Can we talk about cleaning for a moment?
I know, I know. How old am I?! But there has been something of a cleaning revolution happening of late and I have kinda got caught up in it slightly.
Mrs Hinch. You’ve heard of her right? She has inspired the world to spray fabric softener on their sofa and made a specific brand of cleaning product actually sell out. Her Instagram growth has been phenomenal.
I’ve followed and I’ve enjoyed. I’ve taken on board a few of her tips too. But I still can’t move past the fact that I loathe cleaning.
I’m not naturally clean and tidy. I would imagine that if anyone that knows me in real life is reading this, they are sniggering into their screens right now – Hi Nan!
Now that my Isabelle has started school I actually have so much time to myself it’s kind of embarrassing. Sure, sure I’m 20 weeks pregnant so I get some kind of pass I think if I want a little afternoon nap or I cry for 40 minutes because we’ve ran out of Granny Smith apples, but nevertheless I think it is pretty much a given that I should be keeping the house clean each day.
And I’m doing it. I promise that I am. My husband like a show home house, he likes white walls and empty sides. I avoid clutter like the plague because it just means more things I have to move and dust around/under. So all in all we don’t do too badly.
I thought it might be a good idea to give you a few tips that I have picked up along the way. A lazy girls guide to cleaning – if you will. Some are stolen outright from Mrs Hinch, some are from The Organised Mum Method (who I absolutely adore – please go and check her out) and some are just random things that I do to make it look as though I have spent all day cleaning instead of watching This Is Us on SkyTV and crying into a plate of chocolate biscuits.
1 – Zoflora everywhere.
I’m kind of new to Zoflora, though I think it’s been a thing for a long time. God knows how it passed me by. It is basically a small bottle of highly concentrated disinfectant that you dilute with water and can use pretty much anywhere. You can get loads of different scents (I’m impatiently waiting to find the Christmassy ones in my local shops) and it makes your house smell incredible.
- Use it in your spray mop (spray mops are amazing by the way – definitely invest. £6 or so from Home Bargains!)
- Wipe a little on the radiators (so when they come on the house smells incredible)
- Soak a bit of kitchen roll in zoflora and leave it at the bottom of your bin
- My friend Beth from Twinderelmo has a post on billions of ways to use it, go check it out here
2 – Candles.
House smells a bit funky after dinner? Light a candle. Bathroom smell questionable after a visit from a small, gross person who you’re trying to train to be more discreet (your kid)? Light a candle. Want everywhere to feel cosy and Autumnal? Turn off the lights, light a candle and the dust is completely hidden away.
I personally like soy ones a little more as they don’t leave black marks on your ceiling BUT there is definitely a special place in my heart for a Yankee or a Woodwick crackly one (or even a knock off Home Bargains Wickford and Co that’s in a massive jar for like £2.99).
This one is a favourite of mine. We get through candles like you wouldn’t believe. I mean sure, ok. You are LITERALLY burning money here. But everyone loves a candle right?
3 – Zone Cleaning.
This one is taken from the organised mum and her basic premise is that you have level 1 jobs that should be done every day which is basic stuff that you probably already do like a load of laundry or making the beds. But then she also spends 30 minutes every day focussing on one particular area of the house. Like, Kitchens on a Thursday or Bedrooms on a Tuesday etc.
I really, really like this way of cleaning. You get used to the basic Level 1 jobs that you should be doing every day to keep on top of stuff and the whole 30 minute thing goes by really quickly. You can check out the method free on her blog but I like to follow her on Instagram too where she posts additional tips and pointers.
A good idea might be to print off the weekly routine and stick it up somewhere. Get the family involved too. I’m a big believer that kids should be involved in tidying and cleaning and not to earn pocket money – just because they live there too and should want it to be nice!
4 – Never use the stairs empty handed.
I can’t be the only person that has a stairs pile right? Stuff that you gather from other areas of the house and leave on about the 3rd step that is waiting to go upstairs. But then everyone just walks past it for 5 days until the pile actually obstructs the walkway and you explode with rage that NO ONE ELSE CAN SEE THE DAMN PILE.
Right? Right. Every single time you go up or down the stairs (which lets face it is a lot when you have kids) take something with you. Even if it is just one sock you found on the floor that needs to go in the wash. Or one solitary toy you know is in the wrong place. And when you get upstairs with it, put it in its home right away. Not just on your bed (like I sometimes do). It honestly makes a difference. If you have clutter in other areas of your house you can adopt this rule when you go in and out of rooms too but for me, it generally all piles up on the stairs.
5 – Just have less stuff.
Sounds a bit condescending – I agree but honestly. Just purge. Purge all of your clutter and crap that is lying around. When the kids are at school or napping, go through their toys and be ruthless. Go through your clothes and be ruthless. Tip the whole washing basket out on to the floor and look at the stuff right at the bottom that has been in their for 6 months. Have you even missed it? If not, get rid.
Pick one room every week that you are going to purge and go through every single drawer/corner and decide whether or not you love or need whatever it is in your hand. If your kids are a little older, they can get involved too. It’s a good habit to teach them to donate and not hoard. A clutter free space is so soothing and SO much easier to clean.
Go through your Tupperware and bin anything without a lid (well I say bin, recycle or reuse). Donate whatever is useable to a charity shop or if you go to H&M they do a scheme where they give you vouchers for each bag of fabrics you take to their drop off point. It can be old clothes, shoes, duvet covers or anything. It doesn’t even have to be wearable. I think it is something like a £5 voucher per bag of stuff but you might need to check what your local store offers.
6 – Go hard on the storage solutions.
Give every single thing a home. The second you buy something new, decide where it is going to live. If it doesn’t have a home, create one. I have a few piles of stuff on my desk right now that I need to find homes for and they are really bloody annoying me. I may need to make a visit to Home Bargains or Dunelm and buy some plastic underbed storage boxes. Most of my desk crap is paperwork so I need to figure something out.
Utilise storage space as much as possible. If you’re buying a new bed, consider one that has drawers underneath or that lifts up so you can keep spare bedding or out of season clothes in there. If you have space under the stairs, consider getting it turned into drawers or shelves. Hang as much stuff up on your walls or on the back of the door as you can, like your mop, your hoover, spice racks. Just get stuff off the sides. I find that a clear side motivates me to run the duster over it a bit more regularly. One that is covered in homeless crap does not inspire me to move it and clean it.
I hope this helps. Even just a tiny bit. It is all pretty basic stuff but stuff that can be forgotten or lost in the day to day drudgery of life. I really recommend having a look at The Organised Mum Method (this isn’t sponsored or anything I just feel like she’s really helped me recently).