STAYING ON TOP OF THE MESS ( Part 2 )

Routine

Keeping a house tidy all the time can be daunting and is not especially easy if you have a large family who brings in plenty of clutter and is hard to clean up after. However, if we don’t tackle those piles of clutter or small cleaning jobs regularly, they soon build up and become an enormous job that our busy lives don’t allow us time to tackle. It is so important to stick to a routine to enable your family to ship to sail.

MOTIVATIONAL HASHTAGS If you follow me on social media then you know that I use a daily hashtag system to help get people motivated and to share the cleaning buzz. When you see someone cleaning, you naturally start to clean yourself. I noticed that when I was on Obsessive Compulsive Cleaners, which was aired at 8 pm.

At 9 pm I would get loads of messages saying ‘because of you and the show I am now cleaning at 9 pm at night’. Cleaning is one of those things that does have a positive knock-on effect. I put together a hashtag system to continue creating this buzz and to motivate – it works so well.

If you want to follow along with the hashtags but don’t use social media then why not set these as daily alarms on your phone (set them so that you get more than one reminder a day and it will help you get into a routine).

Monday: #motivationalmonday On Monday mornings, we are all feeling a little gloomy – a new week has just started and we are tired after the weekend, so it’s important to share some motivation. Text a friend and send them a picture of you doing some housework. A 10-minute cleaning session will wake you up and set you up for the day.

Tuesday: #toilettuesday Now, toilets are something that I recommend you clean every day, especially the downstairs WC as this is often the highest traffic toilet in your home. On Tuesday I want you to scrub your toilet. Get on your hands and knees and give the base of the toilet a really good scrub. Take a toothbrush and go around where the screws are, then thoroughly wipe the seat over. Finish off with a nice big squirt of bleach. You don’t need to do this every time you clean the toilet, but #toilettuesday is all about that deep clean.

TOILET TIP

If you have a handheld steamer, give toilets weekly steam to kill all those germs.

Wednesday: #windowswednesday Internal window cleaning is not an enjoyable task. So, I suggest just doing a few at a time – they don’t all need doing every week. Focus on the high-traffic windows, where handprints and pet marks often appear, but for the rest create a monthly pattern. For example, do the downstairs windows one week, then upstairs the following week. Don’t just clean the glass, make sure you also focus on the frames. If you have PVC frames, use a cream cleaner to keep the PVC nice and bright.

Thursday:#throwitthursday We need to do a little decluttering on a weekly basis. Do you find you have an area in your home where the paperwork builds up and that there are always general bits and pieces hanging around that need putting away? Grab a standard-size carrier bag and make a point of filling it up on a Thursday to get rid of that clutter. Don’t forget to recycle.

Friday: #fridgefriday I have always thought that fridges don’t get enough attention. Fridges look after our food, but do we look after our fridges? Use Fridays to empty out the fridge and check over your food items. Check the best before and use-by dates and throw out what you need to. Give the fridge a good wipe over and, if you have any nasty fridge odors, place a dish of bicarbonate of soda towards the back to soak up those smells. You will probably find that by giving your fridge a weekly clean, odors will soon become a thing of the past.

FRIDGE TIP

Use a damp cotton bud with a little washing-up liquid to clean the rubber seal.

Saturday: #stairssaturday Vacuuming stairs is another one of those cleaning tasks that we put off and off. The thought of lugging a big vacuum up the stairs is just not good. But they need doing. Stairs take a lot of traffic and, if we don’t vacuum them on a regular basis, our carpets will start to look old and worn out. Invest in a lighter handheld vacuum for the stairs.

BEDDING TIP

Find the best washing combination of detergent and fabric conditioner so your bed smells amazing. Add a few drops of lavender essential oil to your mattress to help improve your sleep.

Sunday: #cleansheetssunday There is nothing better than climbing into fresh-smelling ironed sheets on a Sunday night. Clean sheets really help aid a good night’s sleep and it’s the best way to start a new week. Create a little pattern to rotating your bedding: e.g. clean the mattress and pillow protectors every other wash. Give your mattress a little vacuum, too

The daily to-do list

Get time back in your day with a to-do list. I always find that keeping things in your head creates a sense of panic and anxiety.

When you are juggling lots of tasks, they can seem overwhelming, especially with the added worry of forgetting something. So for me, no morning is complete without a to-do list.

It includes everything from going to the shops to stock up on bread and milk, to work emails and calls, housework, meal preparation, and general family organization. Anything and everything that needs to be done gets written down – even to the tiniest detail of who I need to test that day!

BE REALISTIC

Make sure you don’t include more on your list than you can accomplish within a day. Projects that will take weeks or months to complete should be organized and tracked in a different way. The to-do list is purely to help manage your day.

MONTHLY LISTS

Regular tasks can occur on a monthly cycle. Create a monthly list that will remind you to complete tasks that are regular, but not frequent. A calendar is the easiest place to track such a list.