Most of my friends think I’m a bit mad that I enjoy tidying, organising and cleaning the house. I get a sense of order and calm if the house is tidy and the floors and surfaces are clean.
Obviously, with two kids it doesn’t stay like that for long, but that doesn’t stop me from following them round with cleaning sprays, bin bags and antibacterial hand gel!
Having a tidy desk means a tidy mind; I can think more clearly, I seem to prioritise my workload much more readily and I also feel more in control for some strange reason. Bizarre? Most definitely, but it turns out I’m not the only one.
I recently read the results of some research conducted by a company called Avery UK. It found that eight in ten adults reckon tidying and organising is a real stress buster – whether it be filing away important documents, having a pristine desk at work or labelling files.
This is surprisingly more than I’d hazard a guess at – and in fact, four in five people even said they find mess stressful (yup – me too!), while 63% don’t feel on top of things unless their items are in the ‘right place.’ Mmmh, ditto.
I don’t need therapy – I just need to clean!
I’m sure my friends think I’m a bit of an obsessive too; when I go over to some of their houses and discover that they are disorganised and dare I say it, even a little grimy, I feel agitated and unable to relax.
Part of me hates that; just last week I had to fight the urge to jump up at one of my male friend’s flats and start clearing stuff away, putting things into neat piles and wanting to give it a good old vac!
I had to make a comment of course, but he took it like water off a duck’s back rather than take the hint.
The survey I read found that the average adult spends the equivalent of almost eight days a year – or more than three-and-a-half hours a week – getting things in order at home and work. I think mine is more than double that – at least.
But as I say to VIP, wouldn’t he rather have someone who is a bit obsessive with tidying and cleaning than some lazy slob who lounges around and doesn’t lift a finger?
I’ve tried to curb my enthusiasm for cleaning by doing short cleans rather than delving in for deep cleans on a weekly basis. So, for example, when I’m brushing my teeth I’ll get a wet wipe out and be cleaning the sink at the same time.
Or when I’m watching the telly I might be polishing some shoes – the way I see it, I’m burning off extra calories, so it can't be a bad thing.
Plus it means that the chores don’t pile up – and I’m saving time as well. So actually, I’m not apologising for the way I am. In fact, I’m embracing my cleaning issues by sharing my top go-to cleaning products – here they are!
Flash Spray Lemon £1 – has a lovely lemony smell that lingers in the room.
Orange Glo Wood Cleaner – it’s super expensive in this country – the cheapest I’ve seen it for is £18.49 off Amazon, so when I’m in the States I’ll make a point of buying it to bring home! But it does the job sooooo well and smells divine.
Greenshield Anti-Bacterial Microwave and Fridge Wipes – 99p – for a quick daily wipe in the fridge and microwave. So handy.
JML Magic Eraser The Range £4.99 I swear by this! I use it every week without fail – it removes hard-to-shift marks off walls, mirrors, work surfaces, light switches, appliances, cupboards…you name it. The best thing is – there are NO chemicals – all you do is wet the sponge. Genius.
E-Cloth Window Cleaning Pack – £8.99 – these also work really well on stainless steel appliances – brings up a lovely shine and I don't add any chemicals either.
Bar Keepers Friend £4.99 – a stain remover and cleaner that works on all surfaces – and is great for keeping white sinks super white! I also use mine on grouting as it's great at reviving it!
Here’s a list of 30 tidying or organising tasks Brits find most therapeutic…
- Crossing stuff off a to-do list
- Putting together a to-do list
- Organising important personal documents
- Tidying my desk at work
- Organising your storage
- Making your bed
- Washing the dishes
- Cleaning the bathroom
- Dusting/polishing my home
- Mowing the lawn
- Wiping kitchen worktops
- Writing things on my calendar
- Filing away documents at work
- Putting ironing away
- Labelling files, folders or storage
- Tidying my desk at home
- Loading the washing machine
- Organising CDs/vinyl alphabetically
- Washing the car
- Cleaning the inside of the car
- Sorting through paperwork at work
- Arranging wardrobe by colour, size and/or clothing type
- Arranging pots and pans by shape and size
- Organising books by genre and/or alphabetically
- Creating a filing system
- Organising DVDs/blu-rays alphabetically
- Clearing the garage
- Emptying the dishwasher
My favourites have to be making a to-do list (and then ticking it off) and tidying my desk at work. And my least favourite? Ironing! But thank god we have some decent telly in this country to make ironing a more pleasurable chore!
Which ones do you love or loathe?
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