Our washing machine recently kicked the bucket.
As we were wheeling it to the curb, I couldn’t help but recall what this tiny little washer did to help me feel at home in a small space. Never a huge fan of laundromats, I knew as soon as we’d bought our first washer and dryer that it was the best $600 we’d ever spent. But when my husband and I downsized, those bulky appliances wouldn’t fit.
Enter the Splendide 2000.
When I found this little wonder on Craigslist, it was an answer to our dirty laundry prayers. I implored the elderly man on the other end of the phone to hold the washer for 45 minutes so we could drive to the middle-of-nowhere town where this fine gentleman had been using the combo washer-dryer in his motor home.
First, a primer on combo-washer dryers. They are popular in Europe, but in the U.S., they’re fairly rare. You’ll often find them sold by RV dealers. The single machine switches functions from washing to drying midway through a cycle, turning something the size of a small front-loader into a double-duty wonder. TRANSLATION: IT WASHES AND DRIES YOUR CLOTHES IN THE SAME TINY MACHINE. (GASP). It’s nothing short of amazing.
That day at work, I felt like Ralphie in A Christmas Story, eagerly awaiting my Red Rider BB Gun. (It had, after all, been awhile since we’d sold the previous washer set and the mountain of dirty clothes was getting impressive.) The Splendide lived up to its name: Splendid indeed. It quickly became a highlight for guests when they took the five-cent Tiny House Tour.
Beyond the obvious fact that it was nice to have clean clothes without selling my soul to the quarter machine, the Splendide was the little piece of comfort I needed to feel at home in our new small space. It kept me from feeling like we’d made a huge sacrifice by downsizing to a tinier home.
Maybe your Splendide isn’t a washer at all. Maybe it’s hanging on to a treasured heirloom from your past. Or maybe it’s the Kitchen Aid mixer that is too darn big for your actual kitchen, but which earns its keep when you whip up the best cookies of anyone at Christmas dinner. Whatever it is, it makes your tiny life splendid, indeed.
It is the thing that makes you realize that the size of your home does not determine your quality of life. Because as long as you can wash underwear at 2 a.m. when you realize you’re down to the last pair, the other problems just seem to work themselves out.