Do You Have a Dishwasher? How About a Microwave?

vintage dishwasher image

Fun fact: over the weekend we got a microwave! It’s just a little one, but it gets great reviews — and it won’t take up too much space in our kitchen.

I realize microwaves are nothing new, but as it turns out, we haven’t had one for over 3 years! It wasn’t really intentional, it just sort of happened. When we moved to France, the house we rented didn’t have a microwave. At first we wondered if microwaves were looked down upon in France, but learned later that wasn’t really the case. They are widely available anywhere small appliances are sold, and it wasn’t unusual for us to see one in our friends’ homes. Our landlords just preferred going old school, and didn’t keep one in their home.

Since we were embracing the full La Cressonnière life (and originally thought we’d only be there for a year), we decided we didn’t need a microwave either.

It took some getting used to. In fact, little June was only 9 months old when we moved to France, and I missed having a microwave to warm up tiny baby portions. But after a few weeks, we formed new habits and didn’t miss the microwave at all.

Then, when we moved here, though The Treehouse came furnished, the previous homeowners weren’t microwave users. So once again, we were in a microwave-less home. And since we were out of practice using them, it didn’t occur to us to buy one until recently.

This made me wonder: is there a “modern convenience” that you currently live without? I’m thinking of things like dishwashers, laundry machines, microwaves —maybe even Kitchen Aid mixers and toaster ovens. And if you had to choose, which one could you absolutely not live without?

For me, laundry in my home is essential! Second, would be the dishwasher. We’ve had a dishwasher in our home since we first moved to New York in 2001 — it would be hard to give it up. In fact, the dishwasher here at The Treehouse broke within a week of moving here (it was from the 80’s and on its very last leg), and we had it replaced within the month. We missed it too much!

As for other “modern conveniences”, I’m pretty flexible. I can live without a microwave. And I’ve never actually owned a stand mixer (shocking, I know. Hah!).

How about you?

 


Tons of vintage dishwasher images here.

157 thoughts on “Do You Have a Dishwasher? How About a Microwave?”

  1. After going through 3 dishwashers in about a year, I would now say that I don’t think I could live without one. When we first remodeled our kitchen over 20 years ago, we splurged (for us) on a Bosch. We discovered that not only did we have to rinse our dishes, we needed to practically wash them first, so that the dishwasher was just sanitizing them. That one lasted a good while, but then we had a couple more “fancy” ones that didn’t last and didn’t clean the dishes, sigh. Now I am relieved and happy to report that we finally ended up with one that cleans off even dried on gunk with ease. Geez, I sound like a commercial! We ended up with a Samsung — and didn’t even know they made dishwashers! Hope you enjoy your new microwave and newish dishwasher. Are you happy with your dishwasher?

    1. We do like our dishwasher very much! It’s one of the 2-drawer models — which I had never tried before. We bought the floor model, it was priced with a hefty discount because it has a small ding in the front panel. Buying the floor model allowed us to get a better dishwasher than we had budgeted for.

      It’s a KitchenAid and it’s worked wonderfully so far. I like not having to wait until the whole dishwasher is full to run a load.

      1. When we bought our house recently, our house inspector told us that garbage disposals are going the way of the dinosaur in the Bay Area because everyone here uses the compost bin instead! Thought that was interesting. And actually, his comment made my desire for a disposal completely vanish.
        I’m with you on the washer/dryer. I’ve done my time carting loads to the laundromat — a dreaded chore. And having a dishwasher basically saves my marriage.
        Camille

  2. When we redid our kitchen, we got the beautiful IKEA double farmhouse sink. After we installed it (!) we realized it was not compatible with a disposal. At first I was upset, but after quick research realized that a disposal is very much an american thing (and since IKEA is European…) and most people don’t have one. We didn’t use it tons anyway, we compost a lot. Anyway, nearly a year later, still don’t miss it!

    1. Garbage disposals! They are almost unheard of in New York, so during our 8 years there we never had one, and I missed it! Food in the garbage gets stinky so fast. And garbage outside gets attacked by raccoons!

      In Colorado we had a disposal and I loved it. But then in France, once again there were no disposals.

      Our house here doesn’t have one either — but we have a good city-wide compost pickup, so that’s a good replacement. When we eventually redo our kitchen, I’d love to add one!

      1. Back home in Canada garbage disposals are not common, either. I find them handy for keeping scraps from clogging the drain, but I still can’t get used to the idea of purposely putting stuff down there instead of the garbage can like most people here seem to – it just seems so gratuitous to purposely create sludge that then needs to be filtered back out from the sewer system.

      2. Garbage disposals are not common in Australia either. In fact, I believe they were actually banned quite a few years back. We have one in our apartment here in Berkeley and two years down the track I still find it a bit of a novelty – but I’m a little terrified of it at the same time! It’s like having a super powered blender in your sink. Eek!

        1. I’m terrified of them too! We had one in a Sydney rental and I hated it so much I unplugged it… And normally we Australians are tough. I wasn’t scared of the cockroaches that also quite liked that kitchen…

      3. We, too, live without a garbage disposal. Since we live in Alaska and don’t want to attract bears to our stinky garbage, we keep a couple empty quart-sized yogurt containers in the freezer and put our food waste in them throughout the week. On garbage day, we empty the containers into the trash, still frozen and not stinky, and put the trash out to be collected. The containers get rinsed and put back in the freezer. This helps keep our regular garbage from smelling as well.

    2. We just installed the same lovely IKEA sink and had no problem attaching our old disposal to it. I mainly have the disposal so I don’t panic about things that accidentally fall down the drain — my lovely flock of hens are the happy recipients of all waste food at our house.

      1. That’s the same reason I have (and love) a disposal, Eliza! I’ve never put stuff down there – I just figured if it broke, I’d have to fix it! Haha.

        This whole topic has made me realize how…comfortable?… I’ve always had it. The only thing I don’t have is a stand mixer, and I’ve considered it just because i’d like to make ice cream (oh, the attachments I could have!). I think dishwasher is my #1. As long as I had a w/d in my building, I’m good (now I do have them in my actual space though, which is nice). It’s also surprised me how much I LOVE my toaster oven.

        1. We have a disposal, but now that we compost we never use it! I’ve had one my whole life – I’m amazed how quickly I got unused to it.

  3. I live on my own in Chicago and I have none of the following: dishwasher, microwave, in-unit laundry, central heat or air. I like my place though I have base board heaters and window units and my condo building has a nice laundry room. I would LOVE to have central heat and air-conditioning as well as the in-unit laundry. The other two I can do without for now. I haven’t had a microwave since 2008 and I don’t miss it. If I was married or had a significant other who lived with me, or had roommates, then I think a dishwasher would be nice, but it isn’t a necessity. I still would hand wash all my knives, pots, pans and bakeware. I’m old school. Never did I believe I would be a 32 year old adult living without such modern conveniences, but in city apartment living, not having one or all of the above is not uncommon.

    1. No central heating in Chicago? I assumed it must required by law there. :)

      Our main floor here in Oakland has central heating, but the upstairs has electric baseboard heaters. They both certainly have pros and cons.

  4. We haven’t had a microwave for about 8 years now.

    To start with it wasn’t intentional, and similarly to you, was a matter of our house not having one when we arrived. And then not getting around to buying one, followed by a conscious decision to not have one.

    Recently I’ve become interested in health reasons for not using a microwave and came across this which seemed quite alarming and more the reason for being grateful that I don’t have one.

    http://www.natural-healing-artists.com/eng/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/Why-we-do-not-use-Microwave-Oven..pdf

    Having said that, I do miss the convenience of it!

    Would love to know if anyone else has thought about or looked into the health side of things in reasons for not using a microwave. Secretly hoping for reasons to debunk the theory above ;)

    1. Thanks for the link. I’ll be sure to check out the article.

      I haven’t heard much about health + microwaves, but I do have a very distinct memory of my Grandmother Lucille and her first microwave. She would make me stand back and shield me from the “waves” if she was using it.

    2. Emma,
      Since having children I’ve become very interested in healthy eating/living holistically and am right there with you (as well as MANY others out there). I have read too many articles and heard too many talks about microwaves destroying food put in them. The short of it – they kill all healthy nutrients in the food. If I (or my children) are going to eat something, I at least want the nutrition still there and not just be eating to get full. A quick Google search will produce tons of info for anyone interested.

      I tried to debunk it too… :)

  5. We have lived without a dishwasher, toaster and laundry washer in our unit for many many years! We didn’t feel they were necessary until recently. I used to mock people who made such a big deal about needing a dishwasher. Well, now that I have a 1 yr old I see the light, and would love a dishwasher! Three meals a day for her and me dirties a lot of dishes and its increasingly harder to wash as she is standing right between my legs. Still don’t feel a toaster is necessary, the oven does the trick just fine! Fun topic, btw!

  6. I think the appliance I would miss the most is a blender. I use my blender almost every day. I could probably get by without most of the other standard appliances but a blender has such a unique function that would be difficult to replicate by myself!

    1. We use a blender often as well — but often it’s for a treat (like a late-night milkshake), so I not sure I can classify it as ‘essential’ at our house — but I know it would be horribly missed if it was gone.

  7. I’m pretty well-equipped with appliances, given that I live in an apartment. Fridge, stove, washer/dryer (a lifesaver with a baby coming!), dishwasher (I just tell myself it’s cheaper than marital therapy… ;)) – I could do without if I really had to, but I’d rather not really have to. I guess it depends on which chores you/your spouse disagree over most – automating those is a lifesaver!

    We have a microwave, but it’s mostly because we’re used to having it and it hasn’t broken or needed replacing… it’s not like we use it much, and when it dies we won’t buy a new one. We have a toaster oven instead of a toaster, since it’s more multipurpose, and I do have a stand mixer because I bake pretty much all our baked goods and bread (gluten-free, because food issues suck).

    We don’t have AC, but we’re in Quebec – it’s only really hot for 2-3 months, and that’s what fans are for. We also don’t have (or intend to ever get) a garbage disposal (compost instead!). When we build our house in a year, we’re intending to put in a fireplace, which will be the most amazing non-appliance-based luxury I can think of. :)

  8. i think we lived without all of these items before we had kids. but now with a family i can’t imagine living without
    #1 Washer/Dryer
    #2 Coffee Maker
    #3 Microwave
    #4 Dishwasher
    The convenience of a washer and dryer, that I cannot live without!

  9. We have lived without a microwave for about five years now. We are actually toying around with the idea of buying one at the moment as the house we just rented doesn’t have a working stove or oven (ugh) and I’m running out of ideas of things to cook using my crockpot, electric kettle, and an electric griddle. We also don’t have a garbage disposal in this house, which I miss more than I should. I’ve lived without laundry machines and I never want to do that again. Major props to people who have to lug their laundry and kids to a laundromat,etc to wash clothes.

  10. My original birth family of five has swelled to 35 and is rapidly growing. When we all get together, there are lots and lots of dishes. A dishwasher, or two!, is must.

    Looking back, now that my own kids are grown and have kids of their own, I think the next-to-perfect laundry set up would be one washer, two dryers. The perfect set up would be two washers, two dryers. So much time is spent on laundry it seems. I would even recommend buying used, mismatched in order to accomplish the task. The problem is most homes are not set up for two each.

    1. Once of my friends built her dream home a few years ago, and installed laundry machine on the main floor and laundry machines in the master bedroom closet as well. I thought it made so much sense to have laundry near the bedrooms instead of tucked away in a basement. Maybe someday we’ll do something similar.

  11. I wish I didn’t have a microwave, but we are so used to heating milk that way and the occasional leftovers, that it’s a habit hard to break. It takes up space on my counter and I don’t like it.
    Dishwasher is essential to me, especially as you use a lot less water using one compared to washing dishes by hand, especially on the eco cycle. I’d also wouldn’t want to loose my washer. I could probably give up my dryer and dry all my clothes outside, however, in cold Canadian winters that could be tricky. When I lived in Switzerland, there was no dryer, just a large drying room.You washed on your assigned day and hung all your laundry in the room. Then you had to remove it before the next apartment had their turn to do laundry. Oh, and this was on on a bi-weekly schedule, so you needed to make sure you had enough underwear and socks to make it through 2 weeks. This was before having kids!

    1. I’m fascinated by your description of a drying room. If the weather was good in France, we loved hanging our laundry out to dry. But it was wet so often in Normandy that I was very grateful for the clothes dryer. Here, we don’t even have a laundry line. Maybe we should install one!

      1. I have a drying room in my house, and I love it. It is a small room directly across from my washer and dryer. I use adjustable curtain rods that stretch from wall to wall, to hang shirts on hangers. I also have 2 drying racks for pants or sweaters. It is very useful during our MN winters, when drying outside is not going to happen.

        1. Tamara, another Minnesotan here–thinking about your drying room and chuckling that it reminded me of some Laura Ingalls Wilder I read today. So appropriate since I had never heard of a drying room and even inside, in MN, I would think you’d end up with a lot of frozen laundry. Do you have a heater in that room?

    2. My husband and I lived in Zurich before we had kids and our building had a big drying room in the basement – right next to the mandatory nuclear shelter! We also had dryers in our building so the drying room was often empty. We were lucky that our building was full of foreigners and didn’t have a strict washing schedule. I think there may have “officially” been a schedule but there were no Swiss residents in our building to complain that no-one stuck to it ;) Everyone else we knew lived in a building with a strict washing schedule, mostly with just two allocated days per month. One friend was given two consecutive days per month which meant he needed to have a month’s worth of clothes to last between washes! At one point he had a girlfriend who lived in France so he would visit her on weekends and take his washing with him. He used to joke that he exported his filth out of Switzerland!

    1. Definitly agree with you. Never had a microwave. Bought a dishwasher 2 years ago – don’t use it every day.But can’t live without my KitchenAid – bread, cake, icecream…..

  12. The appliance I’m happy not to have is a microwave. After several tiny apartment kitchens, I got very used to not having one, and now I would never be willing to sacrifice the space it would occupy. The few jobs it could do for me just aren’t worth it. On the other hand, my parents and in-laws can barely stand it when they visit – they’re all used to microwaving their coffee or tea many times throughout the day. On every visit I have to repeat my “No thanks” to their offers to buy us one. Maybe if I ever have a bigger kitchen I’ll get a microwave just to be a gracious host, but not for any other reason.

  13. How funny! I could not live without a microwave (we have three) but our dishwasher hasn’t been turned on in years. We do store plates in it though; does that count?

  14. Nope, no microwave by choice. We really don’t miss it – it’s not so hard to stick something in the oven or a pan for a few minutes. But when my parents come they have a very hard time adjusting.

    We also have no coffee maker – we use a french press – and until a month ago, I had never owned a toaster. I’m 38 years old. But toasting bread in the oven is such a waste of energy that I decided it was worth it, and we love it. No standing mixer for that matter. No television… kind of appliance averse.

    We don’t even consider ourselves weird, but when new people come over, well, suddenly I realize we might actually be a bit weird.

    1. “I realize we might actually be a bit weird”

      That made me laugh! I definitely feel the same way from time to time — especially when I tell someone about oil pulling.

      A few times we’ve had visitors that assume we were taking a stand against microwaves by not having one in the home, but in reality we’re actually totally fine with microwaves. It’s funny what these little actions (or non-actions) can communicate unknowingly.

      1. I don’t care much if people think I’m weird for not having certain appliances, (or for homeschooling, or __(insert weird choice here)___….but I DON”T like the feeling that they think I’m taking some kind of stand. I’d rather be thought weird than judgemental!

        So, often, I try to draw attention away from those things.

  15. No dishwasher as there isn;t any good place for it in our kitchen. Eventually we *might* get a narrow European style one but that is way down the road. I find even when I have a dishwasher I do a lot of handwashing anyway- we use our good dishes often- and it just seems like another appliance that is expensive to fix when it inevitably breaks.

    The microwave on the other hand I could not live without. I am constantly warming up cups of tea. And I use it to defrost tomato sauce, or chicken stock, or soup or lots of other stuff like that. I also use it to premelt cheese in grilled cheese sandwiches or quesadillas before I put them on the skillet.

  16. We don’t have a dryer and are managing fine. I never thought we would but it was making our bills quite high so moved it into a garden shed for a while and yes, we can live without it! I do like the microwave though, don’t think I’d like to give it up.

  17. we haven’t had a microwave in over 5 years and we like it this way.
    we cook from scratch and warm things up (leftovers, drinks, etc) on the stovetop or in the oven.
    on some level i do not trust the microwave.

  18. We don’t have a TV! The kids use the iPad and computer to watch shows so they get screen time anyway. I do miss the experience of watching Christmas movies as a family but somehow we survive. I worry that having a TV would put me in the position of policing it constantly and it would get on my nerves. But maybe we’ll get one in the future?

    1. We didn’t have a TV for the longest time when we first moved to the US. With a laptop and netflix it’s easy to go without one. Then my parents visited from Australia and they just wanted to sit down and watch a movie in the evenings so they bought us a TV!

  19. My oven broke in late June, and I didn’t miss it all summer long! We live in DC and things can get seriously muggy, so who wants to bake anyway? We left on a vacation the last week of August, and when we got back two weeks later it was suddenly fresh September – and I wanted my oven fixed YESTERDAY. So funny how the weather does that….

  20. The dishwasher in our rented house does not clean well, so we have been hand washing dishes for the last 1.5 years. We have two girls ages 16 and 13. One washes and puts them in the dishwasher to dry in the morning. The other one puts the dishes away when she gets home from school.

    Our younger daughter needs OT (Occupational therapy for fine motor movements and building strength), so I use this as part of that therapy.

    I would prefer not to do without a clothes washer and clothes dryer. It is certainly nice to have those in one’s dwelling unit.

    We have had 2 fridges in most of our homes over the years. I love that. So handy.

    We have had a big mixer in the past, but found it too cumbersome, now we just have a hand mixer. I would like to do without the food processer, but occasionally we use it and I am glad I have it.

    Ann

  21. I lived with neither a dishwasher, in-house laundry, or microwave for most of my adult live. Since moving into my current home, I have gained first floor laundry, dishwasher, and microwave. I feel like a “real American” now. I could live without all three (and do for most of the summer at our cottage), but I greatly appreciate having laundry and a dishwasher (especially when having house guests). I know I’m an adult because sometimes I “show off” my dishwasher to my friends (such a novelty). :)

  22. I could definitely live without a microwave, and I’ve never had a stand mixer either! I have lived without laundry and absolutely hated it, but have become used to it when living in big cities. I definitely think I could live without a dishwasher. I worked at a bakery for seven years (high school through college) and became so used to hand washing dishes that my current roommate and I sometimes forget we even have a dishwasher to use!

  23. Another apartment-dwelling Chicagoan–no microwave, garbage disposal, dishwasher, in-unit washer/dryer, or central heating/cooling. It doesn’t bother me at all. Every once in a while, a guest wonders why I use the stove when the microwave would be faster. XD My family and my husband’s family think we are CRAZY for not having these “essential” items, but we honestly don’t mind. (I do, however, dream of someday living in a building with central heating/cooling where I have a thermostat and some control over the temperature.)

  24. I have a dishwasher but I’ve never used it once since it was installed six years ago. I HATE to unload dishwashers so I wash everything by hand. I haven’t had a dryer for going on eighteen years now. Growing up (family of 10) we would hang all our clothes on the line Besides why should I pay to dry my clothes when I can do it for free. I can’t really think of anything that I couldn’t live without but I do enjoy my VitaMix and microwave.

    1. I too grew up in a family of 10 and we didn’t have a dryer either. We would line dry everything, even in the winter. I have memories of taking clothes off the line and warming them up by the wood burning stove. For that matter, that’s how we heated our house too. We didn’t have central air, just a furnace that heated the bottom story. The stove helped to heat the house a little more. Growing up we lived without a microwave, disposal and dish washer (and shower..which isn’t really an appliance).
      As for now at various times in our 17 years of marriage, we’ve lived without a dryer (I had a drip drying technique down to a science), a microwave, dishwasher and tv. This past year all of our wedding present appliances have started giving out, so I’ve found myself going over what we ‘need’ and what we don’t really have to have. Surprisingly, I haven’t felt the need to replace all of them.

  25. After moving into our new house in Morningside, people asked how we liked it. All I could talk about was the microwave. Heat up tortillas for tacos in seconds. Amazing!!

  26. I’m currently living in London, and don’t have much in the way of appliances. The biggest adjustment has been having a washer but no dryer. I’ve mostly adjusted to the different way the clothes feel, but it still drives me crazy that the clothes always seem to take AGES to dry (especially because London weather usually means I have to hang them inside). I also miss having a garbage disposal more than I thought I would. I didn’t use it a ton when I had one, but it was nice not to have to worry about the drain clogging.

    On the flip side, I don’t know why electric kettles aren’t more popular in the states! Not having to wait ages for water to boil on the stove saves me so much time when I’m cooking!

    1. As an Australian living in the US I have to say that not being able to find an electric kettle here was a struggle when we first arrived. Boiling a stove top kettle is sooo much slower and it doesn’t turn off on it’s own like an electric kettle! I have quite a few Australian friends living in the States and they’ve all found the lack of electric kettles a big adjustment too.
      I guess Australians, just like the Brits, drink way more tea than most Americans ;)

    2. I had never used an electric kettle until we moved to France, but I fell in love with it! I bought one almost immediately upon moving to Oakland. Long before the microwave even occurred to me. Funny!

      Target actually carries a decent offering of electric tea kettles now, and I found these cute ceramic ones on Amazon.

  27. I am from California, but have lived in Austria for the past three and a half years. The one thing that I really missed at the beginning was a garbage disposal! However, after a few weeks (ok, months!) I realized I could live without one. Now I don’t really even think about it. All the food scraps just go into the “bio” container and get picked up each week. We also didn’t have a microwave in our first apartment here, but have since moved into a house which came with one built in.

  28. So interesting to hear about how people live! There really are so many ways to do it well. We are “dorm-parents” at a boarding/prep school and live in an apartment attached to a dormitory. We share a basement laundry room with our colleagues who live in the faculty apartment below us (thankfully, the students do their laundry elsewhere). It’s not the greatest arrangement, but it’s tolerable. During the summers we live in an old farmhouse in Maine, which had neither dishwasher nor laundry when we bought it. For the past two years we’ve lugged our clothes to the laundry in town and brought them back to the house to dry (line-drying is the best! We have a great contraption that spins) or brought them home with us at the end of the vacations. It has been more difficult than I thought it’d be, especially with all the guests we seem to have. I am so grateful that our almost-done renovations will make room for a washer (and dryer for the winter months)!

    1. Cecilia, can you point me to info about your spining drying thing? I use a rack and line outside in the summer, but I would love something like that for the winter (MN).

  29. when i moved to nyc from chicago i gave up my toaster in favor of the coffeemaker, as my apt was toooooo small for anything extra to be sitting on the counter. When my husband moved in several years later we eventually got a toaster and gave up the coffeemaker. I didnt get a microwave until i had kids.
    I have never had a dishwasher, washer/dryer or an elevator. Good thing our apt is only a 2nd floor walk up. Oh, and we live in a 1 bdrm apt, about 500 sqr ft. New Yorkers put up with so much in order live here.

  30. You don’t have a laundry line?! I just cannot imagine. We are very spoilt here in South Africa with long sunny summer days so all my laundry is dried outside. The drier is only used on the wettest of days or for ‘softening’ the towels or the twins onesies. How on earth do you dry linen?
    Two fridges is fantastic. One day I dream of owning a chest freezer and being prepared for months on end.

  31. Fellow Austrian here: We don’t have a dishwasher, a microwave, a dryer or garbage disposal in our apartment. I do miss the dishwasher a lot and think it would be nice to have a microwave. I can see the advantages of having a dryer but we don’t have the space for one, I don’t like the negative impact it has on the environment, the electricity bill, and I am afraid of the damage it causes to the clothes. Oh and we don’t have a TV. It’s because we spend enough time on the internet already :)

  32. We currently live on the North Shore of Oahu and got rid of everything before we moved. We’ve never had a dishwasher (although with 7 kids I think I’d love one!), we’ve gone years as well without a microwave and dryer. But I don’t think I could ever get rid of our blendtec blender. We use it for everything, several times a day. It needed a repair last month which took several weeks to process (shipping back and forth from Utah), and my kids and I thought we had died!

  33. We are blessed to have many appliances. Microwave, dishwasher, oven/stove, garbage disposer, AC, washer/dryer, etc. I take them for granted. I use each judiciously…if it is a warm day I don’t use the dryer, hang the laundry outside instead. If it is a hot summer day in the house, I plug the crockpot into the outside outlet by the front door! Things I love: the oven is convection; it cooks in about half the time. Also, we have a large chest freezer which is so nice for stocking up on sales, fresh produce and buying dry goods in bulk. Amen to the stand mixer as well!!

  34. I’ve never had a microwave. Or a garbage disposal. Couldn’t live without the dishwasher. Growing up we never had a dryer, just a washing machine… as a result I love the dryer! Love my stand mixer but hate taking it down off the shelf. I love my hand mixer too – now that I have both, I don’t think I could live without either. Can’t live without a decent blender either, even though we only occasionally use it.

  35. I think about this a lot. I have lived without washers, driers, freezers, microwaves and dishwashers at different points of my life and it just takes a change in how you organize your life. I have never had a stand mixer and I am an avid bread maker and baker. I know it will change my life when I finally get one but for now I just use a little elbow grease!!

  36. Aah, modern appliances.

    We don’t have a dishwasher, but I haven’t had one since becoming an adult. Although it’s been almost 20 years since I enjoyed the convenience of one, I still want one. Every. Single. Day!

    As for a microwave, we have a very small one and we’ve only had it for a few years. We bought one when we were renovating our house and didn’t have a stove or oven. I mostly use it for heating up my coffee – many times during the day. Vital for this Mama with young children!

    We don’t have a vacuum either and again, I wish I had one. Every. Single. Day!

  37. We don’t have a microwave and haven’t owned one for 16 years. It wasn’t intentionally in the beginning… we just didn’t have the space. But over time we developed new habits and didn’t miss it all. Now that I have young teens in the house I’m thinking of purchasing a toaster oven so they can reheat food for themselves without having to warm the entire oven to do so.

  38. I could not live without our clothes washer or a dishwasher! Our house came without a dishwasher (the kitchen is still original 1930s) and we quickly bought a portable one. Much more of a pain than a built-in, but a million times better than not having one! I’d like to think I could live without a clothes dryer, but I can’t imagine freeze-drying things in the winter months like my grama tells stories of doing as a kid!

    I’m enjoying peeking into other parts of the world and what is norm there. Like a garbage disposal which is not at all normal in Canada – I actually didn’t realise the stuff that went into it went into the sewer until reading the comments here!

  39. When we bought our home four years ago, all we could think of was getting out of my in law’s home (which had three couples and two babies under the roof). No dishwasher? No garage? No garbage disposal? Who cares, we said, just get us out of the mad house! Four years later, the only thing I dont mind lacking is a garbage disposal (I reuse ziploc snack bags for drain catches, etc). Sadly, a huge remodel would be necessary to fit a dishwasher in our little 50’s kitchen and a garage is out of the question. Oh well :)

  40. We lived without a dishwasher for 5 years. We just remodeled our kitchen 2 months ago and added a dishwasher. It is by far my favorite part of the kitchen! I will never take a dishwasher for granted!!

  41. I’ve lived without a dishwasher before and I didn’t mind it, although I will say that the cost and time really does make using one more efficient than not. And I don’t have a microwave. We have a small house and kitchen and when we remodeled I just couldn’t imagine giving up any counter or shelf space to a microwave. Honestly, I do not miss it one bit. It was hard at first to not have popcorn on demand but for Christmas my husband gave me a popper and it is awesome. Oddly enough, I don’t think I could live without my kitchenaid mixer. I use it constantly and it is so pretty!!

  42. Our dishwasher broke down about 2.5 years ago and we honestly just haven’t had the money to replace it. Our four kids are 13, 15, 17, and 20, so when the dishwasher went kaput, we delegated the chore of washing dishes to the kids (I usually help out, too). They fuss and complain but I have to tell you, it’s made for some great one-on-one, uninterrupted conversations between me and my kids…that’s 20 minutes every night that I have their full attention; one of them standing right next to me talking and it’s been pretty great.

    1. I’ve heard something similar about knitting. That moms who knit or otherwise keep their hands busy end up having really good conversations with their teens. It’s easier for the teenagers to open up if they’re not having to maintain eye contact, and the conversation feels more casual because Mom seems focused on her knitting.

  43. As far as microwave goes, we’d love to buy a new one, one day but the old one just does not stop working…. It has been in the family since 1988 and has moved continents, been in storage and back out, but it will not quit doing its job which in our family is mostly heating milk for my coffee or for the kids’ oatmeal in the mornings. At times we think about just getting a new one and throwing this one out but since this one has been at my parents’ home , moved out with me to a student dorm, to a first real apartment, to a married home, to a home with four kids it almost feels like sacrilege.

  44. Take my refrigerator but PLEASE don’t take my dishwasher! I don’t use disposable dishes in our home so I’m constantly filling the sink. If not for our beloved dishwasher I’d be chained to the sink for much longer. Thank you geniuses of household appliance invention! And on the rare occasion that my washing machine breaks down it has the power to bring me near tears. The only alternative is to become a family of nudists.

    1. Hilarious and so true! I feel the same way.

      During our recent floor renovation we couldn’t use our washer and dryer and eventually dropped everything off at a pay per pound wash-and-fold place. It was wonderful to have everything arrive home clean and folded, but I would still rather have a washer and dryer in my home.

  45. Having a washer and dryer in our apartment was definitely a top priority when we were last apartment hunting. At the time my youngest was still in diapers and we were using cloth. I couldn’t imagine having to visit a laundromat while cloth diapering! Even now that she’s out of diapers I still find myself doing at least 8 loads of washing a week so I’m happy to pay extra rent for the convenience of not having to leave home with piles of washing. And with a new baby on the way (who I plan to cloth diaper as well) the number of loads is just going to increase even more.

    A dishwasher is next on my list of appliance must haves. My husband refers to it as “the dirty dishes cupboard”! I have quite a few friends who have dishwashers in their apartment but refuse to use them for their purpose and just use them as extra storage. Many people believe that they use a tonne of water however a decent dishwasher actually uses less water than filling the sink several times for the same number of dishes does.

    Back home in Australia it’s not standard for rental properties to come with a washer, dryer and fridge. Most renters buy their own and lug them around when they move which is such a hassle – especially when your apartment building doesn’t have an elevator! I was very happy to discover that these items (or at least the fridge) come with rental properties as standard when we moved to the US.

    Years ago we lived in Switzerland and what I found rather odd was that although rental properties tend to come with a fridge, washer and dryer etc they don’t come with light fittings! I’ve also heard that it’s pretty common in Italy for rental apartments to come with an empty kitchen – no cupboards, sink or appliances, just pipes and power sockets. Imagine having to buy your own kitchen cupboards and appliances as a renter!

    1. When we moved to Greece early in our marriage I was so shocked to realize we would need to buy a refrigerator and stove. We had definitely NOT budgeted for that. But at least there were cupboards and sink!

  46. when i got my first apartment as a single gal, i didn’t own a tv, a computer, a dishwasher, or a microwave. come to think of it, i didn’t even own a couch! now our family has all those in addition the well-used essentials–dishwasher and laundry facilities. funny what you can get by with when it’s just you. now, as a mom of little boys, i think the greatest invention of all time is indoor plumbing!

  47. My husband & lived for about 4 years without a dishwasher with no problem, but now that we live in a place that has one, it seems like it would be hard to go without one again! We also hardly used our microwave (it was huge and we didn’t have a good spot for it), so we donated it to someone who needed one. It was never an issue when we had a gas range. The place we live now came with a microwave and an electric stove, so we find ourselves using the microwave more. I prefer heating things up on the stove, though!

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