Housework on the quick

Everyone wishes they had a magic wand which would make all domestic duties disappear, but sadly housework is reality. looks at ways you can cut corners on the dreaded household chores.

Everyone wishes they had a magic wand which would make all domestic duties disappear, but sadly housework is reality. looks at ways you can cut corners on the dreaded household chores.

If you get notice of a surprise visit in just half-an-hour
If that friend or relative with the hyper-critical eye and a nice line in disparaging remarks phones and informs you they’ll be round for a coffee soon, you need to act fast.  If you can’t bear announcing, ”Sorry the house is a mess, but you weren’t worth tidying up for,”  you will have to think and act quickly.  This is when it’s a good idea to visualise how a stranger sees your house.  What are the items and pieces of furniture people would look at first when they enter your house? 
Do the following in this order:
* Shift any shoes or bags from the hallway.  A first impression always lasts.  If your visitor sees a clear corridor which they can walk along without having to dodge debris or avoid treading on detritus, you are half way there in making the visitor feel at ease.
*  Get a big shopping bag and go into the front room – if you intend to take your visitor into the kitchen, then go to the kitchen first.  Pile unceremoniously any magazines, newspapers, books, toys, etc, into this big bag and hide the bag under the stairs.  This is the cheating approach – you know you will have to sort out the bag later – but the short term approach is the most important one at the moment.
* Where do most people’s eyes go to when they enter a room? Answer: the mantelpiece.  Remove strays cups, pieces of paper and sweets.  In the small amount of time you have, use it wisely to re-position ornaments and photographs, so the fireplace is clear and neat.  Lean against it with your arm while you’re chatting, and this will emphasise how tidy you are, because the visitor’s eyes will have no other option but to turn in this direction.
* Quickly dust off one chair.  Direct your visitor to this chair and they will have to sit there because they will be too polite to protest. 
Top tip:  Immediately put the washing machine on – it will look as though you are thoroughly in charge of your domestic duties.

Skimming the surfaces is perfectly okay
Dusting and vacuuming in nooks and crannies does not have to be done every time.  Examine carefully where the dust is most visible most of the time - usually television screens and glass topped furniture - and keep these surfaces regularly cleaned.
Bookcases don’t need wiping every time you take the duster out, but make sure no books are shoved higgledy-piggledy on top of those stacked neatly.  This instantly makes the bookcase appear untidy.  

Some household chores you can’t do on the quick
* Cleaning the toilet is one.  On this household front you have to be diligent and keep it clean all the time.  After all, you never know when your child’s school friend is going to come round for an impromptu visit and will be caught short. You don’t want to worry about what horrible tale will make its way home to his or her parents.  
* Keep the sink clear of toothpaste every day.  It is quicker to do this on a daily basis because otherwise it will become hardened and be more troublesome to remove.

Clutter buster
Do a determined sweep at the end of every day to make sure there’s no clothes, toys or bags anywhere they shouldn’t be.  If it is your own item, put it in a designated place.  For anybody else’s items, pick them up, dump them in their bedroom and close the door.  Not your problem.

Save time
Always clean your dinner plates within half an hour of eating.  Scrubbing away at congealed plates is a bore, so make your life easier by washing them before the food sticks hard to the surface.
Always rinse and put items for recycling straight into your recycling bin, otherwise they take up valuable space on kitchen benches and look untidy.  This is a good task for an environmentally-aware youngster who will probably know better than you which items can be recycled and which can’t.

Comments [2]

  • says:

    In our house we have a ‘hidying up’ routine before a visitor arrives - it’s a bit like tidying up but we replace the tidy with hide. The fun part is trying to find everything you hid in cupboards and drawers afterwards. We had friends round on the weekend and did a proper clean and tidy. As soon as they arrived the mummy visitor decided to visit our upstairs loo. I mentioned that my 3 yr old had just been up there for a wee and I was sorry if he hadn’t flushed. She came downstairs with armfuls of toilet roll and said he was probably responsible for all this being on the floor. Honestly it must have been a whole roll. You gotta love them.

  • says:

    Hilarious – love the idea of putting on the washing machine immediately – top tip!!

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