Why I'm Glad I Didn't Have a Washing Machine for 2 Years




 It is so easy to take things for granted. We say things like, "I'm so stressed with this huge pile of laundry."  "I have to empty the dishwasher" "I have to vacuum again?" For the past two years, I have lived without a washer and dryer in my house. Every week I get in my car and drive to the little laundromat down the street. I learned not to waste those precious 34 minutes it takes for the clothes to finish washing or the 54 minutes it takes for them to dry. It's made me accountable and aware of my clothing. I have found joy in carefully folding our clothes and placing they in their place. The Lord has blessed us so abundantly that we can give things to others.


It saddens me when I hear people today complain about housework and how "it's so time-consuming". I've tried hard to not talk about this, but after reading a few housekeeping books from the 1940s-1950s, enough is enough. 


The reason I've found so much joy and thankfulness in my chores is because I have machines to do the work for me! In the early 1940s, washing machines weren't commonplace nor were our common laundry detergents, dryer sheets, or fabric softeners. Women had to clean everything by hand. They soaked items in the bathtub and had to use many ingredients to get stains out, clean, and bleach fabrics. To dry clothes, they still used a mangle and line dried them. Larger and more delicate items were sent to the dry cleaners. 


Vacuum cleaners were another item that wasn’t common; thankfully neither was permanent carpet flooring until the late 1950s. Women had to use a broom and dustpan for daily maintenance, they also had to regularly beat out rugs and mats instead of a quick swipe of the hoover. How many of us have postponed using the vacuum simply because we know we can do it later and it might only set us back a few minutes. We know that our machines will make it easier. 


Many families couldn't afford to own two cars, so the women had to ride the bus into town. Did they stop at a singular store and buy everything they needed? Nope. They might stop by the greengrocers, the butcher's shop, the bakery, the general store, the dry cleaners, or the florists. Doesn't the one or two bags that we see women carrying in old films make more sense now? They couldn’t lug the ten to fifteen bags that we have the luxury of carrying now. 


Another thing that they didn't have from the mid-1940s and earlier, a fridge! One book I've read gave directions to store last night's dinner roast in the bottom of the pantry so that it will be cool for tomorrow's lunch time sandwiches.


I have no doubt that the 1940s and 50s housewives would have several choice words for us modern wives knowing all the shortcuts we have now. On top of that, they still had kids to deal with, others stopping in for a visit, preparing and making meals, mending clothes, making clothes, and hobbies.


This look into the past has opened my eyes and made me realize I can do better in my housewifery. If a 1940s housewife can do all of these things without help, I can surely do this and more with all my modern appliances. 


The Lord made us stewards over all He made (Genesis 1:26). The ultimate goal is to work with a servant's heart, willing to serve others, being thankful for all the blessings God has given us, even those things that seem like no brainers, a washing machine, for example. I cannot wait to have my own washer and dryer and I will joyously do laundry day! 


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