Laundry is a whole new process now that we are living without running water. We hand wash the baby’s diapers and hang them around the yurt to dry. I don’t mind washing things by hand, however I find our own clothes to be difficult to clean because they are so bulky. I grew up spoiled by a washer and dryer, so this is a learning process. Thankfully, my in-laws are kind enough to let us use their washer whenever we visit them, so we often wash clothes at their house.
Steps to washing diapers in the yurt:
1. fill a bucket with cold water and let diapers soak
2. warm water in kettle on stove
3. fill another bucket (with warm water) and wash diapers one at a time with bar of laundry soap
4. fill original bucket with warm rinse water and rinse each diaper
5. change rinse water and rinse everything a second time
6. ring out diapers and hang above stove to dry (or on the clothes line outside now that it is warmer)
Washing diapers at Christmastime
After a long winter, we are happy to be outside
Hanging clothes on the refurbished clothing umbrella
When we moved into the yurt near the end of November I was very pregnant and a few days past my due date.
We had been living in a little cabin for the previous 5 months and were excited to get into our new home.
hanging out in the cabin
We had a bed, a stove, a container for dishes, and an outhouse, but not much else.
organizing baby things
organizing more baby things while visiting with friends
We lit oil lamps at night, played music from our cell phone, and washed dishes in a bucket on top of the table. Being the end of November in Canada, it was beginning to get cold so I was thankful when my husband built the indoor toilet. Coincidentally, or not so coincidentally, the day I was able to pee indoors for the first time in months was the day I went into labour. Our daughter was born just four days after we moved into the yurt.
Living through our first winter in the yurt as well as our first winter as parents was, as one would guess, full of adventure. Although everything took a bit more effort in the beginning, it has really started to pay off. We were thankful that the baby woke up every couple of hours to eat since we needed to stoke the stove anyways. She was the perfect wake-up call and made the long winter nights much more fun. Getting out of a warm bed to stoke the fire at four in the morning is not fun, however it isn’t too bad when you have a cute baby to curl up with when you get back. Washing cloth diapers by hand is, of course, not as pleasant as washing them in a machine, but has turned out to be less of a pain than originally thought. The open concept of the yurt has been great with a young baby as we are always close enough to see and hear her, negating the need for a baby monitor. We discovered that the skylight and yurt poles are very interesting to a wee one who is too small to look anywhere but up and the radiant heat from the stove made for a cozy diaper changing area, even at three in the morning.