We’d all like to live inside the pages of an interior design magazine. You know the ones, with the spotless white sofa, the coffee table with just one artfully placed objet d’art and a copy of Elle Decoration and the acres of polished oak flooring stretching on for ever without a half empty coffee mug or abandoned child’s toy anywhere in sight.But we don’t. Most of us live with discarded items of clothing, the remains of yesterday’s dinner and whatever weird object the four year/dog old was playing with all around us; in short the detritus of everyday life. And even when we do have the time to tidy up, any kind of deep cleaning is just a distant dream. A whizz round with the vacuum cleaner once a week and a cursory dust of the most visibly offending areas is about all we can manage. As for taking down the curtains and giving the rug a good beating… well, who’s got the time?
But fear not, because there are always hacks to make these everyday chores quicker, more manageable and maybe even fun! A recent article in the Daily Mail recounted the story of one frazzled working mum who sent out a plea to the website Mumsnet to ask for some advice on keeping on top of the domestic duties. She got over four hundred responses!
Whether it’s popping a slice of lemon in the microwave to keep it smelling fresh, adding a drop of lavender oil to the Hoover bag to freshen as you clean or using baby wipes (which apparently work for pretty much any stain known to man) to deal with stubborn smears of unidentified dirt, there’s a trick for every problem. Some are just practical, for example soaking stained cups in a mixture of water and bleach to remove tea or coffee stains (WARNING: the resulting mixture looks just like lemon barley water; I once saw a friend knock back half a cup of this before realising her mistake!). Some are a little more quirky, like wandering about the house polishing skirting boards with your feet (in socks) while chatting on the phone. In the end though if you can find the right job for the right family member and remind them that it’s everybody’s responsibility to pitch in, maybe things won’t get quite so bad to begin with. Maybe!