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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toyclutter.jpg

This is a picture of my son, doing what he loves to do – fluffle his mummy’s hair. He has done this ever since he developed fine motor skills. When he was smaller, he used to do it while feeding. Some babies need a blanket or soft toy, my boy needed a handful of hair belonging to someone who loves him.

(Though, this did limit surrogate feeders somewhat. In fact, I did contemplate lopping off my locks and tying with a ribbon so he could be fed by persons without grabbable-length hair…)

So how does this picture help me cope with the fall-out of toys that litters my home?


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help with the housework.jpg

I am a big reader of business manuals and success books and I’d like to share one of the common threads that feature in the great majority, which I think can be safely summed up as follows:

get help!

It’s a simple idea; you focus on what you are good at, your natural talents and abilities, then you seek out ways to delegate the things that you struggle with or resent or do very, very badly.

Can you see where I’m going with this…?


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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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Let’s play Spot the Difference.

Woman A arrives home. She hangs up her coat, bag and keys. She looks around her tidy home, smiles and decides she’s got time to relax in her beautiful sitting room with a cuppa and a magazine.

A flustered Woman B heaves the door open, pushing aside the debris blocking the entrance. She throws her coat on the pile – one more won’t make a difference. As she enters the kitchen, her heart sinks at the sight. Then, though she is surrounded by a million chores that need doing, she collapses, overwhelmed and exhausted on the sofa. She emits a small yelp as the hard plastic toy digs into her back.

So, then. What’s the difference between these two women?


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