The tidying trick that works for us (for at least 15 minutes)

Sometimes I worry that my children's overall memories will be around how much their mother freaked out about mess. I don't think I'm anal - how can I be? I have four children - but I feel better about the world when it is vacuumed. My world, at least.

Working from home can be counter-productive. I'm easily distracted by mess I should be cleaning. We also don't leave the house much so getting away from the sty is not frequent enough for me to forget about the mess. I feel like I'm drowning in the sea of chaos.

When my husband took our kids camping for the weekend, and I stayed home (had previous engagements!), the first thing I did was vacuum and mop. Sad? Maybe. At least it stayed that way for TWO whole days and I could legitimately relax with a glass of wine.

So after years and years of trying to implement cleaning schemes that work with children, I have found one that does pretty well.

Read about it in my latest column on Essential Baby: