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A clean house is the sign of a wasted life. Right?

How to have a clean and tidy house with minimum effort

clean house wasted life

We’ve all heard (and some have probably used) the phrase ‘ A clean house is the sign of a wasted life’ haven’t we?

And what about this one?

excuse the mess

Both great mottos for life and I actually kind of agree with both of them if I’m honest.  But, even though there’s nothing wrong with a bit of dust on the TV cabinet or a carpet that needs a bit of a hoover or even a skirting board that needs a clean, I do always feel happier if things are clean and sparkly as well as tidy.

I’be been introducing more things to help me keep on top of a clean and tidy house lately and it seems to be working so I thought I’d share my tips with you.

First was the re-introduction last year of a bit of a cleaning schedule to help me keep on top of things.  This was great as it helped me keep on top of things but it didn’t give me exactly what I wanted as it was much too easy to do the bare minimum and what I really wanted was a way to keep everything clean and tidy with as little effort as possible.

I then had a big spring clean last month and a kitchen de-clutter which helped massively but it quickly builds up again if you don’t keep on top of things.

I’ve tried to make things as easy as possible to keep on top of things starting with the little storage unit I bought from eBay – it cost less than £10 and has three wicker basket drawers in it.  I keep it in the corner in the kitchen and the kids have one drawer each that they can stow away their crap (for want of a better word) to save them the journey all the way upstairs!  Once a week the box is taken upstairs and emptied of all Lego figures, make-up, stationery and anything else that has been stuffed in their and everything is put away where it should live.  The third drawer is used for Xbox controllers and other console type accessories.

Next came the introduction of the chore chart which I purposely included jobs that I hate doing but are essential to keeping things clean and clutter free.  Things like polishing and hoovering make things look tidier instantly so to get the kids doing that means I can concentrate on other things.

I’ve also re-written my cleaning schedule and I’m determined to try and stick to which should mean I keep on top of things easier. The jobs I’ve given myself on a weeknight should take around 15-20 minutes if I’m doing them myself – less if I have help and the weekend jobs shouldn’t take too long although they’re clearly bigger jobs.  

You might think it’s a bit OTT to have a schedule like this but I work Monday to Friday until 2.30 and get home just in time to do the school run and I like to do things with the kids to spend time together.  If I want a tidy house then I need to plan….

Week One
Monday – Fridge/Freezer list and meal plan.  Go shopping.

Tuesday - Downstairs toilet blitz

Wednesday – Clean out a cupboard or drawer / make sure all washing put away

Thursday – Hall Blitz (it’s only teeny)

Friday – Garden tidy up

Saturday - Living Room blitz / Kids tidy their own bedrooms

Sunday – Kitchen Blitz / Kids do a general tidy in bathrooms

Week Two
Monday - Fridge/Freezer list and meal plan.  Go shopping.

Tuesday – Paperwork

Wednesday - Clean out a cupboard or drawer / make sure all washing put away

Thursday - Hall stairs and landing Blitz

Friday – Garden tidy up

Saturday - Bedroom blitz / Kids tidy their own bedrooms

Sunday – Upstairs bathroom blitz

My last tip is to invest in a steam cleaner – I just bought a handheld one from Tesco and I absolutely love it.

Sorry about the blur.

Sorry about the blur.

Mine cost £17 reduced from £69 (pretty sure it was never that price really though) and I can’t even tell you how much easier it makes cleaning.  It’s got our dirt that I thought was ground in and cleaned things that I thought were already clean but now they’re sparking.  One of my worst jobs is cleaning the toilet but a quick blast with this and a wipe over with a microfibre cloth and it is literally sparkling.  Taps, skirting boards, kitchen cupboards – I’ve tried it everywhere and I’m amazed and all without any cleaning product at all! Do read the reviews on whatever steam cleaner you’re going to buy though as I know some aren’t very powerful and may be a bit of a waste of money.  

So there you have it – my top tips on how to have a lovely clean and tidy house with minimal effort so there’s still plenty of time left over to make those memories!

Colourful Quick and Easy Vegetable Risotto….

Did you know this week is National Vegetarian Week?

I’m not a vegetarian but we do eat a lot of meat free dishes in our house and lots of my favourite recipes are vegetarian but I’m always looking for new inspiration.  I’m hoping to get lots of ideas from the competition that Betta Living are running to celebrate National Vegetarian week as I’ll be judging the entries along with Jac from Tinned Tomatoes and Becky from Baby Budgeting.  The prize is £750 if Betta Living gift vouchers so it’s well worth having a go and I thought I’d start the ball rolling by sharing a recipe myself so here’s my version of a quick and easy colourful vegetable risotto.

I’m all for easy recipes and if it’s an easy recipe that’s both cheap to make and healthy to eat then that’s all the better.  Which is why one of my new favourite recipes is my recipe for vegetable risotto – I always have a bag of frozen mixed veg in the freezer which is great to use in this recipe. In fact, everything I use in this recipe is a storecupboard ingredient which is what makes it so good and it also looks so colourful that it makes the kids want to eat their veg! ;-)

Colourful Quick and Easy Vegetable Risotto

1 tablespoon oil
150g Arborio rice
375g mixed veg (frozen is fine and actually ideal as it’s already chopped into teeny pieces usually so saves you a job) although the one I bought from Tesco was peas, carrots and brocolli so I added 300g of that and 75g tinned sweetcorn. I also added 4 chopped spring onions but only because I had them in the fridge to use up.
2 pints hot vegetable stock


  • Heat the oil in a large wok / frying pan.
  • Add the rice and give it a good stir, coating as much of the rice in the oil as possible.
  • Next add the frozen veg and give it a good stir together.  Heat the rice and the veg together for 2 minutes to heat the veg up – you don’t want it to bring down the temperature in the stock when you add it.
  • Next add about a pint of the stock and let it simmer away on a medium to high heat until it the rice starts to absorb the stock making sure you stir it regularly.
  • Add in the sweetcorn and any fresh veg here and then just keep stirring and adding your stock bit by bit until the stock’s been absorbed and the rice is cooked through.  

Kids love this Colourful Quick and Easy Vegetable Risotto

Now you’ve seen my favourite vegetarian recipe, I want to see yours….

Britain is Beautiful….

That’s a bit of a corny title I know but it’s true isn’t it?

We’ve been lucky enough to visit some lovely areas of our country as a family and we’ve seen sights that are more beautiful than any I’ve seen abroad.  We’ve been to museums that are more interesting than any I’ve been to on holiday and visited parks and attractions where we’ve had so much more fun together than at any other place we’ve visited around the world.

But I still failed dismally at the Home or Away challenge that Parkdean are running at the moment.  All you have to do is choose which of the pictures displayed is in the UK which sounds quite easily but all of the pictures are stunning and it’s easy to think that they couldn’t possibly have been taken here.

I got 500 points, which puts me in 13th place out of all of my friends on Twitter and 312th place overall.  Why don’t you have a go and see if you can win the grand prize of £750 to spend on a Parkdean holiday.

Enter to win a fantastic Parkdean Holiday worth up to £750 Know your Newquay from Nice? Take the Home or Away Quiz to be in with a chance of winning a UK family holiday worth £750 with Parkdean Holidays.
 This post is in association with Parkdean Holidays.

Monday’s Parenting Pin It Party #49….

Thank you so much everyone who joined in with last week’s Parenting Pin It Party – I was worried that hardly anyone would join in with it being the Easter Holidays!

This week’s party is being hosted by Katie over at The Fairy and the Frog so why don’t you hop on over there (see what I did there) and find out what you need to do to link a post up to the party.  

Basically, you just need to link up a family post that you’ve written and add  the badge (not compulsary but would be lovely) and then at some point through the week, Katie will pop over and Pin you post to the Parenting Party Pinterest board.  Next week’s host will then choose two of the linked up posts to be featured in their post.

What do you think – Easy?

Then go get yourself linked up!

Parenting Pin It Party Badge Monday Parenting Pin It Party #21

The Parenting Pin it Party is co-hosted each week by myself, Romanian MumKiddy ChartsMum of OneMamasaurusAll you need is love and cake and The Fairy and the Frog.
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