Disney has a lot to answer for; by the time we discover that we can’t train forest animals or enchant mops and brooms to do the housework, it’s too late to think of a plan B other than to do it ourselves. The big problem with that is that it’s a never-ending cycle of clean-use-clean again and that becomes tiresome and tiring very quickly. Luckily, there are a few shortcuts for when you’ve really had enough.

Share the load

We’ve all seen cartoons where some lazy person sweeps dust under a rug; I’ve tried it and it doesn’t work! It very quickly leads to having a suspiciously lumpy rug and who wants to have to climb over a rug every time they cross the room? Instead, be sure to divide the housework up in a fair way; if you have other adults or children in the house, make sure they put away their own belongings as long as they are able to. Furthermore, it makes sense to give children small chores to do, such as loading the dishwasher, sorting laundry into piles or light dusting.

Make products work for you

If you use household cleaners, such as sprays and creams, there’s very little point in applying them, then immediately rubbing them off as they won’t have had time to take effect. The best way to make cleaning jobs easy is to spray or wipe on the cleaner, do a different task then return to wipe away the product and the dirt. For example, if you’re cleaning a worktop, you could spray it, put away the laundry and by the time you return there’ll be no elbow grease required.

Let’s face it, the longer you leave a job, the more difficult it will become, so a good piece of advice is to keep on top of the work, such as by rinsing the bath straight after use. The best tip I can give to an overworked mother is this: a bit of mess will do no harm! Never forget that it’s a home, not a show home.