Monday, 26 March 2012

Top Tips For Housework (a.k.a. Domestic Chores Made Easy!!)

The job of a stay at home parent can become a never ending cycle of household duties. As soon as kids come on the scene, domestic bliss can become replaced by domestic drudgery.  From the ever growing washing pile that sometimes threatens to consume the entire house, to the dust that taunts you by returning to your surfaces almost immediately after you have dusted, housework is quite simply a chore of monumental proportions.

Over the years I have learned tips, hints and short cuts to make my life easier and my house cleaner.  Any technique to reduce the hours spent on housework means I can free up hours to do my own thing!  This blog doesn't write itself you know!!

Here are my top ten tips for easy, breezy cleaning and happy housework!

1: Top To Bottom...In any room that you are cleaning, work from the top down.  Tackle cobwebs first (unless it's Halloween when you can pass them off as 'au naturel' room decorations).  Then lamp shades before dusting your blinds or curtain rails, polishing surfaces and finally vaccuuming the floor.  Otherwise you will be showering yourself and your previously cleaned furniture in dirt.  Don't make more work for yourself!

2: Washing-Up...My biggest tip is to put all your cutlery dirty end down into a jug of soapy water.  By the time you have finished washing up, your knives, forks and spoons will be sparkling clean with minimum effort, plus you won't be chasing them around the bottom of the sink!  None of that fiddly cutlery cleaning.

3:  Oven Cleaning...Avoidance is Better than Cleaning!  Simple rules like not overfilling pans or casseroles, covering things with foil to avoid greasy splashes and using a baking sheet underneath the shelf that you are using, will avoid the burnt on messes that are so difficult to clean!  Simple.

4:  Cleaning Windows or Mirrors...Forget using fluffy cloths which make this job so frustrating, use a scrumpled up  piece of newspaper to polish up your glass.  It is much easier and less messy to get a good shine.

5:  Toddler Spills...Your baby has spat a mouthful of juice onto the laminate.  Fear not!!  This is why God invented socks!!  Whip off your shoe and mop up the spill in an one will ever know ;)

6:  Delegate!  Write out a list of little jobs and get the kids involved.  Even the tiniest tot will enjoy being armed with a duster or a dustpan and brush.  When they've completed their chores reward them with a film night or a trip to the park.  It works everytime with the younger kids!  Older ones get more cynical and refer to this as slave labour!

7:  De-Clutter...if you haven't used it for six months, if it isn't precious or beautiful and if it serves no purpose, get rid of it!!  Charity Shops are crying out for good quality items to sell.  You get a tidy house, you get to help others and you get to feel good about yourself in the bargain! Win, win, win!

8:   Ironing...Don't Do It!!  Tell everyone that you are boycotting it from an environmental standpoint to reduce your carbon footprint.  Instead of looking at you as a scruffy and dishevelled individual, they will see you as an eco-warrior on a one woman mission to save the planet!

9:  Crayon on Your Paintwork??  WD-40 will do the trick.  It is also useful for removing stickers, chewing gum, chair marks, glue and felt tip.  Keep a can is a secret weapon against a multitude of messes!

10:  Leather Sofas:  For sprucing up your leather sofa use a baby wipe.  They bring it up clean and also smell good!  Baby wipes are definitely for more than just babies' bottoms!  They are also great for toilet seats (don't flush them though!!), cleaning car dash boards, polishing the leaves of a rubber plant and for cleaning gloss paintwork.  They also wipe away grubby fingerprints on window sills, door frames and light switches.  In fact, in our house it is an unwritten rule that any baby wipe used for a minor hand or mouth wipe goes on to clean down at least one surface on the way to the bin!

I'm sure some people will see my lack of domestic prowess as lazy...but I just see it as creative housewifery, freeing up time for the better things in life, like spending time with my precious family.  Why would I want to spend hours making my house pristine, when I could be having a tea party with my toddler?  I want a happy, lived in, comfortable, welcoming, clean-enough home...not a show home where children fear to tread!  Time is precious, use it well!

*This is my entry into the Morphy Richards Innovators competition with Tots 100.*


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