A Sleep-Deprived Parent’s Guide to Cleaning


Do you have babies who won’t sleep or leave you the hell alone for five minutes?

Then it is very likely your house is a shit hole little messy…

Not because you are lazy; but because some days you are just too tired to care. When you have been up with a baby ALL NIGHT cleaning is way too much effort.

But help is at hand! I KNOW the secret to having the perfect home when you are too tired to do any housework.

Big cupboards and throws.

It really is that easy.

Because when it comes to the perfect family house, it is what’s on the outside that counts.

The drawers are full of random crap and the settee is hidden under an array of dodgey faux fur, but at least my home gives the impression of being clean and tidy…

Here are my top tips to achieving domestic godliness:


The best time to clean your house is just before guests arrive. You will somehow achieve more in that ten minutes than you have done all week.

Only bother cleaning the rooms visitors are likely to see (when I say cleaning I mean shoving things in cupboards, under beds and in drawers).

Finally, when guests arrive, always apologise for the ‘mess’ – despite knowing full well the house is tidier than it has been in weeks.


As a general rule of thumb – unless it is mess that will cut your feet, don’t bother getting the hoover out. No matter how many times you vacuum the floor – it is always covered in crap.

As a damage limitation measure if you see the baby/dog/toddler eating crap off the floor. Leave them to it. Every little helps.

Lastly, a quick word of advice; don’t look under your settee EVER. I made that mistake once and found a half eaten biscuit, a stale rice cake, a toy policeman, a mince pie (from last Christmas), a dirty wipe and something that resembled a urine stain (how?).  Far better to live in ignorant bliss and stay away from the grubby underworld of the sofa.


Baby wipes. These are the most useful tool in your ‘cleaning kit’. From wiping down the kitchen and cleaning the toilet and washing snot or sick off your jeans – there is not a lot a good quality baby wipe can’t handle.

Another place to avoid looking is at your skirting boards. Once you have noticed how bad they are – you can’t stop noticing them. They will haunt you forever more.


I find the best way to tackle the laundry is by staring blankly at the massive dirty washing pile for at least half an hour thinking ..‘I really must do that massive pile of washing’.  These things cannot be rushed.

Then I would recommend sorting the dirty washing into FIVE piles.

the five pilesFinally, don’t bother putting the clean clothes away. Wear clothes straight from the appropriate piles (see above). When the piles get too big simply do the following three steps.

9am: Tip clean washing on to your bed so you can put it away

9pm: Put clean washing back in to basket after failing to put it away.

Repeat this process for the REST OF YOUR LIFE. 


N/A (Creased is the new black).


It is not easy to cook when you have small people stealing your utensils/climbing up your leg/nagging for biscuits./crying. (FYI Greg Wallace, actually cooking does not get tougher than THIS). However, help is at hand.

In fact, here is my favourite stress-free family recipe


-Buy all fresh ingredients for delicious home-cooked family meal

-Forget about fresh ingredients for three weeks

-Throw out fresh ingredients as they have all gone off

-Buy more fresh ingredients for a delicious home-cooked family meal

-Place ingredients on sideboard for chopping.

-Open a bottle of wine

-Put fish fingers in the oven.

I also have a recipe for Delicious Chicken Soup if you are interested in never actually making Delicious Chicken Soup.


According to a study by charity Dirty Dishes Damage Lives, washing up is the main cause of divorce in married couples. But there are a few ways you can avoid this task.

  • If you are struggling to remove ground-in dirt from your saucepans, simply do not bother. Throw them out and invest in a cheap set of new ones. Better still stick with microwavable food only.
  • Instead of WASHING up cover dirty crockery in tin foil  and VOILA –  a clean surface to put your dinner on. Alternatively, invest in plenty of disposable plates and cutlery.
  • Eat food straight from the packets.  Alternate bites of cheese, bread and intersperse with a few licks of butter x 10 and you have yourself a delicious no mess cheese sandwich.

Failing all of the above –  learn to live in your own filth, buy baby wipes in bulk or just never, ever have guests.

Feel free to join me and an awesome community of exhausted parents on Facebook for a moan and a laugh or subscribe for more useless updates below!

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6 thoughts on “A Sleep-Deprived Parent’s Guide to Cleaning

  1. Ha, great tips indeed! So true about the skirting boards, did you not even know you had any before being at home with a baby? Now they are all I can see! I only ever tidy up if we are expecting guests, I assumed that was the standard rule but maybe not…

  2. Brilliant, I can’t count the amount of times I have tipped my clean washing on the bed and then do no more with it!!

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