Messy house

Our house is a tip. Indeed, it was a tip before half term began. It is now, post toddler birthday party and several days of half term, a total tip. I have asked myself why this need be the case. Theoretically I now have three extra helpers on hand to clean up [I am discounting the toddler since his idea of cleaning up, while well intentioned, usually creates more mess].

The problem is that, although certain people, and I am not singling out daughter two in this, but she knows her weak points, say they want to clean their room, they get slightly bored half way through. They suddenly find long lost items under the bed, eg, small rubbers in the shape of a cow, and start creating pet shops or race courses for them. This usually involves scissors, paper and, for some reason, pencil shavings, none of which appear to find their way into the bin.
Daughter three's section of the room is one big fire hazard since it consists of agendas, diaries, charts, school registers and all manner of bits of paperwork with lists on them. She has moved on in her planning regime from plotting sleepovers and her own birthday party to creating events for her sisters. Earlier this week it was a One Direction party, complete with a One D singing and dancing competition and One D specially created stickers as prizes. She has even been looking up the boys' signatures online and copying them to make the prizes seem more authentically from them.
One of the competitions involved me having to guess which member of One D was singing which bit of various songs. I actually got them right, which is fairly worrying. This was while I was being plied with One D propaganda about how the boys are standing up for each other against the evil corporate world which is trying to exploit them. Daughter one is rather worried about their long-term health and well-being.
None of this has helped towards the general tidiness of the house. My partner has had his usual moan about it all and threatened to go around putting everything in bin bags. Unfortunately, he includes my workstation in his general rant. One day, I tell him, after I have done my tax return, which is also relegated to the bottom of my to do list, I will do one immense tidying up session and the house will look pristeen. My argument is that it is actually more satisfying to do a thorough clean only once in a while - as opposed to the daily make do and mend approach - because the results look so dramatically good that you actually feel you have accomplished something. Even if that feeling only lasts five minutes before daughter two decides to embark on building an ark in case of flooding using pencil shavings and several egg boxes and toddler boy opts to mix fruit flakes with apple juice, pour them into his Peppa Pig bag and hide the whole thing on the bottom shelf of his plastic cooker so it has time to ferment.

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My tidy house hints are: first, make sure you do have enough cupboards, drawers, box units for things to actually be tidied into; second, do not keep ANYTHING that is too small, broken, annoying. Ruthlessly weed the children's stuff into a 'hidden holding box', then chuck if noone asks where stuff is. Do not keep anything 'just in case' (except wellies). Third, focus on public areas like hall and drawing room (Ha Ha!) and hygiene hotspots like kitchen bathroom- children's rooms must go to bottom of the fester pile I'm afraid!

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