Five years ago, when we bought our house, we got a great deal on a second hand washing machine. That machine served us well ever since, but it started to fritz out a couple months ago. It wasn’t spinning the clothes out, and would sometimes just stop in the middle of a cycle. We live just fine without a dryer, and although I lived for two years in the Peace Corps doing all of my laundry by hand, I wasn’t ready to add that task to my chore list at this point.
So I started shopping for a new washing machine. I wanted another front loading, HE machine, and I knew that they had come a long way since our old one was made in 2003. I checked Home Depot, and the least expensive model they had was normally around $750, but was on sale for $630, including free home delivery.
Then I checked Craigslist and found a lady about 15 miles from here who had a beautiful washing machine for sale for $850. She had purchased it for $1,650 in 2012, used it for eight months, and then moved in with her boyfriend (who already had a washing machine) and stored it in the garage for a year. It was in great shape, and even even came with an extra door and front panel, because there were some small scratches on the front of the machine from when it was originally delivered, and they gave her a whole new door to replace it with (they’re still in the boxes).
I figured I had nothing to lose, since I didn’t mind just getting the Home Depot machine – so I offered the lady the same $630 that I was willing to pay for a much lower-end new washer. And within minutes she emailed me back and accepted my offer.
My parents volunteered their trailer for the moving process, and met me at the lady’s house to load up the washer and bring it back to our house (and they hauled the old one away). I had started looking at new washers in the morning, and by 5pm we had a new machine all hooked up and ready to go.
It is an amazing piece of machinery. To say that it’s better than our old one is an understatement. It’s a very high end washer (much fancier than I would ever buy if I were getting a new one, but that’s the beauty of buying things second-hand!). It does an outstanding job of washing our clothes, and the drum capacity is about twice what our old one had. I remember reading an article on Mr. Money Mustache’s site a few months ago, where he wrote that his family tosses in a load of laundry about once a week. At the time, I just couldn’t figure that out. I know our family has one more person than theirs, and we do still have to wash a few diapers, since our little guy wears them at night and is wet a few nights a week. And we work out every day, which means we have stinky workout clothing that needs to be washed. But we try to minimize laundry as much as possible, and yet we were washing about 5 loads a week.
But now, we wash about two loads a week (three on weeks that I wash our bedding). It is amazing how much more stuff fits in this washer! And although the old one did a good job, this one does a great job. It even has a self-cleaning cycle where it swooshes water back through all of the places where gunk gets stuck, leaving the whole thing sparkling clean (I use vinegar on that cycle).
Here’s our Craigslist washing machine:
It’s a good thing we don’t have a dryer, because the space where the dryer should be is where I keep our Excalibur Dehydrator – definitely a better use of space in my opinion!
The drying racks fit nicely on either side of the washer. We’ve just put them back there for the season, as we rarely need to use them between April and October. They’re in almost constant use during the winter, but our outdoor clothesline works great during the warmer months.
I hope you’ve all had a good weekend! I cleaned out our closet (and came up with a big bag of stuff to take to the thrift store tomorrow – love that feeling!) and did some other cleaning and decluttering around the house today. I’ve been inspired to double down on my efforts to get rid of clutter lately, and I have a large load of stuff ready to donate, along with a very full recycling bin. The battle against clutter seems like a never-ending one, but it’s always such a good feeling to make progress!