I MUST CONFESS … I used to be a compulsive cleaner-upper-er – a real neat freak. Even when I went for a wee walk to the ensuite in the middle of the night, I couldn’t help myself – I had to straighten the towels before I stumbled back to bed. Disorder and chaos made me grumpy (actually it still does!) – I took great pride in my home, particularly when I was a Stay-At-Home-Mum.
My poor hubster and family. Imagine what they’ve had to put up with – unable to relax in front of the TV for fear of disturbing the cushions I’d so carefully arranged; being told not to make a mess with their toys (how else is a kid supposed to play with them?); fixing a snack only to find me tidying up behind them, grumbling about crumbs on the bench AGAIN.
As the years have gone by, I have had to learn to relax my housekeeping standards – or lose my sanity! Trying to juggle husband, children, house, work, and other activities leaves little time for fretting over crumbs on the floor.
Now that I work from home, I often have to turn a blind eye to the mess or I won’t get any of the (paid) work done. I make sure I am at my desk for 9am each week day. Even if the kitchen bench is a mess!
But what about when people drop by? Because my time is so precious, and I don’t want to waste my life cleaning, I have come up with THE CHEAT’S GUIDE TO HOUSEWORK:
- Leave the vacuum cleaner out and plugged in, so that if unexpected guests stop in, you can say casually: “Oh, I was just about to do the vacuuming … ” so at least if the floor IS a pigsty, at least they think you were going to do something about it.
- Remember: Blue Loo hides a multitude of sins, and masks the fact that the toilet hasn’t been scrubbed for quite some time …
- Have a couple of “Get Well Soon” cards prominently displayed.That way they will assume that you have been unwell and unable to clean.
- Make the most of your oven and dishwasher. In the time it takes for your hubster or child to open the front door after the dreaded knock, it is amazing how much dirty crockery and cutlery you can stash in your oven and/or dishwasher (don’t worry about packing it neatly – just throw it in and close the door).
- A quick spray of lemon scent will fool people into thinking you’ve just cleaned. And a quick spray of room freshener will mask unpleasant odours that might be wafting from the kitty litter tray, the teenager’s socks behind the couch, or the bins that haven’t been taken out.
- A doona or duvet can be pulled up quickly even with a mess of tangled sheets beneath, and voila, your bedrooms look tidy.
- Have a designated drawer, cupboard or stylish box handy to wherever your hubster leaves things out (eg all over the dining room table). That way, tidying up is as simple as pushing all the bits and pieces into the box and out of the way. And if he wants anything, he knows where to find it (even if it IS a jumble of extension cords, USB cables, loose change, bits of paper, rubber bands, batteries, business cards, keys, and other miscellaneous items).
You know I’m kidding (well mostly), right?! Just make sure you phone at least an hour before you come to visit :-).