Smaller Washer Wonders

Frigidaire stacking washer dryer combo installed in basement laundry area

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Clean More Clothes While Doing Less

Frigidaire stacking washer dryer combo installed in basement laundry area

  • What: Frigidaire Front Load Stacking Washer and Dryer
  • When: Birth to college
  • Why: Quicker loads, less sorting
  • Where: Your local appliance store

I began parenthood with one laundry bin for the baby. After three kids, it didn’t do the job, but in our tight space, I hadn’t found anything I liked better. Until now, when I invested in some collapsing laundry bins. Previously I had done all the kids’ clothes together, which formed giant mountain of clothes, clean or dirty. Even with our super capacity washer and dryer. I often had two loads. Then the piles would sit for days while I tried to muster up the energy to deal with it, and I like folding laundry. But it turns out, if you fold it but don’t put it away, between the dogs and cat and kids, it doesn’t stay folded long.

Kenmore giant sized high capacity washer dryer installed in basement laundry area
This giant Kenmore high capacity washer and dryer took up tons of floor space and took longer to complete a load of laundry.

I found the big pile overwhelming, and didn’t come to my senses until after we got rid of our awful giant washer and dryer, which never worked that well in the first place despite being brand new. When I say it didn’t work well, I mean they’ve been gone for at least six months and I can still rant about them. I had to pick the dried cereal off my kids’ shirts and pants before washing, or else the clothes would come out with cereal still attached. (Clean cereal, but does anyone really sniff it to find out?) My husband once dumped his packed, folded clothes from his packing cube in the giant washer. After the wash cycle finished, all the clothes remained folded. It took more two hours to finish one load, and that was just the washer. The dryer added at least another hour, if not more.

One pile of child's laundry on sofa
My eight year old son, who is not clothes intensive, generates this much laundry in less than two weeks.

Now, I can get an entire load washed in less than an hour, and another 40 minutes and it will be dry, too. That means I can do an entire load between when they wake up and before they need to be at school, if it comes to that. Or if I need to pack a few things, it doesn’t take half a day just to get them clean.

Once we got rid of our awful giant sized washer, I learned doing laundry by kid saved me some serious time sorting. So once I recovered from that big experiment, I figured out other ways to improve my laundry experience. Now I spend very little time sorting, because I dump one kid’s dirty clothes in at a time. Then I don’t find the clean pile so daunting, and I, in theory, get around to folding and putting it away sooner. I say in theory because my son’s clothes have been sitting clean in his hamper for two days now, so maybe it doesn’t always work. But he can go digging through his bin for clean clothes anytime, and not accidentally put on his brother’s pants instead. (This happened once, and the amazing part is not that he picked out his brother’s pants, but that he actually got them all the way on when his brother is four years and almost twenty pounds smaller.)

Frigidaire stacking washer and dryer installed in basement laundry area
The same space, with a Frigidaire stacking washer and dryer. I gave up one overhead cabinet but gained bigger upper cabinets, a utility sink, and a lower cabinet as well as two big drawers.

The fact that the smaller washer and dryer can be stacked, and I not only got my utility sink back (we had removed it to make room for the giant sized washer and dryer), but spare storage in the same space, too? Icing on the cake.

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