Two years ago, when I was still new to this blogging business, I wrote what has become of my most popular posts to date, How to be lazy and still be organised. Back then I was on parental leave with three children and no pets. Trying to maintain a certain level of organisation involved juggling but it was managable.
Things have changed.
These days I still have three children but now I work a four day week, have a dog and four chickens to look after too. As such I have had to up my game on the organisation front. There has been a good bit of trial and error going on since I returned to work last October, but I think, at least in a few areas, we are on to a winning system.
Invest in Improvements
I’m not one to buy gadgets on a whim or because everyone has them. For years my mother nagged us to get a flat screen TV. In the end The Bavarian won one in a draw. If he hadn’t we’d probably still have the big bulky machine we used to.
So when I say that my recently purchased household helpers have assisted me greatly in keeping on top of things organisation-wise, I am not exaggerating. For less that €250 I have three little helpers (no, not the kids) that I wouldn’t be without.
Let me introduce you
With a mucky garden and three wild boys, the house is hoover-worthy every day, upstairs and down. Add a hairy black dog to the family and we could easily keep a fulltime cleaner busy. My solution – two hoovers – one upstairs, one down. That might seem a bit much since our house is not big. But I often found myself noticing the need for a good going over with the vacuum when I was on a different floor to the hoover. I kept thinking to myself “I’ll do it later”.
But later never came. I didn’t do it and no one else did either and the dirt just built up. Now, with a hoover in easy reach wherever I am in the house, I am keeping on top of the dirt levels so much more easily. The feeling of living in a grimy hole has vanished as has the feeling of being under pressure to clean. A few minutes here and there keeps the place looking a lot better.
Now that my floors are mostly hair-free and muck-free, I’ve even started washing them, something I really detested until recently. My little helper here is the steam mop. Ours is the Vileda Steam. We bought it online for around €50 shortly after Christmas. You might have been my previous post or my Instagram stories on this beauty. Let me tell you, the initial enthusiasm hasn’t abaited.
After my KitchenAid the steam mop is my favourite piece of household equipment. It is so easy to use that the children even enjoy giving it a spin round the kitchen. No more hauling buckets and wriging out mop heads. Running the steam mop over the tiles, I feel like the Shake n’ Vac lady. I have actually mopped the floor wearing heels and a tight fitting dress just moment before dinner party guests arrived. It jus doesn’t feel like housework. That is how easy it is.
The third little helper is a flashback to my childhood. We never had a Soda Stream and weren’t allowed minerals, as we called them then, except at birthdays and Christmas. Since moving to Germany I drink a lot of mineral water. Here it comes in crates of 12 x 1L bottles. We keep them in the cellar. The kitchen seems to constantly house 3-4 empty bottles and no ones likes tidyig them away and getting full bottles from the cellar.
A while back, on the hunt for a steam mop, the boys put their eye on a Soda Stream in the electronics shop. I was reluctant but allowed the lady to show them how it worked. Well, we were all sold on it immediately. Yes, it costs us €100 we didn’t need to spend. But it has saved a lot of bickering – who drank the last of the water, whose turn it is to get a fresh bottle from the cellar, whose turn it is to take the crate back to the shop and haul a full crate home. With the Soda Stream there is no getting annoyed at empty plastic bottles. There is no running out. There is more room in the cellar. Win-win-win!
One Last Thing: Laundry Organisation
My final tip for today is on keeping on top of the laundry. I have a new sorting method. As well as my colour coding I now separate the laundy into what needs ironing and what doesn’t. So say I have a lot of blacks to wash, I put all the socks, PJs and underwear into one wash. The rest goes in a separate wash. It is really satisfying to take a dry wash off the line and put it all away rather then haivng to separate out a few items that need ironing.
With the mostly-ironging washes, I try to get that ironing done in one batch so that I don’t end up with an ever-growing tower of dry laundry to iron. Similarly I try to wash towels and faceclothes together in one load so that when they are dry, they all just need folding a putting away on the bathroom shevles. For me, this all cuts down on trips up and down the stairs and in and out of rooms.
Feel free to share your own tips in the comments. I’d love to know how you keep on top of it all.