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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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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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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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.


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