Three Tricks for Keeping Mess Minimal in Your Home

When you have children, keeping a tidy, organised home can feel like a mammoth task, one which no matter how often you try and truly declutter and clean, it never stays that way for long. After all, children come with an astounding amount of toys, clothes and mess, which you don’t want to restrict or curtail their creativity. So, what’s the solution? By keeping in mind a number of handy tricks, you can ensure your home stays mess-free for as long as possible (which will hopefully be more than one day!). Below are three such tips to help you turn your home from kid-chaos to minimal wonderland.

Storage, Storage and More Storage

You simply cannot underestimate the feeling of having every single toy put neatly in its place, books put away from the bedroom floor, and clothes arranged tidily in the wardrobe. How do you get to this point, however? By utilising clever storage hacks in every room! For example, your children’s room can be transformed from an area of disaster, with a mountain of toys and clothes piled in a corner to somewhere which evokes feelings of calm. Why not invest in a beautiful toy box, personalised especially for your kids? Alternatively, why not make use of all the wall space by attaching a variety of boxes to the walls, where books, dolls, teddy bears and stationery can live in harmony? Don’t forget to use under bed storage for children of all ages.

Create Themed Rooms

To truly keep the mess to a minimum, it’s worthwhile to create separate rooms for every member of the family. For example, rather than your children having their toys in the living room, why not adapt a spare room or a room you don’t use as much, such as a formal dining room, into a playroom? This way, the toys (hopefully!) stay in the correct room, instead of them being spread around the house.

This method can also work well for pets, particularly if you have a large dog. Dogs, especially after a long walk, can be muddy, wet and overexcited, meaning the mess can end up all over the house. By creating a dedicated space where your dog can dry off and be cleaned, you can minimise the amount of mud and dirt in other rooms. A utility room can be the ideal space, especially if it has easy to clean floors, such as hardwood floors from

Create a Cleaning Schedule

This trick is rather simple but highly effective. How can you keep your entire home clean, tidy and mess-free if you don’t know exactly where to clean? You may have a rough idea, for example, cleaning the kitchen after every meal, but creating a schedule can help the whole family stay on task. If you have older children, setting cleaning chores are a great way to teach them responsibility and the life skills of keeping a home tidy and clean. Why not put together a schedule which accounts for every family member, from the youngest to the oldest? Your toddler may not be able to vacuum their rooms, but your teenagers certainly can!

The Practical Extras That Transform A Family Kitchen

Lounging in front of the television together on the sofa is where and how many of us eat our family meals. Now that technology is inseparable from the younger generation, no doubt children will eat their meals while watching Netflix on a tablet or smartphone. The parents are a little more old school and they would prefer the family at the dining area.

No matter what kind of style your family eats by, the kitchen is where it all begins. This is where the meal preparation and cooking happens. Perhaps if more of the family pitched in to create a great meal, then they would want to sit together as a shared task needs a shared accomplishment or rather, a fitting ending. A dull and plain kitchen isn’t going to send the kids wild with excitement. And even for us adults, a gloomy kitchen is something that you want to get away from as soon as you cook a meal. If you have these feelings, chances are that you don’t see the heart of the home as your pride and joy.

Redecorating and remodelling the kitchen may solve the problem but that’s an expensive option. A few practical extras could uplift your kitchen to where the family wants to gather.

An island of lights

Most modern homes adopt an L-shape for the kitchen. You have the fittings all along the edges as well as the cupboards fitted to the walls. In the centre, just adjacent of that is the countertop or rather in interior decor terms, ‘the island’. If you have a faux stone finish, such as mimicking granite or slate, the island itself can be quite dark during the day and night. This is especially true if the countertop is drenched in a shadow such as from curtains or a wall. It’s very common to have two kinds of lights for a kitchen these days. The main light switch is for the dominant lighting of the kitchen and perhaps beyond if you have an open plan. The second light switch is for a dimmer light, mainly for night time so you don’t dazzle or hurt your eyes. Depending on the fixed location of this latter light, your countertop is only partially lit.

You have two options at your disposal that could rectify the problem of darkness on the island. The obvious one is to fit drop down lights to the ceiling and have them positioned directly over the top. The angle is such as you will need to decide very carefully over what kind of lights you want. If you’re going for the stylish approach of many lights, then you can afford to spread them around and cover all of the islands. If not then you need to pick lights that have a broad field of coverage.

The second and not so easy option but still practical is buying a countertop that has LED lights fitted inside it. Yes, it’s a real thing. There are lots of styles you can choose from but the most popular is the starry night type. You can have roundel lights fitted to each corner so even in the dark, you can see the outline of the island. Great for seeing your way through a midnight snack building and of course, you won’t hit your hip into the sharp corners anymore.

Don’t stick around

Part of why families dread going into the kitchen is because of the tasks that it inevitably throws up at them. But it’s life and no one should shy away from cleaning up after themselves. When you are preparing a meal you’re bound to make a mess. You can bet your last penny that breadcrumbs have been sitting in your kitchen for such a long time that they become crusty and hard. `No doubt that the sink itself is stained somewhere, and the walls are a little grimey-looking. That’s the issue with modern kitchens. Designers want to ‘wow’ you and get you to pay for a higher price because the materials look as if they’re practical.

A stainless steel sink may look shinier than most other materials, and even look less expensive on paper. But white ceramic sinks are designed to be non-stick. So when you’re cleaning dishes in the sink, pasta sauce and vegetables won’t stick to the sides. And even the grime or dirty water doesn’t get to stick around for long, as it does for stainless steel sinks. Ever notice the white stains that look like powder has dried onto your sink? That’s a mix of dirty water and washing up liquid. With a ceramic sink, you don’t get these stains as the surface is so slippery and smooth, they can’t stick. However, where there is an upside there is also a contrast. You have to make sure not to be rough with the sink such as allow cutlery to fall from height as you could chip it. Apart from this, ceramic is also a classic country house style and brings much-needed warmth to a kitchen surrounded by dark tones.

Balancing all light

Although they may have been a trend in the 80s and 90s, dimmer switches are still used throughout all kinds of homes. They’re easy to use because they have a rotational knob which is used to control the current going to the light bulb. They have great versatility for changing the mood in the home. One room can be fully lit, but where someone doesn’t quite want to go to bed but perhaps wants to lie back and catch up on emails on a laptop or tablet, the light can be dimmed to suit their need. They’re quite reasonably priced also and no longer a type of luxury fitting in the home. You can fit a dimmer switch yourself as they’re not much different from conventional switches.

How to Create a Spacious Living Room

Whether you’re restricted with space or just seem to have given in to the clutter over the years, creating a spacious, inviting feel in your living room can seem like a mammoth task.

However, with some clever tips and tricks, you could be enjoying this airy, open space in no time at all. Here’s how:

1. Opt for Lightweight Furniture

It’s not just the size of your furniture that matters, it’s what weight it carries visually, too. For example, a piece of furniture that’s got legs or is light in colour will look far less intrusive than a piece of dark furniture that’s boxy in appearance.

Chairs with legs help keep the floor space open, as do glass coffee tables with slim metal legs.

2. Choose Your Table Wisely

As well as glass coffee tables, you might also want to consider console tables that give you extra storage space but without detracting too much from your floor space. Set higher up than your average coffee table, they create a stylish sideboard but without being too chunky – and again, they don’t cover the floor which helps add to the spacious feel.

Choose a design that complements your overall space, whether that’s cool and contemporary or quirky and traditional. Cox & Cox, for example, have some uber-funky designs!

3. Go Neutral

A must-do for small spaces is to keep things light and airy with a neutral colour scheme. This helps push back your walls and doesn’t draw the eye to certain points, which helps expand the space further – particularly when you add mirrors to the walls too.

4. Use Light to Your Advantage

To enlarge your space, it’s important you use all of the light available. Your neutral colour palette will do this wonderfully, reflecting light and emulating a roomy feel. And you can further this by keeping window hangings simple, making sure you don’t block any of the light coming in through these with heavy fabric.

Equally, if you can find floor-length curtains that boast a light fabric and vertical design, these can really help draw your vision up and below eye level.

5. Be Creative with Your Seating

If you really are pushed for space and don’t want too many sofas or chairs taking up that much-needed room, get clever with how you can create additional seating when guests arrive. From a stylish ottoman (which also doubles up as a coffee table) to a window seat that has storage underneath it, there is plenty of cool ideas available.

Ultimately, it doesn’t have to be difficult to transform your living space from cluttered and claustrophobic to cool and spacious.

AEG T88595IS Heat Pump Tumble Dryer Review


I have to admit to being a bit late to the party where tumble dryers are concerned.

I’ve actually only had one for the last couple of years and even now, my current one (the only one I’ve ever owned) was a hand-me-down from a friend who bought a new one. She would continually remind me how essential a tumble dryer was and couldn’t understand why I never had the desire to purchase one!

Now that I have one of course, I can kind of see what she means. It’s peace of mind knowing that if I do have to wash clothes at the last minute…. having a teenager ensures this happens rather more frequently than it should…. I can get them dry!

I also love the fact that some clothes don’t need ironing if they’ve been in the dryer. This was an amazing revelation! And of course, items like towels came out all soft and fluffy!

But I still don’t feel as if I use it as much as other people do… I’m a bit like an older person with technology…. I haven’t quite got my head around the whole thing yet. I still like to peg my washing out on the line and only really use the dyer to ‘finish it off’ or when it’s absolutely necessary!

My lack of interest could be due to the fact that my current tumble dryer is literally ANCIENT and it only has two settings… hot and hotter! I’ve no idea how long to put clothes in for, it’s all guesswork. Suffice to say I’ve left items in for too long and ended up shrinking them. Not good!

I would also never take my washing out of the washing machine and put it straight into the dryer. I’m too worried that I would ruin the clothes (from experience) and I’ve always been concerned about the energy thing. It takes absolutely ages to dry straight from the wash!

Bearing all this in mind, you can imagine my sheer joy at being picked to review a brand new, AEG T88595IS Heat Pump Tumble Dryer worth a whopping £849! This is obviously a high end machine so I was really hoping that it would convert me into a regular dryer user. That I would finally see what all the fuss is about and I could incorporate the dryer fully into my daily laundry routine, creating a more efficient process to get through my constant mountain of washing!


When the machine arrived I was a bit too ridiculously excited than I should really admit to! My OH installed it into the utility room.

There is literally SO MUCH functionality on this new machine… it’s like a supersonic spacecraft compared with my old one!

Here’s a list of features…

  • 9kg Heat pump condenser dryer
  • Delay start option
  • Time controlled drying
  • LogiControl touch LCD
  • ProTex soft drum
  • Sensor dryer saving upto 50% in energy used
  • Extra long anti-crease option
  • Cotton programmes
  • Synthetics programmes
  • Wool care programme
  • Easy iron programme
  • Bed linen programme
  • ProSteam technology
  • OptiSense saves time and energy, and prevents over-drying
  • A++ energy efficiency class

The first thing I noticed about the AEG T88595IS Heat Pump Tumble Dryer was the huge door and drum! I could put a whole load in this one to dry at once if I wanted, reducing the amount of cycles needed, thus saving energy. It even has a bright light inside, so you’re not digging away trying to locate a particular item by just touch alone!


I also love the LED display… lots of information clearly showing exactly what’s happening.


The other features that caught my attention were OptiSense, which adjusts the energy and cycle according to the load and prevents over-drying… this should ensure I won’t shrink clothes ever again (fingers crossed!). The ProSteam function… which makes use of steam technology to refresh and de-wrinkle all your clothes, even delicates and dry-clean-only garments.. how cool is that? You can now put DRY clothes into the dryer to simply freshen them up and decrease! Ditch that Iron! And the A++ energy efficiency class.. this will please my Other Half who liked to have a moan when my old dryer had been on for any length of time!

I have used my new tumble dryer a number of times now and I am loving it. I can even say that I trust it to look after my family’s clothes enough to put washing straight in from my washing machine! Being able to do this means that I’m clearing my washing baskets so much faster than before.

The price tag is relatively high but the amount of money that will be saved on energy bills is going to be significant. I have often whacked the heating on just to dry clothes in the past so to think I can dry quite a few loads of washing in my new dryer now in a fraction of the time is wonderful! The state of the art Heat Pump technology is the most efficient way on the market to dry clothes.

It really dries in super fast time. No more than half an hour for heavy items like tracksuits… my old dryer would’ve taken at least double that time. It’s quite unbelievable!

The dials are simple to use, everything is easy to read and obvious. It has a time delay feature so you can make use of the lower energy rates during the night and it’s just so super efficient.

This tumble dryer is absolutely perfect for any family’s needs. I know it’s going to make a big difference in my household.

I’m over the moon with it.

I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have not paid for the product or to attend an event. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity.
I was picked by MNHQ to review this product/ service, which I received for free. This review is in my own words and reflects my true opinion.

Top Tips for Moving House with Kids

Moving house can be a happy and exciting experience, however there’s absolutely no doubt that it can also be incredibly stressful. Not only does the financial side of things need constant keeping on top of, there’s also all of the packing and making sure that everything is in order before you leave for your new home to think about. When you have a family with small children, moving home can be even more stressful than you’d imagined. That’s why we’ve put together some top tips for all of the mums and dads out there who are looking to relocate in a manner that’s as stress-free as possible.

Storage Facilities

When you’re packing things away to take to your new home, it can easily become cluttered in your current dwellings. When you have small children this can not only be stressful, it can also become quite dangerous especially if you have boxes and boxes of things around your home for days before the actual move. Although it’s a good idea to start early in order to stay organised and keep on top of things, having too many boxes piled up around the house ready to go could be an accident waiting to happen. Instead, use a secure self storage facility where you can safely stow away your things ready for moving day.

Stick to a List

When you have small children, packing to move home can be a hugely stressful situation to be in. Making sure that you have everything together as it should be is crucial to keeping your stress levels down on the day and ensuring that everything runs smoothly. When you’re packing away your belongings, making a list and sticking to it can be the best way to deal with this process. Having a packing list written in order and laid out ready before you begin can help to ensure that everything is organised and running smoothly. It also helps to ensure that you pack everything in order and don’t accidentally pack away something that you’re going to need before you move.

Planning the Day

When moving home, it’s definitely moving day that can be the most stressful, especially if you have a family. Since most parents prefer to move home on the weekend because they have time off work, they’re left with the issue of having to make sure that the little ones are taken care of too. Meticulously planning out your moving day can help make sure that it runs smoothly. If possible, ask a family member or close friend if they will be able to babysit for you for the day, giving you the time and space that you need to successfully get things done.

Moving house can be one of the most stressful experiences of your life, especially if you’re moving a long distance away. If you have small children, relocating can cause even more anxiety! These tips will help to make sure that everything runs smoothly for you during the whole moving process.

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Week 16 Photo 2016 – Play House

wooden playhouse

This has been happening this week!

When I returned from my Dad’s house last weekend after visiting for a week or so, THIS was in our back garden!

My OH had knocked this up in a couple of days!

To say the kids were ecstatic would be an understatement! They’ve wanted a climbing frame/playhouse for ages and even though they’ve got a plastic playhouse, it’s a bit babyish for them now. We have a trampoline and other garden toys but climbing frames are so expensive for the lovely wooden ones, and usually quite small…. so as my kids are getting a bit older now, it hasn’t seemed worth it.

I am over the moon with this…. I think it’s amazing and I’m very proud of the OH for building it and surprising us (he’s rubbish at keeping surprises usually!). It even has a little balcony on the first floor! It’s not finished…. it’s really just the beginning. The top section will be enclosed and insulated 🙂 Then we will add to it as we go along. Our garden is quite big so we have the room to be as creative as we want. The kids have put in a request for a bridge, climbing wall and a slide!

You can see my little H on the top there, giving you an idea of the scale… and his twin is underneath, just about visible in this shot!

My children absolutely love playing in the garden, they spend most of their time there for at least one half of the year so they will get so much pleasure from this! We’ve already had the neighbours’ kids round to climb on it and I’m sure there’ll be plenty more…. I can’t wait to see how it evolves over the coming months!

TheBoyandMe's 366 Linky


Girls Bedroom Ideas

Since work on our house started, the one room I’ve been looking forward to decorating is my daughter’s bedroom.

Her bedroom is currently small and her new bedroom is going to be HUGE! It’s very exciting.

Gone will be the bold pink that she’s had for many years…. she’s getting older now so it’s time to create a big girls room. One that will last her way into her teenager years and beyond!

She’s only 10, so we do have to keep that in mind, we don’t want something TOO grown up, she still wants pretty. But maybe with a bit more practicality thrown in as she gets ready for high school and lots of homework next year!

When I was a little girl I absolutely loved my bedroom. It seemed really big back then as my brother had a small room but actually it wasn’t THAT big, and no where near as big as my daughter’s room is going to be. But I remember thinking that it was perfect. My Mum had chosen everything… beautiful furniture, wallpaper, dressing table and bedclothes. Having three older brothers, my Mum had longed for a daughter so when I came along, it’s fair to say she went all out in buying everything pretty and girlie for me! She was also incredibly tidy (unlike myself!) so my bedroom ALWAYS looked pristine. When I used to come home from school, she would’ve been in there tidying up during the day so it looked immaculate…. my bed would be beautifully made, all the pillows fluffed up and I couldn’t wait to flop onto it after a busy day!

I want my own little girl to feel the same.

I have scoured the internet for girls bedroom ideas, and there really is so much out there. She will definitely have a double bed… maybe with drapes of some kind. In terms of colour we thought silvers and whites would be lovely. My daughter still likes a bit of the girlie pink so maybe there’ll be a splattering of a paler pink somewhere. There will be enough room for a desk as well as a sofa and she’ll also have a ensuite bathroom.

Here’s some of the gorgeousness I found on Pinterest…. always a great resource for ideas.

Follow MummyEndeavours’s board Girls Room on Pinterest.

I literally can’t wait for her bedroom to be done. She’s such a lovely girl… she doesn’t ask for much and she’s always so happy…. she deserves a perfect little palace because she’s such a perfect little princess!


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