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.

OutInAllWeathers Thu 17-Jan-13 21:02:45

Depends on your standards I guess. Me, I don't iron apart from the odd shirt...just tumble dry and fold! Saves me hours of time!

Seabright Thu 17-Jan-13 21:05:49

If you've only time to do one thing, Hoover.,if the carpet looks nice, it makes the rest of the room look nice

Never ever iron. I second the hoovering tip too. And buy those big multipurpose cleaning wipes. A quick rub with those and the bathroom and kitchen look all clean as if you've scrubbed them for hours.

moonstorm Thu 17-Jan-13 21:10:20

I always want to try car wax in the shower.. Apparantly rubbing in (clear!) car wax to the tiles means that water skims over them and makes it harder for mould to take hold.

Lower standrds... once upon a time, everytime I hoovered, I would hoover under everything such as cushions etc. Now I have been known to hoover around mess. (If I spend all my time tidying, it never gets cleaned). It's a half- job, but better a half job than no job - it keeps me on top of things until the time I get the chance to do things properly.

HavingALittleFaithBaby Thu 17-Jan-13 21:12:38

Spray furniture polish round before visitors arrive - it makes them think the house is clean!!

bar keepers friend is ruddy brilliant. It'll clean most surfaces. I use it on the stainless steel hob and ceramic sink. No scrubbing needed, it gets it lovely and clean. Great on taps too!

HavingALittleFaithBaby Thu 17-Jan-13 21:13:41

Oh and someone posted on here recently - 'don't put it down, put it away' - I have tried to apply this and my home is much tidier for it!

SneakyNuts Thu 17-Jan-13 21:42:04

Don't go upstairs empty handed smile

farmersdaugther Thu 17-Jan-13 22:00:19

Thank you all, these are brilliant. I'm a SAHM and find all these chores very depressing. I just seem to spend so much time picking crap up and doing large amounts of washing! Anything to make life easier must be a bonus! smile

GTbaby Fri 18-Jan-13 01:39:44

I clean the bathroom sink as I brush teeth. Saves time.
Also if time clean loo just before guest comes. So smells clean.
Deff use wipes. Big time saver.

SashaSashays Fri 18-Jan-13 02:09:30

Dettol mould and something, has bleach in it and smells good. I pretty much just launch it around the bathroom each morning, seems to work.

Buy things that ont need ironing including bed linen etc. Also ideally things that can go in tumble drier.

I reuse to do more than one load of washing per day and it goes on overnight, spun and hung in the morning. I spend about 15 minutes a day on washing for a house of 7. I think a pre sorted linen basket helps (one that has whites, darks and lights sections).

If something is really creased that it has to be ironed I hang it up in the bathroom before I have a shower and the steam sorts a lot of the creases out.

Microfibre cloths. Don't require polish, great on glass and chrome, sometimes just dampen slightly for tough marks.

Child labour.

Febreeze fabric stuff and plug in air freshners do keep things fresh even if you haven't had a chance to clean that day.

GTbaby Fri 18-Jan-13 06:55:51

Bump. I want more tips!

OrangeLily Fri 18-Jan-13 07:00:22

I have a clear plastic hung on the back of a cupboard door for organising all my cleaning stuff. It's easy to see, I'm not fading around under the sink and I can easily see when something has run out.

We put things on the stairs and you have to take something upstairs or downstairs with you. We have two stories of stairs so we are always up and down them.

OrangeLily Fri 18-Jan-13 07:00:53

Clear plastic shoe organiser!!!! Woops!

farmersdaugther Fri 18-Jan-13 08:40:19

Brilliant, I knew MN won't fail me. More tips please

I'm now worried as I already have quite a few of the things suggested shockblush

After DD goes to bed and before sitting down for the evening, I've started spending 15/30 mins tidying up and putting this away. As then in the morning things look less depressing!

I clean the bathroom while I have dd in the bath.

WhatchuTalkinBoutPhyllis Fri 18-Jan-13 10:24:51

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.

Clean the bathroom when it's steamy. So much quicker.

Do all messy work, like floury stuff and slicing bread on the surface above the dishwasher, then you can just open the dishwasher doot and swipe the smallish crumbs into it.

Touch paperwork once. Don't put the stuff down to be sorted later, do it now.

Use blue roll that they use in shops for cleaning,much better than kitchen roll and great on windows.

Never leave a room empty-handed.

Don't have DC.

KnightBusRider Fri 18-Jan-13 10:34:26

Babywipes to clean sink/bath/surfaces/anything.

JuliaSqueezer Fri 18-Jan-13 10:40:04

Open your bedroom windows every morning. I've been in 'clean' houses that are very neat and tidy but you can tell they never let any fresh air in. Air-fresheners/ Febreeze/ candles/ bowls of pot-pourri do not make a house smell nice if there's an under-lying staleness, they just make your house smell of pot-pourri...

AudrinaAdare Fri 18-Jan-13 10:54:40

I like the MN bedding-bale tip. Sheet, duvet cover and the other pillowcases all go inside one pillowcase of the set. They look tidy in the airing cupboard and you don't waste time searching for the right things when you're changing the beds.

Agree with Chaos about DC and would add that DHs can also make the place look untidy and are best kept out of the house at work.

Iheartpasties Fri 18-Jan-13 10:59:12

more tips please - i have added a few things to my shopping list, and I have ordered microfibre cloths from ebay!!

Pinot Fri 18-Jan-13 11:01:27

lolol @ Don't Have DCs. I love you Chaos grin

Lidl's pink printed loo roll is so strong, it can be used to clean the bathroom with. So spray, wipe, flush, smug.

farmersdaugther Fri 18-Jan-13 11:01:38

chaos don't have DC whoops too late wink...what about not having a DH messy bugger

Windows open,
quick 10 min worth of hoovering,
Baby wipes for cleaning bathroom,
Microfibre cloths,

I already do that...why then do I feel my house is always just a bit messy. Maybe I should just roll with it. I doubt hope it's not that bad.

Blue roll..can I get this at the supermarket? Brilliant.

Flowers...I think they also look so joyful and make your home smell lovely.

Pinot Fri 18-Jan-13 11:01:58

poundshops sell microfibre cloths, as do supermarkets/wilkinsons etc

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.

NoseyParker4aHusband Fri 18-Jan-13 14:56:31

Flat cola or denture cleaning tablets down the loo to get rid of stains below the water line. Especially good if you live in a hard water area. Also vinegar and soda crystals for limescale. Also a scoop of soda crystals in with your normal washing powder means you can use half the reccomended amount. When taking off socks roll them together and turn the top one inside out, wash them like this aswell, they then stay in pairs (no odd socks again) and they do wash ok. I make sure all shirts are buttoned up before they go in the washing machine and then iron them like that.

I 'sweep' round rooms before bed and usually 1 other time in the day, by which I mean I go into the living room, gather anything for the bin and take it all out, gather any washing and take it all out, gather any cups/plates etc and take them out. I Also reorganise the sofa cushions (apparently DP and the kids can't manage to get off the sofa without part sliding/standing so all the cushions come off)

Next I fill the baby hamper (nappies/wipes) and generally replace remotes in the holder, and return everything out of place.

This takes me 10 minutes max but usually about 2-3 minutes and keeps the house looking presentable. It takes DP all day and if I'm ever absent sleeping off a bad night with the baby I can garuntee I'll get up to chaos. confused

NoseyParker4aHusband Fri 18-Jan-13 15:05:01

Oh to clean your dishwasher put a cup / old glass tumbler (one you do not mind looking stained) full of vinegar upright in the top rack of the otherwise empty dishwasher and do a full cycle. The vinegar will clean and descale the working parts of your dishwasher, doing this once a month is much cheaper than using 'dishwasher cleaners'.

Oh, I also have little routines, such as squirting bleach down the loo after my morning wee to keep it fresh during the day. I also don't go to bed without filling the washing machine, tumble dryer (dishwasher when I had one) and I set out the breakfast things. Then in my morning haze I can just go around pressing buttons or adding cereal and milk to bowls. grin

soundevenfruity Fri 18-Jan-13 15:17:46

Get those sheets collecting colour runs in washing machine. They help me to do only 2 washing loads.
Put a basket or something with a handle at the bottom of the stairs and dump there anything that needs to be taken upstairs.
Ironed working shirts and bedlinen make a huge difference for me so I started ironing again but with proper tools this time. I got an extra wide ironing board and a steam iron - it's so easy now and I am more likely to do it.

valiumredhead Fri 18-Jan-13 15:24:59

I agree with Julia open your windows!

Loulousmummy Fri 18-Jan-13 15:26:12

Oh God no Nosey OH's socks have been known to still smell after a wash. They must be unrolled to ensure a proper clean.

Abigail9580 Fri 18-Jan-13 15:32:59

Before I go to bed, I open the curtains downstairs, plump the sofa and put everything in the dishwasher before setting it off. And wipe down the kitchen surfaces. That way, when I come down in the morning the place looks less chaotic! Plus we have a big toy box downstairs, where I chuck everything at the end of the day. On Sundays we sort it out- take mist back upstairs, and start again on Monday!

mwah79 Fri 18-Jan-13 15:35:26

We have so much laundry that the house almost always smells clean but just in case I put cotton balls with lavendaas I put in the top of Henry Hoover. At Christmas I did it with cloves and used orange shake n vac. I have very low standards but this is my one thing that I like to do.
I think a quick hoover makes all the difference. I do the dishes while I'm waiting for DC food to cool down and teaching DC to tidy up at the end of the day. Don't waste time picking up toys they are only going to have out again in 5 seconds. Just wait until the end of the day.
Agree with bathroom wipes. Making beds is effective also.
Still trying to teach my DH that laundry basket doesn't have an impenetrable lid!

mwah79 Fri 18-Jan-13 15:38:07

oh and definitely get a handheld hoover so your heart doesn't break constantly as you watch food fall all over your just hoovered floor.

Bunbaker Fri 18-Jan-13 15:53:19

"When taking off socks roll them together and turn the top one inside out, wash them like this aswell, they then stay in pairs (no odd socks again) and they do wash ok."

I couldn't do that with OH's socks. He suffers from extremely seaty and excessively smelly feet.

I agree about opening windows. Also, I "make" the beds and then leave the duvets pulled back to give them a good airing with the windows open. Beds that are made straight away encourage dust mites to breed because of the warm, damp conditions.

If doing a chips and beans style tea remove lid from tin of beans and pop in oven with the chips. Saves time and a pan smile

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

Not all are neccessarily about keeping things tidy, but ythey are about saving time, repurposing items and handy hints and tips.

farmersdaugther Fri 18-Jan-13 16:24:59

The limescale tips are ace.

Martha out I'm after your crown smile

We're really not a smelly or dirty household, windows get opened after morning, duvets pull backed and aired etc etc. It's not like that "help my house and DH stink' thread. We aren't dirty people, but a bit messy grin

farmersdaugther Fri 18-Jan-13 16:27:31

Ho Magi please could you tell us about your 10 day menu? thanks

FamiliesShareGerms Fri 18-Jan-13 16:43:24

In an emergency, it's amazing how many discarded clothes etc can be put on the bed under a freshly shaken duvet without it looking odd.

MaureenShit Fri 18-Jan-13 16:46:06

But ironing doesn't take long.

MaureenShit Fri 18-Jan-13 16:47:54

Cooking tip. Plan the food for the week

magimedi88 Fri 18-Jan-13 16:53:40

I haven't done my 10 day menu since DS was at school & he's 32 now!!

It was just for the main meal of the day &, as far as I can remember, it went:

Day1 Spag bol

Day 2 Coriander chicken, rice & stir fry veg

Day 3 Fish pie & veg

Day 4 Tacos/Fahitas + bits

Day 5 Casserole & veg

Day 6 Lentil bake, rice & salad

Day 7 Tarragon chicken & veg

Day 8 Chilli & pita bread & salad

Day 9 Pizza & salad

Honestly, it was no more than sitting down & thinking of ten meals that I knew everyone liked, listing them in order & revolving through it. They never, ever, sussed grin

It's actually quite hard remembering what we did eat 20 years ago - I know there were things we don't eat now it's just me & DH. We eat a lot less now we are older as well!

plipplops Fri 18-Jan-13 17:13:41

I read somewhere the if a job is going to take less than 5 mins, do it now. I don't always comply but it has made things easier.

Also second dealing with post/school letters straight away (and back in the book bag for returning to school).

I never iron anything.

SkaterGrrrrl Fri 18-Jan-13 17:38:50

Tescos do a pre prepared scone mix. You pour it into a bowl and add milk. Everyone will marvel at your scones.

CJCregg Fri 18-Jan-13 17:43:24

Marking place, will be back. Not with tips - I am crap - but to learn. grin

TaraTiger Fri 18-Jan-13 17:45:55


cuppateaanyone Fri 18-Jan-13 17:54:39

Every evening last thing - bleach and clean toilet 1 min per toilet
Throw a load in the washing machine so it can go on first thing, weekly I clean the showers with viakal, the blue one, turn shower on, squirt over tiles, shower and shower glass, wait a min then get in shower and give it all a good scrub, takes 2 mins as the steam helps and it smells lovely and yes, I then shower straight after,it lasts all week.

starfishmummy Fri 18-Jan-13 18:06:07

I have put one of this fabric pocket things that are for storing shoes on ds's bedroom door. Into each of the lower pockets I put a set of his undies and park of socks; that way I can see at a glance that he has clean stuff and he can find it easily. Extras go in the top pockets with one reserved for odd socks.

amazingmumof6 Fri 18-Jan-13 18:06:32

have loads of kids - make THEM tidy up, make their on sandwiches, change beds, empty dishwasher, look after baby (oh yes!)

use extra time gained to chat on MN

starfishmummy Fri 18-Jan-13 18:09:10

Oh and it may be boring but I usually buy packs of socks for ds (and dh) where they are all the same so they are easier to pair up. In fact I don't pair dh's - just put them away and he can find his own pair!

HidingInTheHonsCupboard Fri 18-Jan-13 18:21:51

When you've hoovered a room, stick on the little brush attachment and whiz over the windowsills, door frames, radiators, bookshelves etc - and hey presto - you have dusted a room in less than two minutes!

coldethyl Fri 18-Jan-13 18:27:01

Flowers. A vase of freesias can make a huge difference.

Different washing baskets for different colour washes - we have a dark basket, a light basket and red basket. Wash one every morning on rotation and then any others that are full during the day.

Boring routines - wash on first thing while kettle is boiling, if you get a cereal out put it away, everyone to clear own bowls into the dishwasher. A quick wipe of the table and the house is tolerable for going to school. One clean bed and quick hoover a day, and you're there. I do clean the bathroom while the baby's in the bath, though.

Colour / pattern coded socks/pants for multiple family members - eg DS1 has stripey pants and black socks. DS2 has plain pants and grey socks. DH has checked pants and socks with coloured toes and heels. DS3 has Thomas / pirate pants and robot socks, but this will probably not last for ever. Even DS3 (2.7) can put socks and pants in the right pile.

Lastly (and perhaps the most important) - remember down and away are two different things. I was married before I got the grips with this blush and it's made life a lot easier since.

ProphetOfDoom Fri 18-Jan-13 18:31:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Helenagrace Fri 18-Jan-13 18:44:00

For meal shortcuts cook double but use the second half for a different meal so:

Bolognaise becomes lasagne for the freezer
Beef stew becomes beef pasties the next week
Chilli becomes taco pie with tortillas and cheese on the top second time round
Roasts turn into several other dishes easily

The Economy Gastronomy book has some good ideas for this.

Bunbaker Fri 18-Jan-13 18:56:31

I do that all the time Helenagrace

"Tescos do a pre prepared scone mix. You pour it into a bowl and add milk. Everyone will marvel at your scones."

I don't want to pour cold water on your idea, but making scones is such a quick and easy job anyway that I lump scone mix in with dumpling mix and pancake mix as the biggest cookery cons ever.

I'm loving the ideas on here. I must get another laundry basket.

mumzy Fri 18-Jan-13 19:00:45

Easy mince beef & veg pie: preheat oven and cut a sheet of ready made rolled pastry in 4 and bake according to instructions. fry chopped onion ( these can also be bought frozen) in oil add 500g mince beef and cook until browned add 2 handfuls of frozen mixed veg. Make up 1/2 pint instant gravy and add to mince & veg. Simmer for 10 mins and plate up. Top the mince with the cooked pastry lids. Voila!
Ps can also substitute mince beef for frozen quoin mince

mumzy Fri 18-Jan-13 19:01:11


chicaguapa Fri 18-Jan-13 19:16:02

Nigella's pancake mix is good. You mix all the dry ingredients and store in a jar.

Then when you want to make pancakes, mix one cup of dry mix, with one cup of milk and an egg. Then make. Very quick.

I do them when one of the DC unexpectedly has a friend for tea.

LemonBreeland Fri 18-Jan-13 19:21:58

Only read the first page so may have been said already. If no time to clean bathroom wipe taps. If they are shiny it looks clean.

kerpob Fri 18-Jan-13 19:28:31

The duvet bed sheets inside the pillowcase thing is fab. I've extended this to when you wash swimming sports kits etc just put them straight back into their bags so you're ready to go rather than faffing about in the mornings before school looking for kit.

pigleychez Fri 18-Jan-13 19:29:50

The children help alot with the tidying. After dinner the girls put their toys away. They got them out... they tidy away! They are only 4.5 and 2.7 but have done it from day one so used to it now.
After bed i'll sweep round and grab any missed bits.

A packet of Bathroom wipes is kept in the bathroom cabinet. A daily wipe round works wonders and they are handy when people come round, you can freshen up and it smells fresh too.

I meal plan too each week. Find it much easier. I use this

ISeeSmallPeople Fri 18-Jan-13 19:38:13

The socks & pants in shoe over door storage thing is GENIUS!
I'm off to buy some more tomorrow looks out at snow, next week

I have a clear version on the back of under stairs cupboard/coat store door. Everyone has 4 pockets for gloves & scarves & pocket umbrella, which alternates with sunglasses, sunday, suncream in summer. Just open the door & grab. Must be see through though, or it doesn't work.

yy to bedding trick

yy to "don't put it down, put it away".

yy to tidying away at night, so you start the day well.

yy to opening windows but DH goes nuts about the gas bill if I don't close them again soon enough.

yy to "cook double and freeze" - this saves time and washing up!

Having places to put things away is the dealbreaker for us. Things that have homes get put away. Things that don't... well they accumulate. Creating homes (organised toy storage, magazine box for paperwork, old naice biscuit tin for crayons, etc) aids tidying.

DieWilde13 Fri 18-Jan-13 20:03:53

Meal planning, buying a slow cooker, only washing clothes that are actually dirty (pants and socks fresh very day!), colour-coded socks and this 15 minute a day cleaning schedule make life bearable for me.

Cleaning spray and a square of kitchen roll does the same job as a wipe and is cheaper. Keep spray plus a roll in the bathroom and you have it to hand

Porkster Fri 18-Jan-13 20:26:19

Everyone (not in my family) thinks I'm a domestic goddess.

I am, in fact, bone idle with a good line in optical illusion.

My tips are

Shove things in drawers

Shove things in cupboards

Sometimes, shove things into the car

Have a sparkling dstairs cloakroom and lots of fancy fresh flowers.

clarexbp Fri 18-Jan-13 20:42:58

I can't believe how many of you do your DH's laundry. Mine does his own...or at least, I thought he did...turns out he's persuaded the cleaner to do it for him :-0

Bunbaker Fri 18-Jan-13 20:49:45

"I can't believe how many of you do your DH's laundry."

Why would you not? I think it is odd not to and not very cost effective or environmentally friendly. Isn't it usual to just wash all the family's whites together, coloureds together and darks together? If I left OH to do his he would run out of clothes or run the washer on half washes. What a silly idea. Do you tear the bedsheet in half so he can wash his half separately?

clarexbp Fri 18-Jan-13 21:03:06

No Bunbaker - we always run it full. Always seems to be plenty to fill a load... If DH runs out of clothers, I reckon that's his problem!

whymummywhy Fri 18-Jan-13 21:04:52

Clean the loo whenever you go - I have a box in the downstairs loo with spare loo rolls, cleaners etc.
Clean the bathroom when the dc are in the bath.
Put away anything you have used as soon as you are finished with it (e.g. cereral boxes, juice cartons etc) wish the dc and dh did the same!
Do a load of laundry a day and hang up overnight.
Cook double and freeze.
Bag on back of kitchen door with hats, gloves, scarves etc so ready for rush out of the door in the morning.
Pack bags for school, nursery, work night before and lay out clothes for me and dc (dh can sort himself out!!).
Multi-task always - I change beds, do ironing and dusting whilst making work phone calls (I work from home).
Baby wipes are a godsend for emergency dusting, cleaning tables, taps, etc.
However my cupboards are a risk life and limb just opening one...any tips?

Takver Fri 18-Jan-13 21:05:31

Have friends with more dcs and busier lives. My house is, to be honest, really quite messy, and not on the whole cleaned often enough. Dh & I run our own business, so generally it is over-run with work stuff and as well as dd we have too many hairy animals.

I love my ft woh friends with 3+ dc who come round and marvel at how nice and tidy my house always is grin

chicaguapa Fri 18-Jan-13 21:12:37

theowlworrier LOVE the lifehacks. Have posted to Facebook so I don't lose it. Have you managed to fold the tshirt?

Bunbaker Fri 18-Jan-13 21:22:09

"No Bunbaker - we always run it full. Always seems to be plenty to fill a load... If DH runs out of clothers, I reckon that's his problem!"

So, do you have his and hers laundry baskets? Do you have any children? If so, do you wash their clothes separately as well?

"Baby wipes are a godsend for emergency dusting, cleaning tables, taps, etc."

Microfibre cloths are even better and work out cheaper and less harmful to the environment.

Sunnywithshowers Fri 18-Jan-13 21:24:54

<makes notes>

MrsHoarder Fri 18-Jan-13 21:40:43

Have a bag for every person for every activity. A cheapy drawstring bag will do. So if its football day, just grab the football bag for example.

LemonBreeland Fri 18-Jan-13 21:42:49

MrsHoarder I do that with the dc. It means when kit is cleaned it cango straight in the bag again.

farmersdaugther Fri 18-Jan-13 21:57:42

Helen Are you willing to share your beef pasties recipe {rubs tummy}

AudrinaAdare Fri 18-Jan-13 22:17:34

God yes, swimming and P.E things go straight into the bag. No point putting things away in a drawer and relying on chronically disorganised DD (12) to find and pack them.

Lunchboxes get packed with fruit, drink, crisps, cake or biscuits the night before and just the sandwich to go in from the freezer in the morning.

I make sandwiches from the last bits of the bread, leftover ham, cheese or tuna and freeze them. I don't need to buy freezer bags because I always find myself with too many of Tesco's free plastic bags when I am buying their overpriced vegetables wink

Put duvet-covers on by turning them inside out.

I use an airer so can't try washing socks ready-rolled sad

BoffinMum Fri 18-Jan-13 22:20:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BoffinMum Fri 18-Jan-13 22:22:31

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

marriedinwhite Fri 18-Jan-13 22:33:59

Just mine - might already have been posted:

Lunches - five plastic bags are put in fridge and filled with: drinks carton, pepperami stick or piece of cheese, Kipling cake, bunch of grapes or satsuma, etc. - in morning take a small crustless cheese or ham sarnie out of freezer and bung in the bag.

Post - open it on the day it arrives and reply and file it.

Ironing (yes I do - sorry) - iron five things every day (cleaner comes Sats to do the rest).

Portable electric charged hand held hoover thingy. Brill for car and small patches of muck. When the dc were smaller was super for getting the sand off the patio and back into the sand pit.

Old-fashioned feather duster.

The window cleaner can be persuaded to do indoors as well for an extra tenner occasisonally.

Bed linen - I don't bother with the MNet bale. Just strip - wash - tumble and put it straight back on the bed.

oneofeach2010 Fri 18-Jan-13 22:46:38

RubyGates where did you get those zipped boxes from in the picture you linked please? I'm looking for some for my DC's rooms.

BeanJuice Fri 18-Jan-13 22:48:14

On first glance I thought this said 'best benefit cheats' grin

UterusUterusGhali Fri 18-Jan-13 22:52:04

I make huge batches of "mince base", whereby I fry up loads of minced beef, onions, grated carrot & some Marmite or oxo cubes, then freeze portions.

You can just take them out and add tomatoes & herbs for spaghetti Bol, mash on too for cottage pie etc etc.
This is particularly good if the mince is reduced to clear.

racingheart Fri 18-Jan-13 22:59:21

food tricks:

Buy frozen pastry. I make fantastic pastry but so do jus-rol.

Garlic puree in a tube. No more peeling, chopping and smell on your fingers. use it for all cooking including garlic bread, salad dressings. Go easy - it's strong.

Easiest domestic goddess cheat meal:
Heat oven
Put 1 tablespoon of olive oil, small squeeze of garlic puree, heaped teaspoon of dry of fresh chopped rosemary, zest of one lemon, salt and pepper in a roasting tin. Add 1 packet of thicken thighs and roll them around till coated in the mix. Add a glass of dry white wine and cook for 35 mins. They go sticky and bubbly, everyone thinks it smells and tastes great. It takes 5 mins max to prepare. Goes with oven chips (McCain Home) or fresh baguette and bagged salad if you are truly too knackered to cook, or with rice or spuds and steamed veg.

Make a massive vat of tomato based sauce; onions, garlic, courgettes, red and yellow peppers, mushrooms, passata or tinned toms and herbs. Blitz half of it in the blender to thicken the sauce. Divide it into freezer bags or tubs. Use one for spag bol, one for chilli, one for lasagna, one for tomato and cheese pasta.

Bread mix and breadmaker. 65-80p for a big fresh loaf that scents the house all day.

UterusUterusGhali Fri 18-Jan-13 22:59:22

Buy ziploc bags (the tougher sort from whsmiths) to put those wooden puzzles in. They're generally A4 sized anyway.

Likewise zippy bags for jigsaw puzzles. The boxes always fall apart or get lost.

TheSnowFairy Fri 18-Jan-13 23:10:51

Get some plastic freezer boxes with lids from 99p shop. Tip out everything in the drawer in the kitchen (you know, the one that everything gets shoved in to).

Sort into separate boxes. Write on lids with marker pen. And voila! A tidy drawer!

Doesn't sound much but it makes a huge difference grin

Dancergirl Fri 18-Jan-13 23:24:03

These are great, more please!

Dancergirl Fri 18-Jan-13 23:30:07

BOOKS are a big problem in our house. All my 3 dds are avid readers and read books by the pile. Hence we have piles of books everywhere, kitchen table, on the stairs, in the bathroom (!). Any tips??

PickledApples Fri 18-Jan-13 23:31:17

Never ironing.
Having a dishwasher.
Good storage - hooks, boxes, tubs, containers etc.
Having a DH who sees domestic chores as a shared responsibility, and does his fair share (more, actually) to lighten the load - and nothing to add to it.
Oh, and Kitchen Roll.

LadyWidmerpool Fri 18-Jan-13 23:46:35

I believe the fire services recommend not having your washing machine or dishwasher on overnight or when you're out as it can be a fire hazard. Worth considering sad

GTbaby Sat 19-Jan-13 05:09:48

Fantastic ideas. Should really think about meal planning!

Bakingnovice Sat 19-Jan-13 05:52:30

Plan meals ahead for the week. And every week must must have at least two meals which last two evenings (soup, curry, lasagna split into two medium dishes not one large one) so you only cook 3-4 timesaver week.

Dc must be taught to do their bed, fold away pjs and tidy room in morning before brushing teeth. This takes max 3 minutes and when you explain it takes so little time they don't mind doing it. I tidy in
The morning but do one big clean of the kitchen after dinne time. So dishes during day get put in dishwasher but after dinner everything gets wiped, dried, washed, put away, clothes, floors mopped etc. lids just have small snack before bed so the kitchen stays clean until dinner the next day with any breakfast dishes straight in the dishwasher and kids all at school.

Also newspapers rolled up are best to clean windows mirrors with vinegar. Soda crystals for everything: toilets, tiles, washing clothes.

RubyGates Sat 19-Jan-13 08:02:21

They're Christmas storage boxes without the gubbins inside.
I got them from Home bargains for 3.99 each.

They're surprisingly sturdy and have zips all the way round at both ends. Also, you could use the dividers that come with them (a layer's-worth at least) for tiny lego brick storage.

NewYearNewNagoo Sat 19-Jan-13 09:39:25

Library books keep in a bag, then you don't go round hunting for them. Our library sells a little hessian bag, just the right size smile

Agree with what everyone else said, don't walk around empty handed.

I have a laundry basket for upstairs and one downstairs, it goes on at night, the tumble dryer in the morning and it goes upstairs with assorted crap that shouldn't be downstairs piled on it in the morning after the school run.

In the morning while the DC are eating their breakfast I sort washing out, put dryer on and new load in, empty diswasher so things get stacked straight in it during the day, wipe down worksufaces and hoover the bits off the kitchen floor.

On return from school I whip round the living room with the hoover, and the baby gets given a wipe to clean the sofa for me, and a cloth to dust the surfaces she can reach (it's FUN obv smile)

The crap that need to go upstairs gets slung on the laundry basket and taken up.

Then I sit down and entertain the baby MN.

Dinner on a work day is done in the slow cooker (don't brown meat first, it's a PITA and makes it no better IMHO) stew or bolognaise or recently I did stroganoff, I'm branching out smile or 'oven dinner' that doesn't need to be crap, can make an extra fish/ cottage pie and freeze it for busy days. Also sausages or chicken bits cook in 30 mins so not really a bother. On 15 mins dinner days we have pasta/ bacon/ veg/ dairylea cheese sauce concoction quite often.

After dinner, let DC watch telly, clean up all the crap, stack dishwasher and wipe down kitchen, 10 mins job. Make DC tidy toys while bath is running.

Clean bathroom while they are in bath, toilet, sink etc.

Change beds while they are fannying about choosing story in bedroom.

Everything stays clean and you only have to 'find time' to do floor mopping/ shower screen cleaning type jobs.

And online food shop. Just do it. You'll save money, and once you've got it down it can be done in 30 mins while you have a brew at work

NewYearNewNagoo Sat 19-Jan-13 09:40:08

Fuck that was long blush

NewYearNewNagoo Sat 19-Jan-13 09:43:12

Sorry I feel a bit of a dick now, I obviously enjoy my housework regime grin

LivingInAPinkBauble Sat 19-Jan-13 10:12:49

Use a slow cooker, obvious but so nice to come home to.
Method make bathroom wipes that degrade and are designed to be flushed away.
Lakeland make clip things for socks-will hang on washing line or airer and I put them straight back in the drawer like that

SparklyandHappyMe2013 Sat 19-Jan-13 11:06:25

I clean the bathroom whilst the DD's are in the bath.

Washing goes on in afternoon (when I finish work) soon as I get in.

Beds get changed first thing on a Sunday morning and washed.

Washing goes in dryer so I don't have to iron I despise ironing

When I wipe kitchen surfaces down instead of a cloth I use cif anti-bacterial spray and kitchen roll. Job done.

Slow cook most meals if I can.

DD1 washes up dishes.

I put Hoover through once the DD's are in bed every night. Then sit down!

I love to clean tho!

We sleep with our bedroom window open every night for fresh air and the lounge and girls windows get opened for at least half hr every day.

I also have a glade sense n spray air freshener thingy in every room. £4 in tesco at mo normally £10. Refills £3 at mo normally £6 each. So I had a fab shop grin

TheFallenNinja Sat 19-Jan-13 11:18:42

Cook more you need for the current meal and freeze the balance, it'll save cooking now and then

Salteena Sat 19-Jan-13 11:29:52

These are great. Am familiar with lots of them but I'm learning lots more, too.

I'd second the tip about cooking more and freezing the extra - especially good for basics like spag bol, meatballs etc. It's so much quicker to take a batch out of the freezer than start from scratch.

I highly recommend this blog which I always love reading. I bow to the awesome organising powers of its author while knowing that I'll never be so together, but she has fantastic tips for food housekeeping and making your freezer work for you.

determinedma Sat 19-Jan-13 11:42:14

these have probably all been said but:
don't iron what you dont have to
packed lunches done the day before
yes, yes to a weekly meal plan
slow cooker saves time and effort - its a godsend!
give up on teen bedrooms. seriously! Hurl clean, unironed clothes onto their beds and leave them to it.
have as many storage boxes as you can - ones with lids

chipsandpeas Sat 19-Jan-13 11:56:29

dont have kids yet but i:
meal plan - i have a bad habit of buying/cooking stuff and freezing it but then buying more and doing the same so i now plan what im eating for lunch and dinner, leave it out in the morning before going to work then when im low on something add it to the shopping list

keep on top of the most used rooms ie living room, kitchen and bathroom - so doing a quick sweep of the kitchen or wiping down the units while waiting for the kettle to boil etc
makes it easier for doing a better clean at the weekend, i have wooden flooring all downstairs (and a hairy dog) so do sweep or quick hoover then wash the floors if needed at the weekend

i try to open the windows most days normally for when im out the house and when the heating is off in the winter - makes the place a lot fresher smelling

tumble dry and dont bother ironing most clothes in the winter - in the summer when hung out trying to hang them so they dont need ironing or a minimal ironing - i also tend to buy things i dont need to iron

bedroom - gets hoovered when i change the bedding - normally once a fortnight - only me in the house and my room generally doesnt get used apart for sleeping so it takes 5-10 mins to do a quick tidy up

make the most of the storage you have - my spare room tended to be a dumping ground for everything but now if i dont use something or cant find a home for it then it gets chucked or put in the attic

i also use zoflora clean linen - concentrate it in a spray bottle and it tends to be a great airfreshener for floors or curtains - also a great floor cleaner as well

im very concious about the dog and smelling so his bed gets washed every few weeks as well

Mum2DS1andDS2 Sat 19-Jan-13 12:07:15

During week when DS2 takes a nap and DS1 is at school I take 5 minutes to quickly tidy up living room and sweep if needed. Then again when the boys are in bed. Just five minutes twice a day makes a huge difference to the amount of crap that builds up.

DS1 (5yrs) is paid £2.50 a week to do chores such as set the table each night for tea and pick up his and DS2's clothes and put them in the washer before they get in the bath. We have a list of little jobs he is responsible for, nothing much but it helps and it's importan for kids to know how much effort goes in to keeping a household livalbe!

I really need to work on cooking though, I am very lazy when it comes to this! I love the idea of batch cooking but I never seem to get round to it. I only have 2 DCs but without a doubt the most stressful time of my day is cooking tea. DS1 is in from school and wants to talk, play with me etc, DS2 is grouchy and ready for bed and I am faffing about cooking and it's just mayhem trying to cook anything remotely healthy. DH comes in just in time for dinner to be served up and I swear he thinks I exagerate the chaos that he misses! I think it's all about timing, maybe I need to cook while DS1 is still at school but the main problem is doing that with a clingy 1 yr old around anyway.... hmmm, any tips for quick healthy meals??

Dragonboobs Sat 19-Jan-13 12:12:07

I second never going upstairs empty handed and the always put away not down!

But the one thing that's made a huge difference is returning to work! Been back 2 weeks and can't believe how bloody tidy the house is all the time!smile

cocoachannel Sat 19-Jan-13 12:19:14

The world's easiest soda bread loaf - homemade bread always makes me feel a bit more domestic even when chair reigns chez-cocoa!

500g plain flour (I use 50:50 white and wholemeal)
200ml milk
300ml plain yoghurt
Tsp bicarbonate of soda
Pinch of salt to taste

Mix it all together (I chuck it in the magimix), and straight into oven (loaf tin or free form on a tray). 200 degrees, 45 mins.

cocoachannel Sat 19-Jan-13 12:19:36

Chair reigns!? Chaos!

LaVitaBellissima Sat 19-Jan-13 13:23:53

If you live in a hard water area, and always have marks on your shower glass, buy a cheap plastic car window wiper, just use that when you finish the shower and it is streak free!

ppeatfruit Sat 19-Jan-13 15:32:10

Interesting an Op mentioned that Method do wipes that degrade (I didn't know that ANYONE made them) where can you get them?

I second using lavender ess. oil on a microfibre cloth esp. for cleaning wood and leather furniture it cleans and leaves a lovely natural scent in the air of the room!

ihatemycat Sat 19-Jan-13 15:34:07

a Bissell floor sweeper from argos means you can get away with not hoovering

scripsi Sat 19-Jan-13 15:40:22

I am trying to help DMIL keep on top of things and I would love to know what cleaning wipes for kitchen and bathroom you'd recommend. DH and I try to go round once a month to help with a deep clean but she really wants to keep things doing by herself (she is recently widowed and has ill health - keeping things clean helps with her mood).

I have heard about the car wax on showers trick: I would love to know if anyone has tried this and what car wax they used. We are in a hard water area and the shower cubicle doors and tiles look great until the next shower.

I make huge vats of ratatouille, some of it I freeze then I blend the rest for pasta sauce and freeze that. Around here people often give away marrows/courgettes when they are in season. I also freeze massive quantities of Greek lentil soup with lots of oregano in it and I freeze packs of cooked apple with cinammon.

coorong Sat 19-Jan-13 15:55:22

menu plan

I'm hating this whole thread - it reminds me of all those Christmas ads showing women doing all the work and basically treated like slaves. I know it's a reality but we should spend as much time teaching other people in the house to take responsibility as cleaning/ tidying ourselves - getting children / partners to pick up after themselves.

scripsi Sat 19-Jan-13 16:02:15

I know what you mean coorong, though DH uses all these cheats also! I have long refused to iron or wash up after a dreadful experience with a live-in boyfriend when I was in my early 20s.

breward Sat 19-Jan-13 16:07:32

Freeze sandwiches.

I have a production line with the kids every Saturday. We make all the week's sandwiches: ham, cheese, pate etc. One butters, one fills, one cuts in half and bags up. All are put straight in the top drawer of freezer next to frozen yoghurt sticks etc.

Each morning three lunch boxes are made up in seconds. The bread is lovely and fresh and defrosts in lunch box so sandwiches are cold, not warm and curling round the edges.

We've had this routine for 7 years and it means I get an extra 15 mins in bed every morning... bliss!

NeverKnowinglyUnderstood Sat 19-Jan-13 16:21:04

am getting there with some of this stuff, but one thing we have always done with the boys is for them to put their bags shoes and water bottles at the door before they go to bed, so that no matter what happens in the morning there is no running around looking for things that we thing that we need.

LivingInAPinkBauble Sat 19-Jan-13 16:44:54

ppeatfruit I bought the bathroom wipes from homebase oddly enough. Waitrose do them and a link came up from amazon too.

serin Sat 19-Jan-13 16:54:42

Use greaseproof paper to line baking trays so they hardly ever need washing. Nothing seems to stick to it either.

Have a big plastic tub in the boot of the car. Put all school bags into it at the school gate and then just carry the box into the house. Stops falling over discarded PE kits! and keeps everything together.

marjproops Sat 19-Jan-13 17:00:12

Haven't read all posts so may be repeating someone but...

delegate jobs- thankfully DC is very tidy and likes helping.

colour catcher in washing macine so most clothes can be washed together-the 1 product that does what it says and ive never had a prob.

socks folded and washed together so they dont get lost in machine

laminate/wood floors if you can, much easier for cleaning and more hygenic than carpets. Rugs if you like a bit of carpet.

once or twice a day I go up/down stairs with a cleaning wipe in each hand and clean the banister as I'm going up/down.

sickofsocalledexperts Sat 19-Jan-13 17:17:32

I have developed an exceptionally lazy way of cleaning the bath AND all the annoying plastic toys kids leave in bath. When they are at school, fill bath to brim with hot water and a good splash of Milton liquid. Leave for a couple of hours, take plug out, rinse well with shower head. It also makes house smell as if you have been spring-cleaning all day!

MrsHoarder Sat 19-Jan-13 17:18:55

You're supposed to clean banisters???

And it took me years to break DH of the habit of pairing his socks before washing: they used to come out still smelly and muddy and needed unpairing to stand a chance of drying.

As for the feminist argument: we share household chores. The less there is in total, the less I have to do.

ppeatfruit Sat 19-Jan-13 17:22:47

Thanks a lot for that livinginapinkbauble grin

starfishmummy Sat 19-Jan-13 17:31:02

If you batch cook casseroles, put the portion you're freezing aside before you dish up. Otherwise a greedy dh person will decide to have seconds, and there won't be enough left to freeze.

Abitwobblynow Sat 19-Jan-13 17:48:30

Lots of talk about wipes: PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE DO NOT flush ANYTHING other than toilet paper down the loo.

(I went on a civil engineering course). Not a plaster, not an ear bud, nothing!

Out of sight really does not mean problem gone the only thing that should go down a lavatory is poo and loo paper. The biggest pollutants of water are women, and we must change this (the sight of a beach after a failed pump station is really tragic, sanitary towels and tampons everywhere).

Please can we make a serious MN oath that flushing ANY sanitary stuff or wipes, become as unthinkable as drink driving. Three tampons can block a drain. Wipes are now the biggest drain blockers. Wrap it up put it in the kitchen bin. PLEASE!

Pass this message on.

LovesGSD Sat 19-Jan-13 17:48:49

I've learned so much from this thread!! gringrin

Abitwobblynow Sat 19-Jan-13 17:54:55

Regarding ironing: I broke the back of this by ironing whenever I watch telly. Takes the guilt out and the basket empties!

Mesh underwear sock bag for the wash.

I also freeze sandwiches.

And be ruthless with clutter.

LivingInAPinkBauble Sat 19-Jan-13 18:29:28

Abitwobblynow I agree with you in general about flushing things, I only flush these wipes because like toilet paper they are designed to be flushed and to degrade. Take a look at the link I posted above.

PersuedByPenguins Sat 19-Jan-13 19:04:41

Dancergirl- buy them Kindles/Kobos grin

MoodyDidIt Sat 19-Jan-13 19:08:08

a nice smelling house is half the battle, so open your windows as much as you possibly can as it will help keep your house smelling fresh, and drops of zoflora on your lightbulbs / behind radiators

also, train the dcs from a very early age to help you tidy and clean, (this has the added benefit of them not growing up with the mindset of mum does everything)

redandwhitesprinkles Sat 19-Jan-13 19:38:52

Flushable wipes flush-down the toilet. However they cause chaos in drains. Please don't flush them ever. My mums elderly next door neighbour had a garden full of sewage because her neighbour's children used 'flushable' wipes.

BeanJuice Sat 19-Jan-13 19:45:08

It amazes me that people would ever flush things like sanitary items or wipes - common sense surely?

scripsi Sat 19-Jan-13 19:47:56

ooh for ironing I have a lakeland tabletop ironing sheet. Stops us from procrastinating about getting the old and cumbersome ironing board out.

Bunbaker Sat 19-Jan-13 19:52:25

My dining room table is too low for me to iron on. I have the ironing board at its highest level.

Al0uise Sat 19-Jan-13 19:56:59

Save the faff of peeling potatoes for mash. Just bake whole potatoes cut them in half and push through a potato ricer.

Buy your favourite sausages, squidge out the innards and make fantastic meatballs from the sausage meat. Fry them off then chuck a tin of tomatoes or passata over them and bubble for a few minutes.

Get the type of dish scrubber that you can pour washing up liquid into the handle then fill with half white vinegar and half fairy liquid. give the shower glass a quick scrub while you're in there.

Use Ecover Ocean Fresh toilet cleaner, a quick squirt makes the whole bathroom smell amazing.

Keep Eucalyptus essential oil in bathrooms and toilets. A quick drop down the loo before you or anyone has a poo completely negates any smell. When you have guests keep a lit candle in the loo to keep everything fresh smelling.

Dab fabric softener on radiators, they smell fab as they warm up.

Air the bed for at least an hour a day, remaking it within minutes of getting up just lets the moisture stay trapped and fester within the fabric.

Chandon Sat 19-Jan-13 20:05:13

Thought this thread would be about making canapes out of old croissants and a tin of mushroom soup, or cocktails with store cupboard ingredients ( mix multi vit juice with vodka and lime), or presenting your puddings in tall glasses, and matching napkins and professionaly blowdried hair that you can make last longer with the help of talcum powder, and turning yesterdays' roast into a Thai Beef salad for starters the next day.

You all make being a domestic godess sound so boring. Icame here looking for inspiration!

Like: for unexpected visitors, quickly defrost lunchbox sandwiches in the microwave and cut into triangles. Sprinkle with oregano. Serve with a large glass of frozen vodka. Shout: bottoms up! Rinse and repeat.

Or: if the neighbours in your semi are having a fight during ypur dinner party, put on some loud pop music and initiate a game of musical chairs.

Bunbaker Sat 19-Jan-13 20:05:42

"Just bake whole potatoes cut them in half and push through a potato ricer."

I think that is more of a faff, not to mention the time it takes to bake potatoes as opposed to boiling them.

I agree with your other comments though AlOuise

Al0uise Sat 19-Jan-13 20:33:59

Really? It saves peeling them and saves a saucepan, just rice straight into the serving bowl.

I'm not selling it to you am I.

cocoachannel Sat 19-Jan-13 20:38:39

8 mins to bake potatoes in our combi microwave, then mash and eat the crisp skins yourself. Perfect.

Just put the potatoes (either small ones or in chunks) in the slow cooker, put a spoon or two of oil over them (I have garlic cloves in olive oil so I put some of those in) and leave them for six hours on high. Works with carrots and parsnips too.
For mash, just boil the buggers with the skin on, it comes off mostly and is left behind when you drain them, and the odd bit left in the tatie is good for you, that's where the vitamins are grin
AS for squishing sausages for meatballs, just go to ALDI and buy meatballs, you get 25 for about £2.50 and they are lovely. Just chop and onion, carton of passata (aldi 27p) and the meatballs in the slow cooker and four hours on high later, Bob's your uncle grin

cocoachannel Sat 19-Jan-13 20:46:57

With the frozen sandwiches do you include salad etc? Probably a silly question blush

NeverKnowinglyUnderstood Sat 19-Jan-13 20:54:42

get a basket by the side of the sofa.
put in it pen, pencil, cheque book, stamps envelopes, diary.

when the post comes / you bring letters home from school, put it in your basket.
when you sit down at night, open the post, write the responses put them by the door for posting.

once a month file the paperwork in your basket.

Screaminabdabs Sat 19-Jan-13 20:59:26

I do like your name, NeverKnowinglyUnderstood. smile I have such a basket by the sofa. smile

suzysnowball Sat 19-Jan-13 21:01:46

When a mate turns up just as you let them in, say loudly oooh ouch then say remember when I had just given birth and you asked if there was anything you could do and I said we're okay thanks, well there is now ..... then reel off oven needs cleaning, hedge needs cutting etc
Then when other people come round everywhere will be spick and span and you'll only have looked scruffy to one mate.
I have a 29 and a 10 year old and this has always usually worked...

Re freezing sandwiches, does the bread not become soggy?

ISeeSmallPeople Sat 19-Jan-13 21:06:26

Don't flush 'flushable' wipes!

They might claim to be flushable, but they are EVIL.

My neighbours use them. Every 4 months I have to pay Dynorod £145 to fish them out of my garden manhole & drain that goes under my house -- and still the useless idiots won't listen--.

I'll send you a photo next time if you don't believe me and keep sending it until you stop flushing.

Put them in the bin.

Never flush anything that you have not personally digested. Or ordinary loo paper. Even loo paper wipes are evil.

Virgil Sat 19-Jan-13 21:06:54

Baking potatoes takes ten minutes though in a microwave. Much quicker Nd saves energy.

coorong Sat 19-Jan-13 21:19:42

Agree on flush able wipes - they are a marketing ploy
We had to spend several hundred pounds unblocking our drains because of these little beauties
Ask any plumber

Virgil Sat 19-Jan-13 21:19:52

Make up lots of cake mixture and freeze in muffin cases. Then when you know someone is popping round just whack a couple in the oven and you have freshly baked muffins in ten minutes.

VitoCorleone Sat 19-Jan-13 21:22:21

I set an alarm for 15 mins and just do 15 mins of housework.

I read about doing that on MN and thought "what the fuck can you get done in 15 mins?!" as it turns out, quite a lot!

I do it twice (sometimes 3 times) a day. And my house has never looked cleaner.

I also meal plan so i dont have to faff around thinking "what can i make for tea?" and also it saves me money as i only buy exactly what i need rather than spend a fortune on stuff that wont get eaten.

ATouchOfStuffing Sat 19-Jan-13 21:51:00

I always read these threads and wonder how big everyone's freezer must be! I am yearning for a chest freezer atm as I only have 2 drawers (one I use for veg/ice cream and other for meat/fish fingers etc) so not much room for extra meals/muffin trays sadly. I hear freezing ice cube trays of milk can be handy for tea if you run out of milk too.

I use baby wipes on my skirting boards (only usually do about once a month) and backs of kitchen chairs/bannisters and any other bits I pass.. I find I get quite carried away once I start! The bathroom floor/around the edge of the outside of the shower is an easier job this way.

Someone was saying about using the lint from the tumble for stuffing toys or whatever. I haven't tried it yet but seemed quite a good idea.

I bought the cheap Flash bathroom cleaner for £1 and quickly sprayed it around my shower glass in the morning the other day. Was very happy to come back and find house smelled lovely and the shower was clean and got even better when I showered the next morning as all of the residue washed off to get sparkle and therefore the house continued to smell lovely for 3 days smile

Have put scented oil balls into my Henry today so looking forward to using it now!

marriedinwhite Sat 19-Jan-13 22:00:24

milk in the ice cube trays - that is genius - just genius. Am doing that right now - before I go to bed grin thanks

Xenia Sat 19-Jan-13 22:01:42

1. Earn a fortune (see who earn £1k a day threads).
2. Pay someone else to do it
3. If 1 and 2 fail get your husband to do it and never ever ever see being female as meaning you do dull domestic stuff. Leave it to men and outsource it.

A woman's place is avoiding dull domestic stuff and reaching to the top of the career tree - much much more fun.

Join feminism threads and have the scales cast from your eyes.

ATouchOfStuffing Sat 19-Jan-13 22:05:32

I am a single mum so no man to mess up the place thankfully.

ATouchOfStuffing Sat 19-Jan-13 22:10:17

Oh and just thought of another; if I ever get a load of handwash items together usually the bits in the bottom of the wash basket then I keep the plug in after a bath and chuck them in with some Woolite or whatever and do them while I think of it using the same water. I also do the same with any soft toys with grime on smile

NoRoomForMeInMyBed Sat 19-Jan-13 22:13:03

Best completly foolproof domestic godess tip; betty crocker devils food cake mix. Tastes better than any home made choc cake and makes great squidgy muffins. Available at all big supermarkets, whip up in 2 minutes and impress guests with home made muffins...

FrustratedMod Sat 19-Jan-13 22:32:45

Not read whole thread so someone may have said this, but a great way to get rid of limescale AND mould round the bath is to make up a paste of thick bleach and bicarbonate of soda, and paint this onto limescale and mouldy bits last thing at night with an old toothbrush. Next morning, use the toothbrush to scrub it off while you're having a shower - it works wonders and is dirt (sorry for pun) cheap. I think however clean your bathroom is mouldy grouting will always make it look skanky.

prudencesmom Sat 19-Jan-13 22:38:28

lol at have put scented oil balls into my Henry today
I give uniforms etc with small stains, a quick wipe with fabric wipes - less laundry!

GTbaby Sat 19-Jan-13 22:39:32

Thanks frustrated. Will try that one!

NeverKnowinglyUnderstood Sat 19-Jan-13 23:13:48

once a week I use shake and vac, which makes hoovering anywhere for the rest of the week smell lovely

Bunbaker Sat 19-Jan-13 23:29:48

Just reading the number of disposable wipes people use on here makes me think there must be a disposable wipe mountain somewhere.

What is wrong with just using a microfibre cloth and water?

Porkster Sat 19-Jan-13 23:36:47

I use wipes for everything.

Foor wipes, surface wipes, loo wipes, antibac wipes, glass wipes, face wipes even dog bum wipes.

I might be responsible for the mountain..

Porkster Sat 19-Jan-13 23:37:00


prudencesmom Sat 19-Jan-13 23:45:20

Yes me too I am a wipeaholic blush

feellikearubbishmummy Sun 20-Jan-13 00:16:26

Keep Eucalyptus essential oil in bathrooms and toilets. A quick drop down the loo before you or anyone has a poo completely negates any smell. When you have guests keep a lit candle in the loo to keep everything fresh smelling.

wish I had known about this before. hate not having a window in bathroom blush

Hoping boots sell the oil.

JollyGolightly Sun 20-Jan-13 00:36:22

This thread is brilliant, can I play? Teatree oil has antibacterial and antifungal properties, I make cleaning fluid in a spray bottle with 0.3 vinegar to 0.6 water with a few drops of tea tree. A few drops also go in the washing machine instead of fabric conditioner, everything smells great including the cloth nappies.

The life hacks are genius, but the thought of frozen sandwiches makes me feel a bit sick.

mathanxiety Sun 20-Jan-13 07:27:47

Don't sort or put away socks or undies for DCs -- keep them all in one basket and they can fish for them in the morning. Don't sort or pair socks, just toss in the basket when dry from dryer. Only buy white socks. Gives a whole new urgency to the concept 'first up best dressed'.

No ironing. Just folding straight from the dryer and then straight away with no interim stop. All DCs' hands on deck for this makes it go faster.

Train the DCs to clean and tidy and help out with cooking, table setting and clearing, dishwasher loading and emptying, and laundry. Mine have a room each that they are responsible for. I rotate the rooms.

All lunches packed and all homework put in bags and all necessary items for school in the kitchen and ready to go for the morning. All clothes laid out the night before too.

All sports items (shoes, kneepads, shinguards, uniforms, etc) kept in the car at all times except when being washed.

LovesBeingWokenEveryNight Sun 20-Jan-13 07:40:50

So I second no dcs, polish sprayed so it smells clean, hovering makes it look clean and never going upstairs empty handed.

Also do something whisk waiting for the kettle to boil, for example I can empty and refill the dishwasher in this time. Basically anytime you have doing something were you are waiting or have a hand free.

Think this came from fly lady to do a 15 blast then do something else. Basically put everything into 15 then have 45 off grin

pigleychez Sun 20-Jan-13 07:46:07

Def agree about getting the kids to help. Good life skills. Dd1 is 4 and it's her job in the morning to make her bed. Admittedly I have to smooth it out after but she's learning [smi

Karcher windows vac is fab and makes short work of cleaning windows inside and out. Also fab on the shower door.

RubyGates Sun 20-Jan-13 08:53:52

I tend to use baby wipes for instant cleaning because if I see something that needs a clean while I have them in my hand (using on grubby DC) then I'm likely to go and clean whatever it is.

If I have to go and locate a damp cloth I'm inevitably distracted by the kettle and some hobnobs and forget the cleaning. So having baby-wipes to hand means I'm much more likely actually to do the cleaning.

I used cloth nappies so I reckon we're still in credit on the debris mountain.

It's like bags of salad, I eat it because I don't have to spend time chopping the different varieties of stuff in the bag. If I bought all the different things in the bag separayely I'd find them liquifying in the bottom of the fridge a week later. (I wouldn't actually: the rabbit and piggies would eat them thinking about it, but I'm not feeding them an endless supply of gourmet leafage).

BoffinMum Sun 20-Jan-13 10:03:52

I have a basket in the front hall for all lost property. If the house starts to look a tip, I pick it up by that handle and put all rogue items in there. Then I make one of the kids put it all away in the right places.

ppeatfruit Sun 20-Jan-13 10:22:29

Yes bunbaker (I agree with all your tips BTW)! I heard a frightening radio programme talking about the wipes which mostly do NOT degrade blocking the sewers by causing huge mountains of fat and wipes down there shock [anger]

chicaguapa Sun 20-Jan-13 10:25:05

I do something similar and give DC a basket each and send them around the house to pick up everything that belongs to them and then take it to their bedrooms and put it away. Anything that's left goes to the charity shop gets put in the garage and is never seen again.

StopStuffing Sun 20-Jan-13 11:36:07

In all my years on Mumsnet this is my favourite thread! blush

Ive learned a lot here. I use some of the tips already posted, but one that has really saved me time is buying ready grated cheeses. The dc get through a lot of cheese and I found myself grating some at least one a day, for a sauce/sandwich/salad/ sprinkled etc. A friend even buys in bulk and then grates the whole lot in one go and then freezes in batches, which works brilliantly too.

I bloody love mumsnet.

Bunbaker Sun 20-Jan-13 11:59:45

"This thread is brilliant, can I play? Teatree oil has antibacterial and antifungal properties, I make cleaning fluid in a spray bottle with 0.3 vinegar to 0.6 water with a few drops of tea tree. A few drops also go in the washing machine instead of fabric conditioner, everything smells great including the cloth nappies.2

I loathe the smell of tea tree oil. To me it has a bleachy detergent smell.

MoodyDidIt Sun 20-Jan-13 12:13:59

YY to ready grated cheese, i don't know how i ever survived without it blush

farmersdaugther Sun 20-Jan-13 12:57:16

Okay. So far I've leant that I need to invest in tumble dryer, some form of dustbuster and a 2nd freezer. Seriously how big are your freezers? DH will be delighted smile

Absolutely love the idea of pre making muffins or biscuits etc and freezing them. And the pancake mix.

Flylady..genius. What a difference

Lavender in the hoover bag, as above.

Milton in bath water to clean bath, slipmat and toys. Will give this a shot when DD is at nursery.

This afternoon i'm attacking the junk drawers....

scripsi Sun 20-Jan-13 13:19:20

porkster which wipes do you recommend? Need some to tide elderly DMIL over in between us going over to do deep cleans.

Jahan Sun 20-Jan-13 13:23:47

love the idea of pancake mix. Might do the same with a basic muffin mix.

My top tip is to cook mostly one pot meals or one oven tray meals.

Helenagrace Sun 20-Jan-13 16:43:01

Scones can be baked and frozen and then reheated quickly to refresh them. I always make a double batch.

There are also freezer cookie recipes where you make the dough and roll it into a log shape and cover with cling film. When you want cookies you just run a knife under a hot tap and slice off however many cookies you want, top them with chocolate chips or crystallised ginger etc and then bake them.

I keep a box in the freezer for leftover veg. When it's full I fry an onion and add the defrosted veg, some stock and a can each of tomatoes and kidney beans in chilli sauce and simmer then blitz. Instant cheap homemade soup!

mathanxiety Sun 20-Jan-13 16:51:54

Wrt cleaning bath toys: If you find the little animal type bath toys (duckies, etc) start growing blackish mould inside, take some superglue after cleaning them with bleach or milton and squirt it into the hole in the bottom to seal them.

StopStuffing Sun 20-Jan-13 17:09:20

That link to Bbc website for one pot meals is brilliant- thanks Jahan for linking it.

OP- when the thread has died down a bit and dropped out of active convos, do you think it should be moved to classics for posterity?! I would hate to lose it, others must feel the same. (please other people feel the same, say its not just me [saddo emoticon])

feellikearubbishmummy Sun 20-Jan-13 17:35:08

Stopstuffing> I feel the same blush

deste Sun 20-Jan-13 17:46:52

I never sit down to eat a meal till everything is in the dishwasher and all the worktops and hob is clean. I don't go to bed until everything is tidied up. At night I sort out a wash, ie light or dark or coloured so that in the morning I just stick it in the machine. Anything that lives upstairs is left on the stairs till I need to go up and then it is put away immediately. Before I come down in the morning I make sure the bedroom is tidy and everything is put away or hung up. Even the dog has a box for his toys. In one of the kitchen drawers I have a plastic box in which I put pens, small screwdriver, buttons, in fact anything that you will need again. I have another in the dining room drawer and another in the hall in which everyone puts their car keys. The thing is I consider myself to be a bit lazy because I'm not constantly cleaning. I do Hoover most days. I don't like clutter, if I am walking along the road i look at houses and I think to myself I would have a skip in there to get rid of all that rubbish. If you get rid of one thing every day that you dont need or use over the space of one year you will have got rid of 365 things.

Loving all the tips. We have a charity shop box in the hall into which go suitable toys, books or clothes. Then when it's full take to shop or put in one of the many collection bags we get put through the door.

Use baskets or bowls to store stuff - somehow makes things look tidier

Bunbaker Sun 20-Jan-13 18:30:47

You can clean the marks left by bath toys in baths by using a bit of toothpaste if the usual bathroom cleaners don't work.

OcotoAlert Sun 20-Jan-13 18:30:58

I use fairy gel direct on stains - works a treat; even on 40 degrees.
Strong believer in every one doing their fair share and not making others' chores more difficult (own clothes in washing basket, towels on banister to dry, dirty pots rinsed after use etc)

Panzee Sun 20-Jan-13 18:38:57

I am loving this thread. You are prodding my nesting instinct into action!

re grated cheese - we have a rotary grater thing for grating the odd ends of cheese, but yy to supermarket bags. They are expensive but some days a life saver. If you blw then a tiny sprinkle of cheese isn't worth dirtying a grater for, and a bag lasts all week.

catinthesnow Sun 20-Jan-13 19:05:50

This might be sniffed at but use a tin of Campbell's celery soup as a stock base for 'homemade' soup, especially cream of vegetable.

Hang washed curtains up wet and they dry as if they are ironed.

Keep coat hangers beside the tumble drier and hang clothes as soon as they come out.

LovesGSD Sun 20-Jan-13 21:59:57

Ok it official! I've turned into my nana smile after reading this thread it got me looking at my routine (not much of one) this weekend I've not stopped! I now have dates written on the calendar of things I need to remember, the DC's sandwiches are made up and in the freezer, my washing is up to date and will stay that way, drawers are all organised, if my baby is contented I think 'right what could I get done' instead of sitting on FB......the list goes on.

Iheartpasties Mon 21-Jan-13 03:05:01

I bought plastic a4 folders this wkend for the wooden puzzles my toddler has got! great tip, thanks!

Bunbaker Mon 21-Jan-13 07:25:49

A tin of oxtail soup is a great base for mince. In fact tins of soup are great bases for all sorts of dishes.

CarrieDon Mon 21-Jan-13 14:09:27

Great thread.

I buy Sainsburys frozen fruit - blueberries, strawberries, tropical mix, mango, raspberries etc. Very good value for money, convenient, no wastage from them going off, and apparently just as nutritious vitamin-wise.

Saves a lot of time washing, peeling and chopping. Great for a quick yogurt milkshake or smoothie too.

I once had a tradesman unexpectedly say he was coming to give a quote in 20 mins time and I swear I managed a week's worth of housework rushing round clearing up before he arrived. I've learned to give myself short deadlines to get things done.

OcotoAlert Mon 21-Jan-13 15:39:02

I knew I'd read another thread similar to this recently. I put it on 'watched' purely for the microwave cheese sauce idea alone! smile

Pinot Mon 21-Jan-13 16:49:10

Don't flush wipes - any wipe, no matter what they say.

Your water bills are increasing because of the cost of fixing blocked sewers and the wreckage they create.

If you flush a wipe, you have no right to complain about water bills.

DH is Ops Manager at a Water Company. The stuff he tells me would curl your hair!

sickofsocalledexperts Mon 21-Jan-13 17:48:05

Yes I read that those wipes that say they re flushable are lying

MyDingaling Mon 21-Jan-13 18:47:13

I keep linking to this thread every time something like this comes up - it really helped me
This is also a good one
Both very long but definitely worth a look.

YokoUhOh Tue 22-Jan-13 03:55:50

Re: grated cheese... brother worked at a cheese factory one summer during Uni and has never eaten cheese since and told me that grated cheese sold in the supermarket is cheese 'sweepings' plus any mouldy cheese, reconstituted and tidied up a bit, then grated into bags.

I've always walked a bit quicker past the grated cheese section since hearing that particular anecdote <holds down urge to retch>

Iheartpasties Tue 22-Jan-13 05:20:42

g'ah! yuck!

Pinot Tue 22-Jan-13 07:54:05

That's bollocks about cheese being mouldy. Illegal too. How would they hide the smell of mould, let alone the look of it? (FIL works for a cheese producers/suppliers)

And the volume of grated cheese they produce is huge, so how are they supposed to "sweep" that amount off the floor?

Factories have gigantic vessels in which they cut/process cheese - unless it's magical cheese that can fly onto the floor, I'm afraid that doesn't make sense.

The only difference in grated cheese and blocks is that they add potato flour to the gratings so they don't clump together.

Flisspaps Tue 22-Jan-13 09:45:39

MyDingaling You stole my tip grin I was just about to link those wink

YokoUhOh Tue 22-Jan-13 10:26:52

Pinot, it's just what I heard from the factory floor. The mould is removed before it's reconstituted and grated. Like I said, my brother won't touch the stuff. I eat my bodyweight in cheese every day

Great tips everyone total slattern here

NotSoNervous Tue 22-Jan-13 22:42:37

Great thread

NotSoNervous Tue 22-Jan-13 22:42:54


NotSoNervous Tue 22-Jan-13 22:43:01


NotSoNervous Tue 22-Jan-13 22:43:19

Bump &#128515;

GTbaby Wed 23-Jan-13 00:47:17

You really want more cheats huh nervous. Another bump.
Might get some "sleepless night" traffic.

thereistheball Wed 23-Jan-13 04:50:23

To those advocating the use of tea tree or lavender oils: they are hormone inhibitors, which means that they may be partly responsible for the rapidly-lowering average age of puberty, and they may cause prepubescent boys to grow breasts

CheerfulYank Wed 23-Jan-13 06:15:16

Oooh, marking my place.

I love having a tidy house but have a hard time actually doing it sometimes. I really want to get into a better routine before DC2 is born in May. smile

ppeatfruit Wed 23-Jan-13 09:04:39

theris Oh thats why there's a lowering age of puberty !!!!!! nothing to do with eating loads of dairy and hormone filled meat then?

ppeatfruit Wed 23-Jan-13 09:07:13

Those essential oils have been used for millennia why is it only recently happening.?

thereistheball Wed 23-Jan-13 17:25:18

You're right - I was conflating a couple of separate issues. Tea tree and lavender oils are endocrine disrupters but they are associated with breasts in young boys, not the lowering average age the menarche.

ppeatfruit Wed 23-Jan-13 19:54:43

Yeah okay hmm

justasecond Wed 23-Jan-13 23:33:25

If you can afford it, get a dyson handheld. With 3 young dc I was forever dragging out the big dyson so I asked dh for one for my birthday blush. Best present ever!! it saves so much time. Love it.

happybubblebrain Thu 24-Jan-13 00:06:56

Have a place for everything and put everything back immediately after use.

I don't like housework, I don't like the thought of it on my mind either, so I have a day off work once a week when everything gets done, shopping, sheets, laundry, ironing, cleaning, everything. Then I don't have to think about any of it for another 6 days. It's a nice feeling when it's all done for another week. If I had to do housework every day I'd lose to will to live.

Cheerfulcharlie Thu 24-Jan-13 05:14:50

Whenever you make lasagne (or something where you make béchamel ie. White sauce) make double quantities of the White sauce and stick half in the fridge. Next day stck some uncooked fish / prawns in a dish, pour over the sauce, top with mash and put in the oven and you have a 'cooked from scratch' fish pie. You can add chopped up carrots /mushrooms/brocolli etc to the fish too if you can't be bothered to cook the veg separately.

DH never peels the spuds for mash either- it's actually quite nice.

Make a huge fruit salad by cutting up fresh pineapple slices (ready sliced from supermarket), strawbs, kiwis and grapes or whatever you fancy. This should last at least a few days for snacks/dessert/breaskfast (delicious with yoghurt and granola for brekkie)
I tried the 'stand in a room and don't leave until you have thrown away 27 items'. Brilliant! It only took me 10 mins too.

mrspink27 Thu 24-Jan-13 08:39:22

Gather all odd socks together as they appear and after a few of attempts of pairing them up over a month or so recycle them!!! Or make sock creatures or use them to stuff a door sausage... Alternatively pair them up before they go in the wash!!! (Someone should tell my DDs this!!!)

BoffinMum Thu 24-Jan-13 08:57:50

Newsflash! I am going to be on SuperScrimpers Series 4 giving out various domestic cheats over 10 weeks if anyone's interested. We filmed it all yesterday <excited but trying to look cool>grin

brainonastick Thu 24-Jan-13 09:11:55

Best domestic cheat ever:

Get a cleaner.

sickofsocalledexperts Thu 24-Jan-13 11:08:32

Ooh Boffinmum, love that programme!

farmersdaugther Thu 24-Jan-13 11:20:08

Vacuum / hoover flat packed bags. Amazing {whispers} and quite good fun too. Just pack them up, stuff the hoover in the in the appointed place and stuck all the air out.

I've packed away 2 yrs worth of DD clothes inc jackets, sleep sacks etc from 3 large boxes into 2 large flat airtight bags. Just hidden them on top of the wardrobe out of sight.

Going to buy more for duvets, pillows etc.

amazingmumof6 Thu 24-Jan-13 11:31:14

happybubblebrain do you have a kids or even a family?

I do not know anyone with children at home who can afford to tidy only once a week!!!!!
or anyone who can fit ALL the weekly chores into one day. or anyone who can afford to have a whole day off work to do that, all by themselves....

and we are still quite happy to live despite having to do our daily chores

AudrinaAdare Thu 24-Jan-13 11:39:39

That's great, BoffinMum.

I bought Austerity Housekeeping the other day. I'm up to the bit about decorating where you mention twigs and pebbly shit pebbles grin

LemonBreeland Thu 24-Jan-13 11:50:55

Brilliant news BoffinMum, very excited for you. Will be watching.

NeverKnowinglyUnderstood Thu 24-Jan-13 12:43:05

Boffin!! you are going to be mobbed in the streets by ladies like me..

do tell us when it is going to be on

PartTimeModel Thu 24-Jan-13 13:04:28

Great thread - halfway thought I'm googling 'flushable bathroom wipes' but thankfully I kept reading and NOW I KNOW BETTER. I'll stick to the microfiber cloths from pound shop.

Congrats Boffin will look out for you.

For those of you who don't like tea tree oil there is a whole world of essential oils out there that smell lovely. Lavender is even more versatile than tea tree IMO. Grapefruit is a gorgeous "fresh happy house" oil.

plipplops Thu 24-Jan-13 13:56:14

I just have a quick question re microfibre cloths. Just bought some from the supermarket and they say not to wash with fabric conditioner. Does it really matter??? Otherwise I'm going to have to do a separate wash just for them which is utterly ridiculous...?


PartTimeModel Thu 24-Jan-13 14:00:29

fabric condition affects absorbency so yes I would think it does matter.

Would you really wash cleaning cloths with clothing/linen though? I don't even put tea towels in with clothes/towels/sheets - I do wash at 30 degrees so maybe it would be fine on a hot wash, but I do keep cleaning stuff separate from things that come in contact with our bodies.

plipplops Thu 24-Jan-13 14:06:21

Bummer, thanks smile. I'd put tea towels and dishcloths in with bathroom towels (prob on a 60 wash), and occasionally teatowels in at 40 with clothes. Wouldn't put them in with any of DDs minging undies etc. though!

Oh no am I gross??!

DeafLeopard Thu 24-Jan-13 14:12:38

Boffy do let us know when it is going to be on

PartTimeModel Thu 24-Jan-13 14:14:26

don't you find fabric conditioner on your tea towels/dishcloths affects their absorbency too?

happybubblebrain Thu 24-Jan-13 15:46:17

amazingmumof6 - I do have one child but I don't have a partner, so I'm sure my workload is a lot less than most.

I get dd to tidy up after herself. We have toy boxes etc that things can just get thrown into. I've always been a tidy and well-organised person. On my day off I spend about 1 or 2 hours doing the shopping, 1 hour doing laundry, 1 hour ironing and 2 hours cleaning. I don't allow it to take more time than this. Obviously on other days I cook meals and wash up, but that's it. I prefer to do everything on one day than in bits and bobs, I have better things to do than housework.

GemDoll Thu 24-Jan-13 19:50:51

Buy frozen chopped onion.
Makes me much more likely to cook from scratch grin seriously!

CheerfulYank Thu 24-Jan-13 21:17:37

Oooh, Boffin! Put it on YouTube so I can see!

amazingmumof6 Thu 24-Jan-13 21:24:43

happybubble yes, that sounds realistic! and congrats!thanks

sorry if I sounded rude, it just felt like you are rubbing it in grin - here we have 6 kids inc a hurricane toddler and crawling baby, constant mess, 2 loads of washing/day, 2 shopping trips/week ( despite 2 fridges!) and the list goes on and on, just hundreds of things to do and never enough time (typing while bf)..
not complaining, I love having a big family, but there's no way I could squash all things domestic in 1 day.....maybe when youngest is full time at school our life will be more civilized. one can dream!

shame I don't have time to read all the great advice ....grrrrrrrrrr

I wish I could save this thread somehow before it disappears when full!

BoffinMum Thu 24-Jan-13 23:15:36

It's series 4 of SuperScrimpers and I will be in about 8 of the 10 programmes. I think the new series starts around March. I hope I haven't made an idiot of myself - it's harder than you think, being excited about dusting and cleaning out washing machines all day long, and not sounding twee. wink

If anyone else wants to be on, they are looking for people who buy too many shoes at the moment (apparently).

BoffinMum Thu 24-Jan-13 23:17:02

Audrina, the twigs and pebbly shit is a coded reference to MN! Well spotted! (OliviaMN got it too!) grin

RubyGates Fri 25-Jan-13 02:02:43

<becomes Boffin's groupie>

GemDoll Fri 25-Jan-13 09:51:50

Oh, and buy frozen chopped garlic too!

amazingmumof6 Fri 25-Jan-13 10:24:26

boffin are they looking for people who buy too many things on Ebay?

and please reveal what the coded reference is (twigs and pebbly shit)

LemonBreeland Fri 25-Jan-13 13:44:05

Boffin I must reread your book as the twigs and pebbly shit must have gone right over my head. grin

Agree with forzen onion. I hate chopping onion and it makes it so much quicker to cook.

KateMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 25-Jan-13 17:31:05

<suppresses squeal> How exciting, Boffinmum. You will blog about it, won't you?

(Bloggers Ed here, in case that seems rather, um, keen...)

CJCregg Fri 25-Jan-13 20:43:46

Marking my place again grin

I did the 'throw away 27 items' thing in three rooms tonight. THREE. It was awesome.

BoffinMum Sat 26-Jan-13 08:56:29

Amazing mum, dunno, that might not be glam enough for telly TBH. Bear in mind I was cleaning boots in my best frock with a frilly pinny on and polishing antiques with extra virgin olive oil.

So chuffed I have a groupie!

I might blog when the programme's actually on, if people would like that.

BoffinMum Sat 26-Jan-13 08:57:37

Lemon, it's in there purely so MNetters will recognise each other, like the Freemasons IYSWIM. <special handshake> winkwinkwink

BoffinMum Sat 26-Jan-13 09:01:38

Obv I didn't use the shit word though.

A MN housekeeping book would have be called 'The Farking Futility Room' or some such grin

BoffinMum Sat 26-Jan-13 09:04:21

Do you know the funny thing? Loads of really intellectual Boffin types at my work have confessed to me they adore SuperScrimpers and never miss an episode!!!!! gringringrin

steben Sat 26-Jan-13 09:10:14

Marking place to come back and read later!

amazingmumof6 Sun 27-Jan-13 16:45:57

oh I still don't know what that twigs and pebbly shit means..... I'll never be a part of the club, so sad <hides under duvet>

BoffinMum Sun 27-Jan-13 17:09:46

Someone started a thread once on derivative interior design, and the thread title was

"Do you have twigs and pebbly shit in your house?"

and their first post was

"If so I hate you"

And it was MN at its finest. My contribution was hating artificial air fresheners that are plastic but made to look like stone, for crimes against interior design.

BoffinMum Sun 27-Jan-13 17:11:34
Sunnyshores Sun 27-Jan-13 21:23:58

fab ideas, wish it wasnt so late I've bags, boxes, cloths to buy.

BoffinMum Sun 27-Jan-13 23:01:22

Austerity Housekeeping eBook is free again tomorrow on Amazon, if anyone wants to download a copy. grin

Marking place

Monty27 Mon 28-Jan-13 00:53:04

Marking place

Dillydollydaydream Mon 28-Jan-13 14:06:58

Still showing as £2.99 on my Amazon?

Ruprekt Mon 28-Jan-13 14:17:29

What a great thread!

DH and I love superscrimpers!!

GemDoll Mon 28-Jan-13 14:27:03

Can we get back to the domestic cheats? grin

BoffinMum Mon 28-Jan-13 15:03:06

Sorry, yes, that was not meant to be a Boffin hijack.
Big wicker basket in each room to throw the general detritus into is always a good strategy.

Ruprekt Mon 28-Jan-13 17:00:53

Empty all the drawers of units into a big basket and sit and sort through.

anything unclaimed will be chucked out!

Maryz Mon 28-Jan-13 20:22:16

I used to have hooks behind the sitting room door, one for each child. Hang a shopping bag on each, and shove their stuff into it. When the bag is full, they have to take it upstairs and put it away [hopeful]

Panzee Tue 29-Jan-13 10:20:08

Thanks for the tip upthread about cotton balls and lavender in the Hoover. My rooms smell lovely now.

Babysamrocks Tue 29-Jan-13 18:41:53

Dilly the book is free today. I've just got it.

loverofwine Tue 29-Jan-13 20:50:01

If it's not been said before then zones work for us.

I have x4 DS 3-7ys and am very strict on where things go: toys in the playroom or bedroom if not they get thrown away (they don't actually but they disappear for a while), School uniform in 'getting dressed/undressed zone', All shoes in boxes in hall etc. etc.

It creates an illusion of order where there would otherwise be complete chaos and on days when it is just too much to sort it out I just chuck toys/shoes/uniform etc. into their respective zones and the kids know where to find them and what to do. When feeling strong I spend time sorting individual zones out and occasionally incentivise (sweets, sweets, sweets) kids to have a big sort out.

I read somewhere that (boys in particular) respond well to boundaries and have taken this to heart. It means that even though life is constant chaos people comment on how 'on top of things' we all are fools

ProphetOfDoom Tue 29-Jan-13 21:27:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

kateecass Tue 29-Jan-13 22:28:27

Thanks to this thread and another website I have just discovered my house is the cleanest and tidiest its been since BC (before children)

I used to use Flylady but found I just ignored her. My new favourite is Clean Mama I follow on FB as then every time I check FB I can see that I'm meant to be hoovering or whatever.

RubyGates Wed 30-Jan-13 07:09:38

Thank You Boffin!

farmersdaugther Fri 01-Feb-13 19:28:25

Shameless bump...

Anymore tips? wink

LemonBreeland Fri 01-Feb-13 19:51:31

kateecass that cleanmama site looks interesting. I might give it a go. On fb will be handy too.

kateecass Mon 04-Feb-13 17:35:29

I think I got this tip of Pinterest I think. Lots of cheats on there too.

Use one of those sponges that you fill the handle with washing up liquid with for washing up, but fill it with washing up liquid and white vinegar and use it to clean the bath, sink and especially the shower screen. Quick rinse and it comes up all shiny. smile

BoffinMum Fri 01-Mar-13 18:40:20

Stop press for all those MNetters who might be interested, ... If you want to see da Boff in da flesh, I am apparently on SuperScrimpers on Channel 4, Monday, 8.30pm.

And they've asked me back to do some more filming later in March. grin

napkin Fri 01-Mar-13 20:43:14

I use a damp j cloth rinsed in hot water and wipe and dry with kitchen roll instead of polish and it keeps dust away for much longer.

podmumlet Wed 28-Aug-13 14:52:48

Just came across this tip on keeping your blender clean really easily which means using it a whole lot more!!

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