"Mum, wife, part-time teacher, full-time coffee-worshipper."
So reads my twitter bio.
It should also say; avoider of putting away the food shopping, procrastinator extraordinaire (when it comes to tidying), cook/cleaner/not bottle washer (that's Mr. TheBoyandMe's job), laundry expert, and woman in need of more hours in a day.
I'm always after ways to make my life easier, especially when it comes to time management!
We've recently changed our washing machine from one with a standard 6kg drum to a Beko 9kg washing machine which is massive! In all honesty I was worried that it would be too big for our family of two adults and one small child, however it has made quite a significant difference to my Fridays (washing days) and I'm a bit of a convert to a machine with a larger drum.
Quite frankly, anything that can fit our king-size bedding, The Boy's bedding, our towels, his little vests and the kitchen tea-towels into only one load, has got to be worth investigating!
Before the Beko Ecosmart was sent to us to try out I would do six loads of washing a week; school uniform (his tops are bright red, which don't combine well with pale blue t-shirts), our clothes, The Boy's clothes, whites, hotter wash, and bedding. In all honesty I was struggling to get all of those done in the one day, and would have to start them at breakfast time and finish it late in the evening. Now with a 9kg drum it seems ridiculous (and a waste of resources) to do so many loads, especially if they are only half-full. Combine that with the different cycles that modern day machines have, I've come up with a few tips to help 'lighten the loads'.
- Use colour-catcher sheets to prevent dye from spreading onto paler fabrics: I now combine The Boy's bright red school uniform tops with our dark clothes and his general clothing, which has cut it down from three loads to one.
- Fold clothes neatly rather than stuffing them into the drum haphazardly: This will reduce the space that the clothes take up, allowing for more to be added. A 9kg drum is enormous and I've not managed to actually create a load that heavy that doesn't have room to spare inside the machine. (As long as there is a hand's width of space at the top of the drum to allow for movement.)
- Use an appropriate programme and temperature for the level of soiling and material: On our old machine we used to stick to just three preset programmes on the machine, most of the others were surplus to requirements. The new Eco-smart machines have many different programmes along with a multitude of adjustments which can be made to spin cycle and temperature. If clothing is lightly soiled from general everyday wear, then it only needs a 30°C wash on a 'daily quick' cycle; 28 minutes later and it's ready to hang out in the Spring sunshine. Even on a 'daily quick' cycle, a 90°C wash only take 1hr 28 minutes, so it's definitely worth exploring the different capabilities to minimise the time the washing takes.
- Use a timer: Many washing machines now have the option to set a time delay on the machine, absolutely perfect for busy families and working parents! We've got the whole things ready before bed, set the timer for it to start at breakfast time and before we've even contemplated the whole shower/washing machine/scalding temperature debacle, the washing is done and ready for drying!
- Don't worry about half-loads: Needs must sometimes, and despite actually trying to find things which might need washing to add to The Boy's white vests, I need not have bothered as the Beko Eco-smart actually adjusts the amount of water needed based on the weight of the load.
I received the Beko washing machine and free installation for the purpose of this post, my opinions and thoughts are honest and unbiased.