This is not so much of an article about doing housework, or how to clean a house, but a few rules which will enable you to make sure, that you run the house and that the house does not run you.
Years ago when I was a new mum stressing about the housework, and my ferociously organised mother in law was tutting in the background, a friend said to me, “The house is there to serve you, you are not there to serve the house.” I try never to forget that.
Busy mums housework rule one
Always remember that housework will expand to the amount of time you have available. Even if you spent all day, everyday doing the housework you would still find something that needs to done – or re-done.
Busy mums housework rule two
Tidying up and housework are different. Although the end result, a clean and tidy house is the same. The thing to remember about tidying up is this can take as long as housework. So keeping the house tidy is the key to keeping on top of the housework.
Busy mums housework rule three
Try to tidy up as you go along. I know this is not always easy. One thing which you can try to do is combine activities that are going on in a room, with tidying up. For example tidy the kids rooms while they are getting ready for bed, or getting up in the morning. Get them to help, and make it part of their nightly routine and fun. Think of other rooms in the house where you can multi-task by tidying up while you are cooking, or watching the telly, or the kids are in the bath.
Busy mums housework rule four
One of the reasons it is often difficult to keep things tidy is because not everything has a place to be put. Ask yourself where clutter collects in your home. Find homes for these items, or systems so that the clutter will not collect there anymore.
Busy mums housework rule five
On the subject of clutter. The more clutter there is, the more difficult it is to tidy up. Try to get rid of clutter as you go along. And if you are having a clear out use the following rules. If you have not used it, bin it or give it away. If you really can not bear to part with the offending item, then pack it into labelled box with the date on it. Then give it away or bin it in six months.
Busy mums housework rule six
As housework expands to the amount of time you have to do it. Before you embark on any household duties decide how much time you are going to spend, doing housework – or tidying up for that matter. Decide what household duties you need to do and stick to it. Don’t allow unnecessary interruptions, or distractions to get in the way. That includes the phone and social media, by the way.
Busy mums housework rule seven
Develop a system to do housework. Whether you clean from top to bottom all in one go, or do separate chores different days. Keep in mind that you should be doing high energy housework – when your energy is high. Not after a long tiring day.
Busy mums housework rule eight
If you hate housework, or do not have the time or inclination to do it then get a cleaner, or delegate or trade chores with a friend. But keep in mind they may not make such a good job of it as you. (In your opinion).
Remember the house is there to serve you, not you to serve the house. After all the house will be there when you are dead and gone.