Laundry is a perpetual issue for every family, and the more children you have, the more laundry you have. It's just something that can't be avoided. If I am on top of my game, as as long as I do laundry every day, I can keep it down to just one load a day, only having to do more than that if, a) a child has hoarded their laundry and an entire wardrobe comes down the laundry chute at one time, or b) we (or some portion of us) have been on vacation, or c) there have been particularly messy activities enjoyed.
Or my life for the last year, your washing machine is breaking and you cannot afford to either get a new one or fix it. (From long experience, the computer brain of new washers is almost, if not more expensive than a new washer.) Our washer, a very generous gift from a friend when out last old washer wore out, has been teetering on the brink of exhaustion for a while and it's particular quirk was that there was a short in the electrical system (we think) and a good swift kick in the upper right hand quadrant would shake everything back in place and the cycle would finish. We limped along together like this for months, the washer stopping mid-cycle, me coming down to move the laundry to discover it had stalled, delivering necessary "encouragement", it continuing and finishing. Then it would decide to cooperate and I would have a week or of normal functioning.
The past couple of months the teetering increased, so that it was truly only possible to do one load a day because of our little dance. Then finally, on Tuesday, it fell off the edge of functioning and I came close to falling off the edge of sanity. No matter what I did, it would not start or stop or unlock. When I seriously thought about finding a lead pipe to beat the washer into submission I realized we had reached the end, the washer and I, and I stopped from adding a room and victim to the Clue game.
Instead, I walked upstairs, picked up the phone, and dialed our local appliance store. Pretty much I told the saleswoman, "I need a top-loader (I'm done with front loaders), as big as possible, nothing fancy, it doesn't even have to look nice, and I don't want to pay a lot for it." She found a 4.0 cubic foot washer and I replied I was doing laundry for 12 people. She found a 4.8 cubic foot washer, told me the price, and asked when it could be delivered. I gave her my credit card number.
Today was the day. My new washer is here. It is big and fancy and I'm very excited. Now I can finally catch-up on the laundry. I do not have to have anxiety every time I go down to the basement wondering if the machine has cooperated. Plus, along with my very, very good deal on the washer, I also bought the four-year warranty. That's four years of not worrying about the machine breaking.
Warranties for large families are a very worthwhile investment, I've discovered. We just use our machines more, thus they reach the end of their lifespans sooner. For instance, on Monday, both of our dishwashers which are still under store warranty are getting fixed and that will be $1000 that I will NOT be paying. Four years seems to be the top end of the life expectancy for a washing machine. I keep saying I would be more than happy to become a durability testing sight for appliances, but so far no one has taken me up on it.
My new washing machine. So shiny. So pretty. So functional.