A New Washer Has Me Yearning For A Laundry Room-Butler’s Pantry Renovation

The time was June 1979 and we had just graduated from college. During that final year of school, we lived on campus in a tiny apartment in what was referred to as “married student housing.” With our studies now completed, we loaded up a small U-haul and headed off to Aberdeen Proving Ground in Aberdeen, Maryland for Officer Basic Training. Four months later, with that commitment completed, it was time to return home.

Back home again, we moved into our first, real “grown-up” apartment. We were so happy that it had a tiny little laundry closet that was just big enough for a washer and dryer. That meant no more having to carry our clothes to/from a communal laundry room, as we had in college. What a luxury! On December 13, 1979, we purchased a GE Washer and Dryer from a hometown store. I still have the original receipt showing the washer was $306 and the dryer was $225. The total for both, including tax, was $552.24. The label attached to the side of the machine states that it was Made in USA by General Electric, Appliance Park, Louisville, KY 40225.

GE Washer Cost in 1979


It has been 43-1/2 years since that purchase and though I’m on my third dryer, the washing machine just had its first issue a couple of days ago. It was making a weird hissing sound and leaked a lot of water out onto the floor. In the past, it has occasionally leaked a small amount, but this time it was a lot. Sadly, I think it’s time to say goodbye to this faithful servant.


One of the reasons I’ve held onto this washer all these years, other than a growing curiosity to see just how long it would last, is its awesome handwash basket. When this machine was made back in the late 70s, it came with a good-size, handwash basket that fits right down over the agitator. There is a special setting on the machine that you click over to whenever you want to wash a few items in the basket. I LOVE this basket-I mean seriously love this basket! It will hold 3-4 shirts, or maybe a pair of pants and 2-3 tops, and it is so gentle on clothes. Once my son was grown and off to college, the only items I ever washed in the main part of the machine were towels, sheets, and socks. Any clothing that I didn’t personally wash by hand, almost always went into this basket since it was so gentle on clothes.


Over the years, I’ve searched to see if any brands were making washing machines with a basket like this. Not only have I not been able to find a machine with a handwash basket, but most washing machines have lost their agitator altogether and have moved to the impeller method for washing.


Having put it off as long as I could, it was time to go washing machine shopping. After doing some research, I was super tempted to buy a Speed Queen since they are by far the most highly regarded and recommended machine by many consumer websites, publications, and a lot of appliance repair guys. Speed Queen states that a household doing an average of 8 loads of laundry per week, can expect their washing machine to last approximately 25 years. I typically do 2 loads a week, so I’m sure a Speed Queen would probably outlive me! I also love that they are made right here in the United States in Ripon, Wisconsin.

In the end, I decided to go with an LG machine I had an opportunity to see in a nearby big box store. It was more affordable at around 1/2 the cost of the Speed Queen TR7, the machine I would have wanted from Speed Queen, plus I could get it quickly in just two days. Another factor in my decision is I see a major laundry room renovation in my future. I didn’t want to invest $1,429 (cost of the Speed Queen before tax) in a washing machine that I may not be able to use, depending on what direction the renovation goes.

During the research phase, I learned that most washing machines being made today typically last between 10-13 years. Since I don’t do that many loads per week, I would expect a washer to possibly even last a bit longer, so I decided to go the more frugal route for now and put those savings toward a future bath renovation. But I must say, I am definitely impressed with the ratings and reviews I read for Speed Queen washers and dryers! Their machines are built the way washing machines used to be built. They appear to be in a whole nother league from the run-of-the-mill washing machines you find today.

This is the washing machine I ordered online after seeing it in person. It’s being delivered today. You can read more about it here: LG Washing Machine. I’m not looking forward to the delivery. I don’t know what’s wrong with me but I have this habit of getting very attached to “things” that have been so dependable in my life. When I sold my 14-year-old car to Car Max almost two years ago, I cried all the way to Car Max when it was time to turn my car in. It felt like a betrayal. It had kept me safe while taking me to all the places I needed to go for many years and it felt like I was abandoning it. I sure hope I don’t embarrass myself by crying today when they take away my old friend who has been a true rock for over 43 years. If the lid wasn’t rusting so badly, I would have been tempted to see about having it repaired. Does anyone repair 43-year-old washing machines? I hate decisions like this!


So, about that laundry room renovation–many years ago I shared this photo of my laundry room right after having a group of friends over for a dinner party out on the porch. (Read more about that here: After the Party.) I’ll never forget that night because a HUGE, monstrous storm arose out of nowhere, and though I tried my best, I could not get my friends to come inside. As the trees swayed like they were in the middle of a hurricane, and rain came onto parts of the porch in big bursts, my friends calmly continued chatting as if nothing was happening! I seemed to be the only one who thought we should REALLY go inside. lol Fortunately, the storm didn’t last long and the rest of the evening was uneventful with nice weather.

Laundry Room After the Party


I’ve been toying with the idea of moving the island from the laundry room down to the newly renovated storage/utility room in the basement. This seemed like a good time to move the island since I wasn’t sure there was enough space to easily swap out the washers. Fortunately, a few months ago I went through everything in the island and cleared out the things I no longer wanted to store there, so there wasn’t that much left to clear out.

Laundry Room After the Party


Oh my word, what a time I had getting that island out of the laundry room! It’s been many years but I remember when I brought it home, it barely fit through the door. To make it as light as possible in order to move it, I removed the wood top-which thankfully, is easy to remove, its two doors, a very large, shallow drawer on one side, and the long towel hanger on the other side. This island also came with a small table that pulls out from one end. I’ve never used it and have always had it pushed in while it was in use in the laundry room. I was able to remove the table from the island as well.


As you can see, the island is currently sitting in my foyer, waiting for a miracle to happen that will transport it out the front door, around the side of the house, and into the basement. lol I’m going to ask the washer delivery guys if I can pay them to help me move it to the basement. If they are not able to do that, I’ll ask the guy who cuts my grass if he can help me move it when he’s next here. Honestly, I could probably do it by myself by pulling it around the house on a tarp, but it’s the two steps off the front porch that have me worried. I’m afraid they would be hard to navigate without damaging the underside of the island.


There have been a few changes since I last shared this storage/utility space with you. I’ve added a third cabinet down the wall on the left (not pictured) and a false return vent was installed on the wall on the right to give good ventilation to the utility closet on the other side that houses the hot water heater and furnace. I’ll share some of the recent updates I’ve completed in another post sometime soon. Hopefully, that post will include an island here in the basement. 😉 I’m thinking about placing the island in the center of the room, near the far end of the room. That way, all four sides of the island will be accessible as it was designed.

Storage Room Makeover


In the meantime, here’s how the laundry room looks right now. I haven’t seen it like this in many, many years. It’s just begging for a full-scale renovation!


I want to tear out the small pantry there in the corner and turn this space into a laundry room/Butler’s pantry. Not exactly sure how that would work since it’s sort of an odd-shaped room with two doors and a window.


I’ve sometimes thought of going with a stackable washer and dryer to free up even more space, but not sure if that would be a good idea for resale in the future. Or, maybe I would prefer a front-loading washing machine and dryer. Those seem to be a popular choice these days. I know there were issues with doors on front-loading washers getting a bit molding/stinky. I wonder if that is still an issue. Many years ago I was talking with a contractor about redoing this room and he told me I should get rid of the back staircase and claim that area for the laundry room! What?!  Absolutely, no way! The back staircase was one of the features I really liked about this house when I moved here so many years ago.


The back stairway is also a sneaky way to escape upstairs for a robe if the doorbell rings and I’m still in my pajamas. I love a sneaky back stairway and can’t imagine tearing it out.


Whatever I do in this room, I envision built-in, white cabinetry/shelving, and a much nicer-looking utility sink with pretty countertops on either side. But first, bathrooms! I keep getting distracted with renovating other rooms. Truth be told, I’d much rather start a Butler’s pantry/laundry room reno next than renovate a bathroom. Ha!


It’s been a busy few weeks–did I mention my microwave died last week? Well, actually it didn’t die, it just sounds like a growling, grumbling ogre has moved into it, one who likes to occasionally throw tennis balls around. I’ve never heard noises like that coming from any appliance! The microwave is just 18 months old, but unfortunately, it’s around 6 months out of warranty. When I called GE, they said, Nope. Best Buy (where I purchased it) said, Nope, too, but American Express didn’t let me down! Thankfully, I paid for it with my Amex card, which automatically doubled the manufacturer’s warranty. Love that Amex Purchase Protection!


Wish me luck with the delivery today. Maybe a miracle will happen and there won’t be a big island filling up my entry after today. Ha!

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  1. I have worked for two clients who bought top of the line front loading machines, both have not liked them. They feel like clothes don’t come as clean because they use less water. I have an older Maytag and my appliance repair guy said to hang on to it because it’s better than the new ones! That sold me.

    • My repairman recently told me the same thing – hang on to the older machine – it’s a good one apparently!

  2. 43 years- wow! It would be normal, I think, to shed a goodbye tear. When we sold our house 4 yrs ago, our first hE w/d were 20 yrs old, and are still going for the new owners, which I think is good considering today’s appliance lives (they are close enough we consider them neighbors, seeing them when walking). I chuckled when you said you wanted to renovate the laundry room because you’ve been talking about the bathrooms for a few years, lol. But hey, you do you, girl! And way to go with that island!

  3. Susan, I had to smile in sympathy for your tears when selling your car…I had a very similar experience, so you are NOT alone! 🙂 We had a Mazda B2000 truck, many years ago, I loved that wonderful truck. I learned to drive stick on it, hauled SO MUCH dirt, mulch, furniture….well, everything in its bed! A careless driver rear ended us and broke all sorts of welds in the body. And only a few repairs were covered by insurance at the time! We argued and argued, but unless we wanted to sue, there was nothing we could do about it, and the expense was more than the truck was ‘worth’. We drove it as long as we safely could, and then had to take it to the junk yard…I cried the whole way there and back. I am much the same as you…that truck allowed us to do SO much…I kept thinking of that! Now, I have an 18 year old vehicle that I love…my hubby is bracing for the guaranteed waterworks when we trade it in…. When the time comes for your washer to go….well, keep the tissues handy and don’t worry about what the delivery people think, they have probably seen way more wacky stuff than tears in their travels! 🙂

  4. Susan, A washer that was 43 years old! I’ve had so many in that time I can’t count them. I had an impeller machine that I couldn’t use after I hurt my back years ago. I am 5’1 and couldn’t unload the laundry from the bottom because the bending, stretching and weight of the wet laundry made it impossible . I am able to use a top loader now but you just don’t throw out a washing machine and replace it. I absolutely hate my front loader and hope that it doesn’t outlive me !

  5. franki Parde says

    Susan…do you have “any idea” how much I adore your writing…you have me crying over your car, too ( I DO THE VERY SAME THING!!!) Washing machine..grrrugh!!! I despise my Maytag…you know…every other day I wash “something”…& I curse it. I w/b “following” your reports “like a hawk”… BEST to YOU dear “blogging friend.” franki

  6. I think we both had the same car and replaced them at about the same time a few years ago (2006 RX) Yes, 15 years old and still running great, but I was getting nervous that possible repair costs would be more than the car was worth at that point. I also cried when I drove off and left it behind.
    I do love my Speed Queen w/d. It’s like a tank. Has never gone out of balance, which tells you how solid it is.
    Susan, I loved you still had the receipt for your first w/d. That was a lot of money back then!, Wouldn’t you love to know your cost per load washed for 43 years!?

  7. Hi Susan, I have had a few new washing machines and I swear next time I will only purchase the Speed Queen because from what I understand it is the ONLY one that does not have a motherboard that has control over you and how you use your machine. The machines I have had and have now don’t allow me the freedoms of opening the top quickly when it is off balance and not spinning correctly, advancing the progress to simply spin, I have to wait for the lock to work which is real time waster. and sometimes if I hand wash something but just want to spin it out I cannot do that the way I used to be able to before all the government regulations, like not being able to fill to the top with hot water. UGH, I like to dye things and that is a nightmare. Good luck with your new machine, I’m certain you will appreciate your old one even more once you have to deal with the digital monster that controls you.

  8. Good Morning – First of all 40 years on the washer is AMAZING! I’m on my second set of laundry appliances (for me – they have to match – since my laundry is in our guest powder room – things you do in an 1850’s house…. ) and second – absolutely have to leave the “back stairs”….. I love watching you put together your spaces!

  9. Back around 1980, a friend got a new w/d and it was almond! Not white! I was smitten and couldn’t wait to get my own…years later. My car was nearly 25 yrs old when I sold it, so yep, a few tears. Perhaps pick one bathroom to update and reward yourself with the laundry/butler pantry reno.

  10. I believe I had the same GE washer with the mini basket, I finally replaced it with a Maytag that gets 4 stars, but I miss the mini basket on a weekly basis when I wash small loads and delicates.

    Hope you love your new LG.

  11. ellen clairmont says

    I love this post. I was rear ended and they had to tow away my beloved Ford Explorer. I’m still sad over it’s violent death! I’m amazed your washer lasted so many years. They don’t make appliances like they used to. I had a Speed Queen in our old house. I LOVED both the washer and dryer. We downsized and had to get a stacked W/D. I never feel like things are as clean as the Speed Queen would get them. I agree with Rita. If you want to do the laundry room first, go for it! I love your basement almost as much as I love your garage!

  12. My hubby and I bought an apartment size portable washer and dryer in 1972. It had to be hooked by a hose to the kitchen faucet. When we bought a home, I inherited my mom’s Frigidaire brand washer and dyer. I used them for over 30 years! It was because my dad always bought the best. I thought that was good but am so impressed by your 44 years! Sadly I’ve had several washers and dyers since then and none have done the job as well. Last one is a Whirlpool with out an agitator. I do like it because the clothes seem cleaner. It uses less water and I can do small loads in it. Now my clothes are less wrinkly because they are not wrapped around the agitator. I can hardly wait to see your laundry room reno. We need to do that too.

  13. I too recently replaced my 20 yr old 470 LX. Loved that car! The frame rotted from winter driving and it would no longer pass inspection. I recently replaced my front load washer and dryer with Speed Queen, recommended by my appliance repair guy. Love these machines! I won’t go back to front loaders, We never felt like the clothes were clean. How could they be with so little water? We had ours 13 years, which is considered really old with front loaders. I’m enjoying watching all the work you are doing on your home.

  14. When my husband and married, we inherited my in-laws dryer. I loved that dryer. When we sold it, it was 42 years old. I feel your pain! I would have loved a washer with the hand wash container. The cycle by itself is not always gentle enough for me. Like you, I have looked at the Speed Queen and honestly think it might be worth it for the next round. Nothing seems to last as long which I get from a business stand point but hate for our landfills.
    I love the idea of a laundry room/butlers pantry. I personally would love that space to also put my handbag instead of my kitchen becoming the drop zone!

  15. I’m glad I am not the only one who gets sentimental over “things”. My Dodge Ram was 19 yrs. old when I had to trade it in……I felt like I was abandoning an old friend and didnt really want the shiny new Ram I was buying [which I now love]. Luckily, one of the mechanics at the Dodge place bought it while it was still parked in front of the dealership – he still has it 6 years later. I bought a washing machine when I moved into my present home – just had to replace it 3 years ago – got 26 years out of it. My dryer was still running but I inherited a new set from my stepmother so gave the dryer to a friend and took the new one. Really hated to see it go – it was working perfectly. Same with my upstairs AC unit – that lasted 31 years. Doubt I will see that kind of service from any of the new appliances. My oven is 37 years old and still works great…….

  16. Mary from Virginia says

    That’s amazing your washer lasted this long! We had a front loading machine and it was the worst decision we ever made. I was glad it died. Went back to a whirlpool and I am much happier. My son bought a house and the previous owners left their Speed Queen, no fancy buttons/technology. I love that machine. I wish I had known about them. Good luck on your delivery and moving the island. Your laundry room is a very nice size. You are lucky! Can’t wait to see your make over.

  17. When I had this house built, I got rid of my 20 year old convertible because it has started leaking fluids. Once in a while, I still miss that car. Friends of mine took out their back staircase and replaced it with a circular staircase. It saved enough room, they could put in a pantry closet, which they badly needed. I cover my laundry tub with a piece of countertop that I had specially cut for it. I did not like looking at an empty tub. I much prefer looking at the countertop. You could even hinge it if you wanted to be able to lift it up and out of the way when you need to use the tub. I graduated from college in 1979. Before I went to college, I worked for GE in their appliance division. I had a GE washer for many years that ocassionally leaked. The solution was to slow down the filling of water. The water pressure caused water to “jump” over the wall and leak onto the floor. That was the solution from my friends at GE Appliance Park years ago. In my new house, I have a new GE washer that I hate. So much for my loyalty to GE. I hope you like your new washer.

  18. Amazing to have had so many great years of service from your washer…even more amazing that you still have the sales receipt! I bought a Speed Queen washer and dryer set about 6 months ago…very happy with them! Prior to the Speed Queens I had repeated headaches with Samsung washer and dryer. Also, after dealing with extended warranty headaches I’ve decided never to pay that extra money ever again!

  19. I wish I had a picture to share, because we had this exact machine (minus the insert container) and had to replace it just this past year also. My father in-law gave it to us 20 years ago from his laundromat business, so it was already old when we acquired it. My husband called it and the dryer “work horses” (unlike the new models). It, too, had become unsightly, with rust damage, but we were sad to have to say goodbye to a faithful appliance!

  20. Judy Hubbard says

    OK, I have an LG front loading washing machine purchased in 2005. It still works fine but I always have to keep the door open. I clean the rubber gusset
    in the front every time and use a washing machine cleaner often. Next time,
    I’ll get a top loading. I can’t believe you had a 43 year old washer!

  21. Christy Keyton says

    I just purchased a new front loading washer about 18 months ago. I went to the appliance store to get a top loader because I HATED my last front loader because of the mold issue. It was impossible to keep clean. But the appliance guy, who I really trust (small town locally owned excellent reputation) convinced me to try the new GE front loader with the ultra fresh vent system. I LOVE this machine. Eighteen months of use and running the vent cycle after each load and absolutely no mold/stinky issues!

  22. Kathleen says

    The sneaky back staircase. Love that description! We turned in our Jeep during the cars for cash deal. It was sad and it looked perfectly fine sitting in the parking space at the dealership. It had a lot of miles on it. I have two sofas (one belonged to my mom) that are Ethan Allen and are almost 50 years old. Solid frames and have been reupholstered. Their time is coming and it will be like saying goodby to an old friend. As for washing machines, I do have a Speed Queen which I ordered online and it came all the way from New Jersey to CA because I got a good deal. I love it! No motherboard to go out. Dials to pick your cycle and you can manage the water level yourself. I had a fisher & paykel set and still have the dryer. I love the dryer because it is a top loader and you cannot find one anywhere. It is so easy to pull the clothes up and out instead of bending over (unless you are under 5′ and then it is an issue reaching the bottom. lol) Being a top loader it keeps the top of the dryer cleaned off! I hope your new washer meets the expectations of the old washer (sigh). I bet as you keep seeing how open the laundry area is without the table in there you are going to lean toward a remodel there instead of a bathroom! Can’t wait to see what you decide to do.

  23. Julie Huff says

    You can’t compare the new ones with the old ones. You say you want to toss in one more thing? That’ll take some time. The auto lid lock has to disengage. Water and power saving? How so when a single load takes 2 hours. What’s that smell? I used softener all my life without a musty smell from the washer. I stopped using softener at the repair mans behest, (repairs on a 2 year old washer). Now, I have to clean it on the reg and thats for TOP loader! Clothes are not as clean. My son bought a house, it came with a 30 year old washer. It’s 37 years now and still running strong. BTW, without the island where will you fold your clothes? If I don’t fold em fresh from the dryer I end up having to iron/steam everything.

  24. Teresa M. says

    Can’t wait to see the remodel. Sell your dryer on marketplace for $150 and buy entirely new matching set – they always give discount for the set. That’s the longest lasting washer I’ve ever heard of…so GE stopped making the really good stuff because there was too little turnover…LOL
    I’ve had a stackable as well as front load with the drawer below. I do not recommend either. Front loaders are terrible – you have to leave the door open for them to “dry” or it starts to smell. If you leave a quarter in your pocket and it gets sucked into machine…it literally starts breaking expensive parts. Your judgement on machines is far superior to us all as yours lasted for decades and I’m sure you will do your research. Good luck my friend!

  25. Tina Reynolds says

    I always loved my Kenmore top-loader! It now resides at my hubby’s business where they still use it to wash shop towels, rags and moving blankets! I am on my second LG front loader. A big reno project in 2006 of an awkward space in our old (1886) house made us think we wanted to stack the washer and dryer. We did! It helped a lot with the space. That washer lasted until 2021. I still have the dryer now paired with the new LG from 2021. I have learned to like my front loader. You absolutely MUST dry the door gasket and leave the door wide open at the end of the laundry day. Otherwise, you will get a moldy smell, and some folks report actual mold on the gasket! Dry it, leave door open—that is non-negotiable. This creates a problem right in the area where we have little space! That door sticking out irritates the hubby. Now, as for stacking a laundry pair: I do like it, but you will always be bending over double at the waist to get the clothes out of the washer and then, tossing them up into the dryer. Some short ladies even complain that they can’t quite see the controls atop the dryer! I launder so much, I just memorized it all and have a cute little step stool to help me dust the dryer top. Someone with a sore back told me that they would have preferred to have their front loaders on those pedestals (they look like and function like drawers), which are sold separately. Yes, I think that would be more ideal, but then you still have to have the machines side by side. That’s my story. I cannot change back to top loaders. I have this teeny space, which is really a sort of mud room where my laundry pair have to reside. And, they now must remain a stacked pair, due to those space issues and the way we already changed one wall and the entrance to the house and kitchen! Old houses, they give you challenges.

  26. Tina Reynolds says

    Sorry! My posting was so long. I should have said, ” I have stacked front loaders. If given a new situation, I would have front loaders on pedestals, side by side, and plan for plenty of room to leave the washer door open.” LOL, I need to take a class on more concise writing!

  27. Hi. I just wanted to point out that the $306 you paid for your washer in 1979 is over $1,200 in 2023 dollars.

    It sounds like you are very gentle on your machines and you should be happy with your new one once you get used to it.

    I think whoever told you to expect ten years average from a new washer sold you a line. Most people can expect about half that.

  28. Scharese K. Friebus says

    First major purchase we bought when we got married almost 28 years ago was a washer and dryer because when you need to wash something, right now, the laundromat is not cuttin’ it! Plus, shlepping all the laundry and stuff to the laundromat is a major drag. I had relatives and friends say I should buy other things, but we had no regrets.

  29. Seems like the consensus from the folks posting is that you should not do away with your secret back stairs…I agree! My washer is having a small leakage problem on the floor; a small towel picks up the dampness. I know that I will need to replace it, but my husband passed away 6 months ago and I have been very busy with estate management. I was interested in all of the brand name assessments by folks posting. Consumer Reports magazine has evaluations of appliances too. Laundry room: if you need a folding table, have it wall mounted so that you can lift it up and down and it’s not in the way. Now, your thought of putting the cabinet in the foyer on a tarp and dragging it around the yard to the basement….NO!!!!….please don’t do that. April-May 2017, I dragged some bags of mulch around my backyard….big mistake! The orthopedist put me in a walking boot cast (toes to knee) for 6 months….I had a ‘stress fracture’ of my ankle from dragging those bags around the yard. The split just kept getting larger and larger with those bags of mulch. It never really “healed” and I was left with fibrous tissue in that area. Lesson learned.

  30. Yes, there is a guy on youtube who loves repairing vintage machines.
    If you only do 2 loads of laundry per week, and if you aren’t washing anything large or complicated, you should stick with top load. I am always washing large items: multiple dog beds and king size comforters, etc. I do well with my front load machine but I don’t mind the extra care front load machines require. My machine stays clean and fresh smelling but I really maintain it well between uses. I dry the seal and I leave the door all the way open when not in use. For added measure, I always take the detergent drawer completely out and let it air dry between uses. I also get a flashlight and check the drawer tunnel for any pink mold growth and scrub it away and spray a cleanser in there. My front load machine cleans clothes and large items wonderfully. Front loads wash items very well but they are high maintenance. They aren’t for everyone.

  31. Carol Norton says

    When we married in ’69. we both were associated wioth “appliances”–I was Home Economist with the local EMC, hubs owned a Kitchen design outfit (cabinets and such). Our first little house we moved straight into had “my” purchases of a combination washer/dryer (remember those?) because of the space issue, and a side by side refrigerator-the first year they came out in Georgia, and one of the first 5 in the state. It was little bitty by today’s standards, but I loved that thing. It lasted 35 years, which is pretty unheard of for that appliance. And I cried when GE no longer made a gizmo for it. Rounding out the kitchen appliances was one of the first Corning CounterRanges and a KitchenAid diswasher. Hubs contribution. The dishwasher stayed, but the CounterRange went on and on with subsequent moves, until it, too, required a no longer produced part. More tears. The cats throughout the years learned to “test” the top, too.
    I absolutely understand and relate to the “things” that were a part of our early lives.

  32. Donna Boyd says

    When you do start making plans for your laundry room, you might want a wall hanging ironing board that folds up out of the way.

  33. Ranger Smith says

    Wow! 43 years! Amazing. I had a Kenmore, purchased in the 80’s that lasted 27 years. The next Kenmore lasted about 12 years. Now I have a Speed Queen and hope it sticks around forever. It’s built like a tank.

  34. My first washer was also a GE with a basket. It had it 23 years before moving and leaving it in the house. The basket was great – why would they stop making it? We also have a 1983 Toyota pick up truck – 4 speed and no A/C. Bought it before we had children. Neither my husband nor my son will consider selling it!

  35. Susan, I also had that GE washer! And, my mom did as well. Mine was my first big appliance purchase – in about 1986 and my mom had hers a few years earlier. Like you, I held on to it as long as I could. The basket on mine was called the ‘mini basket’ and I LOVED it!!! When my washer died about 6 years ago it still looked like new – no rust or anything, but it couldn’t be repaired. I even toyed with buying a used one on eBay.

    I’ve had two Maytags since then (we left one during a move – so I’m not saying they only last a few years…) and they’re okay. I still miss my GE basket – you never needed lingerie bags and even pantyhose (I’m dating myself now!) came out untangled. Appliance companies should talk to real people before changing designs. 😉

    Good luck with your remodelling and have a great weekend!

  36. Susan Tew says

    What a great post! I love the story of your 43 year old washer. Nothing we buy today will have that life expectancy. I have an LG front loading washer and have zero issue with odor. I think it was an issue with earlier models. I am looking forward to a top loading model for my next washer. Something about pulling wet, heavy laundry deep from the bowels of my washing machine while crouched over has gotten old – or I’ve gotten old!
    The storage room is fantastic. I’ve really enjoyed watching your progress on this room. And now I have a laundry room/butler’s pantry to look forward to. Best! Susan

  37. Michele M. says

    My younger sister (has a big family) bought my parents’ home from the family estate that we grew up in on the lake after my father passed away 23 years ago.
    My mom bought a GE washer and dryer and it was a work horse with a family of seven – countless loads of laundry all the time, every day is seemed. You know that set was bought in 1974 I think and it is STILL working up there! My sister just can’t get rid of it. I have been in this house – just us and I just do two loads per week, and most of my stuff goes on gentle and almost all my clothes I hang dry………and this is my third washer in 21 years here. And they were pricey! When I get my next set – having problems with this one now, but not leaking – it’s in the starter – won’t bore you with details – I will get a top loader and hope it’s the last time I have to get a set. I understand your love of hard working loyal machines. I cried when I sold my candy apple red Mini Cooper. So I understand all too well that sometimes the tears come!

    Good luck with everything.

    PS – don’t get a stacking W and D. Not a good idea when you have so much room.

  38. Love the comments. Move over consumer magazines. I had that same washer with the basket at some point. My last Kenmore washer lasted no time and worse yet, if you don’t buy an inflated price warranty you are out of luck. If you haven’t bought a washer yet, everybody seems to have a big sale for July 4th.

  39. You probably couldn’t buy parts for your washer even if you decided to keep it. That happened to me. Mine was probably 25 yrs old and had been repaired and repaired. The last time my husband called every appliance parts store in town and finally someone gave him the name of one in Forest Park and when he called she told him they had stopped making parts for our washer two years prior. I hated to buy a new one but no choice! Now moving and being forced to buy a stackable washer and dryer! Ugh!!!

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