My definition of domestic bliss, is having a clean tidy home and for chores to get done with as little time and effort as possible, on my part. Now the kids are getting a bit older, it’s time they pull their weight! With J away again this week, life has been frantic and everyone has to chip in- even the 5 year old! Here are my tips based on how it happens in our house:
Get a cleaner and a nanny………….only joking!! (I’m not joking, this is the only true way to domestic bliss! 😉
Buy a dust buster. These are great as the children can use them and the younger ones actually fight over whose turn it is! We have a breakfast, lunch and dinner hooverer during school hols, whose job is to vacuum under and around the kitchen table after meals.
Exploit your children’s individual talents or interests to your full advantage. My eldest, K, loves anything creative and can sew. I don’t do sewing and would sooner throw away said item than sew it back together. Consequently, when the Boy’s favourite teddy’s arm fell off, he took to big sis who diligently sewed it back on for him! Her role is now official. She also bakes, so cake sales at school are no longer a drama. I just need to find a use for the other two now- the Boys main talents are making mess and kicking balls over the fence, not sure where I can steer that to my advantage!!………
Ok a proper cleaning tip…… any tarnished silver (most married couples will have been given silver cutlery in a special box – but you rarely get them out) can be quickly cleaned by boiling in a large saucepan with a scrunched up piece of tin foil for approximately 10 mins. Much quicker than polishing 20 forks individually!!
Earning back devises/ time on devises or TV/ treats or trips formally taken away due to bad behavior. If you are mad enough, like me, to have three or more children, you can guarantee that at least one of them will be trying to make up for some sort of wrongdoing at any one time! Fabulous! At the very least, their room gets the once over, I may also have communal areas tidied and vacuumed. I haven’t been mean enough to demand toilet cleaning yet…….but it will be a useful threat and deterrent in the future!
If trousers arrive in the wash basket inside out, with pants still attached, place them back in their draw. After asking a few times, I resorted to this and it worked, the girls thought it disgusting that their dirty things were in their clean draw. Warning: I suspect this may not work with boys- I will let you know! Currently, I’m lucky if the Boy changes his clothes at all or if they find their way to the wash basket without my assistance!!
Keep loose change in a jar to pay your children to do extra chores. They will actually volunteer their services for a shiny silver coin (5p or 10p!). Once they understand the value of money, it may cost you more but I’m finding 5-10 year olds quite reasonable at the moment!!
Stain removal- essential tip using Vanish. One teaspoon of Vanish powder in a pudding bowl and ¼ fill with boiling water, stir and leave. After 30 seconds- 1 minute a foam forms on the surface, use the teaspoon to work the foam into the stain, spoon by spoon (if it doesn’t show signs of shifting after 5 spoonful’s, put the stained area into the bowl for 10 minutes) and then wash as normal with a scoop of Vanish added. I have saved dry-clean only items with this method, after they couldn’t get the stain out at the dry-cleaners (I spot washed the area rather than put the whole thing in the washing machine), it was kill or cure!
Invest in a good coffee maker, tumble dryer, speedy wifi and Amazon Prime. You will not regret any of those purchases (providing you drink coffee), your towels will always be soft, everyone can be online, you will never need to panic about a last minute gift or ‘need-it-now’ item again and you can stream loads of films & TV shows!
Finally, if you are NOT in France and see a really cheap bottle of wine with an aesthetically pleasing label (because that’s how we all choose wine), walk on by, because life is too short to drink crap wine and let’s face it, wine plays a big part in true domestic bliss!!
How do you achieve domestic bliss in your house? How have you motivated your family into helping around the house? Do you have any short-cut cleaning tips to share?