Posts Tagged ‘tidying

Part 2 begins at 10.12am. In the last hour I have managed to:

Refill and run the dishwasher
Have some tea and toast.

I can see it’s going to be a long day. So I have also refilled the kettle and checked on the kids. They even got extra toast.

They are lucky…in this house being ill means curling up and watching cBeebies all day. Good for them to watch so much TV? No. God for me getting on with stuff. Oh yes. Well, maybe.

One discovery I have made is, if I put the timer on this marvellous iPad contraption on, and then get it to tell me stories while I do the chores, the timer switches itself off. I feel a one star rating coming on. Hello, oven timer. I’ll use you instead.

Oh. No. Oven timer has a dud beeper. It will get to zero but no sound will be made.

Can I cope? Flylady relies on 15 minute bursts of activity. ‘You can do anything in fifteen minutes!’ is a good catchphrase. Though I would prefer you don’t think about it too much, or your mind may take you far from housework. My old timer ran out of batteries a couple of weeks ago.

Hmm. This morning routine looks suspiciously like it may stray into the afternoon at this rate.

Time for another cuppa, then, perhaps.


Following a week of camping, tales of which I intend to regale you with over the next few weeks, we are back home. The long, hot, and probably rainy month of August has begun. 

I have imposed summer scrapbooks on the children.  It is of course highly probable that the scrapbook will have a few measly pages filled under duress and I will bin it before mid August. My optimistic side hopes otherwise.

As such, I thought it would only be fair if I made myself do a summer scrapbook too.  And since I’m a blogaholic, well, here I am with my first scrapbook entry.

Of picnics, paperback perusal, pants and precipitous pop-ins

If I possibly can, I try to follow a routine during the holidays. Everyone dresses before breakfast, everyone helps out with the chores immediately after breakfast, everyone cleans teeth, makes beds, tidies rooms. Pocket money is earned this way. Then they get to play, or have a treat.

Today’s treat was a trip to the park for a picnic.

Often, days like these are spent in playgrounds, trying to coax the older ones off the equipment to come and eat something, simultaneously trying to rein in smallest one’s ambitions beyond her ability. So it was a welcome change to go to a park with no playground for once. The most exciting thing in this park? Trees.

Of course, half an hour in – and after letting smallest one toddle around randomly for some time, I notice they haven’t been that hot on poop scooping; thankfully smallest one doesn’t notice/step in/pick up/eat any of them. The older ones played hide and seek.  It was a joy to watch.

After that, we popped into the library, where middle child had a really good go at reading a Charlie and Lola book out loud.  Oldest one had found an Asterix book, then remained immobile for over an hour as he devoured it from cover to cover.  Smallest one was determined to ignore the books, and instead wake up the sleeping baby nearby.  Upon removal, she was then very keen that the books should really be on the floor. I wasn’t sure which was the less desirable option, though I was relieved when the buggy owner left with baby still snoozling away in spite of smallest one’s efforts.

A quick spot of snakes and ladders (there’s an enormous one painted on the ground outside the library), a slight incident mid-game involving middle child’s underwear, then we headed back to the car to go home.

My phone rang just as I’d started the engine. The estate agent. Any chance we could do a viewing on the house in just over an hour and a half’s time?

Cue the fastest tidy up you’ve ever seen.  Less than 48 hours after our return from camping, the hall and living room is a bomb site.

I thank my lucky stars we at least implemented the holiday routine and had a relatively tidy kitchen.  I don’t know how I did it. I even had time for a two-minute shower…just as well considering I was a big ball of sweat after the tidying up was completed.  And I got the dinner started before they rang the doorbell.

Upon bidding them goodbye, the phone rang: loved one – away on business tonight. I told him he was talking to Supermum.  Wisely, he didn’t disagree.

I almost got the kids to bed on time too.

But not quite.

I realised as I typed the title, that this might be the subject of one of my ‘why moving house is stressful’ blogs, but for now this is a good thing.

Now that the house is beautiful, clearly we have to keep it this way until some nice person agrees to buy it.   So we have a more pro-active attitude to tidying up.

With regard to me, that means cleaning up – properly – after every meal, keeping on top of the laundry, going around all the rooms decluttering every morning, and keeping an eye on the state of the bathrooms and toilets.   Amusingly, these are all habits good old Flylady encourages in us.

It also gives me a lever on the kids.  They have to keep their rooms tidy too.  So I have been implementing a policy where nobody gets their meal if they have left their bedroom or playroom in a mess.  They are buying into this, though it’s tricky when they have friends round.   Nevertheless, they are keeping up their side of the bargain, and for every day their room is tidy they get a little extra pocket money.

I hope and pray that all these things that must be done will become routine for both me and the kids.  (Oh, and the loved one, who is playing catch-up on the tidy thing.)   I almost want the house to take longer to sell, to give us a chance to set the habits in stone.

Or perhaps I should just make sure that once the house sells, we don’t collapse in a heap, have a celebrat0ry pillow fight and let the house degenerate back into its usual chaos.  Tempting though that may be, it won’t help once we begin the moving process.  And it’ll be three times as bad once we move into any new house and have any building work to wade through.

healingdream /

But we might have to have the pillow fight anyway.  If we sell the house, can you think of a better way to celebrate with the family?

We’re planning on getting our house on the market within the next seven days or so.  Yes, things are hotting up.

renjith krishnan /

Swap the dollar sign for a £ and this seems fairly accurate right now

We can play it several ways.

Option one is the least hassle: don’t do anything differently to normal. We did this in the last house, but then that was a part exchange so there was less urgency to ensure the house would actually sell. One advantage of buying a new build I suppose.

Option two is the most hassle: you make the place look like a showhome. Fresh paintwork on all the walls, a kitchen you could find on the pages of an interiors magazine, the latest style of wallpaper and flooring..  This tends to ensure a quick sale and was the basis of all those House Doctor TV programmes.

Unfortunately everyone has seen the programmes and everyone seems to have identikit trendy show houses when selling these days.

This could be a problem in our case since we don’t do trendy wallpaper and all that malarkey. But with everyone else doing it and living in an area where people tend to like that style, it’s hard to tell how well option three will be received.

Yes, unsurprisingly our plan is somewhere in the middle. We don’t want to start faffing around with builders when there’s every chance the person considering buying the property would do it differently. We could follow the herd and go down the trendy route, but I can’t bring myself to spend so much time and money only to hate the end result.

Which means that option three is basic maintenance and tidying the house to within an inch of its life… In itself quite a feat when there’s three children and two messy adults to take into account.

I’ll be blitzing it from top to bottom in the next couple of days. Woe betide a child who so much as breathes in the house once it’s clean.