Monday, October 5, 2015

On the American way of laundry

This is our garage. It includes several fire extinguishers, some old paint, a water heater, various wheeled vehicles, and a washing machine and tumble dryer. This is normal, in America.

It's very much not normal in the UK. There, if you don't have a laundry room, you keep your washing machine in the kitchen. Your tumble dryer? That's what clothes lines, clothes horses and radiators were for.

I think we can all agree that keeping your laundry in the garage (or the kitchen) is not ideal. Ideal - on both sides of the Atlantic - is a laundry room. Or a utility room where the washer/dryer rubs shoulders with a massive chest freezer, mops and brooms.

But failing that, in lots of homes in the US the laundry machines - including your dryer, even in sunny SoCal - set up in the garage. It took me a while to get used to. They're surrounded by dirty things, like cars, bikes and surfboards. But, like so many aspects of American life, it now makes perfect sense to me. Why on earth would you want to take up valuable kitchen cabinet space with something that has nothing to do with cooking and eating? Plus the machines are, of course, massive. They wouldn't fit in most UK kitchens I have known.

Suffice to say, till we buy that mansion with the laundry room, I'm a convert.


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