It was suggested to me that I come here to talk about the new stuff I just got 'cause... quite frankly, all this 'new-fangled' stuff is just over my head!!
DH and I took the plunge and decided to replace several things that are 18 or so years old. After today (deliver is set up for this morning), I'm gonna have a bunch of stuff that is totally alien to me, so all of y'all's input on how you like/work with/deal with yours would be HUGELY appreciated, please.
Firstly, I should say that everything is Samsung brand, and everything is stainless steel.
We got a side-by-side fridge/freezer with water/ice dispenser in the door. I'm not overly-concerned about the novelty of that, even though I've never had one before. Just looking forward to **that** new toy! :) The water-line installation and hookup for that (the plumbing work) will happen on Wednesday, but the delivery of the unit is set for today. Now, I think to myself "no big deal", but am I missing anything important that I should be aware of?
Next, dishwasher. Newer model that's ultra quiet and has the 'cycle option panel' on the top edge of the door, not on the front of the unit. Now, I have heard that I should NOT fully rinse the dishes before I put them in there... something about the enzymes of the detergent NEEDING food to 'eat' so it will not 'eat' my dishes. Does this sound right to y'all? I have also heard, do NOT fill the dispenser cup all the way with detergent. That's the first time I've heard that! Thoughts on this please?
Next, a ceramic-top electric range. Samsung calls it a "smoothtop", it is NOT glass. I've never had a smooth (or flat) top range before, but I'm pretty aware of stuff like "don't drag the pan/pot back and forth across the surface!!". ;) I'm good at "Careful!". =) The cool thing that I like about this is the 'hidden' heating element in it, making clean-up easier. (I DO clean my oven!!) < =D
Next will be the microwave/convection oven above that. It won't be getting installed today, DH and I will do that ourselves later, but not much later. (DH is an electrician, I have NO fears or questions about how we're gonna do that part). =) But... it just seems so odd to me that it's a microwave - and there's METAL INSIDE!! Again, I've never used a convection oven before... helpful hints/tips??
Last but not least, there's the washer/dryer. The washer is one of the new ones that has no agitator (yeah, I'm old and old-fashioned, what can I say!?), and requires a special 'he' detergent. OK, we bought that yesterday. Anything else I should know?
Thanks for your time all, I appreciate anything y'all suggest or add! < =D
Remember to clean off your dishes. Enzyme cleaners do not eat dishes! Make sure the water going in to the dishwasher is hot. Just because you see steam or fog, do not assume it is hot enough. Water sitting in the pipes is already cooled. Generally you can purge it by turning on the hot water in your kitchen sink and running it (your can wash pots while you're waiting) for about 2 minutes, until it is too hot to touch for more than a few seconds. Regardless of brand, all new dishwashers use less water than your old reliable and have less tolerance. Takes getting used to. Make sure you load the dishes so that there is room and the jets are not blocked.
Just because you are using high efficiency detergent, you can still use too much. Use about half the amount the manufacturer states to use. They want to sell detergent. Front load or top load, do not overload or oversoap.
I hope you purchased from a local store with a service department. Samsung servicers are difficult to find. Our newest tech is a Samsung servicer, and he is terrific, but you have to be serviced by someone who knows the equipment.
If you don't use the ice and water much from your door service, make sure you throw out the current batch once a week to make fresh ice and run the water at least a quart. The water service, although filtered, sits in a tank in the refrigerator, so move it along. Ignore this if you automatically will be using it frequently. Refrigerator ice makers are great and pretty fast, but they are not ice machines. If you are having a party, buy ice or make it and store it. It cannot keep up with your party needs. It only makes about 8 cubes per cycle. We had a customer who though it should produce 10 pounds an hour for his parties and did not get it.
Glass top/ceran top, they are all the same composite today. You will probably enjoy it immensely. The newest of these ovens are really new, with halogen heating and stuff. I don't know which you ordered, please let me know.
It is fun having new "stuff" even if it takes a while to learn. Congratulations and much good luck!
The stuff is here (all but that over-the-range microwave/convection oven; they sold us the wrong one so it's getting switched out on Thursday), and WOW that fridge is huge! Haahaahaaa! Funny how in the store they look 'perfect', however, when you get them home they are way bigger than you expected. ;) All the measurements in the world didn't prepare us for the depth of the beast. Oh well, it fits soooo much stuff in it conveniently, I ADORE it.
We bought everything from HH Gregg, and according to their phone menu, and the sales guys and store managers, they do have a service department we can call if we have any problems. Of course, no-one told us that Samsung servicers are hard to find. =/ I will do a search online for my area. We got the 5-year warranty on all the items as well, so that should 'cover' us pretty decently. I can say that we already got good service for one 'problem'. The first washer delivered on Sunday actually LEAKED. Not from any hoses or fittings, but from right in the middle of the bottom of the tub. HH Gregg sent us out a new one next day and swapped it out with no problem and lots of apologies. I've run 3 loads in it already and it's perfect. I am using 'Surf' detergent at the moment. The cap has measurements inside, counting down 5,4,3,2, with 5 being fuller, and 2 being the least amount... maybe about 1 ounce, I think. I have only filled it to '2' so far, even with the 'heavy-duty' load I ran last evening. I filled the machine just under 3/4 full of clothes, and they all came out GREAT. Oh, and in case you were wondering (if it makes a difference), the washer we got is this one: http://www.hhgregg.com/samsung-4-5-cu-ft-stainless-platinum-...
The range is this one: http://www.hhgregg.com/samsung-30-stainless-steel-smoothtop-...
I don't believe it's got halogen heating, which, to me, is a good thing. I used the stove top for the first time last night and I really like it! The nicest feature to me is the fact that all the pots stay LEVEL! That may sound like an odd exciting feature, but my old range's coils were never even, so when a pot or pan was sitting on it, it was always tilted, and the oil or butter would slide off to one side. Very annoying!
When DH is swapping out the microwave on Thursday, he will also get some of the stainless and range-top cleaners that they sell. For right now, we're not worried about the price of it, we just want to find one we like, then we can try to find it cheaper elsewhere.
The water lines will be hooked up for the fridge tomorrow. They only have to come up from the basement (unfinished ceiling, by the way) approx. 4 feet, so they really shouldn't have any trouble with that. The water lines are RIGHT there. I'm completely sure we'll use the water feature a LOT on this thing, DH and I drink a ton of water every day. The book suggests that, until the water lines are hooked up, we should have it set at "ice off", so I did that. I never thought about ice getting "old", that's a great tip, thank you! Hmmm... that gets me to thinking... maybe when the ice bucket gets full I should also set it at "ice off", 'cause we don't go through a lot of ice this time of year. ;)
Hmmm, interesting about the dishwasher and detergents' action. We thought we were right to be rinsing the dishes first! Thank you for that confirmation. Personally, we feel as though we're practically breaking a law if we don't rinse the dishes pretty well before putting them in the dishwasher, so this will be easy peasy. :) Never thought about the heat of the water, neato. I will be sure to do that little test too. AND to make sure the garbage disposal is run and clear before starting a cycle as well since that's where the dishwasher's water drains to/through.
All in all, YES Ma'am, I am having fun with my new toys. I was nervous at first when using the stove-top last evening, being extra careful to NOT move the pots around on the surface too much etc. heeheeheee. Looks like I didn't/don't need to be THAT careful! =) Now I'm just looking forward to getting that stainless cleaner on Thursday! do you recommend any brand in particular? And, do you suggest anything specific for cleaning the cook-top?
Thank you again for your reply, I sure do appreciate it! =)
Suze, I swapped out most of my appliances last year and it is always nice to have something new. I have the Samsung washer and dryer and while I admit they do seem to get the clothes cleaner, I have the front loader and I hate having to keep the door open to prevent the moldy smell.
I understand even some of the top loaders have this problem these days. We live in a very damp climate and I have found the clorox brand of washing machine cleaner in the silver bottle works best for me, the tide only seemed to mask the odor here. I am glad you like your refrigerator, my SIL has the Samsung and loves hers. The fridge is the only appliance that has not been replaced here and our our old GE is on its last legs.
Cathy, LOL, I did buy and always have bought from an independent dealer, the only one in this area and over an hour from our home, and while they stand behind their products, they do not service or even install. We have many, many appliance repair people in this area so that is the way we have to go. Like many rural areas of the country, the independents are slowly disappearing.
Ardesia, I too live in a very rural area (Amish Country in So. Md) and it's a real outing to go anywhere to get anything. It's so sad to see the independent retailers being shoved out of business by the Big Guys... I guess I'd better stop there before I get myself into trouble. ;)
I will say though; we have got some WONDERFUL True Value stores in our area. Not too big, not too small, and they've got super great employees.
I don't know yet if I'm going to need to buy a 'cleaner' for my washing machine. It's got a "pure cycle" on it that is supposed to clean the machine just by running that. We'll see. I've never had a front-loader and I'm pretty sure I don't want one. I don't like bending, and try to avoid it when at all possible. ;) This washer's lid will actually stay open just a couple inches all by itself, I don't have to have it standing ALL the way open. I rather like that. I like the air circulation, but I'd rather not have it standing fully open to let dust or bugs in.
DH and I were looking inside the fridge yesterday before we filled it... he scared me when he said, "Ya know, if we take all the shelves out, I could fit you inside there no problem!". YIKES!! I asked him to please not think that way. 0_o
I have that pure cycle too and I have used it about once a month, it runs forever to get through that cycle. I bought the drawers that go underneath the washer and dryer so I did not have to bend but if I had it to do over I would buy the top loader washer and the dryer with the drawer to raise it up.
Just a note about your nice, flat glass top and the pots. Your nice, flat pots will do well. If, however, any of the bottoms should warp, you won't get such good coverage. If you hae aluminum bottoms fused to stainless steel in a heave plate, this does not often happen.
Cathy, I believe those are EXACTLY the type of pots that I have, really HEAVY-duty, and heavy, pots with completely flat bottoms. Before the first time I used the cooktop, I took out ALL my pots and skillets and set them on it to make sure they all were acceptable. ;) All except the cast iron, that is. < =o
Hahahaaa Ardesia, believe me, I filled that puppy up as SOON as the temp reached 39 degrees F!! < =D I'd have ample time to run out of TOWN by the time anyone gets those things emptied enough to stuff me in! ;)
Stainless cleaner - Best thing to clean the outside of your stainless appliances is a fine microfiber cloth (you can buy them at Target, Wal-Mart, etc). Keep it very clean and dampen it with water, wring out well, and wipe with the grain (no soap, just water for every day wipedown). Don't use paper towels or the so-called 'stainless steel cleaners'. I only wipe mine every few days just to get the fingerprints off. Plain mild soap and water with your microfiber cloth is fine if it gets really grimy, which it probably won't unless you have kids.
Ditto, and ditto some more, what Cathy said about detergent in your HE machine. My appliance guy said use a Tablespoon or 2 at the most. No kidding. And use an old terry washcloth to wipe off the rubber gasket and door now and then and leave the door open when you're finished washing to air out. Yeah, it sounds like a pain, but you won't be sorry. And use the cleaners they sell at the grocery store now. Clorox makes a good one to refresh your washer.
For your cook top, use the cleaner they recommend to clean up burned-on spills. It is the best. Anything else might scratch the surface and cause damage. You probably received a sample and a scrubber with it.
It is definitely time to go micro-fiber-cloth shopping! =) I have one which I use (with a 'screen cleaner') for just the TV and computer monitors... I guess it's time he had some siblings. :)
I had what we thought was a MAJOR mishap this past Friday... I saw some I-don't-know-what (water maybe??) splatters across the bottom of the refrigerator door, so I grabbed the sponge (wet) and started wiping. I won't go into details (of the ensuing panic), but we dropped everything then and there and found a nice SS cleaner at amazon, .. actually, there were 3 products sold together, and at 1/3 the price of what they sell at hhgregg. We got all 3, they arrived the next day, and we immediately used one of the wipes on the fridge. It came out PERFECT-looking, and amazingly enough, it STILL looks perfect. (the wipes are Afresh brand.) DH was so happy that the fridge wasn't 'permanently ruined' he started wiping down EVERYTHING, hahahahaaa!! I gotta say, I use all my appliances multiple times daily, and after being wiped down with those wipes, they all STILL look perfect, nearly a week later. Do you mind if I ask why you suggest **not** using stainless steel cleaner? I've only used the wipes so far, but with this experience at least, it sure seems to have been a positive experience. The door got perfectly cleaned, and has resisted smudging and prints every since.
The cooktop.. oh yes, we got "Afresh" cleaner for that as well and MAN that stuff works GREAT! I splatter and make a huge mess when I cook, but in the morning when it's cool, I just drip a couple drops of that stuff on it, 'buff' it in all over with my clean wet sponge, go over it again with the rinsed sponge, then 'buff' dry with a towel and it sparkles like new! =) Now, when I say "buff", I don't mean like you would on a car, working up a sweat, I just mean next-to-minimal pressure and long sweeping strokes with the clean dry towel. Easy Peasy. That sucker is so easy to clean, I almost look forward to it! =) Sadly, I did not get any samples of any sort of cleaner with the range, but that's ok, it wasn't expensive at amazon, and it came with 2 little scrubbers. I haven't needed them yet though.
Oh my goodness, that washer, and the tiny amount of detergent... it still awes me how LITTLE ya need!! I faithfully use my measuring cup/cap that comes with the bottle of detergent and I don't go above the "2" marking... gonna have to actually MEASURE how much that is... anyway, even DH's AWFUL jeans come out perfect! (DH is an electrician, and it's astounding the messes he can get into!) You guys are sooooo right, not over-filling with detergent is a BIG help! I didn't know about wiping down the gasket of the washer door, THANK YOU!! I'm running laundry right now, so next time I go down to move it around I'll give it a wipe. I always did leave the washer door open to air out between laundry days, so that's no big deal. Some habits are just ingrained. :)
I read somewhere (here at DG probably) that Sheila Shine is a great product for protecting SS appliances, do you know anything about that?
I think the SS cleaner products leave a build-up after a lot of use. It's probably ok to use them, like I said, if you really have something grimy, like maybe your oven door on the sides where it might be greasy after a lot of use. But in general, I find the plainer the cleaner the better. Sponges and paper towels are notorious for containing 'grit' and can scratch. You're probably safe one time, but next time grab an old terry towel instead! I've done it and 10 seconds later regretted it but no damage was done. I know my DH has done it too!
Another thing I forgot, I keep a spray bottle with a mixture of vinegar and water to shine up my smooth ceramic cooktop. Works like a charm and is cheapo. Some people use green alcohol and water. Wal-Mart used to sell the green alcohol (yes, it's green & it smells like spearmint more than alcohol), and it's also good for cleaning granite countertops. You can also use plain alcohol and add a drop of essential oil of peppermint or whatever (also with water of course) for granite cleaner, and I presume it would work to shine up the ceramic. I'm not familiar with Sheila Shine.
I find the new washers also spin out a lot more water, which means much less time in the dryer. Yahoo!!
Now I REALLY can't wait to get out there and by about a DOZEN new micro-fiber cloths.. I never really thought of my sponge containing any sort of "grit", but it makes perfect sense. I do run them through the dishwasher periodically to keep them in better shape (and make them last longer), but there are just soooo many tiny little spaces in which little crud-bits can hide! < =/
Oooooh, I've got a bottle of Vinegar handy; I use it to clean the windows and storm door! YAAAY, an easy one!! =) (I like it when you make it easy on me, heehee). I've got new granite bathroom counter-tops, one was just installed last night in the master bath. The one in the hall bath has been in use for a little while now and I've sealed it, so thus far all I clean it with is plain water with my bare hands and then dry with a soft towel. It still looks perfect and sparkly. =) (gotta remember to seal that other one this afternoon!!).
Yes indeedy, the serious spin that washer gives clothes is on my Top 3 list of what I like most about that thing. DH is really REALLY tall, with REALLY long legs, but he's NOT "Big" (around), so it's crucial that I NOT put his jeans in the dryer or else they'd become too short... finding the Perfect Fit in jeans for him is incredibly tough!! The way this washer spins SOOO much water out is WONDERFUL! I have to hang his jeans to dry, and they used to take about 2 1/2 - 3 days to get fully dry, now they're dry in UNDER ONE DAY. < =)
There is a really good product called 'Granite Gold' cleaner. I find it at Bed Bath and Beyond (use that 20% off coupon!). It's a great cleaner for everyday and you can get it in a big container to refill the small spray bottle too. If your installer sealed the granite (which IMO he should have) there is no need to reseal now, but it should be done, especially on heavy use areas, once a year at least.
Have fun!! Most of what you have is really low maintenance so enjoy it!
Outside, DH and I are the installers of everything new in our bathrooms, (including the granite), so that's why I did the sealing. We constantly make jokes about "Those Home Owners", and how we hope "they" appreciate all our hard work. LOL! OK, so, the sealant should be re-done once (or twice?) a year? They are NOT large bathrooms, and they get heavy use, so I'm thinking maybe twice. (?) Should it be a double-dose, so to speak? (ya know, apply, wait 48 hours, apply again).
Cathy, Haahahahahaaa!! Did it make ya start singing that song "I'm leeaavvin', on a jet plane..."? < =D Yes Ma'am, I am definitely having fun trying out all the options on the washer, the different water temps and spin speeds. I DEFINITELY use "High" speed spin for DH's jeans (and mine), and the towels, but am finding a "Medium" speed is great for most everything else.
I think I'm getting the hang of the convection oven now, too. Made some cupcakes the other day and they turned out PERFECTLY: Not too dense, definitely not dry, and fully cooked all the way through. I've found something interesting though; the crowns look different from when I bake them in the "regular" oven. They are "rounder", and more evenly dispersed across the top, not extra-high, almost-"points". I always used to think I was over-filling the cups, maybe, (I just can't seem to stop myself from adding 'just a little more'!), but I filled the cups exactly the same this time, and yet in the convection oven the crowns looked GREAT. **Shrug** I guess I won't look a gift-horse in the mouth. ;)
Unlike your old range oven, you will probably always hear a fan motor as soon as you turn on the oven or broiler as there are 2 fans, one for cooling and one for circulation/distribution. You now know more than you ever needed to know!
You are obviously from my era! I always wished I was leaving on a jet plane with PP&M. Now that Mary Travers is gone, the era is behind us.
When we moved into this house, we moved away from nearby train tracks. When I asked my prince what the noise was and he said it was the washer, I almost fell over with embarrassment. i think front loaders do a better job and are less hard on the laundry than an agitator.
So glad you are enjoying everything. It makes it worth it. Also, you have a great attitude. It is much healthier to see the pluses than the minuses.
LOL, I am from that era too, probably even older, the big 70 is coming up soon.
I think I am the only one that thinks my front loader is harder on my clothes than my old top loader was. I now override the automatic cycles and usually use the ones where I can set the spin to low. Other than heavy things like jeans, I thought my clothes were wearing out much quicker than they used to. For some unexplainable reason my towels are not as fluffy as they used to be, that drives me crazy. I do use the extra rinse to make sure there is no detergent remaining but they are still rough.
Cathy, I used to love PP&M!! Yeah, sounds like we're from the same era for sure. =)
I'd considered a front-loader, but that just means more bending and these old knees and back would rather not have to do more bending. ;)
What's really interesting is that I'm noticing now that I have nearly NO lint in my dryer after running a load, even a load of towels. We were told by the sales guy that the way the new machines work (with no agitator in the center of the tub), they're much gentler on clothes and we should notice a difference in lint-amount. (lint = bits of clothes, eeek!) He was RIGHT!! After this last load of towels, I nearly needed a toothbrush to get at the fine film of lint in the trap, the amount was THAT little! I'm truly impressed.
Ardesia, (gosh I love your name!), I'm about a half an era behind you, got the big 5-0 coming up relatively soon. =) (next August, that's relatively soon, no?) ;)
Might it be time for you to consider a new machine too, or is it too soon?
I had a cute little treat the other day. Went downstairs for something, and hit my timing PERFECTLY, just in time for the end of a dryer cycle and I got to listen to the happy little tune it plays when the cycle is done. I didn't know it did that! < =D It put a little lilt in my step and made me want to dance around while I was folding that fresh laundry, HA! =)
Why you are just a youngster, PP & M were old by the time you were old enough to appreciate them LOL They came out when I was in college.
While I find that little Samsung tune annoying at times, I also find myself humming it a lot so I must not think it is so bad. My machine is only about 15 months old. I did not buy the extended warranty and it this monster breaks it will be history. I do have the riser/drawers that raise the washer and the dryer up high so these old knees do not have to bend. Actually, since I am "vertically challenged" it is hard for me to reach the all the way down to the bottom of the newer top loaders. LOL It is always something.
Ardesia, when I was in college, too. Music WAS better then. Those riser drawers make the height much better. Also vertically challenged, could not reach socks and stuff in the bottom of a top loader. My prince put the dryer on a stand (above drawers), and it is so much more convenient for both of us.
FYI everyone, when a front load washer is raised above the floor on a riser drawer or even cinder blocks, it is easier to access the button trap and the pump. Some of the panels have screws on the bottom that are unreachable without raising/tipping.
Short People, UNITE!! (and; Short Dyslexics, UNTIE!!) < =D heeheeheeee! 5'1" here, and I have a hard time reaching to the bottom of the top-loader too.. stand on my tippy toes with my.. errr.. "front" all squashed over and into the machine. OUCH! LOL!! I may need to ask DH to make me a little steppy-stool for laundry soon. < =/
There was such gooood music back then, but I have to admit, I'm a 'metal-head' so there's a lot of newer music that I like a lot too. The only music styles I don't really enjoy are rap and country. To those, I simply say a polite "No Thank You". =)
Accckkkk, my refrigerator which we swear has had 9 lives, several times over, is finally going. There is gunky stuff coming out of the ice/water dispenser again and the temp varies too much, it just does not make sense to repair this one anymore. We could have bought 2 with all we have paid for repairs over the years. We are on our way out of town for a few days but as soon as we get back it is time to shop. Now the big ? is whether to buy the bottom or side freezer and white (my preference) or stainless steel (everybody else's preference it seems.)
The Consumer Reports website is a pain to use now, I wish I still subscribed tot he print edition.
Ooooh RATS, Ardesia!! I'm really sorry to hear that you need a new one, and what lousy timing too!! =(
Well, I'll just offer my little tiny view point: Unless you get a Monster-Sized side-by-side, with the water/ice thingy in the DOOR, you're probably not going to get more room from a side-by-side. I have never seen those, or bottom-freezers, units in white, but then again I've not looked a whole lot outside of HHGregg, Lowe's, and Home Depot.
Oh yeah, I guess I'll add this little tidbit too... I am the WORST, LAZIEST housekeeper ever born (ok, well, not really, my house isn't scary or anything, heehee), and yet this stainless steel refrigerator, and ALL my SS appliances, have been soooo darned easy to keep looking great!! It's been MUCH easier to keep them looking great than the white stuff I had before. I wipe everything down once a week (so it's been twice now) with that Afresh stuff and a towel, and it all still looks like it just came out of the box; no finger prints, smudges, or streaks anywhere.
Had I gotten white, I'm SURE I'd have noticeable 'stuff' on at least the fridge handle by now. I'm stunned, amazed, and floored, all at once! < =D
LOL, as much as I dislike the ss appliances, I suspect we will go with it anyway. We are traveling in NC today and we stopped at a Home Depot on the way up and found the nicest appliance salesperson who had just been to a training school. She gave us a lot of information to work with. We'll go to our regular appliance store when we get home and see what they can do. One thing I discovered is that the lower drawers on the side by sides are really low now, a good 6" to 8" lower than my old one. I might as well go with the bottom freezer if I am going to have to bend down to the floor anyway.
... Hmmm... aren't you the one who's right about that same height anyhow? < =P heeheeheee, JUST KIDDING!!! < =D
DH often likes to tease me, "Hey, while you're down there, would you scratch my ankle for me, I've got an itch." (the ornery critter!)
Ardesia, I sure love my french door. I'm tall though and I love having all my fridge stuff at eye level and the freezer space seems easier to store and access. We have an extra small refrigerator/freezer in our storage room for overflow (I call it the beer/wine fridge) but it really comes in handy for entertaining and holiday cooking plus the things I freeze from the garden. Regarding the ss, we replaced our white appliances one by one as they needed it, so we had a mixture for a few years. The dishwasher was the first to go and then the fridge. Just replaced the oven last year. The newer ss is so much better than what came out originally and is much easier to maintain.
Heeheeheee, no, it must have been a different smartypants. < =)
Outside, being a taller person, do you have any .. "difficulty" .. with the placement of your freezer? I ask because that's one of the reasons we adamantly refused to go with one of those; DH is nearly 6'9" and there was NO way he was going to get a unit with a drawer-type freezer at the bottom. (not to mention, my knees and back would not last long with the additional bending). The biggest thing we both love about this unit is that it's perfect for both of us at the same time; everything is just about eye level to him, and yet the shelves pull out, so even little old me can reach everything at the back effortlessly.
It's no worse than the side-by-side IMO. Things are spread out more and I think it's easier to store larger items and see them in the bottom freezer. Plus there is a sliding drawer on each side that holds a good many smaller, flattter items. Of course 6'9" is a long drink of water, and that's a long way to bend over for any length of time!
I'm sure by the time we move and start looking for a new unit ('cause this monster isn't going anywhere while we live here, hahaha!!), either there will be new innovations available, or we may change our minds about the bottom-freezer... or we'll both have knee-replacements by then. ;)