How to be a domestic goddess. Not the Martha Stewart approved version
We work full-time, over-time, raise kids, part of parents and friends committee, and sleep maybe six hours per day. Work hard for less money and in some cases no money, and usually for little thanks and less recognition. We are told to keep in shape, walk at least half an hour per day, and be in involved in the sporting clubs. We're constantly told there is a better way raise our kids, clean our homes, satisfy our partners, and we never feel like we meet the minimum requirements.
But we pull it together and maintain all our responsibilities with gracious presence.
Then you want to take the white glove test to my house? Get on your bike, leave, get out, and go take a long walk off a short pier.
The house, is a home not a an open house display, we live here, with pets, children and partners! Those homes on TV’s, where the Crime Scene Investigators walk in and the only things they find is evidence of the current crime they are investigating, is not reality! Not saying crimes take place in our homes, but seriously there might be some stray pet fur, an absent hair strand or scum on the shower screen unrelated to the crime scene, on the TV would add some reality. If it’s not enough that we live in our houses, to excuse us from feeling obligated to be perfectly kept twenty-four seven, and have busy lives. “Did you want a home with love, laughs and warm happy memories; or a dolls house, with “Stepford wives?” Are we so busy removing clutter from our lives we remove the human connection?
Firstly let’s get a couple of things straight (in our heads of course)
If you clean, determine to clean the house for yourself, so on the days when the effort you put in to it isn't appreciated, it doesn't matter because you did it for yourself and your comfort. Besides you always do a great job and this is your home, where you live.
If you choose to clean something, because you honestly believe anyone else’s attempt would be substandard: Don’t lord it over them! We are not great at everything, just almost everything!
You don’t need name brand cleaners, or loads of chemicals; Bi-carbonate soda, with some elbow grease work wonders!
If you are renovating, seriously, unless it is unsafe or really unhygienic or will ruin the paint job don’t clean it so quickly, dusting is really a moot point (until of course it’s time to paint)
Clean as you go, try to teach this to the other residents of the home.
All the above you probably know and it is probably Martha Stewart approved.
Help I have visitors coming over in 2 hours, for a dinner party I planned before, - insert catastrophic event which even Wonder Woman's housekeeping skills woul
Take a deep breath. Be Kind to yourself, take a swig of your favourite alcoholic beverage, after all they are your friends, right? And they want to see you? They are not going to perform surgery or a white glove test on the tops of the doorways? They don’t want you frazzled and exhausted:
Recruit helpers if possible, as everybody is in the same boat, and offer to make dessert if there are takers. This really is a time to pump the I-can’t-stand-still music.
Things that are mandatory to do in this case, is clear a path from the front door to the dining table, it’s that structure with all the clutter, and it too will need clearing. The next path needs to be cleared from there to the toilet. When you are in the loo room, give it a quick freshen, anti-bacterial flushable wipes are your friend, and spray the air freshener or even better Glen-20 which kills ninety-nine percent of germs, in to the bowl, and scrub it with the brush to leave it sparkling white! Chuck the gloves in the bathroom bin and if it’s not full and the lid fits walk out of the bathroom.
Grab a cooked chicken, and gravy.
Peel and chop potatoes, for roast potatoes it will take about 50 minutes. Always have frozen veggies on hand. These only take maximum of 20 minutes to steam, use the water from the kettle to have instant boiled water to save time.
Stack the dishwasher – I hope you have one! If not get a recruit to choose to wash or dry, make it fun while you have quality time together chat with the recruit about some fun topics or sing along to the music.
Set the table.
Put candles on it, have a candle lit dinner, they are not only good for romance, but hiding the jobs you didn't quite get to. In all honesty your guests are unlikely to notice your cob webs and all those other marks that keep getting your attention, do this for you, dim the lights.
If you don’t trust those seated at the table not to interfere with the candles.The idea here is diminished lighting, which can be fun and focuses on the people and food which is why people have dinner parties; not to critique housekeeping skills.
Serve dessert tinned fruit salad works, just open the can's place in a pretty glass bowl, grab the ice cream from the fridge, get a helper to grab bowls and spoons. Place on table.
If the lounge room or sitting room wasn't able to be cleaned, no worries, recruit helpers to clear the table while you grab a deck of cards and play by candle light - just like when the power goes out.
If you can’t make it sparkle with elbow grease, use glitter, it’s pretty and sparkly.
If you can help it - Don't do it alone - Tips for recruiting helpers
Calmly, sit down with the potential helpers and explain the situation, avoid tears. Explain how you will feel if this is not rectified, avoid being over emotive, nobody likes to feel manipulated.
Never ask: “Would you like to live like this?” As you may not be able to handle the truth, that yes they actually could and would; If it weren’t for your desire to live in a hygienic tidy dwelling you call home.
Change the wi-fi password; ransom it if you have to.
Threaten to go on strike, after the dinner party of course
If you can't recruit helpers, just get on with the job, do the best you can and avoid mentioning the lack of help at dinner; it is honestly more awkward for the guests than it is for the couch potato.This will also reduce friendly feelings within the home, and we want it all, the cleanliness and happy memories.
On the flip side if you get help, brag you have an amazing family, who pulled together, it’s a great icebreaker and other people can relate to this situation too. Also you are more likely to get help next time
Great jobs for helpers are:
Clearing the path, this can usually be achieved by telling them to pick up their stuff.
Vacuuming – so there is no one winging are you nearly finished my I can’t hear my show.
Mopping if they mess it up, usually it is with excess water, just grab a towel, that is probably over due for the wash and do the floor shuffle – stand on the towel and shuffle your feet to soak it up.
Grabbing the chicken and gravy from the shop
Setting the table.
Stacking the dishwasher, or washing and drying dishes.
Potato and carrot peeling and chopping if age appropriate.
To make dessert - or at least beat it or put it together.
Dusting, if you really can spare the helper