Thursday, February 21, 2013

Finding Room For Your Stuff :Part 2 - The Bane of My Existence

Lehman's Best Hand Wringer
Oh, I so want that wringer!

Remember in my last post I said I was going to talk about the thing that has been the biggest inconvenience?  It's seemingly an unsolvable situation at this point, and it causes me problems every day.  It cramps cramped spaces, you don't ever adjust and learn to deal with it differently, it can't be overlooked, it doesn't get better over time, in fact, it gets worse, and it's unavoidable.  What could it be that is so hard to deal with?  Well, here it is:  Laundry.

I can tell you, having lived in small surroundings for about a year and a half now, I have had ample time to know which issues matter, at least to me.  When we get ready to build a house, there are a few very important things that I have discovered I will need, and at the top of that list is a place to deal with the laundry.  

In the year and a half we've lived here, we have adjusted to much: 
  • Narrow bathroom and shower: for the most part we've adjusted. 
  • Less space for personal belongings: getting there and can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
  • Hand washing dishes: no problem at all. 
  • Low counter space: not great, but doable. 
  • Tiny fridge: I can do it if I must.
  • Sleeping arrangements: mastered.
  • Laundry... laundry... laundry...?
The laundry!  This laundry situation is something at the top of my list of problems to remedy.  It's "in your face" and constant.  If you are planning on living smaller, consider this matter at length.  I can't stress enough what a pain it is.

It’s a HUGE issue in our home for two reasons.  First: The dirty laundry-- there's no place to put it, absolutely none.  Secondly, I have no laundry facilities (yet!), making the first part of the problem bigger.  It piles up and up and up, right in the way.  So, what do I do?  Nothing.  It's embarrassing to admit, but I have a tote that sits right in the way, smack in the middle of my teeny bathroom floor, blocking the kid's closet door and choking the passage to the bedroom down to nearly nothing..  There just is no place to put it.

I think that once we move I may get a locking bin of some sort for it and sit it outside the door.  It seems the best solution, but I'm not thrilled with it.  Right now we live among other people in a camp ground trailer park, and I really don't want to start piling things up outside out house.  I already put several totes under the back of the trailer and we have a big tool box and a table out there.  It could begin to look pretty tacky pretty fast, and I really don't want to do that.

If that's not exciting enough, I get to corral it all every so often and drag it down to a rather unsavory laundromat, the only one within any reasonable distance, spend way too much time and money there, and come away with 'less than clean' clothes.  Several times I've gotten my clothes out of one of the machines and it had "foreign materials" in it.  Once it was cigarette butts!  I always look inside to be sure it's "safe", so I can't quite figure out how some of this stuff just manifests in there when I'm not looking!  It's gross.  It makes me feel icky all over.

I found a possible temporary solution.  I could buy an all in one, portable washer/dryer unit on wheels.  It drains wash water into the sink and vents the dryer to a window.  The problem is, it's expensive, around a thousand bucks give or take, and, as I understand it, it's not really that great of an alternative.  The reviews for almost all the ones I have seen so far say that they don't do a great job, they take a long time to complete a cycle, they have bad customer service, on and on.  Since it's expensive, I know me; I probably won't shell out the cash for something like that.  I'll make do until I have room to do things right.   

Once we move to our land 
I am considering building a shed or a small cabin, calling it a wash house and equipping it with sinks, drying racks, hanging bars, a folding table and a dirty laundry bin or two.  When I was a kid, we had a laundry chute that sent the clothes straight to a bin right next to the washer.  Maybe I'll come up with something like that.  Maybe I'll add a bathroom to the thing and it can be an addition to our main living quarters.  Who knows, but I will certainly be making it a priority to have some kind of laundry facilities.  

I bought a few things so I can hand wash my clothes.  Ideally, I'd like to get a double sink with a wringer, or, oh heavenly day, a hand operated washer like the ones sold at Lehman's.  That, a clothes line and a couple of nice drying racks for rainy days and I'm good to go.  I'm going to do all of that when I get to my own property.  Meanwhile I guess we keep kicking laundry out of the way and gathering it all up to haul it to the Laundorama.

Next time, I plan to talk about something else that's in the running for most difficult issues when living in a tiny house, second only to the laundry.  Stay tuned!

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