As we looked for a home, I was always looking at the laundry facilities. To our surprise, a few houses actually had laundry rooms or closets that were somewhat like what you would find in the USA - a washer and dryer together in a separate part of the house. Far more common was either a washer/dryer combo or just a washer in the kitchen.
The house we picked has the washer/dryer combo in the kitchen. Now that I understand how to run it, I'm not having the same trials I did initially (no blankets stuck in the dryer). But the drying aspect does not work as well as a standard dryer unless the load is tiny - like 2 pairs of pants. Abby's pants. I still use the drying mechanism on occasion, particularly if I start a small load at night so that it will be dry in the morning, but it is not dependable enough to dry all our clothes.
|Our washer/dryer combo in the kitchen.|
|Our dryer in the family room. It doubles as an end table. And with the|
decorative plant you hardly know it's there. Ha ha!
In the USA, even with a family of 6, I was able to have 1 set laundry day where I rotated EVERYTHING through. Sometimes it stretched to 2 days if I didn't finish it all in one day, but I still had energy focused on laundry only part of the week. Here, the washer and dryer have such small capacities that I do have to do laundry nearly every day. Otherwise it just gets totally behind. I think 1 UK is equivalent to about 1/3 a US load. Additionally, each cycle takes significantly longer than a US cycle. I now have a fairly good rotation doing the girls laundry one day, the boys laundry one day, our laundry one day, towels one day, and then starting the rotation again. But if we have guest sheets to wash or a bloody nose in the middle of the night that needs extra towels for cleanup and duvets washed - it just throws the whole rotation off. I frequently end up with piles like this in the family room.
|I think this is 4-5 loads of laundry. It may have been 1.5 in the US.|
Many of our neighbors either never, or hardly ever, use a dryer. This is quite common here because of the energy it takes to use a dryer. So lately, particularly as the weather is sunnier and hot, I've been trying to be more European and energy efficient and air dry our clothes on occasion. It is actually quite pleasant and AJ enjoys helping with the process. I'm still SO grateful for the dryer, especially with how rainy and chilly it can be here (I don't know how people dry clothes during the winter here without a dryer!), but it's nice to have options. We are also learning to wash clothes only when necessary . . . well trying to learn this. But we are improving.
So, while the laundry is not as easy as it was in the states, it is also not as bad as I imagined it might be. I think I am winning the battle (typed as the washer and dryer whirr away downstairs on their 4th tiny load of the day).