Posts tagged ‘home’

How to Get Rid of an Old Refrigerator

Option 1

Step 1:  The people you buy your home from ask if you would like them to leave the second, old refrigerator in the basement.

Step 2:  You say, “No thank you.”

Option 2 (Significantly Abridged)

Step 1:  Use refrigerator twice. Eighteen years later, call a service to pick up old refrigerator.

Step 2:  Knowing that it will be cheaper to get the refrigerator to the curb (and thinking, at Step 2, that it is worth saving a couple of bucks), make an attempt to see if you will be able to move it yourself. Bump, wiggle, pull, push, grunt, cuss, rock, bump, grunt-grunt-grunt, and move it about 10 feet. Think, “That wasn’t so bad. I can do this.”

Step 3:  Realize that it is not going to fit through Door #1. Also realize that your screw driver and the hinges to the door are in the next room. Bump, wiggle, pull, grunt, drag refrigerator back into the room. Go find screw driver. Remove door.

Step 4:  Push refrigerator through Door #1, including conquering the unexpected mountainous peaks of the threshold.

Step 5:  Push-pull it across cement floor; wiggle, grunt, rock it, wonder about death by refrigerator, and get it up over the edge of the carpeted area. Bump, wiggle, push, grunt it to Door #2, the door to the garage, the really big, really heavy door.

Step 6:  Consider measuring but think to self, “Well, they had to have gotten it in this way” and “I don’t feel like running upstairs for the measuring tape.” Eyeball it and think, “Yeah, I can do this.”

Step 7:  Standing on garage side of refrigerator, wiggle, grunt, and (using freezer handle and condenser coils as handles) pull like a maniac. Keep pulling until refrigerator is solidly, completely, totally, dagnabbittly wedged in the doorway.

Step 8:  Figure that you could probably do better pushing from the inside. Realize that the only (unlocked) door to gain entrance to your home has a refrigerator in it.

Step 9:  Get step ladder off garage wall. Climb up, belly flop onto top of refrigerator, and shimmy through the top of doorway. Once inside the basement again, realize just how far the top of a refrigerator is from the floor.

Step 10:  Dangle feet, wrangle body, stretch legs, pull back. Consider job as Elf on a Shelf.

Step 11:  Jump.

Step 11b:  Land and roll like James Bond (if he were still being played by Sean Connery).

Step 11c:  Lie on floor giggling in a very un-Connery-like manner.

Step 12:  Re-examine refrigerator in doorway and realize (1) pushing is no help and (2) you’re going to have to remove the really big, really heavy door after all and (3) the hinges are on the garage side.

Step 13:  Pull, wiggle, grunt in an attempt to get the refrigerator unstuck from doorway. Run up the stairs, unlock the back door, go out, run down back steps, run down front steps, open garage door, get back into garage.

Step 14:  Wiggle-push refrigerator back into the basement. Remove really big, really heavy door. Wonder about death by door.

Step 15:  Push refrigerator back into the doorway until it is solidly, completely, totally, dagnabbittly wedged.

Step 16:  Run up stairs, out back door, down steps, down more steps, back into the garage. Push refrigerator back into basement.

Step 17:  Remove bumper thingamajigs from condenser coils on back of refrigerator. Put pressure on coils until the side brace whatchamacallits collapse and the coils are (sort of) flat against the back of the refrigerator.

Step 18:  Push refrigerator back into doorway. Get it nearly there and realize the legs are stuck on the threshold, and the only way it’s going to go is if you just let it tip over into the garage. Figure, Why not? Let go and brace for terrifying, satisfying bang.

Step 19:  Marvel at the silence and gaze at refrigerator, which is now standing at a 45-degree angle in the doorway, half in, half out. Run up stairs, out back door, down steps and more steps, into garage and see that the 250-pound refrigerator is resting on a rickety little wooden ladder, which has only one leg on the ground.

Step 20:  Stare at that crazy tableau for a moment. Wonder about death by tableau.

Step 21:  Push refrigerator back upright (i.e., dagnabbittly wedged).

Step 22:  Move ladder, leave garage, go up steps, go in back door, go downstairs, and push that thing like a mother saving a baby, like a Grinch saving a sleigh, like a woman saving her sanity.

Step 23:  Feel it going. Let go. BOOM!

Step 24:  Curtsy and clap lightly. (Or let out a yell and stride around the room as if you are the person who moves appliances for Vince McMahon.)

Voila! That is how to get rid of an old refrigerator.


  • It’s a state law that any refrigerator that is not in use must have the doors removed or have the doors secured — even if you live in a household where there are no children.
  • Refrigerators cannot go curbside for regular junk pickup because they contain freon.
  • Some electric companies have rebate/buy back programs if your refrigerator is in working order.
  • I called Appliance Warehouse at 888-GO-FREON/463-7366. The cost is $40-60. I didn’t do a ton of research, but the other options I saw were about twice as expensive or required drop-off.

June 25, 2015 at 11:23 am Leave a comment

Yardwork Tips

When you buy a house, you become more than just a homeowner. You become, like it or not, in one way or another, painter, inspector, handyman, window washer, plumber, security guard, and groundskeeper.

I have been the groundskeeper at my little house for nearly 13 years. And, as I gaze out on the freshly mown lawn and the flower beds that line my driveway this summer, I thought it worth sharing a few tips hard won over the years.

  • If you have a really steep hill, you can use an S-hook to attach a bull rope to raise and lower the mower (until the S-hook slips and the mower rolls away).
  • If you have a really steep hill, you can go out and buy an easier to handle electric mower and cut sideways while rope-wrangling the cord.
  • If you have a really steep hill, you can hire someone to cut your grass.
  • Small pine trees that are dying when you move in can be revived with some careful attention and regular applications of Miracid. It really works and will greatly increase the challenge in about 13 years when you decide to cut down those big ugly pine trees.
  • Beware flowering plants at hardware stores. They often come with a lot of weeds and may not be that hardy. Find a small, local nursery with a kind and friendly owner who knows her stuff. Better plants and a more enjoyable shopping experience.
  • Many people get confused about this next one. The difference between perennial and annual is that all of the plants in a flat of annuals will last about one season. And perennials is spelled differently.
  • Deer eat the flowers off of tulips. Additionally, deer are careful planners who will travel miles, often by bus or rail, to arrive in your neighborhood on the same day your tulips bloom.
  • Miracle Gro really does work. Don’t believe me? Come sit in the shade of my dandelion trees.
  • Get a decent set of gardening tools. Cheap ones bend or break. Good ones will last a long time.
  • If you purchase 20 or 40 tulip bulbs, they grow better if you plant in the spring or fall—instead of leaving them in a bag in the garage until they rot. (But at least the deer don’t get them.)
  • A beautiful garden and a beautiful manicure are mutually exclusive.
  • There is one flowering plant that grows well at my house. Sweet peas. Sound delightful. Grow little pinkish whitish flowers on delicate tendrils . . . tendrils which grow as if in a time-lapse video and choke out every other living thing in a 2-mile radius.
  • Each spring, set aside $100-200 for your garden. After the last frost, put that money in a shredder and spread it evenly among the bare, dead, brown plant beds.

When I was first house shopping, I thought about purchasing a row house in an area of town where property was cheap. (It has since become popular and kind of expensive.) I decided not to move to that area because . . . I wanted a yard.

Yeah, that’s funny.

If I had all of the money in the bank that I’ve spent on the dang yard over the years, I wouldn’t have to wait to renovate the basement. And I’d probably have enough left to get a stove with four working burners and an oven temperature control gauge that matches the oven temperature.

I have abdicated grass cutting. Part of a hedge is currently being held up by a bungee cord. The flowers are sparse this year. I do not have whatever talent or magic my grandmother had. And, there is certainly irony in me using these green-thumbless hands to type under the heading of Life Preservers.

But. Still. It is a good thing, to dig in the dirt.

What’s growing in your yard?

July 7, 2010 at 2:42 pm 7 comments

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