We’re all spending a lot of time at home right now. With kids around too, it’s going to be hard keeping your place looking good. Fortunately, Bella Middleton, founder of Norfolk Natural Living, has some excellent tips…
I have three children two, four and six and they are pretty talented at turning everything upside down in a matter of seconds. But I’ve discovered five ways to make cleaning more fun for us all.
Before sharing the tips, though, I should say that the most important thing when you have children is to remember your home is not a show home (there are actual show homes for that).
So it doesn’t need to be perfect – and frankly, it shouldn’t be…
Tip 1. Include the kids
Children love doing jobs. I start at breakfast with ‘what jobs have we got to do today? Let’s clean the car or hoover the sitting room – who wants to use the hoover first?!’
(I’m not saying they’ll do a great job! But frankly who doesn’t love blasting a car with the hose or watching stuff getting sucked up the hoover?)
Remember you don’t need to do it ALL on your own. Sure, sometimes it’s easier to get some things done once they’re asleep tucked up and you can whizz round in five minutes. But don’t leave everything to those moments – because those moments are precious too and you need to be able to relax (and recover).
Tip 2. When you do the dishes, use a small bowl, gloves and the hottest water you can bare.
They’ll dry quicker and you might not even need to use the dish towel (much more hygienic too). Plus if you use a dish wash liquid that includes essential oils the heat will help the oils fragrance the room, so doing the dishes could also be a pleasurable relaxing experience too. Win, win. (If the children want to join in, give them their own bowl and have your mop ready.)
Tip 3. Don’t wash your children’s clothes everyday
Shocker huh? If they’re not dirty – and are not covered in breakfast, lunch and supper – then let them wear them another day (maybe even more…). That way you half your washing and ironing – phew. (Also, on clothes washing, use softener, it can reduce the wrinkles in clothes and thereby reduce your ironing pile too).
Tip 4. If you need to mop – use one of the mops with sprays
You use a lot less water, which is much better for wooden floors and if the children join in, there’s no buckets of water being slopped all over the floor and they might even do a half decent job.
Tip 5. Use scented vinegar or make your own
To make your own, it’s 50% water, 50% vinegar and scent – just remember to make it fresh, otherwise it’ll grow bad things. Are you wondering how to clean with vinegar? It’s pretty simple – coffee stains on the sofa? – spritz and dab with a cloth – gone. Grass stain? Spritz and brush before popping in the machine – gone. Limescale on a surface? – spritz and leave for a minute or two… gone. Mirror or window looking a bit dirty? Spritz and wipe with a cloth. There’s not much it can’t do, it’ll disinfect and it’s safe to use around your kiddos too.
I believe life is challenging enough, especially in a lockdown, so if there’s a way to make doing the things we have to do everyday a little bit more pleasurable – we should do it.
So remember the most important thing is: include the children – make it part of their play and that way, there will be less to do at the end of the day. And sometimes – hell, if you’ve just had one of those days, just close the door or pull up the duvet (and guess what will be number one on the job list in the morning?!).
Bella Middleton created Norfolk Natural Living, a slow-luxury eco cleaning and garment care brand with nature and craftsmanship at its core. A small family business, they make all their products by hand, in their workshop on the Norfolk coast. To see more visit: norfolknaturalliving.com or follow them on instagram @norfolknaturalliving