Cleaning Up – When You Just Can’t Be Arsed

Are you unwell, stressed or just plain lazy? This is a note to myself the post for you!

  1. Delegate. Give everybody at home a job to do – including children. Encourage younger ones to participate by giving them lots of praise and doing it alongside them, or try a reward chart for the older children to earn pocket money.
  2. Limit mess making. Don’t give the kids spaghetti bolognese for tea if you’re not feeling well enough to clean up, or if you’re too busy. It’s a recipe (sorry, I had to) for disaster!
  3. Relax. If you’re run down stressing out about the housework is going to make things worse. You have to look after yourself to be able to look after others – that includes houses – so just chill out, do what you can and don’t beat yourself up about the rest.
  4. Keep to the 5 minute rule. It won’t hurt to do a little at a time. Even if you just do a quick pick up in the ad breaks you’re still helping to make sure you’re not left with so much to do that you just can’t face it. Just do the low-energy stuff or do it in short bursts.
  5. Get into the mood. Put on some music, get some energizing smells in the air and just go with it. It helps if the stuff you’re cleaning with smells divine!
  6. Hide distractions. Put away the phone and laptop and if you’re really determined, get a babysitter! You’ll be surprised how much faster things will get done.
  7. Treat yourself. If you’ve done something well then reward yourself for it – you’d do it to everyone else! Whether it’s some “me” time or something a bit more tangible, you’ll feel much better knowing there’s something nice at the end of the tunnel.

Household Superheroes – Newspaper

Far more than just a daily catch-up with events, the humble newspaper can entertain you for hours – after you’ve read it there’s the Sudoku, the crosswords and the comics. Don’t forget to mention the hours you spend worrying about your horoscope – is true love REALLY just around the corner?

Once you finished being entertained by it, there’s loads more you can do with it before it hits the (recycling) bin.

  1. Pack wet shoes with them and leave overnight to dry out.
  2. Wash windows with it.
  3. Use it as an insulator.
  4. Do some papier-mâché with the kids!
  5. You can double wrap your food scraps with it rather than buying bio-degradable bags.

Household Superheroes – Bicarbonate Of Soda

Famous for its uses in the kitchen and for making awesome volcanoes, bicarbonate of soda makes the last item of my list. It’s extremely versatile and has already been mentioned in other lists but I haven’t exhausted it just yet!

  1. Sprinkle over your carpets and leave for a few minutes before using your vacuum cleaner to leave your carpets smelling as fresh as a daisy.
  2. Add it to water and give your veggies a soak before scrubbing them to helps get rid of some of the stubborn bits.
  3. Use it with a damp scourer to get rid of burned food.
  4. Use it to make baking powder if you happen to run out.
  5. Use it to draw out stains.

Household Superheroes – Natural Yoghurt

It’s delicious mixed with fruit or with a curry and everyone knows it’s good for the tummy. Hey, that sort-of rhymes! I’m quite good at this writing malarkey!

Anyway, here are my 5 reasons to always have it in the fridge:

  1. Eat it when you have thrush or apply directly to the area for speedy relief. Try not to use sanitary towels, breast pads or tampons for the application as these can make it worse. Cotton only!
  2. Use it as after-sun, preferably straight from the fridge.
  3. Mix with food colouring for some non-toxic and extremely edible messy play!
  4. Use it as a low-fat substitute for sour cream or cream cheese.
  5. Use it as a cream cleanser.

Household Superheroes – Petroleum Jelly

This is definitely my favourite household superhero! It’s extremely cheap to buy and so versatile – check out my list.

  1. Use it on nappy rash – it’s as effective as your named brand products (if not more effective) but at a fraction of the price. No nasty perfumes or colourings either!
  2. Rub it on the threads of a bottle cap to create a water-tight seal.
  3. Replace your usual lip balm with it.
  4. Add some to your first aid box – rubbing it into small cuts helps them to heal faster. Particularly useful for someone as clumsy as me!
  5. Rub liberally on hands or feet before going to bed. Cover with moisturizing gloves/socks and reap the rewards the morning after!

Household Superheroes – Cornflour

Using this baby in cooking almost always meant disaster for me until recently when I discovered you actually have to bring your food back to the boil briefly to get it to thicken. Who knew?

Luckily these uses aren’t so difficult *weeps at cooking skillz*

  1. Make a make-up primer/colourless foundation type thing by adding it to white, creamy moisturizer.
  2. Make face paints with it.
  3. Make cornflour gloop for messy time!
  4. Make Christmas decorations.
  5. Replace your baby powder with it.

Household Superheroes – Lemons

Again a popular choice for a superhero, lemons are great for adding an energizing hit of scent and taste to anything it touches – but that’s not all they can be used for!

  1. To add a bit of extra oomph to a vinegar/water solution, throw in a few tablespoons of lemon juice. Not only does it make the cleaning easier but it also smells divine!
  2. Cats hate the smell of citrus – so soak a few cotton wool balls in some lemon juice and put them where you don’t want cats.
  3. Soak a few more cotton wool balls in some lemon juice and put them in the fridge – it will keep it smelling fresh. As long as you remove the gone-off milk first.
  4. Add to a cup of water three tablespoons of lemon juice and microwave on high for about 5 minutes before you clean your microwave. Simply wipe down with a cloth – the lemons will have already worked their magic!
  5. Finally, rub half a lemon on your chopping board to clean and banish smells.

Household Superheroes – White Vinegar

White vinegar is already a well-known household superhero – very deserving of a place in the Hall of Fame! The last bottle I bought was over half a litre and cost just 44p. Here are some more reasons to get it in your cupboards:

  1. Add a capful or two to your dishwater when washing a particularly greasy item.
  2. Mix with food colouring and add to bicarbonate of soda for an explosion of messy fun.
  3. Dilute it with water and use to clean your windows.
  4. Clean “toilet accidents” on mattresses by cleaning it with a vinegar and water solution. To get rid of the smell completely, pour bicarbonate of soda on the wet patch and leave to dry. Vacuum it up then enjoy the renewed freshness.
  5. Clean tile grouting by letting it soak in vinegar then scrubbing with a toothbrush.