New place to live? Check.
Functional refrigerator and stove? Ancient, but check.
Washer and dryer hookups? Check.
An actual washer and dryer? Not so much...
"Well, okay," I thought to myself, "What can I do...?"
It is intimidating to move over 350 miles to a new place, where you hardly know anyone, and to find yourself without a washer and dryer. I was stuck in a dilemma. I had spent all this money to move and needed to spend more money for other basic necessities. So, naturally, I found myself pondering, "do I really NEED a washer and dryer? Surely I could survive without it, right?"
As I moved into my house I thought of numerous schemes around paying hundreds of dollars for a new or used washer and dryer. "I can hand wash it all in the sink, it won't be that bad." I think about how long that will take. "Okay, I'll get one of those eco friendly, hand crank ones." I look them up online. "Oh, those are just as expensive as the regular ones...Well, I just can make my own with a bucket and plunger!" I realize that I don't have a drill or the proper tools to make my own do it yourself washer. Frustrated, I go and unpack some boxes.
Later that evening, I realized I did not have any pots and pans to cook rice with. So, I went over to my neighbors to ask them for a pot. They welcomed me into their house and asked me how the move was going. "Well, I keep on realizing that I don't have what I need. I might have knives to chop food, but I don't have a cutting board." We all had a good laugh about that. Then one of them looked at me seriously and said, "Do you need a washer and dryer? My friend at work has an extra set he was going to sell me at work for a $100. If you've got a $100, they are yours."
In neighboring, we like to talk about social capital, which basically says that there is tangible value in our relationships and social networks. Neighboring fosters social capital in our lives. When I don't know my neighbors, I am stuck washing my clothes in the sink and cooking rice in the oven. But, when my social network increases through neighboring, my connection to other resources and assets expands. In this case, it led to an incredible surprise where I was able to receive a functional washer and dryer for a price I could afford, all because someone I knew, knew someone else.