How to get housework done in the school holidays

As a stay-at-home mum, with kids who are usually at school, you get the housework done most days. But when they’re home? Not so much. The dishes pile up. The washing mountain is looking more like Everest every day. Dust coats every surface. You also look forward to one or two lie-ins, and forgetting the usual morning routine for a more relaxed start to the day. The housework ends up being last on your list, but it is possible to get the housework done during the school holidays. 

Just set targets.

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

Annie Dillard 

Your days start with getting out of bed to make breakfast for everyone, resenting not getting 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 the housework during the school holidays 

It sucks, I know. When you get up in a morning and realise you’ve got a ton of work to do before you can even think about the day’s activities. Rather than leaving it until the end of the day, or even for tomorrow, why not get on with it?

How To Get Housework Done In The School Holidays | Fold the laundry, do the ironing. Just get on with it.
Get the laundry folded. Get the ironing done. And then it's done!

There's nothing worse than entering a kitchen to find messy counter tops and dirty dinner plates everywhere. With five minutes of cleaning when breakfast is over, you’ll save yourself doing an hour of tidying later. 

I have left dishes on the countertops. They mount up until I have to put the dishwasher on twice before it's all done and even then I have to spend ages washing pans that won't fit 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 use on self-care, or enjoying family time with my boys. 

You will get a tidier home and a happier you if you do the housework little and often. You won't have to spend hours cleaning and you have more time for yourself AND your kids. Try making a shorter to-do list and check things off as you go. 

Don't ease up on the kids  

It may be the school holidays, but don't let them get away with not doing their chores. In fact, it's more important they do them during the holidays than when they're at school. You do daily chores, no matter what's going on, and so should they. 

How To Get Housework Done In The School Holidays | Get the kids involved in doing the housework and you'll win!
Older kids can tackle the vacuuming no problem. 

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

You could rope them all in getting the housework done during the school holidays. Your youngest can help you load the washing machine or the dryer while your eldest does the vacuuming. Get them to tidy their bedrooms before they go downstairs in a morning. And the Hubby? Well, he can do the dishes, of course! 

You could even try making the game-playing a reward for doing chores. If they don't do chores, there’s no time for playing video games

Get the housework done and there’s no pressure

The most important thing during the school holidays, though, is to give yourself a break

How To Get Housework Done In The School Holidays | By being organised you'll still have time to relax and play with your kids!
Play with your kids, and enjoy the holidays!

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’s still housework 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 could you offer to get the housework done during the holidays?