Why My Appliances Fit in Barbie’s Dream House

Switzerland is one of the smallest, but most densely populated countries in Europe.  It has a population of approximately 7.3 million, with 173 people per square kilometer.  Here, space is at a premium.  In all other European countries, appliances are 60 centimeters wide. Here, they are 55 centimeters wide.  Why?  Space. There is a lack of it.

When we were looking for apartments, I noticed all the elevators were the same (tiny) size. This appears to be a pretty standard size that is just large enough to fit appliances in one at a time.  Our kitchen is packed like the blocks from a game of Tetris, but it all fits. We are lucky to even have appliances like a dishwasher, oven, washing machine and dryer.

They are also smaller than we were used to in the US and only hold about a half to a third of what our washer in the US did.  It also takes a bit longer to wash and dry a load here, clocking in at about 4 hours. The result, we wear things a little more before throwing them in the wash.

By the way, everything seems larger in the US.  Check out the size of the US toilet paper roll compared to the Swiss role.

2 thoughts on “Why My Appliances Fit in Barbie’s Dream House

  1. I totally get it! In London my washer and dryer are in my kitchen, the bicycles are in the living room, and the coat rack is in the dining room…but I will trade all of my space for this amazing experience to explore Europe! Enjoy your time in Geneva!
    🙂 Another Happy Expat

  2. Its true! When we moved there 12 years ago (for a 2 year stint) the company provided us with an aparatment locater service (very nice). It was this particular locater’s first day and she did not speak very much English. After dismissing what feels like at least the 8th apartment because there were not any closets my guide finally understood what I was saying and was able to communicate back to me… “that there were no closets.” At least we had the bomb shelter in the basement we could use for storage.. do you have a bomb shelter too? I also enjoyed how the shower was in a separate room from the toilet. With only one of each it was convenient that both could be in use at once, right? Especially when guests were in town!

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