Best domestic cheats, please share.

(299 Posts)
farmersdaugther Thu 17-Jan-13 20:46:36

Basically I need some tips on how to make me look like I'm an utter domestic goddess but without all the faffing about! wink

Don't get me wrong I'm fully capable of making my home lovely (clean and tidy etc) cooking and baking but I struggle with having a young family.

So what are your best domestic cheats?

I've started with a bread maker and a slow cooker.

farmersdaugther Fri 18-Jan-13 11:03:05

Whoops x-posts about DH's grin

MisForMumNotMaid Fri 18-Jan-13 11:05:54

Essential oil on your vacuum bag or a few drops on your filter if it doesn't have a bag and the whole house gets subtly fragranced as you clean.

LovesGSD Fri 18-Jan-13 11:09:04

Outside the DC's rooms I have 2 washing baskets, one for towels another for their clothes. Above that is a rota of what colours I wash on what day also I've wrote 'any washing not in the basket will not be washed' lol I don't really stick to the washing rota but its stopped my teenager leaving a pile of washing until the last minute grin

smoothieooo Fri 18-Jan-13 11:10:04

When I take my make up off in the evening with a make up wipe, I rinse it then clean the sink and taps.

I also second the child labour tip (my dc get a monthly allowance for hoovering, emptying dishwasher etc) but when younger, I used to make it a game to see how quickly they could put their toys away.

One last thing, even if I'm really pissed tired I always make sure the kitchen is clean and tidy before going to bed. Easier to deal with the breakfast debris!

magimedi88 Fri 18-Jan-13 11:35:43

Devise a ten day menu. When life is stressed you can roll it out for a month or so & no one will realise as it will never be Friday = fish pie. It makes your life so much easier if you don't have to think about what to cook & shop for. Vary the veg & fruit a bit & as long as you don't tell anyone, they won't realise.

MummytoMog Fri 18-Jan-13 11:42:29

I too tidy between putting the kids to bed and sitting down to relax. Only takes 5-10 minutes and makes everything more pleasant. Have a large wooden chest/ottoman/toy box for kids stuff. Sweep everything into it. If small toys exceed this space, put some away. Rotate toys every so often so kids don't get bored with them.

Pre sorted laundry bins good. Giant washing machine is awesome, as is a tumble dryer. I don't iron. Maybe once every two weeks I do half an hour of ironing my clothes and pretty frocks for DD. That is it.

DH has to do the hoovering. We bought a diddy hoover for each floor (we have three) and got rid of the giant vax. Makes hoovering easier and more frequent.

booksinbed Fri 18-Jan-13 11:43:03

Ho Magi--tell us about your ten day menu plan please- want to do ot too- may i copy it ?!!

OneWaySystemBlues Fri 18-Jan-13 11:46:09

Don't leave things till they get really dirty before you clean. Jobs done regularly take less time. I spend around 15 mins a day doing houseworky stuff - different job each day -and my house looks better as it never gets really skanky. My motto is if it looks better than it did before I started, that's OK. It doesn't have to be perfect.
Don't iron - master the art of shaking things before hanging them to dry; if you tumble dry, take things out as soon as it's finished and master the art of folding. Then you only have to iron when absolutely necessary, like for weddings/job interviews!
Baby wipes are your friend (and I don't even have a baby any more) - you can use them to clean all sorts of things, from manky light switches to stains on carpets/upholstery. They're amazing. Don't know what they do to babies bums!
Deal with post the day it arrives - sort into stuff that needs dealing with (and set aside 15 mins to deal with this stuff once a week) and recycle the rest.
Do stuff when you're waiting for other stuff - like in ad breaks on tv or whilst waiting for the kettle to boil/microwave to finish. You can usually get little things done in the few minutes, like putting something away or partially emptying the dishwasher.
Buy that stuff you spray in the shower after you've finished so you don't get streaks. Just a quick squirt afterwards and the shower looks better.

SarahStratton Fri 18-Jan-13 12:02:35

Dust with tumble dryer sheets. They are anti static, and seem to make surfaces repel dust, always a bonus imo.

racingheart Fri 18-Jan-13 12:04:03

My top tip is the Flylady 5 min room rescue. Set your timer for 5 mins and whizz round tidying the room, for 5 mins only.

The result is you go for the big stuff that makes the most difference visually. In kitchen I hang up all coats slung over chairs, put away all boots and shoes; take overflowing laundry baskets upstairs, newspapers in magazine rack and other papers in neat pile. Small, attractive basket or bowl on table for small odd things. Then mega quick whizz round with hoover or brush, wipe surfaces and it looks great. All in 5 mins. It's not perfect but it's so much better, in just 5 mins. it gives you hope and makes you feel empowered rather than swamped by the clutter of having small children. You can do the same in any room.

I also do her 27thing fling. Which ever room you're in, throw away 27 things from it. Start in the kitchen. Chuck out pizza delivery flyers, sauce bottles with almost nothing in them etc. then DCs rooms: broken toys, manky old soft toys they won at the fair five years ago etc. Easier to tidy when there's only items that are truly loved and used in the home.

Same in living room. Big wicker hamper for toys. Chuck em in. Plump up cushions, swoop on mugs and stray post. Spray a bit of lovely polish on a cloth and wipe it round the surfaces. 5 mins - huge improvement.

Best tip. Try not to move stuff around. Put stuff where it needs to end up. No interim places. (Except for the basket on kitchen table, or I'd spend all day taking tiny bits of lego up to their bedrooms.)

LaTrucha Fri 18-Jan-13 12:26:36

Banish the thing you put all the crap on. My desk used to be a desk. Then it became a place where everyone dumped the stuff they didn't want to put away.

DH took down the desk and instantly things are tidier.

I second folding things straight from the drier. I find the best time to do it is just after the 'cooling' bit has begun, so I save electricity too.

I also second cleaning the bathroom while Dcs are in the bath.

Also, get them to join in. I buy them a white vinegar spray and we doe things like windows and frames or cupboard doors together. It also somehow means they bother me less if I need to do it and they don't want to.

Davros Fri 18-Jan-13 12:53:39

I use those dishwasher things with a handle that you can put washing up liquid in, they are brilliant. I have them all over the house, some are empty but they make it much easier to clean the bath with whatever product you are using.
I also have a big bed spread on our bed and, in emergencies like unexpected visits, I put any crap that is lying around in the bedroom under it and flatten it out. You never know where people will go in your home!
I don't agree with not ironing, I tried it and the clothes looked awful so I just try to make it as pleasant as possible.

Firsttimer7259 Fri 18-Jan-13 12:55:40

Batch cook and freeze.

Firsttimer7259 Fri 18-Jan-13 13:00:19

Learn how to use ethnic cooking ingredients - you can make delicious stuff v easily using indian or chinese ingredients many of which can just sit about it your fridge/cupboard for months so that cuts down on shopping too. I buy meat and frozen veg in bulk. Stock up on rice and noodles. Then with my arsenal of sauces and spices etc I can make an infinite variety of meals v easily. Minced garlic and ginger in big jars is an amazing timesaver.

Superene Fri 18-Jan-13 13:04:08

Use one of those soap dispensing dish scrubbers with the scourer bit chopped off to clean the bath and basin. Enamel baths should always be cleaned with washing up liquid anyway. It takes half the time to clean and no faffing with cloths and jif.

Superene Fri 18-Jan-13 13:05:16

Sorry x post

Bunbaker Fri 18-Jan-13 13:07:57

"Baby wipes. Just a cheap pack for 50p last about a week I use them to clean the kitchen and bathroom because i can't use sprays."

Just use microfibre cloths. You don't even need babywipes - and it's better for the environment.

kateecass Fri 18-Jan-13 13:29:46

Clean bathroom tiles etc with shampoo and shrubbing brush while in shower. Same with cloth for bath. Polish taps with window spray or microfiber cloth. Makes it look much cleaner.

Lakeland microfibre mop is fab and very quick. I've even used it to clean bathroom walls before.

I inspect my DCs clothes for actual dirt instead of just automatically washing after each wear. Obviously I wash pants and socks after each wear!!

Pile stuff on the stairs and take it up when you go up.

PoppyAmex Fri 18-Jan-13 13:49:45

I agree with multitasking.

I used to be very OCD methodical and very "all or nothing, has to be perfect" type of person, but since DD came along I can never seem to finish any task so I try to do as much as possible in little chunks.

I noticed a huge difference when I started doing small and often.

We're currently doing BLW and she takes forever to eat a meal; obviously I have to be in the kitchen with her so I try to do little projects/chores while she eats (today I cleaned and reorganised 3 drawers).

I also clean the basin while brushing my teeth/wipe shower caddy while rinsing the conditioner off (for some reason this takes me forever!), listen to audiobooks while ironing and make laundry a game with DD so she has fun at the same time.

farmersdaugther Fri 18-Jan-13 14:14:08

God you guys are domestic queens.

Thank you.

DH has said no to using baby wipes long term. 1) cost 2) environment and 3) they make him think of poo and doesn't like the smell grin micro cloths it is.

I've made supper for this evening, whist DD is napping. So feeling smug.

Any cooking tips? Pretty please

Maryz Fri 18-Jan-13 14:17:02

Have a wooden floor and sweep all the toys under the dining room table or into a corner when small children go to bed.

Then sit on the sofa facing away from the mess grin

I have teenagers now and I put all their clothes straight from the washing machine or dryer onto hangers - all t-shirts/shirts/track bottoms/hoodies/jumpers/school stuff. If the come from the washing machine, I hang them to dry on their hangers either outside or on a rail.

Either way, they go straight into cupboards, on their (cheap Tesco value plastic) hangers.

It saves, folding, sorting, ironing etc.

The only things that have to be properly hung out and put away are underclothes and socks. And now I've given up on socks and have a communal sock box which they all take from.

I'm a slattern blush

notcitrus Fri 18-Jan-13 14:26:11

If you have a bay window in the living room and small children, put the sofa across it, making a den the kids will spend ages in, and when you want to tidy in a hurry, just chuck all the toys behind the sofa out of sight.

Never leave a room empty handed. It keeps my house under.control if not tidy. And get rid of.excess stuff. If it would cost under a fiver to replace, you're probably better off not having it adding to clutter and wasting your valuable time tidying and searching around it.

SquidgersMummy Fri 18-Jan-13 14:34:58

Bump: more, more, more!

Don't tend to use dishwasher as takes an age but will fill sink with hot water and soak and a splash of Milton - pile in any dishes - leave till time to empty - by then everything sparkly clean including the dishcloth.

Try to stand in a diff room once a week and declutter it - no drawer left out. (Sadly, if cant sleep I visualise it!!)

Clean carpet/floor if guests on way: really noticeable in people's houses so always go for this if just few mins.

I don't leave our bedroom in a morning until remade bed, grobag, pjs, changing mat ready over side of cot, scooped up washing and hung towels up. Depressing trying to get grizzly baby into cot when room in chaos.

I have a big pretty basket in downstairs loo and one in ensuite with million loo rolls, a kitchen roll, nappies, wipes, bum cream etc etc all ready. Nappy bag is always refilled and coats, gloves etc left ready when we get in for going out again the next day (always running late!!)

I hate dirty cutlery drawer, dirty bin lid and manky fridge. Always manky, manky, manky at home when growing up so I ALWAYS notice them at other people's houses.....what do you ALWAYS notice is CLEAN/DIRTY??

LetsFaceTheMusicAndDance Fri 18-Jan-13 14:36:29

Thought this was going to be about Jude Law sad

Ignore me, I'm 'working from home' and v bored.

RubyGates Fri 18-Jan-13 14:45:36

I have built this behind the sofa, so that I can't see any toys at all in the evening when snuggling on the sofa.

https://fbcdn-sphotos-f-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/c68.0.403.403/p403x403/307595_10151356106440747_379083058_n.jpg

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now