I like to think I am house proud. If you walked into my house you may not realise this but when you work full time and live in household that includes a ten year old boy and a dog being house proud becomes a state of mind. You know you have cleaned, you know that it is perfect, but the evidence in front of your eyes contradicts this. The number of times I have spent ages cleaning a room only to go in five minutes later to find it looking like a whirlwind has hit it is unbelievable. I feel like I am King Canute, on an impossible mission to stop the tide of debris and clutter taking over.
I must admit it is tempting to leave it, housework is so often a thankless task. I then grit my teeth, have visions of fur covered stairs and insect invasions and decide it is a necessary evil. The only other solution would be to win the lottery and employ a cleaner, but I suspect that is totally wishful thinking. It pays to be organized, if you have a routine you know what you have done and what needs doing. This is essential if you have limited time. There are also other little things you can do that make a difference and these are my five tips for helping you get on top of the housework.
Your Slow Cooker Is Your Friend
I love my slow cooker, it is one of the best presents that I ever received. The brilliant thing about it is that it can turn you into a domestic goddess with click. Picture the scene, you come home after a long day at work and the husband and child are starving. You need to cook dinner which is really the last thing that you want to do after a long stressful day. Tempers can flare and arguments start. With a slow cooker all this is avoided. A little preparation in the morning, throw the ingredients in, switch it on and when you come home a lovely home cooked meal like the one above is waiting for you. If you are super organised you can even have the vegetables in the pan waiting and all you need to do is switch them on. When you are starving it is brilliant.
Tackle the ironing mountain
Ironing must be one of the worst things every invented. I have a pile of ironing that lurks in the corner of the kitchen and mocks me. It get higher and higher and when it gets so big it threatens to fall and cause an avalanche in the kitchen I resolve to tackle it. I get out my ironing board, rope and climbing gear and reduce it to size only to watch it grow again. I decided this was no good and now have a few things that help.
Following these simple rules has helped reduce my mountain to a small hill.
Check the school bag and pockets
If your child is like mine they do not tell you until the very last minute that they need things for school. You learn on the morning they need to go to school that they need to go dressed as a character from a book for example. This can lead to a very frazzled mum looking for last minute inspiration. It happened to me last year when my son told me that he needed eggs for school at the very last minute. The simple solution, check their bags and pockets for notes from the school, and failing all else ask them if they need anything for school.
Get Your Child To Help
Children love to get involved and giving them household chores and responsibility from an early age is a good thing. When they eventually move out and get a place of their own they will need to know how to cook and clean. They need to know it does not magically happen by itself. My son has the responsibility for his own room and I tell him I am going in to hoover, if its on the floor it will get hoovered up. This makes him tidy his room pretty fast. He also loves to help me to cook and has other little jobs like setting the table. While these may be little things they all make a big difference.
Baking hides a multitude of sins
If you are worried the house is looking particularly messy, then get baking. A plate of cakes always makes the household happy and makes it look as if you have been really busy. When asked what you have been doing all day you can produce the evidence. It also makes you feel you have achieved something worthwhile and puts you in the mood to tackle the cleaning. There is nothing like the smell of baking cakes to make you want to clear a space to have a cup of tea with one.
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