Welcome back to Diary of a Cloth Nappy Family. Plenty has happened since we explored cloth nappying together, with my last post about how we make things work over winter. Such things include DIY projects, eggs emerging from chickens’ backsides, and of course, an epic family move from our newly built home in suburbia to an as yet undisclosed location, 3.5 hours into rural-burbia. Stay tuned for a more detailed post on how the actual move went, where we’ve landed, and what our plans are.
For now, let’s explore the ups and downs of exclusively cloth nappying our young toddler through the whole process…
Honestly folks, this post was initially shaping up to be pretty darn boring. Having been using cloth nappies full time for 16 months, and exclusively using cloth nappies and wipes for over 9 months including holidays, we’ve become pretty laid back and chilled about the whole process. Once you’re in a routine, it’s really straightforward, and a little move certainly didn’t seem like it would be a huge impediment.
And then the move didn’t go “to plan”. There will be more on this later, but suffice to say for now that our smooth sailing of cloth nappying did rely on smooth sailing of the moving process, which ended up taking roughly 8 hours longer than expected, involved the demise of our washing machine’s ability to agitate, and all round could have gone better.
Here we were with a plan: washing machine was the last appliance to be used and disconnected at the previous house, and planned to be the first to be reconnected at the new. We had plans to wash 4 days worth of nappies (we usually do 3) on the second day of our move, hang them out to dry, and just bounce right back into our regular routine. Laundry powder, nappies, snappies, night nappies, covers, and everything we needed to get through the moving days were packed in an “essential items” suitcase, to be easily unloaded and identified at the new address. We wouldn’t have to worry about where to find nappies after the nappy bag supply ran dry (or, wet when you think about it).
Alas, the truck (carrying the “essential items” suitcase) was delayed several hours, unloading at night rather than in the afternoon, an unexpected number of nappies were used en route, and the blasted snappy was nowhere to be found at pyjama time!
Crisis managed, toddler in bed, night 1 survived.
But the next day, where has the box of nappies been stashed? We’re running low on cleanies, exhausted, and still split up with me at the new house and Jonah returning the truck and riding back from the city, in a trip that took an estimated 4 hours longer than necessary.
With an uncomfortably small number of cleanies left, I was grateful that the washing machine had been hooked up last minute the previous night. Better start that wash routine, giving everything an extra long wash cycle, doing multiple loads to cope with the added day’s worth of cloth.
One load, done!
Second load… Something doesn’t sound right. Something doesn’t…look right either.
I can see the tub trying to agitate. It’s really trying but is not succeeding. Quick, run through the basic troubleshooting on the live chat with a consultant.
“In that case, the machine needs to be repaired.”
I have nappies to wash! Whole washing baskets of clothes that didn’t get washed before we left, and towels and blankets used to transport animals and furniture that need a good wash! But mostly the nappies.
Then the kicker… The closest certified repair shop is across the border. You see, we’ve moved very close to the SA-VIC border which is essentially closed due to the COVID situation. I don’t think “washing machine repair” or “cloth nappy crisis” qualifies us for an immediate trip across the border and back. I could be wrong, but I wasn’t willing to take that risk.
Grateful that at least the first load managed to be washed to sparkly completion, we decided it was time to bite the bullet and invest in a new washing machine. With two in cloth on the horizon, it was our plan, but it certainly wasn’t the plan on day 2 of our move. Some quick but informed research showed me the best options; I knew exactly what we needed, and what we could afford. I am eternally grateful to the community in the Clean Cloth Nappies facebook group for their years of knowledge and experience.
On day 3, after an unrelated breakdown in the kitchen, I took myself down to our local electrical goods store to see what they had in stock. They had exactly the machine I was looking for, and they deliver! Hallelujah!
Fast forward a few hours and the shop owner’s 80 year old father in law pulls up in a ute with our beautiful new machine on the back. A family effort sees it installed in record time, and we all sit on the laundry floor watching its test cycle. That’s right, all three of us watched nothing but water agitating and draining for 15 minutes. It was a glorious 15 minutes.
By dinner time, all the nappies were fresh and clean. Only a day later than expected, and only half a wallet lighter than expected. But I tell you what; the benefits of a good quality machine with good quality cycles make a big difference to the cloth nappy process. With this machine, we’ll save on water, electricity, and human-power. Our nappy routine will be kinder on the environment and will need to change to accommodate a changed machine, but we have the help of Clean Cloth Nappies if we need it, and a love for perfecting systems of intentional living to see us through.
I look back on the last week and a half with awe. Such huge changes in store for us all, we’ve managed a logistical nightmare, and at no point did we even consider picking up a packet of disposable nappies. We’re committed to this process, and it’ll only get simpler from here.