Help and advice

Get ready for the kids being off school

Those with children will be bracing themselves for the school holidays, while most university students are already home. But while parents generally relish the opportunity to spend more time with their kids, they are bound to create more house work.
Those with children will be bracing themselves for the school holidays, while most university students are already home. But while parents generally relish the opportunity to spend more time with their kids, they are bound to create more house work.

Up your washing loads

The main thing that parents will notice is how much more washing their kids create. Rather than dressing them in the same school blazer for the week and rotating a couple of shirts, suddenly they will be powering through their weekend wear from Monday to Friday too. For those experiencing the return of their university students - and they aren't the type to pop home on a weekend with a full laundry bag in tow - then they will see a lot more clothes going through their washing machine.

How you sort your washes will make a considerable difference to the efficiency of your washing machine. Check your machine's load capacity and use this as a guide for sorting out your washes. It's well worth putting as much stuff as you can in so that you get more done in one go. But overloading your machine can be detrimental as your clothes won't get washed properly and doing this too frequently could damage it.

Also make sure you sort out what goes in with what, firstly so that you don't end up dying all your whites pink by accident and secondly so that you can organise your loads better. Yet don't be tempted to start up a second wash if you find a few pairs of socks and a t-shirt left behind as that creates unnecessary wear and tear on your machine and is a waste of energy. You should either hand wash these, which shouldn't take long if you just leave them to soak, or leave them in the wash bin until next week if you haven't got time to do that.

Prepare to do a lot more dishes

When the kids are at home, parents will often notice how much more food goes from the cupboard and how many more dirty dishes, cups and cutlery are left lying around as a result. This is usually compounded when they decide to invite their friends round too. You could have the most conscientious child in the world but while they might be careful not to create extra work for you their friends probably aren't going to care.

If you have a dishwasher, this issue will naturally be made a lot easier as all you need to do is load it up and stick everything on to wash. However, if you don't organise your loads properly then you could create wear and tear on your machine and even damage your dishes. Try to fill your dishwasher but space your dishes out evenly, using the rack as a guide. Filling your dishwasher will stop your pots from crashing together, potentially damaging them. On the other hand, making sure you don't overfill your dishwasher will help you get better cleaning results. If you have a couple of dishes left over then it's much faster to wash them manually than to put on a separate wash.

Also, if you're lucky enough to have kids who listen to you, ask them to rinse their plates before putting them in the dishwasher so you get the best results.


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