You’ve just spent a long, hard day at work and even managed to squeeze in an hour at the gym on the way home. The last thing you want to do now though is set about cleaning the house. You just want to grab some food, curl up on the sofa and watch the season finale of Game of Thrones, right? Well, if this sounds familiar then help is at hand. In this article we share some tips on how to keep on top of the housework without having to spend hours on a marathon cleaning effort.

  1. Keep it short and sharp

There’s nothing more demoralising than surveying the mess in the kitchen and thinking, wow that’s a huge job. Instead break it down into a more manageable task by saying to yourself, I’ll clean for 20 minutes and then take a 10 minute break. That way there’s a definite end to the cleaning and it’s amazing how much you can accomplish with 20 minutes of concerted effort. Do that three or four times a week and you may well find that you manage to stay on top of the housework without really even thinking about it.

  1. Turn it into a game

If you’re someone who enjoys a challenge then try turning the cleaning into more of a game than a chore by setting yourself some smaller challenges that will add up. For example, put the timer on for 10 minutes, work like a Trojan and see just how much you achieve. By the way, this works best if you can compete against a partner or flatmate! Alternatively, identify 10 things that are out of place and challenge yourself to put them back where they belong as quickly as possible.

  1. Take before and after photos

Sometimes when you’re in the thick of a task, it can be hard to keep going and you lose track of the end goal. Some people find it helpful to take a photo of, say, the state of the bathroom at the beginning, which helps them to stay motivated and see the job through to the end. You can take a breather half-way through the task and pull up the photo to remind yourself of just how much you’ve accomplished. It could be the deciding factor in helping you through to the end. And comparing the before and after photos will give you a great sense of satisfaction in a job well done.

  1. Accept that it won’t be perfect

It can be quite liberating to abandon a sense of perfection. Once you accept that your house will never be entirely spotless or up to your mum’s impeccable standards, then the pressure is off and it all seems so much more manageable, and well, easier.

Your house may never look like those homes in the styling magazines, but it is still home. And with a little bit of organisation and these helpful tips, it’s possible to keep it looking its best and as clean as possible without a marathon effort.