The sun is shining, the snowdrops are out and children are casting off school jumpers with merry abandon. I think spring may well be here. (Not that that rules out snow flurries next week….) But just in case these seasonal stirrings are turning your attention to housework, I thought I’d repost my musings on spring cleaning from this time last year;

If you’re even remotely considering a spot of Spring Cleaning – just hold that thought!

Though spring may undoubtedly have sprung and you may be keen to revitalise your home after the dark days of winter, before you do…

I have a tip that will help make this seasonal maintenance work much easier. In fact, this simple step may even bring wondrous benefits to you, your home and your life, long after you hang up your marigolds.


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 girl put your records on

Any regular readers will no doubt be aware that I have a natural aversion to housework. This is not to say I don’t do it – I want to live in a pleasant and comforting home, so needs must etc… But generally speaking it’s not top of my list of things I want to do.

So you probably won’t be too surprised to discover that when I do eventually shift my gears into housework mode, I race about at a frenzied pace, trying to get the jobs done and dusted (literally) as quickly as possible.

Now there is nothing wrong with working quickly, if that’s how you work happiest. Also, there may be times when a brisk pace is essential (ie impending guests are looming). Quite often, though, I have no need to rush the housework, other than my in-built urge to get it over with. And I have also noticed that these domestic frenzies don’t leave me feeling satisfied and competent, instead they actually they wind me up. They make me anxious and tense. So not only do I begrudge the work as I’m tearing through it, but when it’s over, I feel slightly glum or more than a little snappish. Hardly domestic bliss.


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scarlett o hara moment.jpg

So, you’ve spent your time cooking or cleaning or washing or ironing etc, then you look around a few hours later and the fruits of your labour are gone with the wind.

Take a deep breath – it’s time for a Scarlett O’Hara moment.


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readers top tips housework.jpg

Thanks to the marvels of technology, some of my recent online articles included a comments facility and some people very kindly used this space to volunteer their own housework-success secrets.

These included some real gems and I thought it would be helpful to put together a summary of these words of wisdom. So, here follows a collection of top tips from the online community, on how to cope in the domestic trenches. (Thanks, readers!)


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 Housework workout.jpg

In Housework Blues, I describe the many wonderful benefits of The Housework Workout, (ie using housework as a form of exercise). Yet I’m not the first to suggest this idea. In fact, if you search for ‘housework’ on Amazon, one of the top results is the Housework Workout DVD*.

It’s a well-documented theory that the physical, aerobic nature of housework can reap rewards for your figure, especially when you carry out the work with an intention to trim/tone and you tweak your movements for maximum benefit. (For some quick tips on this check out this article from the NHS.)

Perhaps less well-known, however, are the invisible, ‘knock-on’ benefits that also occur when housework is your exercise of choice. So, if the prospect of thinner thighs is not quite enough to motivate you mop-wards, consider the following favourable, yet often unrecognised advantages of The Housework Workout


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Could it be true? (again)

Now I am a self-confessed Undomestic Goddess. I am not naturally inclined to clean and tidy. I am a million miles away from the Perfect Housewife. And yet…

The other day, I had a few precious minutes of un-spoken-for time on my hands and what did I choose to do with it? Well, believe it or not, I actually went looking for some housework!

Admittedly, I didn’t have to look very far…but the point is, I was motivated to do housework. Now what strange magic was at work? What could this new driving force possibly be? What awesome power could be behind such a freak occurrence?

Well, the good news is, the answer is a simple one. The even better news is, you can quite easily get your hands on it, too!


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The results of housework are all too fleeting. You spend your time performing boring tasks and before long, they need doing again. There’s not much scope for any earth-shattering achievements, right?

Wrong!


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Could it be true?

It just might be! Allow me to demonstrate with a personal story…

My youngest child has recently begun ‘Big School’ (though it could well be the tiniest Primary school in the country…). It’s quite a milestone in his life but also, it’s the beginning of an exciting new phase in my life, too. After ten years of being a full-time stay-at-home work-from-home mummy, I now appear to have my life back (a bit).

To celebrate this new era, I set myself the goal of becoming fit, healthy and the possessor of a beach-body to be proud of. Now, this is no mean feat.


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It’s not often you’ll see the word feminist linked with the topic of housework. Surely, feminists don’t do housework..?

Oh, but we do!

A belief in equality is all well and good, but it won’t do the dishes or make the beds. And until the theory of equality reaches the domestic workload (don’t hold your breath…) guess who gets the bulk of the housework? Feminist or not – if you are The Lady of the House, chances are it’s down to you to keep it clean and tidy.

So, what can we do? Spend all our time fighting the regime? Berate our menfolk for their enviable ability to dodge domestic pressure? Possibly. But in the meantime, the dust is gathering.


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…to help with the housework!

I recently wrote a chapter about motivation in the domestic realm, for my new book, Housework Blues.

It lead to the following spin-off idea which I think you may find very useful and effective. The idea is to utilise a powerful technique that deploys your subconscious mind – requiring less conscious (and begrudging) effort from you.

Sound good?


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The ‘Not Enough Hours In The Day’ Trilogy – Part I

Ever find that you just don’t have enough time for housework? Do you ever feel that the mountain of laundry is just unscale-able? That you need more hours in the day to get it all done? I’m guessing, by the fact that you’re here, you answered a resounding YES to all of the above.

And yet, never in the history of women, have we had so much assistance within the home. Imagine, only a few generations ago – whole days were devoted to laundry! These days, we balk at the effort of slamming our clothes into a machine for an hour – but when we return, they’re all clean! No fetching pails of water. No rubbing our knuckles raw on washing boards. No losing our fingers to menacing mangles. Compared to the efforts of our foremothers – modern laundry is a breeze.


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Spring is most definitely in the air. At last!

I don’t know anybody who doesn’t love Spring. In fact, it could be my favourite season, despite the best day of the year (my birthday) being in October. Maybe it’s the contrast to the cold, dark days of Winter – we’re all ready for bit of sunshine. Or maybe it’s the sense of renewed energy and vitality – and not only for plants and animals. As the shoots begin to appear, many people begin to think of new projects or fresh starts. Spring is a time for action. A time to start working on those plans that have been shelved during the winter hibernation.

And so it is with this burst of seasonal zest that I begin my first ever blog!

Ironically, though, Spring is the month most associated with cleaning. My blog, on the other hand, is intended as an antidote to the misery of housework. My mission is to help housework blues-sufferers everywhere and liberate them from any angst or anger they feel towards their role within the home.

While I know some  will be merrily rolling up their sleeves in preparation for some good old-fashioned domestic labour, I have a feeling that there are one or two, out there, who are a bit more like me. Those who feel that the spring weather is far too enjoyable to be wasted by cleaning the house.


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