Confession: I absolutely HATE cleaning!
There, I’ve said it! I work hard, full time, high stress… so why do I have to come home and start all over again?
Yes, I have tried getting a cleaner but then I simply end up cleaning up in readiness for the cleaner (well, I don’t want her to think we are completely disgusting) and yes, the other half does help but really, in all honesty… it’s down to me. If I give him a task, he’ll do it but he rarely acts voluntarily. I think that’s probably a man thing. (He does read my blog, so I wonder if he’ll now set out to prove me wrong? Fingers and toes are firmly crossed!)
A few months ago, we were in the pub with friends (standard Friday night beers) and our friend’s niece called in. She was home alone as Mum & Dad were away on holidays. As it was around 10 o’clock by the time she turned up, I asked what she’d been up to earlier in the evening. Her answer ‘Hinching the house’. I was speechless. Is this what young people do on a Friday night these days? Good grief!
After some thought about the evening and that conversation, I ordered myself Hinch Yourself Happy by the now very famous Mrs Hinchliffe. While I completely agree that having a tidy house leads to a tidy mind, I got about halfway through and as soon as Mrs H started talking about cleaning the washing machine, I felt seriously inadequate. Sorry Mrs H, I loved reading your story but I can’t do it! (Although I do fancy your new journal and might treat myself to a copy).
I have previously commented in this blog that the daily Instagram challenges have helped me keep the house tidy and that is certainly true but there is one thing that’s really helped us keep the house in order over the past eight months – the upstairs, downstairs routine. Basically you clean one floor of the house every week – upstairs one week, downstairs the next… and so it goes on. We started on 1st January and I’ve been pretty strict – only missing one week and blimey did it have a knock on effect. Never again! It really works for us. It means we really keep on top of things all over the house and sometimes a floor might not need a particularly deep clean and the time is then used for little jobs that need doing. Basically, it’s all now cut down to about 30 minutes once a week as a joint effort, providing we keep the place reasonably tidy and it’s been revolutionary.
The other thing that has completely revolutionised proceedings is our new vacuum cleaner. For years, we’ve struggled with a Henry but a few months ago, after a recommendation from a friend, we bit the bullet and invested in a Gtech cordless system. Oh my goodness, it’s absolutely amazing! It saves time and cleaning is just… easier! No more cords or backache or horrible bags to empty. If you can afford it, take a look at their website. I was a bit cheeky and contacted them by their instant message facility to ask if there was a discount code available and they gave me a code without any fuss, so I had a little discount. That’s definitely a top tip!
The other sanity saver is my steam mop. We got our Vax on special offer at B & M Home Stores several years ago. Just goes to prove you don’t need to spend a fortune to make life a little bit easier. Here’s another tip – it’s brilliant for freshening up a rug.
My last two tips involve good old washing up liquid. I’m not brand loyal as ideally I refill at a zero waste shop but I use it for two purposes in addition to simply washing the dishes. Firstly, I mix a squirt with water in a spray bottle to clean the kitchen. I picked up the spray bottle in Ikea (currently selling for £1) and it’s lasted several years. Every few days, I top it up with another squirt of the liquid and tap water. It saves me a fortune and works just as well as the kitchen sprays I used to buy. Secondly, I use washing up liquid to clean the bathroom – let’s face it, if it can clean a greasy saucepan, the average bathroom is a breeze. I’ve never come across a bathroom cleaner that does a better job, plus you can help the planet by refilling at a zero waste shop and again, it saves a small fortune.
Do you have any top tips? I’m keen to know anything that might make cleaning the house quicker and easier. Please get in touch.