How to get housework done during the school holidays

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Okay, let's face it, the school holidays are the worst time to try to get the housework done. Days out, trips to see family and the general mess from the kids being at home leaves the housework seeming like a mountain you have to climb.

You want a lie in (I hear you!), after getting up at 6-6:30am every day and dragging your lazy kids out of bed to get ready for school you're just ready for leaving that morning routine behind. But of course the kids decide that during the holidays they can be out of bed by 6am and your much-needed lie in just doesn't happen. 





  • I'm a housewife: I spend far more time on housework than anything else. 

Annie Dillard




During the school holidays your days start with making yourself get out of bed to make breakfast for everyone, resenting the fact that you didn't get your lie in. Making breakfast results in mess, plates and dishes to clean and food to put away. The daily trudge begins and you're just not ready for it. 

But can I give you a tip?



Do it anyway.


It sucks sometimes, I know, but if you just get on with it the jobs will be done and the kitchen will be clean. There's nothing worse than entering a kitchen to find messy counter tops and dirty meal plates everywhere. Doing five minutes of tidying once breakfast is over will save you doing an hour of tidying later after you've cooked lunch or dinner and ignored the mounting dishes.



I have been known to leave dishes on the counter tops, they mount up until I have to put the dishwasher on twice before having it all done and even then I have to spend ages washing pans and things that won't go into the dishwasher. Sometimes I really don't want to do the housework. But do you know what always happens? I hate myself when I leave them because it's more work. It uses up time I could be spending writing or card-making, or even spending time with my boys (given that it's the holidays!).

Doing the tidying little and often will result in a tidier home and a happier you. You won't have to spend hours cleaning and you have more time for yourself or your kids.




Don't ease up on the kids


It may be the holidays but that doesn't mean you should let them get away with not doing chores. In fact it's more important they do them now than when they're at school. You have to do chores daily, no matter what's going on, so they should too. 

There's plenty of time for playing during the holidays but if you also let them off with the chores then there's more work for YOU to do and that's not fair. The holidays are for spending time together, not for them watching you do their chores.







  • When it comes to housework the one thing no book of household management can ever tell you is how to begin. Or maybe I mean why. 



Katharine Whitehorn 







So rope them all in to get the housework done. Your youngest can help you load the washing machine or the dryer while your eldest does the vacuuming. Tidying bedrooms could be done before they even go downstairs in a morning. 

If you can't get your kids to help you do the chores during the school holidays when you can you? 

I would even go as far as telling them they have to help in order to play games. 

During the school holidays my boys' gaming time is dependent on them completing their chores. If chores aren't done there's no gaming time, and although they complain when they can't play they know why. When the chores are done often it takes them five minutes, but when they've left it for a few days it takes them much longer. It's taken time but they're learning a lesson and I hope it will help them when they grow up. 




No pressure


The most important thing during the school holidays though is to give yourself a break. It's not only a chance for your kids to get away from school but it's also a chance for you to have a holiday too. Yes, there are still chores to do but it's not essential to have the house looking pristine before you step out of the door.

Give the kitchen a quick tidy in a morning and leave it at that. Your kids want to see you having fun too, so let go of the day-to-day pressures and enjoy time off.




What tips would you give to help others get their housework done during the holidays?


16 comments:

  1. These holidays I've got the kids doing more. If they want screen time, they have to do chores (jobs as the four year old calls them). To my surprise it has worked very well indeed!

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    1. I think getting them into it young is the key! My two can be terrible sometimes but once I turn into Evil Mum they do as they're told! ;)
      Thanks for stopping by John. x

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  2. I am starting to teach my 6 year old son to help me tidy the table after eating. I work as a cleaner too and he goes with me and he helps me there too. At first I thought its not good for him to spend time with me clean but I I thin kits nice too that he can see how I earn money. Lovely tips here as always =) #pocolo

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    1. You are totally right Merlinda. I think it's important to let children see how we earn money and I also think it's good that you're getting him to help with the cleaning.
      Thanks xx

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  3. I find less resistance to helping if it becomes part of a routine. They know that the dishwasher needs emptying after meals, so they do it. I like your idea of connecting screen time to chores. Neat. #PoCoLo

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    1. Thanks Cheryl. I never thought of getting them to empty the dishwasher... That's definitely going on their list. Thanks. x

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  4. After speed cleaning and realising I probably need to warm up now before going from stationary to tidying I'm not sure about this tidying thing. #PoCoLo

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  5. No pressure is the most important one for me. I kind of can't let it go, and sometimes you need to know that it's okay. #PoCoLo

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    1. Totally agree. Yes, it needs doing at some point but really it's not the end of the world if it doesn't get done. xx

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  6. Not having a child at home and working 5 mornings a week I feel this battle constantly. But where there is a will there is a way. #pocolo

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  7. I am not very good at letting things go at any time but with two teens in the house I do make sure they are working to earn their allowance over the holidays. I do have an advantage in that they don't tend to get up very early either so have time to sort myself out before they surface. #PoCoLo

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    1. It might sound odd but I'm looking forward to this! Having time to myself in a morning is such a blessing, I wish it happened more often. :)

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  8. Great tips Morgan - hope you had a fab break with your boys #PoCoLo x

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    1. Thanks Steph. We really did, lots of activities and family time. :)

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