My Beautiful Laundrette: The Saga

by Anchor-Of-My-Eye


As a New Yorker, let me tell you that it was my dream, DREAM, to have in-unit laundry.  It was in fact at the very top of my list of ideal features when looking at apartments for sale, right up there with two bedrooms/two bathrooms, concrete slab construction (for the noise reduction between floors), some kind of outdoor space, and a dishwasher.  I never thought I'd get them all, but I figured a girl could dream.  Having one's own washer/dryer is a very rare thing in the city.  Most people use laundry facilities in a building's basement, go to a laundromat or drop their laundry off to be washed by others.  When we inked the deal on this apartment, replete with washer/dryer hookup, I was in heaven.  But after we moved in, it proved far more complicated to get set up than we thought.

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First off, the builders had not done their homework.  There was a gas connection in the closet, but no gas-powered dryer would fit in there.  Not one.  After exhausting our U.S.-available resources, we spent weeks calling dealers, trying to track down smaller European models, all to no avail.  We considered hiring someone to expand the closet, but it was too expensive.  So then we started looking at electric models, and even then our choices were limited by the footprint we were working with.  Finally we found a brand that made a stacking washer and dryer that would actually fit in the closet, but they were really expensive.  After many discussions, we bit the bullet and bought them (and now we're completely obsessed with Miele appliances---I can't wait until the dishwasher dies so I can replace it with a Miele!).

So the washer and dryer get delivered, and there is much rejoicing, and we go to plug them in...and the plug won't fit in the outlet.  The closet wasn't wired correctly to allow for the voltage necessary to run a washer and dryer.  %$#@*&!   Another month or two went by while we gathered up the finances to call an electrician and have them add a new outlet.  They came and installed the new outlet...and punched two enormous holes in the drywall in order to feed the new wires through.  So then I had to fix the drywall, which took another month or two.

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We primed.

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And painted the closet in Mythic color Iris Bud.

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It looked gorgeous, but we couldn't see it very well because there was no light in the closet.  There were wires, but no fixture or switch.  I ordered a fixture and it sat there for months.  Finally Andrew decided one weekend to install it.  I bought a light bulb.  We bought a switch.  We went to turn it on...and there was nothing.  No light. #$*^$%@^!!!

In the meantime, we decided to install shelves to hold laundry essentials and other cleaning supplies.  We bought lovely shelves during a Container Store sale.  They sat in the bag for 8 MONTHS.  8 months.  When we opened them up and tried to install them, we realized we needed an electric drill.  We had no electric drill.  We ordered an electric drill but it would take a week to arrive.  The shelves had to be returned because they had to be slid in from the side and there was no way for us to do that.  %#*^%$!

We returned the shelves and bought new ones.  The drill arrived and I charged it up.  The shelves went in and look great.  I organized the laundry supplies to look a little prettier.  And I added bins to the top of the dryer to hold random cleaning supplies.  I can't have any wasted space in this apartment!

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Last night I turned on the hall light and then went to flip on the light to the living room, and instead hit the laundry closet light.  Through a crack in the door, I saw a sliver of light.  I opened the door, and the light was on.  We had wired it correctly, it's just that a quirk of the apartment is that the hall light has to be on for everything else on that circuit to work and apparently that light is on the circuit.  It's on our list of things to fix already.  But the light works, and when it came on it felt like the kind of unexpected gift that life hands you when you've stopped hoping for it and are pretty sure you don't even deserve it.  There's a word for it, but I won't sully it with my laundry closet saga.

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Of course, I still have to make a new ironing board cover and mount the 'ironing organizer' that holds the iron and board, but it wouldn't feel right to have nothing left to do in this tiny little space.  In the meantime, I'll enjoy my little slice of luxury here in the big city and be thankful for the progress I've made in a year.