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The burst of Spring we had the other week has got me thinking about cleaning.  Now I am not a clean freak, but I do like to have a pretty clean house as I am a firm believer in tidy house, tidy head!

One of the hardest things for me as a mum was balancing the need to have a clean and tidyish house with the constant attention that a baby, toddler, preschooler (delete as appropriate) required.

It wasn't easy, but I did manage to get in to a routine and now that Spring is here and the boys will be back at school next week, I need a kick up the backside to get back in to it again.

So I am going to include a weekly cleaning prompt on the blog and I do hope that you will join in.

This week I am going to talk about my theory on housework.

  1. We all have jobs and the boys have been included in cleaning and tiding since they could walk.  They both had their own cleaning kits, including a feather duster, cloth and brush, so they could copy me when I cleaned when they were smaller.
  2. Delegate.  MadDad has his daily tasks and I made it very explicit that these were his to do ie Empty the dishwasher before work, empty the bin, put the recycling out.  I also made it clear when and how often they needed doing,  Men do not get hints!
  3. Little and often.  I believe in doing a little each day rather than a huge amount each week.
  4. Have a place for everything and encourage people to put things back in its place.  Your house may not be clean, but it will look a little tidier and plus you are empowering your children.  We have a laundry basket in the downstairs loo with two compartments, one for lights and one darks.. The boys always put their laundry in the basket and they learnt the difference between lights and darks pretty quickly.
  5. Use a timer.  I set my timer for 15 minute increments.  Spend 15 minutes on something and them move on to the next.  A timer works wonders with children and tidying, as you can challenge them to do some thing before the buzzer goes off.  With smaller children have a tidy up song.  We used to play one off Colours are Brighter by The Barcelona Pavillion.

The idea is that I will give you a room a week that we will concentrate on cleaning, but we are also going to develope a routine that will suit you, that you can implement each day.  We are going to turn cleaning in to a habit that fits in with your lifestyle.

We are going to create a binder with all your routines, chores, information and contacts in.Your household organiser.  Now I tend to do this on excel and print it off to pop in a book, but we are going to add a new part each week.


  1. I am addicted to my timer. Cannot get anything done without it. 15 mins. Reset. 15 mins.

    Amazes me how much you can get done in 15mins too.

  2. I like the individual cleaning kits. I'm forever having to either give up my duster or go and fetch another one when toddlers join in with cleaning windows or dusting. I've just put my "cleaning kit" into a bucket so that I have everything I need and can take it into the room I'm working on - I could easily get hold of a couple of toddler sized buckets and give them a duster, a cloth etc.
    My cleaning epiphany was when I discovered, which I have adapted for my house and lifestyle. Unfortunately just lately my smaller toddler is at the stage where she needs A LOT of attention, so things are a bit messy! I think I need my cleaning button re-booting...

  3. I have found it really difficult to get into any sort of cleaning routine. I do expect my children to complete chores - they are older -17,16,13 and10 and i don't generally clean the older ones rooms. they are quite capable of doing it themselves! But I do feel that I have failed, in that we all live quite messy lives, and it drives me mad! i have 5 day before going back to work, and am determined to get the house in some sort of order! Have just got back from visiting family in Yorkshire, and am down to 2 children as the oldest 2 are away, so as well as doing some fun things, I will do some sorting and organising. Any help gratefully received! Tonights job -clean fridge number 1 - done!

  4. That's so impressive! My cleaning routine is vague, but my main housework tip is to tidy up. If the house is tidy it looks less dirty and is easier to clean if anyone ever feels like it.

  5. This is a similar approach to FLYlady(dot net) - have you heard of it? I find the the 15 minutes and little and often approach very helpful.

  6. I love your post. It's a story and at the same time it helped me with my cleaning so much. Thanks for being so awesome and sharing it with us :)


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