The lazy mother’s guide to housework

14 Mar
The Good Wife's Guide (1955)

The Good Wife's Guide (1955) (Photo credit: Peter Forret)

I read somewhere that doing housework with children under 5 is like shovelling snow whilst it is still snowing.  I can totally relate to this.  It feels like no sooner have you tidied up then the house is messy again. I am most definitely NOT a houseproud woman.  It might have been on my list of priorities BC (before children) but now I am more concerned with making sure the children are fed and watered and that we get to have some fun. Working from home probably doesn’t help, there are always too many demands on my time and I’m afraid housework comes very near to the bottom of my list!

I’m sure many other mummies feel like this  so here are a few tips I’ve found helpful when it comes to tackling housework in as little time as possible!

Have all the equipment to hand

Try to have a cleaning stash in the bathroom and the kitchen so that it is always there ready when you want to use it. If you run out of anything write it down so you remember to buy it when you go shopping.

Put on some music

For some reason I find it much easier to get in the mood for housework when I’ve got some good music playing, crank it up load so you can still hear it over the vacuum cleaner!

Pool your resources

There’s no reason why the rest of the family can’t help with household chores.  By picking up after each other and putting things away, the house will already look neater and will be much easier to keep clean.

Set a timer

Give yourself a set time to do something. Set the timer on your phone for say 15 minutes and set yourself a target of what you would like to get done in those 15 minutes.


As mums we are good at this aren’t we?  While the children are in the bath, give the sink a quick wash – while they are eating their tea empty the dishwasher. I’m sure we already do this anyway.


If your house is always cluttered, crowded and messy then it may be time for a sort-out.  Sometimes you just can’t see the wood for the trees if you have got too much stuff.  Set aside a time to have a good de-clutter and send some stuff off to the charity shop.

Concentrate on the kitchen

The kitchen is the busiest and most used room in our house.  I find if the kitchen is a disaster area then I just can’t cope with it. Everything takes longer because you have to clean surfaces and dishes before you can cook, or make a packed lunch.  Try to at least keep the counters clean and tidy and put the dishes in the dishwasher.

Make good use of your dishwasher

You can put all sorts of things in the dishwasher.  Put your oven racks and shelves in there and your compartments from your fridge.  Makes cleaning the oven and the fridge much easier!

Lighten the laundry load

Don’t wash clothes unless they are dirty, if they are still clean just fold them up and put them away for another day. When buying clothes look for clothing that requires minimum ironing. Talking of ironing…  you don’t really need to iron bedding and hankies do you!  Just as well my old gran isn’t around to hear me say that……

Have you got any other tips for saving time with housework?


6 Responses to “The lazy mother’s guide to housework”

  1. rationingrevisited March 14, 2012 at 9:01 pm #

    one of the best bits of anvice i was given was to carry a plastic box with me and when i get to a room with things that dont belong, i pop them in the box…. like (for some uknown reason) my sons shorts in the diningroom over a chair…. they go in the box and a systematically move around the house filling the box with misplaced items and returning them to their correct room as I get to it.
    Right have reached sons room…. now to just clear the hoard of loo rolls on the windowsill, milk bottle lids that ‘may’ someday be useful, paper torn up to look like explosions, broken kinder egg toys that some idiot told him would be worth something in 100 years, pizzeria vouchers, jam jar labels & shoe boxes because he wants to learn decoupage, and gravel that looks like Jesus.

    • greenmumsblog March 15, 2012 at 9:09 am #

      Brilliant idea! I put everything on the bottom step of the stairs that needs to be returned to it’s home upstairs. Funny how everyone else will walk past the pile and leave it for me to carry up!

      • rationingrevisited March 19, 2012 at 1:11 pm #

        loool Have same problem with laundry

      • Elaine Livingstone March 24, 2012 at 8:29 pm #

        now if you were to carry each item up as you went then you would be combining exercise with housework like Michelle

  2. Michelle March 22, 2012 at 9:59 am #

    ‘doing housework with children under 5 is like shovelling snow whilst it is still snowing’ So true and made even worse when you really HATE housework (that’s supposing that some people actually enjoy it).
    I find the best way to cope with the housework is to make it more like a workout therefore killing two birds with one stone. So when I’m cleaning windows I really stretch up high. I get really physical with the Hoover and all sweaty with the mopping.

    • greenmumsblog March 22, 2012 at 10:26 am #

      Thanks for your comments Michelle. I quite often feel like getting physical with the hoover – I feel like throwing it out the window!

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