Thursday, February 23, 2012

Domestic Differences

Though our apartment is roughly a third the size of our house back in the States, I find I spend twice as much time cleaning and picking up in our small flat.  I suppose one could theorize that as it is smaller, any mess and dirt is more readily apparent as there is no hiding from it.  Gone are the days of simply moving to another room to avoid seeing that pile of laundry/toys/mail.  Unless I go hide under the covers, pretty much everything is in view.

I've been reading Organized Simplicity and have been very inspired and motivated to continue our downsizing in an effort to more easily gain and maintain order.   Many things have been recycled since our arrival and I've been slowly going through more stuff (hindered somewhat by the colds and illness that seems to be making the rounds over the past few weeks).  Nonetheless, going through one of "The Junk Drawers" yielded a little bag of trash and some recycling, and now, I can open it without stuff falling out, and close it without needing to shove the contents down.  It is a nice little luxury.

Following are some examples of the domestic differences we experience here...

Baking is completely different, not just because I have to do some math in my head every time I turn it on (Celsius to Fahrenheit conversion), but also because it is an electric convection oven.  And to be honest I have no idea what the symbols on the dials stand for.  Through trial and error, I found which setting on the knobs (you have to turn both of them) will produce heat and bake food.  That's really all that matters anyway, right? 

My cookie sheet just doesn't
fit in the oven.

I joke about the under counter "dorm fridge" we have in our kitchen.  It really is not much bigger than that.  There is a separate freezer that is about the same size as the fridge, which is a necessary element to any bit of "freezer meal planning" that I was fond of in the States.  I can actually get a few meals in the freezer, not quite enough room for once a month cooking, but it does help some.

Our Fridge...roughly three 16" shelves.

The washing machine will wash about 5 small tops and a couple pairs of pants at once.  Drying is a whole different scenario.  If I want anything to dry on the "dryer" option, I'm limited to about 2 bath towels and a few hand towels maximum.  Anything more simply will not dry--there is not enough tumbling room.
I was looking at our tiny washing machine with a bit of distaste today, but then remembered to be thankful that I can, albeit slowly, do the laundry in my own home.  I don't have to cart it to a laundromat. 

10" washing machine opening

Drying Racks in the Living Room.  These eat up most of the available floor space and make it difficult to maneuver.  It generally takes a day for clothes to dry and this really slows down any attempts to "catch up" on laundry.  I would really like to add a 3rd drying rack to the repertoire, but I'm not really sure we'd be able to move around at all if I did. 

There are many more differences, driving, being also in the top of the list.  More pics and commentary to come about traversing the roads.



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