The funny thing I'm learning about living in Scotland is that the Scottish have some pretty ingenious ways of using space to maximum capacity. Life on an island means houses are smaller and every corner counts. None of these things are terribly life-changing, but simply come with the experience of living abroad!
One: We have a washer machine in our kitchen. The British wash their laundry in the same area as their dishes because space over here is at a premium. In fact, washing machines are listed as kitchen appliances in stores. I keep my detergent right next to my dish soap and do my best not to get the two mixed up. ;) I'm actually adjusting pretty quickly to this and I actually kinda like it. It keeps all the appliances in one area. Two: We don't have a dryer, but instead we have a clothes line in the backyard where we hang up our clothes (in rain or shine, quite literally.) There is no space for a laundry room closet complete with washer and dryer if you're in the average home. There are combination washers and dryers but the average reviewer states the dryer portion rarely works. Wet laundry gets hung out to dry or in case of rainy weather on a rack. Stores like Lakeland sell these heated drying racks, but most people simply use basic racks from Ikea or hang the clothes out. The space behind our flat is dedicated to hanging out laundry to dry with clotheslines for each flat taking up all of the area.
Three: Radiators are the heater of choice. Convenient for drying those wet clothes but not always the fastest heating method. Efficient because a boiler uses fewer carbon emissions then an electric heater, but it is slower and clunkier then regular electric heating. I foresee a portable heater being used this winter, along with heavy socks, and a hot water bottle. ;)
Four: Partial glass doors are used most frequently instead of shower curtains in the bath. This puzzles me greatly as a shower curtain usually surrounds the tub to keep the water in and a partial glass door only keeps some of the water from landing on the floor. I asked our letting agent why these are used instead of shower curtains and she merely shrugged, so her guess is as good as mine! It does open up the tiny bathrooms a lot more, so from an aesthetic point, it makes sense.
Five: Closet space is rare and portable closets are popular. We're looking into buying an armoire for our bedroom because there isn't a closet except for the boiler closet. We have one small closet that we're using to store luggage, a ladder and various other items, but there is no space to hang up coats. We do have ample kitchen cupboard space, which is a great relief! For the time being, everything is being folded and put on shelves or in cupboards.
Six: Outlets. I knew outlets would be different over here so I bought an adapter kit for my computer before we left America. The outlets here are large and clunky and they have to be turned on before use. I think this is pretty ingenious so you save on electricity and makes for turning off items pretty easy. Seven: The UK building regulations ban having outlets in the bathroom so there goes drying your hair while in the tub! All electric items have to be plugged into outlets in various other sections of the house.
And there it is! Seven idiosyncrasies I'm adapting to that come with living in Scotland.