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.
Looking after a home and family is physically demanding work. Without health, energy and emotional calm, it can be an uphill struggle. So it makes sense to prioritise your well-being, make it non-negotiable. Looking after No1 needs to be Job #1.
However, the life of a House Slave is a busy one and there may be times when what should, in theory, be top of your To Do list, can drift and slide to the nether regions of your Things That Get Neglected list.
So what to do?
By popular request, today’s post is a bit of an odd one for this blog…
It’s a recipe.
Not being your average domestic goddess, there are unlikely to be many more but since I was asked to post this, here it is.
It’s my method of producing that vital essential to domestic life – the flapjack.
In Housework Blues, I describe the many wonderful benefits of The Housework-out, (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-out…
…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.
The ‘Not Enough Hours In The Day’ Trilogy – Part III
Keeping our homes and feeding our families are innate human habits. And, thanks to today’s mod cons, this domestic stuff has never been easier. Why, then, do we still struggle to find the time for it?
One answer lies in the position of housework on our to-do lists, (ie not very high.) But there is another explanation: if we have so much to do that such a primal and essential need gets neglected – perhaps our lists are too long! The existence of housework isn’t the problem – it’s a side-effect of being alive – but if we don’t have time for it, the problem is: our lives are too full. If we lack the time to take decent care of ourselves and our families, something, somewhere has gone wrong…
The ‘Not Enough Hours In The Day’ Trilogy – Part II
As a race, we humans have always had self-maintenance work to do. It’s part of survival. If you’re alive, it goes with the territory. So why, with all the modern advancements at our disposal, do we struggle to find the time for this primitive and basic care-work – looking after our homes and families?
The problem is not a lack of hours in the day. If we had more hours, no doubt we would cram them full of other stuff and still have no time for housework! Since we generally manage to find or make time for what matters most to us, it’s less a time issue and more a question of priorities.
Far from being the bare minimum for survival, the nurturing of our homes and families seems to have slipped down the to-do list. But why has taking care of our ‘lair’ lost its sparkle?
And you’ve just tidied it!
There are few greater tests of love than keeping your temper when family members unravel your hard work – before your very eyes. Now that’s tough. But then that’s life, full of challenges.
Of course, being human, some days we won’t manage to keep a lid on our simmering fury. However, if we can manage our anger on just a few of these testing occasions, so much the better for all within earshot – not least ourselves. And as the wise Lemony Snicket puts it,
“Temper tantrums, however fun they may be to throw, rarely solve whatever problem is causing them.”
So learning to diffuse our vexation is useful because, let’s face it – this particular problem isn’t likely to be a one-off. If your family are anything like mine, they will view a tidy room or clean surface as an irresistible magnet for clothes, toys, papers and other such debris. So until we discover how to retrain them successfully, we need an antidote to the temptation to explode.