The Polished Guide to Excellent Housework

Morphy Richards are looking for Innovators – parents to review their gorgeous kitchen stuff. These people have a ‘colour boutique’ for household appliances. Just look at that toaster. That would change our lives (or at least our lazy Saturday mornings.) All they want  parents to do is share their household tips.

Maybe it’s because I’m getting old, but I’m getting quite into the idea of becoming domesticated. That doesn’t mean I am any good at it though: like baking, housework is not my thing. Nevertheless, I’ve been (sort of) doing it for a few years now and during that time I’ve learnt a thing or two. I’m experienced at this. So, here are my innovative tips for housework*, some of which I should probably follow myself.

  1.  If you’re drying washing on the radiators, take care when vacuuming. Socks and knickers can be gone in a second with a satisfying, guttural glug. If your brand new knickers do get gobbled up, don’t try to fish them out from the dust and spider carcasses with chopsticks. Just accept they’re gone.
  2. Don’t rest the iron on the sofa ‘while it warms up’ and you run into the kitchen to get the toast out of the toaster, not even for a second. Turns out irons warm up quicker than hair straighteners. If you do make this mistake, don’t carry on ironing your child’s polo shirt afterwards (on a towel, on the floor.) You may have to turn round half way to school because the child is complaining of a ‘scratchy tummy.’ Closer inspection will reveal crusts of golden draylon melded to the inside of their top. (Assuming you have a ‘vintage’ sofa from 1979.)
  3. Avoid dresses labelled as being made of ‘rayon’: they require ironing.
  4. If you must iron, consider a table-top board. This will lessen the chances of your fingers getting crushed in a terrifying, rusty mechanism. You’re also less likely to leave it out and use it as a coffee table or bookshelf. The kitchen sideboard is the ideal height for table top boards, but try not to get the iron wire looped around a bottle of really good rum.
  5. If you’ve got a babysitter coming round, clean up the night before. Don’t wait until you’re all ready in your new dress and they call you to say they’ve just got off the bus at the end of your road. And don’t decide then to do things ‘properly,’ with bleach.  Some designers can pull off bleach spattered clothes, but you probably can’t (especially if they’re made of creased rayon.)
  6. Don’t stand on a bottle of children’s turquoise sun cream when you’re going away for two weeks, look at the stain on your cream carpet, think ‘oh,” then rush out of the door.
  7. Get a mop and bucket. Cleaning the floor by spraying it with bleach then scooting around on an old muslin square is highly recommended, but by the time your child is six, you’re probably running low on muslin squares.
  8. Don’t buy cheap tin openers. They always break. One day, when you’re stressed and knackered and decide to cook a ‘quick and easy’ tea, you’ll end up trying to prise open a tin of beans with a knife and pliers, cutting your fingers, crying and going to the chippy. You will forget about this incident until the next time you decide to cook a ‘quick and easy’ tea.
  9.  If more than one person lives in your house, don’t scrimp on the toaster. If you buy a cheap, two-slot model, you will never be able to sit down and eat two slices of toast together, or one person will always have a cold round. Also, the toaster will probably fail after a few weeks, cutting out the electricity supply to the whole house every time you press down the lever.
  10. Don’t make ‘espressos’ by pouring half a jar of instant coffee into a mug and topping up with boiling water. They might offend your stomach and you won’t sleep for weeks.
* Sadly, all tips featured are based on real life experiences.

Our bottom of the range toaster. Brand name disguised by our otherwise useless tin opener.


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10 responses to “The Polished Guide to Excellent Housework


    Super tips. Can I still microwave my clothes?

  2. Hehe some brilliant tips there. Mine from today:
    Don’t mop a white tile floor (in the porch and kitchen) when you know your would-have-been-in-laws are going to arrive in 5 minutes. The cleanest foot leaves a mark on a wet white floor. ‘Look at my wonderful new home’ does not work when the entire downstairs is covered in muddy footprints.

    • Emily

      You should have gone for the bleach and muslin square trick. Our hallway is full of mud crumbs and the six-foot high pile of junk in the understairs cupboard is constantly threatening to break free. Sounds like your wonderful new home looks wonderfully lived in…

  3. I hate turquoise suncream. 2 washes today to get it off my brand new sofa covers. I will make sure I abide by all your rules

    • Emily

      Pointless, isn’t it? It does the same thing as the white stuff anyway. Not remotely recommended. Two turquoise splodges are the first thing I see every time I walk into my room.

  4. Very funny blog. I shall come here again.

  5. Hi there, absolutely no obligation to do it, but just thought I’d let you know I’ve tagged you in this
    I always enjoy reading your posts so I’d love to hear what answers you might come up with!

  6. Amy

    Love this Em! My top tip- baby wipes make an excellent job on cleaning the bathroom in 30 seconds flat! x

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