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Monday, 8 October 2012

I am doing my housework ... Got no time to fool 'round

A few years ago, a friend of mine was a cleaner, and now and again I'd go with her to help.  I was always amazed at the work covered in just 2 hours! When my house is getting me down and the job just seems so overwhelming, I set my oven timer for 2 hours and don't stop until the timer pings!

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This is what I do (at high speed!) - if you do each job as it is laid out you will get through it all - don't be tempted away from the task in hand by starting on something else!
  • First of all I go all round the house with a bin bag emptying bins and picking up any rubbish I can find
  • Collect all old newspapers, magazines and paperwork for recycling
  • Pick up dirty clothes, sort and put a wash on
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  • Next I throw away dead flowers and put the vases/jugs/jamjars in the dishwasher/sink ready for washing
  • Then I collect any mould encrusted  dirty crockery from various offsprings rooms and put in dishwasher/sink
  • Collect soap dishes, tooth mugs, etc, from bathroom and put in dishwasher/sink
  • Spray the sink, bath and toilet with a spray made from white vinegar, drop of washing up liquid and water - leave to do its magic! This isn't my bathroom spray, but you get the drift!)
  • Do the same in the kitchen, spray the hob, sink and worktops using the same spray
  • Tidy the most important rooms, ie, the ones you spend time in ... other people in the house can tidy and clean their own rooms (haha, as if that'll happen) - straighten curtains, tidy magazines, plump cushions, and put things back where they belong
  • Straighten bedding/make beds
  • In living rooms, move items from surfaces and wipe them down, then replace items (obviously 2 hours isn't long enough to do a big spring clean ... this is just to make you feel better about your home!). 
  • Spray and wipe mirrors.
  • Wipe down the bathroom and kitchen - they should be sparkling by now!
  • Hoover right through the house
Timer should be pinging by now, but depending on the size of your house and how thoroughly you do everything it may take a longer or shorter period of time


Sit down in your lovely, clean, tidy house and make a cup of tea, served with a cupcake and your favourite magazine!


If you still feel energetic, set it for another hour and spray and wipe windows.

Go out and treat yourself to some lovely flowers, as a reward to yourself for all your hard work!


I'm not for a minute telling anyone how to clean their homes, yours always look so lovely and welcoming on your blogs, just sharing with you what works for me when I feel overwhelmed!

If you have visitors arriving at short notice and your house is a pigsty  untidy, with no time for the above, get everyone to pick up and shove behind the sofa move from view anything that shouldn't be there, if you have hard floors, sweep round rather than getting the hoover out, plump cushions and put the coffee machine on!

Must go now ... the lovely Maria's coming tomorrow so I really need to practise what I preach! Can't let her see my house like this, haha!

Have a lovely day

Love, Claire xxx


75 comments:

  1. Ho ho Claire - I can certainly identify with a great of what you have written here. We are now at the stage in our house where I refuse to do any tidying or cleaning of the children's bedrooms - (if you can make the mess then you can clear it up) but that takes a great deal of willpower sometimes...
    I too leave things to 'work their magic' while I get on with something else. When I make my morning tea (the first of about a dozen!!) I pour some of the boiling water onto the cooker - leave for a while and it is all clean again!
    I am also a huge fan of 'shoving' - the room may appear tidy but behind every cupboard lurks a darker tale....
    Better get on Claire...
    Best wishes
    Jenny

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    1. Hi Jenny, it's amazing what you can do if you don't let yourself get distracted ... 2 hours out of your week and then you've got lots of time to do lovely things like read blogs! xx

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  2. I clean by making a list too Claire! It's the same list as always but I get a sense of satisfaction when ticking it off as I go along... Then my cup of tea, magazine and biscuit (or 5!) are always welcomed as I sit in my show house ;)

    Then the family come home- do what they do and it looks like a bomb site again! haha! It never ends :)

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    1. Hi Hazel ... isn't it amazing that non-one every notices what you do ... only what you don't do? It's like the Forth Bridge, as soon as you've finished, the family arrive and it's time to start again! xx

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    2. Gosh you two .....how very true is that!!!
      A xx

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  3. Hello and good morning Mrs!
    This post made me smile soo Claire, as you and I do our cleaning totally different....
    My way is to play Dean Martin or Frank Sinatra and sing a long, some times....
    I putter and potter and pretty things up not really getting my hand too dirty all the while!
    hehe..Sweep the room with a smile ....That is me!
    See you tomorrow am a looking fowards too it!
    LoVe Maria x

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    1. Hi Maria! What you've got to consider though, is that I live in a family of savages (4 men and a teenager!!) who like to live in a hovel. Your home is always lovely, but you have clean, tidy people sharing it with you ... you'd get through a lot of Ol' Blue Eyes cleaning up after this lot!

      Never mind, we'll put the world to rights, tomorrow xx

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    2. You made me smile with this comment too Claire!!

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  4. What an excellent piece of advice! I'm going to try setting the timer for 2 hours... next Monday though ;-)
    Today, (usually my chores day, where I flit around popping in and out of rooms, being distracted by cups of tea, mags, my adorable pups, blog reading, and a myriad of other things that I'd rather be doing than hoovering!) I have a friend coming around to sew this morning - she's learning to quilt, so who am I to refuse assistance - and then this afternoon taking my visiting sis-in-law out for afternoon tea. Soooo, perhaps the chores will get done tomorrow... but probably not! Happy Monday :-)
    xoxo

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    1. Hello Gilly, my favourite pastime is procrastination too, but needs really must today! Have a lovely day, sounds bliss!

      xxx

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  5. a little bit o' muck makes a house a home...at least thats my view/lazy interpretation! I love your tip about the timer, may have to borrow that one. When I'm feeling particularly slovenly, I dig out my Anthea Turner 'Perfect Housewife DVDs - that gets me running for baskets in no time!
    BH x

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    1. Ooh I used to watch Anthea Turner all the time ... she made me feel so slovenly with her perfect home! xxx

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  6. This post made me grin! I've just gone around the house like a mad woman! I don't always have lots of energy, so use it up when I do! Ada :)

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    1. A girl after my own heart, Ada! If it doesn't get done by the time the timer pings it doesn't get done!

      Enjoy your lovely home! xxx

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  7. Love this idea Claire ... it is amazing what can be done in a few hours .... Bee x

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    1. Glad you like it Bee, you can feel really smug afterwards! xxx

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  8. Lovely you have made me smile what a lovely post xxx

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  9. you have just inspired me to clean the bathroon, no timer though just a frenzied clean, my house cleaning syle is much like me, easily distracted by better and more interesting things! but like you say it is soooooo nice when its done :-) xx

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    1. Hi Sophie, you shouldn't be running round in a frenzy, you've just got back off your hols! Relax with a nice mint tea xxx

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  10. This post brought a smile to my face. Have a great week!
    June

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    1. Thank you June ... you have a lovely week too! xxx

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  11. Looking around thinking yes, must do something proactive and it sounds so motivating, but thought I should sit and reply to your post first, otherwise it would be rude... :) I'm a procrastinator of the highest order :)) x

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    1. Thank you Cheryl for replying ... don't want to keep you from your housework though! xxx

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  12. I have good intentions on my day off every Friday but get so easily distracted by other things ... The timer is a great idea! M x

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    1. Hi M, If I don't set the timer my mind wanders and I start flicking through magazines and not getting anything done ... the 2 hour timer is just right! xx

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  13. Ha!Ha!...great post Claire...on something so dear to us all....not!!!!
    The timer is a brill idea and I am definitely going to try it also may I add its good exercise whizzing around the house at top speed to get things done. I've got to see how much I can do in 2 hours....you've done loads! I get so distracted!! I love this idea and also the flower reward at the end ....from me to me....wonderful!!!

    Amanda :-)

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    1. Hi Amanda, went for my flower reward before, but didn't really like any, so am flowerless at the moment :(

      xxx

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  14. Thanks for your wonderful tips. My favourite is the tea, cakes and magazines. I love having a good clean and everything looks sparkly and fresh, then everyone comes home and messes up. Have a lovely day with Maria.
    Ali x

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    1. At least you know you've done it though Ali! Thank you and wish you could join us ... that would be fab! xxx

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  15. I really like the idea of the timer..will have to give that a go next time (though perhaps on a shorter time, due to my little one..but I can defiantly do an hour while she naps).
    When you wrote this 'Then I collect any mould encrusted dirty crockery', it took me back to the days when I was renting with housemates..haha (the joys! :P).
    Have a nice visit with Maria :)
    Magie x

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    1. Hi Magie ... don't wake the baby with the timer pinging!

      Can't believe you were once the owner of mould enrusted pots! Euggh!

      Hanve a lovely day xxx

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  16. I really enjoyed this post! It's always interesting knowing how others keep on top of chores. I too am always amazed at how quickly professional cleaners work but they are pros, they don't get distracted by magazines (like I do) and they don't spend half an hour tidying up before the cleaning starts! I find the time slots while the youngest is at nursery make me focus on getting jobs done in a short amount of time. x

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    1. Hi Gillian, 2 hours isn't much really and as long as you stay focussed you do get a lot done! When mine were at nursery I only had a short time too but without little hands 'helping' a lot is achieved! xxx

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  17. I so need to be giving this a go! :) x

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  18. I do love my house to be clean and tidy, however it doesnt stay like that for too long! Seriously there are only 3 of us in this house including the cat so it doesnt get too untidy so although we tend to tidy as we go on a daily basis I do like to blitz it every couple of weeks.Your house pics always look lovely!

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    1. A
      I love mine to look neat and tidy too, anne, but we are a big family so I have to be realistic! I do certain things on a daily basis but Monday is blitz day! Thanks for your kind comments xx

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  19. Such a good idea to set the timer Claire! I am not too keen on housekeeping, but this may work for me too.

    Happy new week,

    Madelief x

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    1. Try it ... you know you want to! 2 hours, job done! Enjoy your week Madelief xx

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  20. Oh Claire
    you have made me smile, I have had a major tidy up to day, I was planning to have a lazy one but my youngest son rang this morning and announced he was arriving tomorrow instead of Friday! so I sprung into action washing on.. beds changed..bathroom spruced I wish I'd had a magic wand Ha! Ha!
    Have a wonderful day with Maria
    Thea x

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    1. My son does this too Thea ... can you explain why we like the house spotless for sons coming home? I emptied Jacob's room and totally blitzed it, when I looked in on him later in the day it was as if a bomb had gone off! Oh well ... xxx

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  21. this is great. I get distracted so easily...mostly by the computer haha

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  22. Thanks for sweeping into my thinking this morning:) My thinking is inspired by your examples and I am hoping my cleaning will be inspired and more effective as well, Claire! I bought myself some flowers yesterday...now to set the timer and activate the spray bottle so I can earn my reward...hmmmm did I get that a bit backward :)
    xxx from Gracie

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    1. Doesn't matter if it's backwards or forwards Gracie, you've still got your reward! Enjoy your day xx

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  23. I need to give this a go..... I hate housework so need all the tips I can get!! x

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    1. Hi Joe, I have lots of tips, will keep posting! Hope your having a lovely Autumn xxx

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  24. Thank you for this! I'm going to print this out! If my hubby takes the kiddies out I can doing the cleaning in one block otherwise I find I have to do the cleaning in small blocks (little and often). I do prefer to have it all done at one though.

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  25. That's the spirit ... then when they come in it will get all messed up again ... Oh the joys of motherhood! Enjoy the peace xxx

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  26. Hi Claire,Love the idea of a timer,although my 3 girls are all grownup with homes of their own so I can only blame hubby and me if the house is a mess.By the way my hubby has just retired(March) and I still work full time, he cooks dinner everyday and washes up, does anyone else think he should do most of the other housework or am I being unfair? LOVE the picture of your tea and food!Kind Regards Pam.

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  27. I think your husband should definitely do ALL the housework, as you're never there to do it, or to make a mess haha! The tea and food looks lovely, doesn't it Pam, but not actually my house ... it's afternoon tea in a cafe!

    Have a lovely week

    Claire xxx

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  28. Hi Claire,
    Thank you for making me smile and hope your hone was spick and span for Maria, maybe she looked behind the sofa after reading your blog! Sometimes life can feel to short fort housework but it does feel wonderful when everything has been cleaned. Love your method!
    Sarah x

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    1. Hi Sarah, always lovely to see you! Hope Maria didn't look behind sofa ... xxx

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  29. Wow what a list - it's amazing what can be achieved in just two hours.

    I wish I could get past the tidying away to actually get to the cleaning most days.

    Nina x

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    1. Hello Nina, it's easy to get distracted, that's why I set my timer! Hope you're enjoying the lovely Autumn weather xxx

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  30. This is such a great idea, I definitely work well well I'm on a time limit. I'm amazed at the amount of cleaning I can sometimes do when someone says they will be calling round in an hours time!

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    1. I know what you mean! I do loads more when I absolutely have to than when it doesn't matter so much. It's amazing really, and wish I was that motivated all the time! Have a lovely day xxx

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  31. This way of being organised makes perfect sense and seems very achievable. I love the idea of a magazine, tea and cake at the end. I think I will do this on Friday morning and see if I can get all of that done in two hours! Thanks for the inspiration!
    x

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  32. Hi Alix, let me know how you get on, won't you? You'll be amazed at how much you get done xxx

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  33. LOVE IT, love it, love it... specially the bit about a cup of tea and a sit down! I'm all inspired to go home and sort! x

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    1. Haha, that's the best bit Jus! Glad I've been some inapiration xx

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  34. oh, I'm trying this! Thanks for the timer tip!

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    1. Hi Emma, you're welcome! Lovely of you to drop in xxx

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  35. I LOVE this post , please come to my house!
    I am going to give your plan a try, 2 hours of housework is just about bareable
    thank you
    love jooles x

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  36. Hello Jooles, you're right, breaking it up into a manageable amount does make it more bearable, especially if you reward yourself at the end. I'm just going to give my dreaded ironing basket a 60-minute makeover! xxx

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  37. Yeah what a good idea..I usually put music on while I work and so I am singing and cleaning....must be terrible for the neighbours though!! Gail x

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    1. Hi Gail, thanks for dropping in ... Been to see you too! xxx

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  38. Well, this is a brilliant idea.... but I am rubbish at routine, so although I might try it if I had the energy to sustain two hours of cleaning etc., I know the novelty would wear off after the first or second time. Instead I do half hour stints three times a week, when I do energetic cleaning, my way of exercising and feeling virtuous at the same time. Rewarded similarly to you... Found you via Shortbread and Ginger, pretty blog.
    www.hometalesfromanorfolkbroad.blogspot.co.uk

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  39. Hello Maggie, and welcome to Thriftwood! Doesn't matter how we do it, as long as we do!

    Glad you found me, popping over to see you now.

    Love Claire xxx

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  40. Hello Claire..I need you to come to my house for a couple of hours...haha! I particularly like the bit about the cupcake, cup of tea and magazine...maybe I could just skip the first bit?
    Happy Sunday,
    Susan x

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    1. Good idea Susan! Thanks for dropping in xxx

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  41. P.S Meant to say thank you so much for adding the link to my Giveaway too Claire!
    Susan x

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  42. You're very welcome Susan, am keeping my fingers crossed! xxx

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  43. Yоur method of explqining everything in this post is actually good, every one be capable oof simply be awaгe of it, Thanks a
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    ReplyDelete

I love to hear what you think of my ramblings and value all your comments ... I will try and get back to you, but am sorry if I don't always manage this ... sometimes real life just gets in the way! Claire xxx