Doing several 10-minute tidies per day is helping me keep things in better order.
The DH was away in England recently and while he was gone, I made some valiant efforts to get the house somewhat tidier.
We are both messy people, and living with a dog and five cats doesn’t help. With him, it’s robot parts, bits of computer equipment and books. With me, it’s clothes, hobbies like beading, and more books.
Add to that the fact that our surfaces are covered in mud on a daily basis, courtesty of our cat Rockwell, who sleeps on the living room buffet and drinks from the kitchen taps; the fact that at least one of the cats will be sick each day, and on a bad day there can be 6-7 lots of vomit to clean up; litter trays for the 18-year-olds (three of them); woodburners and the general filth of country life and it’s quite a potent cocktail.
I lugged eight sacks of rubbish, eight sacks of recyling and seven sacks of charity stuff to the various depots over the course of the week, set up a ‘station’ for shredding paper; cleared a proper space in the office to work on my beading, and generally got the place looking pristine.
I then decided to practise some better daily habits.
* Bring breakfast in on a tray so that I can carry it away easily afterwards and clear the crockery into the dishwasher.
* Plump the sofa cushions after breakfast.
* Keep the kitchen island unit clear (of catfood, crockery, stuff that hasn’t been put away yet…)
* Dry the bath after using it and hang the bathmat over the side so the floor is clear.
* After getting dressed, make the bed (which has been airing since we got up and by now has a sleeping cat on it).
* Keep all surfaces clear, especially the pine buffet that divides up our living room, and the coffee table (remotes are allowed).
* Vacuum the hearth, where there is always an ash spill.
* Spend 10 minutes tidying up after breakfast, lunch and dinner, to stop the mess from building up during the course of the day. When you work from home and cook all your meals from scratch, things can get pretty chaotic.
So far, it is working well. Walking into a clean, neat room whichever room it is, is raising my spirits, and – like exercise – doing housework in small tranches doesn’t feel too burdensome – important when it takes an hour to vacuum our 70sqm living room.