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After years and years of working at home just before Christmas I started a new job which means I only work from home one day a week now. I am finding it incredibly hard to keep on top of general household tasks, and despite having a helpful husband he works at the office three days a week too. So things like loads of washing, the kitchen and bathroom floors and other little jobs that I used to do as and when required whilst I waited for the kettle boil or had a quick break are just not getting done, and it is really starting to get me down. I fully appreciate I had it good for years, but do desperately want to get into a better routine so I’m not coming home to a mess.
The areas that tended to cause me the most annoyance are keeping on top of laundry, keeping the hall, kitchen and bathroom floors clean and finally visible clutter in the bathroom. Very.co.uk asked if I’d be interested in trying to put some solutions in place for these annoying areas and getting things into shape for a bit of a ‘spring clean’.
I decided to tackle laundry first by getting the whole family involved. As a family of four we tend to have a wash on per day, to account for grubby uniform, Sam’s running clothes plus towels and bedding. Now I’m not sure if this is average or not but it is our reality. The problem I have now, being out of the house during the day, is that I just can’t seem to keep on top of things. We do have a washer/dryer machine, but drying clothes in that means higher electrical bills and often shrinks things like school jumpers, so I try to avoid it when I can. So going forwards I’ve created a system to get the kids involved, and it will mean that I can keep on top of the piles of laundry.
Each kid has a sturdy WHAM box that fits neatly inside the shelves in their room, They don’t get mis-shaped whilst being lugged about either. As soon as one is full they can put the washing in the machine after school. Our machine will hold two boxes of laundry comfortably. I will then put the load on overnight and in the morning will hang it out to dry on the airer.
Adult washing will be lugged about in the amazing Brabantia laundry basket. This thing is GENIUS, it folds flat and can be tucked down the side of the washing machine when the load is running and is perfect for transporting dirty laundry downstairs and clean but wet upstairs! I initially chose it because it doesn’t look traditional but there are lots of washing baskets to choose from.
The Minky clothes airer will live in the bay window of our bedroom during the winter so it gets the daytime sun, but in the summer I can load the it up right from the machine and take it outside to sit on the decking. It’s slim enough to be able to walk out of the back door with it fully loaded to dry in the sunshine – roll on summer! Once I have folded the clean washing it will be delivered to each kids bedroom and it is their responsibility to put it away. I find putting it directly on their pillow helps, and denying access to their tablets until it’s done is a good trick too. At (almost) 8 and 9 I think they’re old enough to have a bit of responsibility around this, and it also means that they are being a bit cleverer about deciding if things can be worn again before washing rather than every item of clothing going in the laundry basket even if it isn’t dirty!
The next thing I needed was a good solution for was cleaning floors. Our entire house has hard floors, and I used to be able to swish a spray mop around in a grabbed 5 minutes when I was working from home, aiming for every other day. It was so easy to do this when there was nobody else in the house, but this is a rarity now so the job is not getting done as much as I’d like and the floors are looking grubbier. The Shark Klik n Flip range of steam mops means that I can do a proper deep clean of the floors once a week and they still look pretty decent a few days later. They just do a far better job than a hand held mop and the cleaning head has two sides; so no faffing about changing the dirty one half way through. Low and high steam settings are easy to use depending on how grubby the area is and you can also use it as a hand held steamer to target grotty areas anywhere in the house with the included tools. It’s also fun to use – which means the kids can be tempted to get involved too.
Finally in my spring cleaning mission, tackling visible clutter in the bathroom was solved in the time it took me to build this storage unit – about 35 minutes! Prior to this we had a small plastic open shelving unit which meant that everything was on show, looked messy and gathered dust. This unit makes the best use of space and height in a small bathroom. We have clean towels in the open section and bottom cupboard, and in the top have various skin care lotions and potions and things I want to keep out of the reach of the kids. That tall unit and the small one for keeping loo rolls and cleaning equipment tidily sorted has made walking into the bathroom so much nicer and Athena said ‘it’s like a hotel bathroom now’ which I think is a slight exaggeration but I know what she means!
A last little niggle of mine was visible flower pots that didn’t really match their surroundings – these woven baskets come in a set of two and are PERFECT for hiding plant pots, my Monstera looks so much nicer with a fancy pot and detracts somewhat from the laundry drying next to it!
Wish me luck keeping everything organised, clean and on top of laundry mountain! Any tips, please do send them my way!