1. Have a basket or container in each room for toys. I find it so much easier to just whip round at the end of the day and throw whatever is lying around in storage boxes I have in each room, than to try and do a huge sweep and tidy up. It takes all of five minutes to shove the toys away and every now and again when I have more time i go through them all and sort them properly.
2. Get the kids to help. Carrying on from my above point, before the children go to bed, go out to play or play with something else, I try and get them to tidy up what they've already been playing with. I cannot stand walking into a room and every toy we own in the world has been tipped out of it's boxes as it just is so overwhelming to me and the kids to tidy up. The children aren't fans of tidying - who is - but doing it as we go along tends to make it a little easier, plus it teaches them to tidy up their own messes, hopefully saving me a job in the long run. Hopefully.
3. Break down the jobs into smaller tasks. Instead of standing in the house, amidst the chaos, thinking 'oh my goodness I just don't know where to start' (which happens a lot, I might add), I try to break each task down in my mind. So when I get a slot in the day I'll focus on folding the washing, then next time I'll try and put it away, and maybe a time later on I'll whizz the Dyson around. It just makes it feel more manageable in my head if I do it that way, otherwise I'd end up sat on the sofa watching Real Housewives, too overcome to attempt to tackle the mess.
4. Make the beds. It's funny how such a quick thing to is so often overlooked. I've started going into each bedroom each morning and straightening the pillows and pulling the duvet back over the bed and the room instantly looks so much tidier. It is also a lot nicer getting into a made bed on a night.
5. Don't walk past things for another room. There's always something that needs to go in another room, so don't walk out of one spot empty handed. I find this applies particularly when going upstairs - there is always something that needs taking up. I have a basket on the bottom of the stairs for putting things in that need to go u and whilst my children and husband seem to refuse to adopt the habit, I often take things up as I go, and kill two birds with one stone.
I hope those tips have helped just a little bit to try and get on top of your housework, leaving you more time to do the fun things! At the end of the day, our children won't appreciate having a tidy house as much as they will having time with you so try not to let it stress you if your house isn't perfect.
*This is a PR collaboration