Thursday, March 14, 2013


So we were finally ready to buy a new refrigerator.  The old one was still working, but something somewhere was leaking.  It wasn’t the ice-maker because the line had been disconnected.  However, every day there would be dripping from the back under the freezer.  We finally resorted to putting large plastic cups under the drips.  But they filled quickly, froze up, then overflowed, sending water everywhere else into the fridge.  And that froze on the shelves in the back, so bottles and cans froze to the shelves.  I’d have to completely empty and clean it every couple of months.

Of course, that kept my fridge clean and I never had rotten food hiding in corners.  Still, it was a hassle I didn’t need.  So finally, we had saved enough to buy a new fridge.  We didn’t just go out and buy one, though.  We looked at sales papers, looked at stores, read reviews, etc.  And the features in a fridge now!  I remember seeing one at one point that had a television in the door!

After looking at all the styles, we knew we wanted a bottom freezer.  We also liked the French doors on top.  So the next step was measuring our space.  The size we bought would be determined by the space, of course.  We took our measurements and headed for the store.

We decided to go to Abt Appliance.  We took other store’s ads with us, so we had a good idea of what a reasonable price would be.  As luck would have it, we decided to shop on Customer Appreciation Day.   It was purely coincidence, but the deals were great!  After looking around, reading measurements and opening many doors, we decided on the one we wanted. 

Then comes the hard part - paying for it.   Not having bought a refrigerator in at least 20 years, there was quite a sticker shock!  Especially when you start adding in the extended warranty, water line, etc.  The nice part?  They would take away the old one free of charge.  AND they generated a customer number for getting a rebate on our electric bill for buying an energy efficient model.  All we had to do was write the number on a piece of tape and put it on the old fridge.  We scheduled a delivery date and left the store - with a mattress purchase too!  One stop shopping!

But we still had to go home and take one more measurement.  While we knew it would fit into the space, we didn’t know if it would fit into the house!  We don’t have sliding doors to the house, so it had to go through the front door.  And up six stairs.  We knew the size of the fridge with and without the doors and handles.  We measured the inside of our front door, and knew it would fit if we took the front door off the house.  We called the store back and told them to go ahead with the order!

The weekend before delivery, we started cleaning out the fridge.  I tossed the old food, especially the old stuff at the back of the freezer, and emptied the frozen cups of water.  The day before delivery, I took out anything that didn’t need to stay cold, like cans of soda.  I removed all the magnets and papers from the fridge, sad that the new one was stainless steel.  I have so many cute magnets!  But it looked so neat and clean when the door was empty, it was sort of nice to see.  We then moved a lot of the food to the fridge in our garage. 

The morning of delivery, we moved the rest of the food to the freezer/fridge in the garage, and were able to leave some on the back porch because it was below freezing.  Nature’s refrigerator.  We mopped up the rest of the water and wiped out the bins.  Call us anal, but yes, we cleaned the fridge before sending it to the landfill.  We wrote the rebate number on duct tape and taped it to the fridge on two sides so it wouldn’t be missed. Then we took the front door off the hinges, and removed the railing and the baby gate we keep up - for the dogs.  Anything to make the job easier.

Then the new one arrived!  They had to take the doors off the refrigerator also to get it in the house.  Finally, after removing ceiling tiles in the basement and running lines, all was set!  We had a new fridge!  We didn’t fill it right away, though.  We put ice cube trays in the freezer to make sure it was getting cold.  Then after a few hours, started putting non-perishables back, and finally brought all the food back in.  We were told not to use the first few batches of ice, so we just dumped them as they formed.  By evening, we had everything back in the house in our shiny new fridge! 

Afterward, I realized what a process it is!  It’s not like buying a sweater that comes home and gets folded and set on a closet shelf.  It takes planning, organizing and scheduling.  We were fortunate that everything fell into place.  We could have measured incorrectly.  We could have ended up with a leaky water line.  There could have been a scratch on the door.  So many things could have gone wrong--some under our control, some not.  And we were especially lucky that the old one hadn’t completely died, possibly spoiling food.  But by planning ahead, the experience was a good one!