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Travel hacks for friends 

Photo by Artem Beliaikin from Pexels

Traveling with friends is an experience unlike any other. Not only do you get to experience a completely new part of the world, but you get to do it with your besties. These hacks will make traveling with your friends the ultimate experience. 

  • Plan the logistics together
  • Create a group chat
  • Consider renting a property 
  • Create a kitty 
  • Don’t overpack 
  • Make plans together 
  • Be flexible 
  • Communicate 
  • Stay present
  • Have fun!

Plan the logistics together 

Whether you are traveling with 1 or 100 of your friends it’s important that you plan the logistics of your trip together. This includes, your destination, the length of your holiday, transportation, and accommodation. It’s important that you plan the initial logistics together so that everyone has a say in the holiday plans and is aware of the important details. Once you have sorted the initial logistics, you can divide the arrangement of the tasks between you. 

Photo by Alexander Suhorucov from Pexels

Create a group chat

If you don’t already have a group chat with your friends, make one. A holiday group chat will allow you to discuss arrangements without needing to be physically together. This will ensure that everyone stays up-to-date on the holiday plans, and you can discuss ideas for what to do on the holiday. Try to keep your group chat solely holiday-related so that it doesn’t become congested with general chat. 

Photo by Keira Burton from Pexels

Consider renting a property 

If you are traveling with a big group of your friends it may be more cost-effective to rent a whole property rather than book individual hotel rooms. Look into the properties available to rent and compare the price, per person, to the price of individual hotel rooms. Renting a whole property comes with the added bonus of having communal areas to yourselves so that you can plan what the days ahead hold. In addition to this, if you are holidaying on a budget, whole properties come equipped with kitchens so you can save money on eating out

Photo by Pavel Danilyuk from Pexels

Create a kitty  

One of the more awkward parts of traveling with friends is deciding what to do when it comes to money. If one of your friends pays for dinner, and another friend pays for drinks, and a different friend pays for brunch, it can all become incredibly confusing trying to figure out who owes each person what. Instead, create a kitty before you go on your holiday. Everyone puts an agreed amount of money into a pot, either physical or an assigned person’s bank account, and that is the money used whilst on the holiday. It is the fairest way to ensure that everyone is paying equally towards the holiday. 

Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

Don’t overpack 

When traveling with friends there is always somebody who overpacks and can’t carry their luggage. You don’t want to be that person, so pack your suitcase smartly. Take clothing that is weather appropriate and can easily be transferred from day to night. When it comes to toiletries and electronics, such as cameras and chargers, divide the items up between yourself and your friends. There is no point everyone taking their own shampoo and charger if you can share. 

Photo by Vlada Karpovich from Pexels

Make plans together 

A holiday with your friends should be filled with spontaneous fun and laughter, not a rigorous schedule of things to see and do. That being said, make plans with your friends and schedule a handful of activities to fill your days. Do activities that are both fun and unique to where you are going- something that you can’t do at home. Make sure that all plans are discussed and signed off with every member of your group before anything is booked. You don’t want to isolate any of your friends who may not want to do certain activities. 

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Be flexible 

Although you should plan certain activities, remain flexible whilst you are on holiday. Be open to changing plans depending on what others in your group would like to do, and remember that this holiday is supposed to be a fun experience for you all. Spontaneous activities, or even just having a lazy day, can create the ideal situation for life-long memories with your besties. 

Photo by Oleg Magni from Pexels

Communicate 

Holidays are supposed to be relaxing, but when you are with a big group 24/7, even if that group is made up of your best friends, it can become overwhelming. Don’t feel guilty about needing some time on your own to gather your thoughts, simply find a quiet area to relax. Before you go, however, communicate with your friends how you are feeling and what you are going to do. This will both make them aware of where you will be, and also ensure that they know what headspace you are in. 

Photo by Uriel Mont from Pexels

Stay present 

Whilst you are away stay present rather than on your phone. You are supposed to be enjoying time away with your friends, not updating the world on what you are doing. Take your phone with you to take pictures and videos, but limit your screen time and your friends’ screen time. Enjoy spending time and making memories together, and update the world when you get back. 

Photo by KoolShooters from Pexels

Have fun! 

The most important thing to remember when traveling with friends is to have fun. Going away with your friends is supposed to be fun, spontaneous, and exciting, so don’t sweat the small stuff, and open yourself up to new experiences. Most importantly, have the best time with your best friends. 

Photo by Bayu jefri from Pexels

Whilst you’re living it up with your besties, don’t worry about your laundry because we’ll be taking care of it for you. Book your Laundryheap order today by heading to the Laundryheap website or downloading the free Laundryheap app.


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Save energy in your home 

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Saving energy in your home is both good for the environment and your bank. Implement these tips and make your home as energy-efficient as possible today. 

  • Turn off lights and appliances when leaving a room
  • Use energy-saving lightbulbs 
  • Reduce water consumption
  • Cold wash 
  • Air dry 
  • Only wash when full 
  • Invest in efficient appliances 
  • Get a smart meter 

Turn off lights and appliances when leaving a room 

One of the easiest ways to save energy in your home is to turn off all lights and appliances when you leave a room. Leaving lights on when the room is empty is an unnecessary waste of energy, as is leaving appliances on. To save even more energy, unplug your appliances from the wall. Even when turned off, they still use energy, so removing your appliances completely from any source of power will ensure that they do not use any energy whilst not in use. 

Photo by Tara Winstead from Pexels

Use energy-saving lightbulbs 

Energy-saving lightbulbs do exactly as their name suggests, they save more energy than standard lightbulbs. Although they use a reduced amount of energy to power them, energy-saving lightbulbs are brighter and last longer than their standard counterparts, which use 90% of their energy to heat rather than illuminate the bulb. You will find energy-saving lightbulbs in most stores or online in a variety of shapes and sizes to fit most common light fixtures.

Photo by Zain Ali from Pexels

Reduce water consumption  

It’s shocking the amount of water that we waste on a daily basis. Heating water for cooking, showering, and drinking uses a significant amount of energy, and most of it goes to waste. To reduce your water consumption consider taking shorter showers and turning the water off whilst you are brushing your teeth. Try to also use the required amount of water for cooking or making hot beverages as it takes more energy to boil a large amount of water than to boil the smaller amount that you will use. 

Cold wash 

Unless your clothing is heavily soiled or needs to be disinfected your clothing can be adequately cleaned using a 30-degree Celsius setting. Lower washing machine temperatures use significantly less energy than higher temperatures, and most laundry detergents work perfectly well in cold washes, with some detergents being cold-wash specific.

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Air dry 

Air drying your clothes uses no energy and has many benefits for your clothing. Firstly, drying your clothing in its original shape, rather than spinning them in a tumble dryer, reduces the number of wrinkles, therefore limiting the need to iron. Secondly, air drying is much gentler on the fibres of your clothing, increasing the longevity of your garments. Finally, if the weather permits and you can air-dry outside, your clothing will be left with the refreshing scent of fresh air. 

Photo by Olga Lioncat from Pexels

Only wash when full

An easy way to save energy in your home, as well as your own energy, is to only use your appliances when they are full. This means waiting until you have a full laundry basket to use the washing machine and tumble dryer, and waiting until your dishwasher is full until you put it on. Rather than doing small loads of laundry and dishes several times a week, which uses up your own energy as well as the energy in your house, limit yourself to 1 load of laundry and a maximum of 2 dishwasher cycles a week.

Photo by Wendelin Jacober from Pexels

Invest in efficient appliances 

Most modern appliances, such as washing machines, tumble dryers, and fridges, have a high-efficiency rating. Due to the growing environmental crisis, many appliance manufacturers are designing their products to run more environmentally consciously, therefore using less energy. If your appliances are aging, they are more likely to be using more energy. Consider updating your appliances to newer models. Although it may be costly in the short term, in the long run you will find yourself saving money on your energy bills, as well as helping save the environment

Photo by Max Vakhtbovych from Pexels

Get a smart meter

A smart meter is an excellent way for you to monitor how much energy you are using and how much it is costing you. This is a great way for you to see how you use energy in your home, and evaluate where you can save energy.

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At Laundryheap we are constantly improving the way that we operate in a bid to become as environmentally conscious as possible. To book your Laundryheap order head to the Laundryheap website or download the free Laundryheap app.


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Create the perfect environment for a good night’s sleep 

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Getting a good night’s sleep is essential to our everyday health and wellness. But it isn’t always easy to fall asleep. Creating the perfect sleep environment is the first step to achieving a good night’s sleep. 

  • Make sure that your bed is comfortable
  • Change your bedding
  • Declutter
  • Remove electronics
  • Create a sanctuary 
  • Experiment with aromatherapy 
  • Darken your room
  • Decrease the temperature
  • Silence any noise

Make sure that your bed is comfortable 

The first step in creating the perfect sleep environment is to make sure that your bed is supporting you. Do you find yourself wasting hours trying to find a comfortable sleeping position? Or wake up with a stiff and sore body? If so, you may need to invest in a new mattress and/or bed. Our bodies respond differently to different mattress firmness, so explore different options before you commit to one. You may find that your current mattress is too firm or soft for your body. If your bed is old, or ill built, consider getting a new one that is strong and unlikely to fall apart. You want a bed that makes you feel comfortable, safe, and completely as ease. 

Image by Ketut Subiyanto

Change your bedding 

Getting into a bed with freshly washed sheets is one of the greatest pleasures in the world, and can immediately make you feel as ease. Your bedding should be cleaned every two week to get rid of lingering bacteria and dead skin cells. To enhance the calming effect of fresh bedding, buy a detergent that you like the smell of. This will help you to feel happy and relaxed as you drift into sleep. 

Image by Pavel Danilyuk

Declutter 

A cluttered room causes a cluttered mind. Your bedroom should be your sanctuary for sleep and nothing else. You should not be keeping any items in your bedroom that could distract you, most importantly exercise equipment and work materials. Instead, move all potential distractions to another room in your home where you do not have to see them, and therefore think about them. Out of sight, out of mind. 

Photo by Vlada Karpovich from Pexels

Remove electronics

Part of removing all distractions from your bedroom is removing all electronics. There should be no technology, including a TV, in your bedroom, and you should be avoiding it an hour before you sleep as well. Technology emits a blue light that suppresses the melatonin levels in your body that help you to sleep. Additionally, the content consumed on technology is likely to keep you awake due to its level of engagement, leaving you alert hours after you’ve put your phone down. Instead, switch off all of your technology, leave it in another room, and let your bedroom be a place of relaxation.

Create a sanctuary 

Your bedroom should be the most relaxing area in your home for you. As such, you should decorate it in a way that makes you feel at ease. For most people, this includes calming colours, soft furnishings, and maybe even a couple of plants. You want your bedroom to make you feel comfortable and safe, so decorate your room to reflect this. At the end of the day, when you enter your room, you want to instantly want to crawl into bed and drift off into a relaxing slumber. 

Experiment with aromatherapy 

Aromatherapy is the process of using aromatic materials, such as essential oils, to improve your psychological and physical wellbeing. Aromas, such as lavender, chamomile, and ylang-ylang can help create a serene environment that relaxes your body and mind and helps you drift off more easily to sleep. Try experimenting with a couple of essential oils, perhaps using them in a diffuser, to see if they have a positive impact helping you sleep. 

Photo by Mareefe from Pexels

Darken your room  

It’s best to sleep in the dark as this is when we produce melatonin, which helps relax the body and enables us to sleep. Our bodies are sensitive to light, and when it is bright we assume that we should be awake, regardless of what time it is. To ensure that your bedroom is perfectly dark invest in a pair of quality, well-lined, curtains and/or a blackout blind. This will help keep out any early morning sun or street lights. For further protection, you may want to keep an eye mask on hand for when light may break through your curtains. 

Photo by Mo from Pexels

Decrease the temperature

As the evening progresses your body’s temperature naturally drops to prepare you for sleep and begin the production of melatonin. If your room is too hot, draughty, or cold, you will find it difficult to fall asleep. The optimum temperature for your bedroom is 16-18 degrees Celsius. Curtains and/or blinds will help with cold and draughty rooms as they block out any wind coming from your window. For particularly draughty rooms you may want to buy a draught excluder to prevent air from your home being blown under your door. If your room is too hot, try cooling it down by opening a window and encouraging air flow into your room. Use a duvet with a lower tog and cotton sheets that are more breathable. Finally, tie back long hair and make sure that you stay hydrated. A room that is a comfortable temperature will help send you in to a comfortable sleep. 

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Silence any noise 

The final way to create the perfect atmosphere for a good night’s sleep is to silence any noise. Sudden, loud, and repetitive noise can hinder, awake, or startle us from sleep, leaving us feeling groggy and less refreshed the next day. Some noises are beyond our control, such as traffic or other outdoor noises. The best way to combat this is with double glazing that helps to muffle the sound. For the summer months, and for extra noise pollution protection, try using foam earplugs.

Photo by Carlos Caamal from Pexels

Don’t let laundry get in the way of a blissful nights sleep. Let us take care of it for you. Book your Laundryheap order today by heading to the Laundryheap website or downloading the free Laundryheap app.


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Amsterdam travel essentials 

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You’ve booked your Amsterdam getaway (WOOP WOOP), but what are you going to pack? These are 10 travel essentials that you must take on your trip to Amsterdam. 

  • Waterproof jacket
  • Comfortable clothing
  • Comfortable shoes
  • Travel adapter
  • Backpack 
  • Mosquito repellent
  • ID 
  • Earplugs 
  • OV-chipkaart
  • I Amsterdam City Card

Waterproof jacket 

The weather in Amsterdam is unpredictable and there are a severe lack of mountains to block any incoming depressions from the sea. On average, Amsterdam receives 700 millimetres of rainfall a year, most of which falls in November. Even if you aren’t visiting in November, it is wise to take a waterproof jacket with you just in case. A waterproof jacket will protect your clothing from becoming damp in a downpour, ensuring that you are comfortable and dry whilst you are travelling around the city. 

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Comfortable clothing 

Amsterdam is the denim capital and is known for its fashionable, yet comfortable, clothing. As a city break, with an abundance of must-see attractions, you will find yourself doing a lot of walking whilst you are visiting Amsterdam, so comfort is key. Take your favourite pair of jeans and a handful of tops, shirts, and jumpers (depending on the season), with you to wear. These outfits can be dressed down during the day and dressed up if you are going out in the evening. 

Photo by Zen Chung from Pexels

Comfortable shoes 

Amsterdam is not just the denim capital, but the biking capital as well. If you aren’t wandering the beautiful cobbled streets of Amsterdam on foot then you must be experiencing it by bike. Regardless of if you are biking or walking, you will need to wear comfortable shoes, such as trainers. You don’t want to be enjoying the sights of Amsterdam only to get sore feet from inappropriate shoes halfway through your day. Instead, take a pair of comfortable shoes that you know you can spend all day in.

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Travel adapter 

The Netherlands uses the Type F electrical plug, which has 2 round pins spaced 2cm apart. This is the plug commonly used in Continental Europe. When packing for your trip to Amsterdam make sure that you include a travel adaptor so that you have full use of the plugs in Amsterdam whilst you are away. You can buy a travel adaptor online or at most convenience stores. 

Photo by Markus Winkler from Pexels

Backpack 

Depending on how long you are in Amsterdam, and how lightly you can pack, you may want to avoid taking a suitcase and use a backpack instead. Amsterdam is notorious for its narrow cobblestone streets which, although incredibly pretty, can be difficult to navigate with a suitcase. Rather than struggle wheeling a suitcase, take a backpack instead. It is a much easier alternative and a great way to prevent you from overpacking. 

Photo by veerasak Piyawatanakul from Pexels

Mosquitto repellent

If you are planning a trip to Amsterdam during the months of July and August then go armed with plenty of mosquito repellent. The humidity of the summer months, coupled with the water from the canals, creates the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes, and your blood is the perfect snack. Douse yourself in mosquito repellent every night and before you leave for the day, and you should be safe from the bloodsuckers. If not, you risk being covered in itchy red blotches for the duration of your holiday

Image by Mike Mozart

ID

In the Netherlands, everyone is required to carry some form of official identification, such as a passport or driver’s license, with them at all times. If you do not have an official form of identification and you get caught by the police you will face a fine. Carry your ID with you at all times to be safe. You never know when you might need it.

Photo by Ethan Wilkinson from Pexels

Earplugs 

Amsterdam is home to over 1 million people so the streets can get noisy. If your room overlooks a main street, particularly one with lots of bars and coffee shops on it, you could experience a lot of noise pollution at night. If you are a light sleeper, you may want to invest in a pair of earplugs to help you sleep more soundly. Simply pop them in, and drift off, ready to face a new day in the city tomorrow. 

Image by sleepsugar.com

OV-chipkaart

When you get to Amsterdam buy yourself an OV-chipkaart from the nearest railway station. An OV-chipkaart is similar to a London Oyster card. You simply put money onto your card and use it on the buses, trams, and metros around Amsterdam. This is a much faster and easier alternative to buying single-use tickets and can be used if you visit Amsterdam in the future. 

Image by DennisM2

I Amsterdam City Card 

There are so many amazing things to see and do in Amsterdam and an I Amsterdam City Card can help you see and do them all. An I Amsterdam City Card can be purchased for 24, 48, 72, or 96 hours, and gives you unlimited use of public transport, free entry to over 60 museums and attractions, free canal cruises, and discounts in certain shops, restaurants, and theatres. With prices starting at just €59, an I Amsterdam City Card is the perfect travel essential for those looking to see a lot of Amsterdam in a short amount of time. 

Image by Norio NAKAYAMA

Whilst you’re packing your Amsterdam travel essentials, we’ll be laundering the rest of your clothing. Book your Laundryheap order today by heading to the Laundryheap website or downloading the free Laundryheap app.


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How to care for your dog’s accessories 

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We love our furry friends, which is why it’s important that we take care of their accessories. From leashes to beds, collars to harnesses it’s important that your dog’s accessories are regularly cleaned and thoroughly dried so that your dog stays happy and healthy. 

  • Fabric or nylon collar and leash
  • Leather collar 
  • Harness
  • Bed

Fabric or nylon collar and leash 

Your dog’s collar and leash need to be washed regularly, at least once every 2 weeks, as they are likely to get dirty when you take your dog for a walk. You may find yourself washing your dogs collar more frequently, perhaps once a week, as it will come into close contact with your dogs skin and therefore needs to be kept clean and sanitary to prevent your furry friend from becoming ill.  

To clean a fabric or nylon collar and leash you will need…

  • Lukewarm water
  • Pet shampoo or hypoallergenic detergent 
  • Soft bristled brush

To begin washing your dogs fabric collar and leash fill a basin with lukewarm water and add a few drops of pet shampoo or hypoallergenic detergent. If you are using detergent you must make sure that it is hypoallergenic as anything stronger will be too harsh on your dogs skin and could cause irritation. 

Once your basin is full, submerge your leash and collar in the water and leave it to soak for 30 minutes. This will allow your detergent, or shampoo, to penetrate the leash and collar, removing any dirt and bacteria. 

After 30 minutes, use a soft bristled brush, such as a toothbrush, to scrub at any stains. For deeper set stains, work a drop of pet shampoo or hypoallergenic detergent directly into the stain, to loosen it. 

Once you are confident that you have lifted all of the stains and that the collar and leash is clean, rinse the items with lukewarm water. Continue rinsing until no more shampoo or detergent residue is released from each item. 

Finally, set your collar and leash to one side and leave them to air dry. Do not use them until they are both completely dry. 

Photo by Francesco Ungaro from Pexels

Leather collar

Leather dog collars can be made with finished or unfinished leather. Finished leather has a coating that makes it more durable and water resistant, whereas unfinished leather is softer because no dyes or finishes have been applied. Regardless of the type of leather your dog collar is made from, it can not be washed in the same way as a nylon or fabric collar. 

To clean a leather dog collar you will need…

  • Microfibre cloth
  • Lukewarm water
  • Leather or saddle soap
  • Clean cloth

To being cleaning your leather dog collar mix a solution of lukewarm water and leather or saddle soap. You must make sure that you are using soap that is specifically formulated to be used on leather, or you risk damaging your dog’s collar. 

Once you have mixed your solution, dampen a microfibre cloth with the mixture and wipe down both the inside and outside of the collar. You may need to wipe each side a few times to ensure that it is adequately cleaned. 

After wiping down both sides of the collar, use a clean, dry cloth, to wipe each side dry, before setting it to one side to air dry. Make sure that you leave the collar to air dry away from direct heat as this can damage the leather. 

Photo by Skylar Kang from Pexels

Harness 

Your dogs harness should be washed once a month, or as soon as it has become noticeably soiled by dirt. You may find that you are washing it a lot more frequently during the autumn and winter months as these are the seasons it is likely to get easily soiled. 

To clean a harness you will need…

  • Warm water 
  • Pet shampoo or hypoallergenic detergent 
  • Soft bristled brush 

To begin cleaning your dog’s harness first shake off any loose dirt or debris that may be lingering and secure all of the buckles. 

Next, fill a basin with warm water and add a few drops of pet shampoo or hypoallergenic detergent. Submerge your harness in the water and leave it to soak for at least 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, use a soft bristled brush, such as a toothbrush, to scrub at any deep-set stains. You may need to add a drop of shampoo or detergent to the stain in order to loosen it. 

Once you have removed all of the stains, rinse your harness in warm water, making sure that all of the detergent or soap is removed. 

Finally, set your harness to one side to air dry. Do not use your harness until it is completely dry

Photo by Nastya Korenkova from Pexels

Bed

It’s important to keep your dogs bed clean as it’s an area your dog frequents on a daily basis. To make sure that it stays clean you should be washing your dogs bed every week. 

To clean your dogs bed you will need…

  • Mild detergent 
  • Baking soda

To begin cleaning your dogs bed first shake out, or hoover, the bed, collecting as much hair as possible. Then, check for and pre-treat any stains. You want to pre-treat stains before washing the bed for a higher chance of removing them. 

Once you have removed as much hair as possible and pre-treated any stains, you can put your dog’s bed in the washing machine. Dog beds are safe to machine wash as long as your machine is large enough to fit the bed. To your washer add a mild detergent and 1 cup of baking soda. The baking soda will help eliminate any odours from your bed and help lift dirt. Do not add any fabric softener to your machine as the perfume can irritate your dog’s skin. 

After your machine has finished its cycle leave the bed to air dry. If the weather permits, line drying your dog’s bed will help eliminate any lingering odours and dry the item faster. If not, leave the bed in an open and airy space to completely dry before using. 

Photo by Jodie Louise from Pexels

Whilst you prioritise caring for your dogs accessories, we will prioritise caring for your clothing. Book your Laundryheap service today by heading to the Laundryheap website or downloading the free Laundryheap app.


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Top tips for getting back to work 

The Christmas decorations are down, the festive food has been eaten, and the new year has well and truly begun. Your first day back at work is looming and it seems like Christmas was only yesterday. Don’t worry though, because these tips will have you feeling ready to get back to work in no time. 

  • Get organised 
  • Wear your mood
  • Schedule your time for you
  • Set goals 
  • Eat happy 
  • Catch up with your colleagues 
  • Try to keep a positive attitude 
  • Give yourself a break 

Get organised 

As the saying goes: fail to prepare, prepare to fail. The evening before your first day back at work get everything you need for the next day organised. Think about what you are going to wear and make sure that each item is freshly washed and ironed. Pack your bag, making sure that you have everything you need, including a spare charger, keys, purse, etc. This will prevent a mad rush to find missing items in the morning. Finally, make sure that you have breakfast provisions. Even if your breakfast is a coffee and a breakfast bar, make sure that you have the essentials in. Even if you are working from home it’s important to be organised the night before your first day back as it will help you get back into a working mindset. 

Photo by Adrienne Andersen from Pexels

Wear your mood

Whether you are working from home or back in the office, wearing your mood will make your first day back at work a lot more enjoyable. Whether you want to dress in a colour that makes you happy, wear a piece of jewellery you received for Christmas, or wear an outfit that makes you think of a fond memory, wearing something that makes you smile will make your first day at work a little less painful. 

Photo by RF._.studio from Pexels

Schedule your time for you

It can be overwhelming going back to work after an extended period of time off, so it’s important that you schedule your time. Rather than scheduling a week full of meetings and catch-ups, schedule your time for you. Use your first day back as a way to ease in to your workflow. Blocking out time to look through your emails, catch up on projects, and evaluate what there is to do. Your first day, or even your first week, back at work may not seem very productive, but it is a great opportunity to reorganise yourself, and your time, ready for the year ahead.  

Photo by Bich Tran from Pexels

Set goals 

During your first day, or week, back at work think about what you want for the upcoming year. You may have made personal new years resolutions, but what about your professional ones? What are your professional goals for this year and how are you going to achieve them? You won’t be able to get back into the flow of work without knowing what goals you are working towards achieving, so use your time wisely to think about what you want. 

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Eat happy 

They say that you are what you eat, so eating happy will make you happy. By eating happy, we mean eating food that makes you feel good. This should be food that is nutritious, balanced, and, above all, tastes amazing. Eating a well-balanced and nutritious meal will keep your energy up throughout the workday. You may also want to make your plate as colourful as possible as looking at bright and vibrant colours is proven to make us feel happier. 

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Catch up with your colleagues

On your first day back at work make time to catch up with your colleagues. It may feel like you have so much to do that you don’t have time to catch up, but it’s important to make time to socialise with the people you work with and show an interest in their lives outside of the office. Schedule a coffee break with your work friends, even if just for 30 minutes, to catch up on what they’ve been up to and share holiday anecdotes. You can even share your first-day back stresses.  You, and your colleagues, will feel a lot better afterwards.

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

Try to keep a positive attitude  

Going back to work can be incredibly stressful and overwhelming. It’s much easier said than done, but on your first day back, try and keep a positive attitude. Focus on the positives of going back to work, such as seeing colleagues and getting back in to a routine, rather than the stressful aspects. This will help to keep your stress levels low, and help you manage your workload better. Just remember that the first day back is hard for everyone, so a positive attitude can brighten your day as well as everyone else’s. 

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Give yourself a break

The most important thing to remember when getting back to work is to give yourself a break. Accept that you will have a lot to catch up on, but won’t be as productive as you many want to be. Give yourself time to ease back into your routine, catch-up with colleagues, and think about what you want from the upcoming year. Start your year at work off right by being kind to yourself. 

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Whilst you get back to work, we will tick laundry off of your to-do list. To book your Laundryheap order head to the Laundryheap website or download the free Laundryheap app. 


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Post-Christmas clean-up

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Christmas is officially over. It may not be time to take down the tree and decorations, but it’s time to reset your home and get ready for the New Year. Here are just a few things that might be on your post-Christmas clean-up list.  

  • Tackle the dishes
  • Empty the bin 
  • Hoover 
  • Mop
  • Clean the oven 
  • Tackle stains 
  • Dust 
  • Change bedding 

Tackle the dishes 

Christmas is not the time for doing dishes. This, although a lovely break at the time, does mean that there will be a build-up to get through post-Christmas. If you don’t have a dishwasher, this could take some time, so take it step by step. Consider dividing your dishes up by category, for example, washing all of the plates and cutlery together, followed by the cooking dishes, and finishing with the glasses. Enlist the help of loved ones to help make the task quicker, dividing the responsibility of washing, drying, and putting away between the 3 of you. With the help of loved ones, your dishes will be sparkling clean in no time. 

Image by ryan lee

Empty the bin 

The dishes aren’t the only thing that will be piling up throughout the Christmas festivities, the rubbish will be as well. Wrapping paper, empty food containers, and bottles are just some of the things that will be thrown away during the holiday season. Before emptying the bin, sift through the rubbish, dividing it up into recyclable and non-recyclable. You can then get rid of all of your non-recyclable rubbish, and take the recyclable materials to your closest recycling centre. 

Photo by SHVETS production from Pexels

Hoover

The excitement of Christmas gets to us all, so there will probably be at least a few crumbs to hoover up. Give your home a thorough hoovering, kitchen included, to quickly pick up any dust, dirt, or crumbs that may be lying around. It’s surprising how much fresher a room can feel once it’s been given a good hoover. 

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

Mop 

Once you have hoovered, it’s time to mop. Make your hard floors sparkle by using a mop to remove any tough, worn-in, stains- this will probably be mostly in the kitchen area. Make sure that you let everyone in your home aware that you are mopping or risk an accident on the slippery floor. 

Photo by SHVETS production from Pexels

Clean the oven 

Your oven will be working hard throughout Christmas day to cook the perfect Christmas dinner for you and your loved ones, so it deserves a thorough post-Christmas clean. Remove all of the trays and shelves from your oven and soak them in a basin of hot, soapy water. Whilst they soak, sweep away any debris from the bottom of your oven and give the inside and door of your oven a clean. You can use a branded cleaning solution specifically designed for ovens, or baking soda and white vinegar. Once your oven is sparkling clean you can remove your trays and shelves from the soapy water, give them a thorough rinse, and put them back in your oven, ready to use. 

Image by Alpha

Tackle stains 

Stains are a common occurrence at Christmas. Food and drink are dripped down clothing, mopped up by tablecloths and tea towels that will be permanently stained if not treated appropriately. Tackle all stains, both clothing and kitchen textiles, whilst doing your post-Christmas clean-up. Separate items by stain, material, and colour to make it quicker to treat each stain, and then launder each item as appropriate. Similarly to washing the dishes, you can enlist the help of loved ones, so whilst you are tackling stains, someone else is loading and unloading the washing machine. 

Dust 

It’s truly amazing how quickly dust forms. Avoiding dusting for even just the Christmas season will result in a build-up of the stuff. Whilst doing your post-Christmas clean up, grab a feather duster and run it across the surfaces in your home. You might not necessarily have to polish each area, but dusting will at least leave all of your surfaces clean and much more tidy looking. Dusting is an easy task, so you may want to hand the responsibility to a younger loved one to give them something to do. 

Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

Change bedding 

If you had loved ones staying with you over the festive season you will need to change the beds. Strip the bedding from all the beds in the house, and launder as appropriate. Whilst your bedding is being laundered, you can make each bed with a fresh, clean, set of bedding. There is no better feeling than getting into a freshly made bed with freshly made sheets, especially after a day of post-Christmas cleaning. 

Photo by Taryn Elliott from Pexels

You have enough on your post-Christmas cleaning list to deal with without adding laundry. Luckily, we’re here to tick that chore off of your list. Book your Laundryheap order today by heading to the Laundryheap website or downloading the free Laundryheap app. 


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The 5 stains of Christmas- the dessert edition

Photo by Tim Douglas from Pexels

Once you have filled yourself with Christmas dinner, almost to the point of explosion, there is only one thing left to do- eat dessert. If you get a dollop of dessert on your Christmas outfit, don’t worry, because this handy guide will help you to remove the stain. 

  • Brandy butter
  • Mincemeat 
  • Double cream
  • Jelly 
  • Toffee sauce

Brandy butter 

Brandy butter is the perfect accompaniment to your Christmas dessert, especially if you’re having a Christmas pudding. Its combination of butter and alcohol though makes it a tricky stain to lift.  

To lift your brandy butter stain you will need…
  • Dull knife or spoon 
  • Talcum powder, baking soda, or cornstarch 
  • Soft-bristled brush
  • Heavy-duty liquid detergent 

To begin lifting your brandy butter stain use a dull knife or spoon to remove as much solid butter as possible. Be careful when doing this as pushing too hard could result in pushing the stain further into your garment. 

Once you have removed as much solid butter as possible, cover the stain with talcum powder, baking soda, or corn-starch. Brandy butter stains are oil-based, and fine powders, such as talcum powder, can absorb oil quickly. Make sure that your full stain is covered by the powder, and leave it for 15-30 minutes. After 15-30 minutes, shake off as much of the powder as you can. 

Next, use your fingers or a soft-bristled brush to work a small amount of heavy-duty liquid detergent into the remaining stain. Make sure that you are covering the whole of your stain with the detergent, and using a gentle scrubbing motion to ensure that your stain is being penetrated. 

Finally, after working the detergent into your stain, launder your garment as you usually would. Check that your stain has been completely lifted before drying your item. If it hasn’t then repeat the process. 

Image by christmashat

Mincemeat  

Mince pies are a Christmas staple. Sticky mincemeat filling, encased in a beautiful buttery pastry makes for the perfect after-dinner treat. If you drop mincemeat filling down yourself, follow these simple steps. 

To lift your mincemeat stain you will need…
  • A spoon or blunt knife
  • White vinegar 
  • Clean cloth
  • Washing powder 
  • Warm water
  • Sponge 

To begin lifting your mincemeat stain use a blunt knife or spoon to remove as much of the mincemeat as possible. Be careful when doing this as mincemeat is incredibly sticky and can easily spread to other parts of your garment. 

Once you have lifted as much mincemeat as possible, pour a small amount of white vinegar on to a clean cloth and gently dab at the remaining stain. White vinegar contains a mild amount of acetic acid which is strong enough to lift stains without causing damage to your clothing. Continue dabbing at your stain until it has lightened in colour. 

Next, mix 1 teaspoon of powder detergent to a mug of warm water and mix thoroughly until the powder has dissolved. Use a sponge to gently dab the detergent mixture on to your remaining stain.

After you have dabbed your stain, wash your garment as your usually would. Before drying, check that your stain has been completely lifted. If not, repeat the process. 

Image by Amanda Slater

Double cream 

If you are not a fan of brandy cream, double cream is the perfect accompaniment to your Christmas dessert. Be careful though, because it is very easily dripped. 

To lift your double cream stain you will need…
  • Clean cloth
  • Cold water 
  • Heavy duty liquid laundry detergent
  • Soft bristled brush 

To begin removing your double cream stain use a clean cloth to soak up as much of the cream as possible. Carefully blot at the cream using your cloth, making sure that you are blotting and not rubbing as this will set the stain further into your garment. 

Next, flush out the remaining stain by holding it under a cold running tap with the underside of your fabric facing up. The constant stream of cold water will push the protein molecules from the fibres of your clothing, ultimately lifting the stain. 

After flushing your stain, wash your garment as you usually would. Before drying check that the stain has been completely lifted. If it has not, fill a sink with cold water and add a teaspoon of heavy-duty liquid laundry detergent. Place your stained item in the water, making sure that it is completely submerged, and leave it to soak for at least 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove your garment from the water and wash it again. If your double cream stain still has not been lifted, repeat the process. 

Image by Marco Verch Professional Photographer

Jelly  

Sometimes after a big Christmas dinner you just want something light for dessert, like jelly. Eat with caution though as this wibbly wobbly dessert can easily fall from your spoon and straight on to your lap. 

To lift your jelly stain you will need…
  • Dull knife or spoon
  • Cold water
  • Clean sponge 
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Oxygen based bleach 
  • Tepid water 

To begin lifting your jelly stain, use a dull knife or spoon to scoop up as much of the jelly as possible. Be extra careful when doing this as you don’t want your jelly to fall off of your utensil and back on to your clothing

Once you have removed as much jelly as possible, flush the remaining stain by holding it under a cold running tap. Make sure that your water is nothing warmer than cold as jelly stains are protein based and any warmer water will cook the protein, making the stain harder to lift. 

After flushing your stain, use a clean sponge to gently dab rubbing alcohol onto the area. The rubbing alcohol will help lift the remaining stain. Continue dabbing your stain with the alcohol until it has completely lifted. Once it has been lifted, wash your item as you usually would. 

If, after a while of dabbing, you notice that your stain is not getting any lighter, mix a solution of oxygen-based bleach and tepid water. Completely submerge your garment in the water for a minimum of 4 hours. The oxygen-based bleach will penetrate your stain, removing the artificial colouring and leaving your garment stain-free. After 4 hours, remove your clothing from the water and wash as you usually would. 

Image by Marco Verch Professional P

Toffee sauce

A sticky toffee pudding would not be complete without it’s deliciously sweet toffee sauce. Unfortunately, a toffee sauce stain is quick to dry, so to remove it you have to act fast. 

To lift your toffee sauce stain you will need…
  • Dull knife or spoon
  • Borax
  • Cold water
  • Heavy duty liquid laundry detergent 
  • Hot water
  • Hydrogen peroxide or white vinegar 

To begin lifting your toffee sauce stain, first use a dull knife or spoon to lift as much of the sauce as possible. Be careful when doing this as pushing too hard will cause the stain to set further into your garment. 

Next, mix a paste of 1 tablespoon of water with 3 tablespoons of borax. Spread this paste over your stain, making sure that the whole area is covered. Leave your garment to sit for 15-20 minutes, giving the borax adequate time to penetrate your stain and lift the sticky toffee sauce from the fibres of your clothing. After 15-20 minutes, rinse your garment thoroughly, making sure that all of the borax paste has been removed. 

Once you have removed all of the borax paste, rub a small amount of heavy duty liquid laundry detergent directly onto your stain. Use your fingers to work the detergent in to your stain, saturating the area with detergent. Leave your garment for a minimum of 5 minutes, before flushing your stain, and detergent, with hot water. Make sure that the water is as hot as possible as this will help push the stain from your clothing. 

If your stain has been removed, or is significantly lighter, wash your garment as you usually would. If it has not been removed, use a sponge to gently dab a small amount of hydrogen peroxide or white vinegar on to the stained area. This should only be done on white or colour-fast clothing to avoid bleaching and ruining your garment. Continue to blot until your stain has lifted, and then wash your item as you usually would. 

Image by Sean MacEntee

Christmas is for spending time with loved ones, not doing your laundry. Give yourself a well deserved Christmas break and book your Laundryheap service today by heading to the Laundryheap website or downloading the free Laundryheap app.


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How to limit your laundry load

Photo by Sarah Chai from Pexels

The less time you spend doing laundry the more time you can spend doing the things you enjoy. Limit your laundry load with these handy hacks. 

  • Sort through your clothing
  • Wait until your laundry basket is full
  • Spot clean clothing 
  • Hang towels 
  • Air clothing 
  • Know how frequently items need to be washed 
  • Treat clothes appropriately
  • Use Laundryheap 

Sort through your clothing 

The easiest way to limit your laundry load is by sorting through your clothing and getting rid of any items that you don’t wear. Ask yourself: when was the last time you wore the item? Does it still fit properly? Would you miss it if you were to get rid of it? If the clothing that you decide to get rid of is in good condition, donate it. Clearing out your clothes is a great way to limit your laundry load and help those in need. 

Photo by Liza Summer from Pexels

Wait until your laundry basket is full 

It can be tempting to wash your clothes as soon as there are a few items in your laundry basket. This, however, will only lead to a constant cycle of laundry. Instead, wait until your laundry basket is full. This will limit the number of times you have to do laundry in a week, or even a month, and is better for the environment. 

Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko from Pexels

Spot clean clothing 

If your garment has a small stain or mark on it, don’t immediately throw it in the laundry, spot clean it first. Use a damp sponge to gently dab at the mark, making sure that you are not rubbing as this can set the stain further into your garment. If you notice that your mark is not lifting, try and use an alternative pre-treatment. Spot cleaning avoids the need to wash your whole garment for the sake of a small stain. 

Photo by Ron Lach from Pexels

Hang towels 

Towels can be used 3 times before needing to be washed. Folding towels whilst they are still damp traps moisture and encourages mould to grow. Instead, hang your towels in an open, airy, space, and allow them to completely dry. This will help to prevent any mould growth and will ensure that your towels can be reused before needing to be washed. 

Photo by Centre for Ageing Better from Pexels

Air clothing 

Sometimes clothing can become slightly musty, especially if they have been folded in a draw or cupboard for an extended period of time. If you notice that your clothing has taken on this stale smell, air them out rather than wash them. Hang your garments outside in the fresh air, or in an open space within your home, and allow your clothing to breathe. As the air wafts through the fibres of your clothes, it will push any bad odours out of the fabric, and leave them smelling fresh and ready to wear. 

Photo by Ron Lach from Pexels

Know how frequently items need to be washed 

Not all of your items need to be washed at the same time. For example, bedding must be washed every two months, whereas jumpers should be washed after every 5 wears. Knowing how frequently each of your washable items needs to be laundered will help you to limit the frequency that you are washing each item, therefore limiting your overall laundry load. 

Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

Treat clothes appropriately

Your clothing needs to be treated with care to ensure that it stays in good condition. This means making sure that clothing is neatly folded or hung up when dry, treating stains as soon as possible, and washing each item as stated on its care label. Treating your clothes appropriately will limit how often you need to wash each item, allowing you to spend less time doing your laundry.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

Use Laundryheap 

One of the best ways to limit your laundry load is by giving it to Laundryheap to do for you. We are an online, on-demand, laundry service, working around your schedule to deliver your fresh laundry within 24 hours. To book your Laundryheap service head to the Laundryheap website, or download the free Laundryheap app. 


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A Christmas in Copenhagen

Image by Studio Sarah Lou

Copenhagen turns into a wonderland during the festive season. Twinkling lights hang above the streets, shops are filled with people completing their Christmas shopping, and the true spirit of hygge is embraced. It is a truly magical experience, and these are just 5 things to do at Christmas in Copenhagen.  

  • Frederiksberg Runddel ice rink
  • Tivoli Gardens 
  • Højbro Plads Christmas Market
  • Drink Juleøl
  • Hotel d’Angleterre 

Frederiksberg Runddel ice rink

Every winter Frederiksberg Runddel, by the entrance of the iconic Frederiksberg Garden, is transformed into a glorious ice rink. Despite not being the biggest ice rink in Copenhagen, it is one of the prettiest. As you skate around the rink you can see the tops of the parks beautiful trees and a peek into the grounds. Admission to the ice rink is free, and you can hire a pair of skates for DKK 50, or have yours sharpened for DKK 70. Skating at Frederiksberg Garden is the perfect way to begin your Christmas in Copenhagen, so get your skates on and start, well, skating. 

Image by Agent Smith

Tivoli Gardens 

Tivoli Gardens is transformed into a mesmerising winter wonderland during the festive season. The park is decorated with fake snow, glittering Christmas lights, and finished with over 1,000 Christmas trees, decorated with more than 70,000 baubles. The feeling of stepping into the North Pole would not be complete without a visit from Santa and his reindeer’s, as well as Christmas performances and parades. In addition to this magical fun, Tivoli also hosts a Christmas market with more than 60 stalls of traditional food, drink, and perfect stocking-filler gifts. Tivoli Gardens is truly a magical Christmas experience for all ages. 

Image by Alex Berger

Højbro Plads Christmas Market

There are many Christmas markets to wander around in Copenhagen, but Højbro Plads Christmas Market is the best. Located between Strøget, one of the longest pedestrian shopping streets in Europe, and the Christiansborg Palace, it is the perfect market to get your Christmas shopping done. The market area exudes the Christmas spirit with its Christmas trees, 280,000 sparkling lights, and festive decorations. Vendors sit inside log cabins, which are imported each year from Tyrol, selling Christmas gifts, sweet treats, and traditional Gløgg. Whilst you’re busy shopping and taking in the festive atmosphere, look out for Santa and his reindeer who circulate the market, greeting children and making sure that you stay on the nice list. If you don’t find all of the gifts that you are searching for at Højbro Plads Christmas Market, head to Strøget to finish the task. 

Image by Orf3us

Drink Juleøl

Juleøl is Danish for Christmas beer, one of the most beloved drinks in Copenhagen during the festive season. Traditionally, Juleøl is strong and spiced with cinnamon, orange peel, cloves, and vanilla. Today, more than 220 Danish breweries produce a record number of Christmas beers of roughly 350 varieties. From bodegas to trendy craft beer pubs, you will see Copenhagers across the city toasting the festive season with a Christmas beer. It would be remiss to be in Copenhagen during the festive period and not join in on the tradition. Cheers!

Photo by Pavel Danilyuk from Pexels

Hotel d’Angleterre

Each year the Christmas lights on the Hotel d’Angleterre are a wondrous spectacle for all to marvel at. They tend to be extravagant displays, based on characters from the iconic fairy tales of Danish author Hans Christian Andersen, who had spent Christmas in the hotel. Once you have marvelled at the beautiful lights adorning the Hotel d’Angleterre, head inside to warm yourself up with a glass of gløgg. The Hotel d’Angleterre is known across Copenhagen as the best place to enjoy a traditional glass of gløgg or their bespoke Snow Queen’s gløgg. The perfect way to get you in the Christmas spirit. 

Image by Jonas Smith

After spending your day enjoying the festive spirit, you don’t want laundry to pull you out of your festive haze. Instead, let Laundryheap do your laundry for you. Book your Laundryheap order today by heading to the Laundryheap website, or downloading the free Laundryheap app.