I really hate housework. Always have.
I used to put it off until it became overwhelming, and then it would get me down. Daft, isn’t it.
Little and often is what I should have done.
The grown-up side of my brain knew that, of course.
Trouble was, it was the protesting childish side that shouted loudest.
And I am exceptionally good at finding things that are more fun to do than chores!
I have got better with age. Less rebellious.
My husband will testify that I’m still not the most domestic of people.
But if you’re anything like me, the day is such a whirlwind of preparing and cleaning up meals, tidying toys, changing nappies and clothes, that you barely have time to chuck on a load of laundry, let alone tackle each room in a systematic way.
It’s about Survival
Yes I’ve seen those cleaning gurus on tv and social media. I’ve even joined their Facebook groups. I read Marie Kondo! I’m not sure why. Maybe I thought some of their domestic magic would rub off on me?
So what’s the answer? How does someone who struggles with housework get a grip without having to become Anthea Turner?
The honest truth is that I lowered my standards. Because perfection was not the aim, survival was. I didn’t need a show home, just a hygienic and functional one. So, in the interests of sanity, I decided I would do what I could. Just enough. And I said to myself that was ok.
(I should add at this point there are some fabulous people out there with brilliant systems for managing the housework like Team TOMM. Do check them out if you have progressed beyond survival mode and feel capable of more. Otherwise, read on!)
So here it is. To those of you who who don’t find housework overwhelming, I’m sure this will seem laughably simple. But for those of you who just aren’t coping, I hope it will give you a way forward.
This is the ridiculously simple lazy mum guide to getting away with minimal housework. The point of this is not to deep clean, nor is it to do an amazing job. We’re not house proud, we’re just getting by:
Plan of Action
1. Write a list of weekly chores (don’t bother with daily ones. You do them so often there’s no need to write it down!)
2. Prioritise. This is the key to organisation! Label your chores:
- E for Essential (like bathrooms and loos)
- S for Should Be Done Regularly
- N for Nice If I Get The Time.
Or make your own daft labelling system. Whatever works!
3. Allocate 3 hours from your week. Either in a block or across the days. It doesn’t matter where you find the hours, just allocate them and stick to it.
4. Work through your list, starting with the Essentials. Tick them off (it feels good to tick things off doesn’t it). You will feel better once these are done. If you can, do some S ones too. If you’re really winning, move on to N!
Here’s an example of my weekly chore list (I don’t include laundry or downstairs hoovering because I do it daily. And I don’t include ironing as I don’t believe in it. Unless it’s an outfit for a special occasion. I know! It’s shocking):
Lazy Mum Weekly Chore List
- E – Kitchen sink and surfaces
- E – Kitchen floor
- E – Change bedding
- E – Bathrooms, loos and sinks
- S – Hoover upstairs
- S – Clean mucky door handles and frames
- S – Clean high use surfaces like coffee tables
- S – Cobwebs, mirror and window smears
- N – Extra tidying of areas that are out of hand
- N – Hoover stairs (I really hate this job)
- N – Dusting
Please note – this doesn’t cover everything. But it’s not about that. Spring cleaning and deep cleaning are for when spare time is available. This is about staving off day-to-day chaos and saving our sanity.
Your list is going to look different to mine. It will vary depending on your home setting and high traffic areas.
The point is, that having some kind of system is better than no system at all. And instead of sitting there feeling overwhelmed – by doing this minimum list you are winning. And you can always do more!
Happy housework, fellow lazy parents. And remember, do what you can, but don’t forget to have fun along the way!
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