The “Easy” Steps to Clearing Out

Does the idea of tidying up your home strike you with dread? Do you feel slightly sick when you catch sight of the Hoover taunting you in your peripheral vision? Do you feel a slightly frantic obligation to clear, tidy and clean before the beginning of term starts up again? Then look no further!

1) Assess the situation one room at a time. Should this alone make you feel slightly overwhelmed, make a hot beverage immediately and take several soothing breaths, unless this will just make you more aware of the horrifying amount of dust that has been circling you and your family since you did this in 2014. Even if you don’t feel like this is calming you down, try to avoid reaching for the wine just yet, as it will probably result in you laying down on the sofa with a packet of crisps cheering on athletes in the Olympics and crying vehemently that this is indeed the year you will get that fit.

2) Tidy before you clean. It sounds obvious but many have gone before you who have dusted each item and then turned in dismay to see a fine coat of gloating dustmites reappearing within minutes. Look for places to put things that are easily accessible. Should something not quite fit, throw it with considerable vigor into the largest pile of mess you can find in the hope that fairies will take pity on you and tidy it up for you. (Perhaps after you finally give in and get through a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc you will see them at work.)

3) Now for the cleaning! Everyone’s favourite part! For this you will need the Hoover (I know it’s scary after all this time apart but it’s going to help you), a slightly damp cloth and a duster. If this is a spontaneous decision to clean then you may well find yourself creating a make-shift duster out of the pair of knickers that you have always loathed, or perhaps now is the time to bid goodbye to the ill-considered purchase of a bandana in early 2015.

4) For the braver amongst us, once the room is tidied and hoovered, and all the junk you can’t quite bear to part with yet is in somebody else’s wardrobe, you may decide that today is the day you Hoover the stairs. This task is not for the fainthearted; should you be like my mother at all then beware as the tired machine flings itself down the steps at you, and ignore the neighbour children’s stunned gaze as they hear brand new expletives fly from your mouth. In the style of my mother, then begin a lengthy rant where you proclaim that it is a useless piece of machinery and suggest multiple reasons why (they dont have to make sense; in fact, it is better if they dont).

5) Go to the fridge and retrieve the wine. If anyone should comment on your hair, the amount you are sweating or if “you’ve missed a bit”, you are well within your rights to subject them to several episodes of Keeping Up With the Kardashians, Dinner Date, or any other programme you will very much enjoy but they will despise, after a lengthy rant involving the phrases “if you ever got off your backside”, “if I had a penny for every time…” and “I’d like to see you try!”.

And just like that, your house will be looking spick and span!

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The First Day Back

It is about to happen. The day every school child dreads the most.

The first day back in September.

I usually enjoy the first day back, the stationery buying, the gleefulness of being one year older, the enjoyment of rolling eyes at the new year sevens. However this year I am going to do my GCSEs which is quite a flipping terrifying prospect. Despite this, I have a plan to begin my year with the kind of inner-poise and altogether-ness usually associated with mature business women returning to a high-paid job in London, New York or similar after a wonderful and relaxing countryside getaway with their sleek black Labrador.

The plan is to wake up nice and early, a good hour before I need to leave the house, and start my day with some peaceful yoga, refraining from bowing and saying ‘namaste’ to a teddy bear like last time since I am now mature and grown-up. I shall then tuck in to a healthy breakfast of chopped fresh fruit and some nice wholemeal toast (not coated in Nutella – I know right, this just got serious) before getting calmly into my uniform and gliding out of the house with a pre-packed bag and a healthy packed lunch and moving effortlessly to the bus stop, where classmates will praise me on my radiance and tranquillity.

What I fear will actually happen is I will sleep through all three of my alarms and end up frantically rushing around the house picking up things I think on any level I may need throughout my day and flinging them into my bag, before eating Nutella from the jar and trying to extinguish a small fire from my burnt toast. Instead of calmly getting dressed I will end up trying to multitask in manner of octopus by cleaning my teeth at the same time as trying to ram my legs into tights that are much too long, and coming to the horrifying realisation that I have inadvertently managed to get both of my legs into the same bit of tight. Then there is the issue of the uniform itself; I have a sneaking suspicion that those who created our woolen school skirts paid the farmer to go around rubbing all his sheep to find the most itchy ones before shearing them and having them stitched into the longest, nun-like outfits possible, into which we tuck our shirts which at the same time manage to be fantastically unflattering while also being pretty much see-through. I have a feeling I will have to do a bit of running to get to the bus on time and will arrive red in the face with hair flying around me in manner of witch who has recently dismounted a broomstick.

But that’s just me…