29 March 2012

Ssshhh, but I actually like cleaning!

OK so I don't necessarily 'like cleaning' but I really like the end result.

I love seeing a nice clean worktop with everything in it's place and no clutter.

I like a clean and vacuumed carpet and a dust free mantle piece, a nice clean toilet, free from...well you know!

Here are just a few useful insights from my time as an 'amateur' cleaner:

Do not have anyone else around, OK it does mean you have to do it all yourself. Although I usually end up going back over what the helpers have done anyway! As much as I love them pitching in, at 4, 1 and 31 they spend most of the time getting in the way.

If it is raining or there is no way of getting rid of the family helpers, the 4 year old likes cleaning the windows, the 1 year old is usually quite content to watch mummy clean, whilst the 31 year old has become quite skilled at glueing broken toys back together and can sometimes be trusted with cleaning out the shed - beware this can create more mess!

Although I am grateful for the assistance, a prime example of why I don't let my husband help is a story I was told about when he was younger. Left alone for a week whilst his parents were on holiday he attempted to clean the house ready for their return, he vacuumed the entire house without realising that the belt had come off the vacuum cleaner and it wasn't sucking anything up! More recently, whilst in a helpful mood, he put a yellow duster in with a load of light washing, giving our children's clothes a slight yellow hue. I sometimes think he is deliberately inept to get out of doing more chores ;)

I would definitely advise cleaning to music, it is without a doubt the one thing that gets me through cleaning, my current cleaning soundtrack contains mostly dubstep, although anything you can dance to is fine. Never be tempted by the telly though, you are liable to start watching it! Never has homes under the hammer seemed more appealing than when you are trying to clean!!!!

Next I would thoroughly advise that you invest in a steam mop, they are really great for cleaning all types of flooring and takes less time to dry than a traditional mop. I have also used ours to get rid of stains from carpets, food burnt onto the cooker and that random orange scum on bathroom tiles. All without too much elbow grease, something I always seem to be running low on.

To prevent mountains of washing up, try and plan your meals so you cook food that uses only one tray or pan. However, if you are like me on a Sunday when using every pot seems inevitable, it helps to try and clean up as you go, this isn't always possible so try and stack pots to make the mess look smaller ;)

Although I do vacuum throughout the day (treading on bits of bread stick or cheerio really grinds my gears) I tend to leave the tidying until the children have gone to bed, it means it stays tidy for more than five minutes!

Finally, I like to think of my home as clean even if it is not tidy, with two children constantly emptying toys on the floor and dropping crumbs everywhere, it is simply not possible to be spotless is it? I like to think of it as 'lived in', if it needs to be tidied it can be but the rest of the time it's just as it is.

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