff in… Not fun. That and having to constantly look for quarters. Sure, you could get them at the bank but someone has to remember, and that just ain’t me. But I digress…

So, when we got the apartment, there were no W/D but we were told we could get them for an extra $65 a month. That pretty much sealed the deal for me, even though we could buy a set for that much, if we were allowed, which we were not. But anyway, I was happy.

washer and dryer 002Well, turns out it’s not that simple. They were supposed to have the W/D installed the week after we moved in. Two weeks after we moved in the complex manager tells me that the W/D we were going to get were not going to be full-size because there’s no room. Not good but what am I going to do. Lease is signed everything is a done deal. Then the following week, that same manager informs me that they’d have to put the less-than-full-size W/D in the kitchen and because there’s no room to put them next to the sink so they can be permanently installed, I’d have to wheel the washer to the sink, hook it up to the faucet and do my laundry. And deal with that! Needless to say, I was not a happy puppy that day. For a while, I even thought about giving up on the whole W/D in unit thing.

The kitchen was already my least favorite room in the apartment. It’s small with very limited storage space. I thought our kitchen in FL was small (which it was). This one is smaller. So I use one of the two decent sized walk-in closets by the entry door as a pantry. But now to add a W/D monstrosity in the kitchen? I did not like that one bit. But I like going to the laundromat even less, so here we are more than a month after they were supposed to install the W/D with a portable set in the kitchen. They came and installed them today and now I can do my laundry at my apartment whenever I want to – no coins, no people moving my stuff.

I did my first (not full-size) load of laundry today. I opted to hang it to dry because I am so green and the dryer really heats up the apartment, which will probably be very nice come winter. Now – not so much.

Meanwhile, all I could think about today was our lovely extra capacity front-load W/D that we left in our house in FL. Oh, how I miss you guys… and having an actual laundry room.

So this is basically saying, if you have nice or just full-size W/D and a laundry room, do not take them for granted because they are a blessing. And I know that most of the world would be thrilled to have our portable set instead of washing everything by hand but we live in the US of A and I guess I am spoiled. But not soiled anymore because we have our own, be it portable, W/D.


  1. I'm on my way to give my extra large front-loaders a great big hug of appreciation right now. You're right, I do take it for granted, even though it was not that long ago I did the laundromat haul. The good thing about the laundromat is you can get everything done at the same time.

    Good luck with your kitchen set-up. And your mother for the entire summer... sorry. :-)

  2. We used to have a small, stacked W/D in D.C. and now have U.S. large-sized ones in our apartment in Kolkata. I am not looking forward to going back!

  3. We have a full sized washer and dryer here in Frankfurt. While I am happy to have them, I have been told that it used to be in the basement four flights of stairs down, they are in the kitchen. UGH! I hate having them in the kitchen.

  4. It's Friday and that means that the State Department Weekly Roundup is up and you're on it! Check it out here:

    If I used your blog and photo and you want one or both of them removed, please let me know!

  5. Yes,I remember my very first washer and drier and they were just like yours.But I was very happy to have them no matter what.It meant no more laundromats.I also remember that my mom did not have the machine we take for granted and had to rince out the clothes herself, can look at the glass as a half full I guess :)Nice reading your blog.I am Louis Papera's teacher from Bulgaria and I've heard a lot about you :)

  6. Oh, hi Mira!

    Много се радвам, че блога ми ти харесва. Емили ми е говорила за теб.

    Thanks for stopping by!

  7. Just wanted to let you know that I tried to answer your question about closing costs today:

    The question actually is whether or not a new State hire was a federal employee prior to being hired by State. That's the only way, from what I understand, to trigger the reimbursement of closing costs... :(

  8. Oh yes... the downsizing from a normal size house to a smallish apartment, coupled with not having all the you need OR want in it. Finding a house next year with a w/d in it was KEY for me as well. I completely relate with not wanting to share it with anyone else... I mean, hello, I'm an adult who's had her own appliances for many, many years.

    But a dishwasher ... that's just luxury to me! :)


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