Monday, 21 October 2013

Out with the old, in with the new!

I am increasingly learning that life is all about seasons...

The other week a friend mentioned to me a post I had written a while back about my cleaning schedule. I am a massive fan of routines and to-do lists, and Ava, who was 6 months old when I wrote this post, was at the age where babies are happy to sit and play while Mama whizzes around with hoover, duster and baby wipes (the most multi-functional item ever invented!) in hand.

Oh, boy; those days are long gone!

I want our home to be clean and tidy and organised; but I also want it to be manageable. And with a two-year-old and a 7-month-old in the picture, I've pretty much waved goodbye to my old way of doing things. I DO think that as the one at home, there is a responsibility on me to do the bulk of the housework. Its only fair when you have a husband working all day (although I must admit he is fab and does far more than I think he should do!) but I also have found that spreading the work out over the week doesn't work for me anymore.

Our family grew last March, and with two children, life became a bit more manic - I struggled to remember what I was "supposed" to be doing, what needed doing, or when things had last been done, and to be honest, my response to feeling a little bit overwhelmed by it all was to let it go a bit...

Cue disaster zone.

Add in a month's stay in hospital and a summer away from home, and you can imagine what it was like. If it hadn't been for Dave, the house would most probably have resembled a bomb site.

It was frustrating and I felt like I wasn't really achieving anything, and I felt I wasn't fulfilling the role I was meant to. And so I ended up being grumpy, and feeling guilty, and then feeling guilty about being grumpy...

And so evolved my cleaning day.

Hello Blitz-the-house Monday!

On Mondays, I put Heidi down for a nap at 9am (as usual), and then its all systems go... I strip down the beds, stick a wash on, clean the bathroom while Heidi's settling and then I dust and hoover upstairs while Heidi's in her initial deep sleep. That way the hoover doesn't disturb her. After that, Ava and I head downstairs and I have a good hour left of Heidi's nap to get the rest done. Whatever doesn't happen on a Monday, doesn't happen. I found that hard at first, but I'm learning that I need to be realistic, and actually, in a weird way, knowing its my one opportunity keeps me motivated and makes me get on with it. I can't put it off til "tomorrow".

The thing is, I'm holding it all loosely, because I've no doubt it will all change again when our circumstances change. Right now, it works for us, and the extra incentive of a cup of tea at 11am (or lunch if we're running a bit behind with getting everything done in time!) with my lovely friend Anna post cleaning morning helps me have a target to work to too!

I don't have this sussed. The down side is, I no longer really get to do the "deep clean" stuff - you know, the proper clearing out drawers and cupboards, cleaning out the oven, descaling things etc etc, but you know what? That's OK for now. I just need to find other opportunities to do those things and they aren't going to get done as regularly as they used to. Keeping our home clean and safe, with clean clothes and food on the table is the main thing. And ultimately, my priority is not having a show-home house that could be part of the Ideal Home Show. Its providing a home for our family.

So today, while you're reading this, I'm probably flying round the house with a duster in hand while Ava creates chaos behind me!

What do you do to keep on top of your cleaning? Do you have a system? Have you found there are "seasons" in life where you have to let some things go? How do you stop becoming too "house-proud"? I'd love to know your thoughts!


  1. Even though I am a house wife and part-time student, I still don't have enough time for cleaning. I am disorganised and I get so fed up of cleaning up after my husband and kids - they are such slobs! Not to mention to 2 dogs, who constantly run across the kitchen with mucky paws and moult. Grrrrr to cleaning!

  2. Claire you seen our house, we live in clutter, mess what ever you want to call it, but it is clean ish, we normally well I should say paul do a better clean, not tidy though when we know people are coming over. but kids are happy and in a weird way I can find more in clutter then when its put away.


I love reading your comments! Thanks for stopping by!