luxury holidays Yesterday lots of you put forward your burning questions for me, so without further ado here are some answers!
Q – Your house is always amazingly clean! How do you do it?
Q – How often do you clean/tidy? Do you have a rota?
Q – Your home is beautiful! How do you keep it so immaculate?
Q – What’s your cleaning routine?
Q – Can you show some of your cleaning routines for different rooms?
A – I clean a little each day and find it easier to keep on top of it by not letting it build up. I like to clean and tidy things as they get used, so each night I will hoover the lounge, hallway, kitchen and other rooms used, the washing up is always done as I’m cooking and put away (Mr Rackley actually seems to enjoy the washing up so this is mostly his thing!) I don’t clean to a strict rota but like to get something small done each day like dusting or cleaning the bathroom or cleaning the windows. At the weekends or as I get time I like to do a deep cleaning task too like the oven or cleaning the inside of the fridges etc. I don’t always find time during the week to steam clean, so this is a task usually reserved for weekends. I like to ensure that every room is neat and tidy each night before going to bed and that everything is back in its “home”.
As this was a really popular question, I will write about this in more detail in a future blog post soon covering bathrooms, kitchens and other specific cleaning tasks soon.
Q – How do you find the time to keep your home constantly spotless and organised while also working?
A – The answer above applies to this question to, I find it manageable to do a little each night in order to keep on top of it. I also find that planning other areas of my time such as meals makes it easier to manage my time (more information on this can be found on my printables blog post here) spending less time coming up with things too cook, going food shopping and using a slow cooker when possible gives me more time to do other things. I’m not going to pretend that it’s easy to balance it all because there are definitely days when I feel the strain but I also find that when I’m in a routine it comes naturally to keep it up.
Q – What equipment do you use to clean your floors?
Q – Do you use a steam cleaner, if so which one?
Q – What hoover do you use?
A – My favourite floor cleaning tool is my Dyson V6 Total Clean (2017 UPDATE: see my BEST vacuum post for the vacuum that changed this answer instantly!!) I hoover with that at least daily on carpets and tiles – this stops dust and dirt build up. I also like to steam mop my tiles (and also my carpet with the carpet attachment) with a Morphy Richards 12 in 1 steam mop (2017 UPDATE: See this post for how this changed again – my new one doesn’t leave the floor wet!), I’ve had this mop for over 2 years and it comes with a bunch of different attachments which allow it to be used on floors, carpets, toilets, ovens, windows, grout etc. As you may already know, I like to add a cap full of Zoflora to the water tank when steaming to fragrance as I go!
*2017* the vacuum to rival all vacuums! – See this post
Dyson V6 Total Clean – Link
Dyson V6 Absolute – Link
Morphy Richards Steam Cleaner – Link
Q – If things spill on the carpet/sofa how do you clean it and what products do you use?
A – Ah we’ve had plenty of spills on both – including wine, mud, coffee, tea, gravy, orange juice, cake, chocolate, even poo (don’t ask!). Our sofas have a stain coating and the carpet is supposed to be “stain free” which probably help though! The quicker I can get to a stain the better I find and most come out with dettol wipes – I love a dettol wipe. For anything that doesn’t come out with a dettol wipe I’ve used a spray called Oxy stain remover (from Asda) and also the rug doctor’s spot stain remover combined with the rug doctor itself.
Q – How do you get fake tan out of cream carpet?
A – I don’t use fake tan so can’t say for certain on this one but would suggest lemon juice first, then also the methods above: Oxy stain remover or rug doctor with spot stain remover spray.
Q – Do you have a no shoe policy?
A – It’s not strictly enforced but yes mostly. Even when I tell people it’s ok to leave their shoes on they don’t listen for some reason anyway haha! We have a bunch of slippers available for guests too which helps.
Q – Do you enlist help from your other half with cleaning and tidying?
Q – Is your husband a clean freak or do you pick up after him?
A – Mr Rackley is very helpful with keeping the house clean and tidy. He certainly hasn’t always been but is very used to it now. Everything has a place and he’s good at putting it all back there! He seems to like washing up, which is great as I hate it, so that helps in the evenings and he’s pretty domesticated with other stuff like hoovering, tidying things away and washing clothes, he doesn’t really get involved in the heavier stuff like cleaning bathrooms or deep cleaning the oven but I prefer doing that kind of stuff myself so I know it’s done the way I want it (I don’t think I could ever employ a cleaner, as I wouldn’t trust them to do it to my standard of clean haha!).
Q – How do you keep your cream carpet clean?
A – I find keeping it hoovered, mostly avoiding shoes on it, removing any stains as soon as possible and using the rug doctor every few months for a thorough clean the best way with my carpet.
Q – How do you combat limescale in the shower?
A – I use viakal spray (the febreeze version) every other week – spray on leave and wash off and then I use the shower e-cloth to give it a good polish (more info on my love of e-cloths can be found on this blog post here). I also use Mr Muscle daily shower shine spray each time the shower is used, this definitely seems to keep the level of limescale down!
Q – If you could pick one cleaning product and one tool only what would it be?
A- I’m not sure I could easily live with just one of each but my one cleaning product would be dettol wipes (I’m obsessed with them, I have an entire drawer full of different types!) and my one tool would be my Dyson V6 vacuum.
Q – What colour walls would you have with the Laura Ashley Josette Silver Glitter Wallpaper?
A – I have this wallpaper in my kitchen and the other walls are pure brilliant white to go with it. Alternatively, I think a pale grey on the other walls would also match well.
Q – How often do you decorate each room?
A – So far they’ve properly only been decorated once, but I change accessories as I find new things I like. We’ve recently been adding wallpaper feature walls to the rooms too (mostly from I Love Wallpaper – I was fortunate enough to win their recent wallpaper prize which I’ve loved using!) this has given lots of the rooms a big face lift! I like to keep the rooms neutral in terms of colour and add pops of colour with accessories that can be interchanged as I get bored or find something else I like.
Q – Where are your sofas from?
A – They are the Freya collection from DFS in cream. We also got the stain coating added to them which so far seems to have been worth it!
Q – Where are your radiator covers from?
A – I have two types, one style upstairs and another downstairs. The link for the downstairs range can be found on the hallway blog post here and the link for the upstairs range can be found on the dressing room blog post here.
Q – Where are your star lights from?
A – The link can be found on this blog post here – these lights were one of my best purchases for this Christmas!
Q – Where do you store all your stuff?
Q – Where do you store all your coats and shoes?
Q – Do you keep bits and bobs?
Q – What sort of things do you keep in your loft?
A – This is quite a broad question but I’ll give it a go! Anything that doesn’t belong somewhere obvious is currently stored in storage cubes under the stairs (more about my under stairs storage can be found on this blog post here). There are storage ottoman’s in the study, dressing room and lounge which are multi-purpose so they can be used as seats/footstools and also store items such as spare candles, blankets etc. Items that aren’t used all the time such as Christmas decorations or suitcases are stored in the loft (more about how I store Christmas decorations can be found on this blog post here). Coats and shoes are stored in the under stairs cupboard as detailed in my last blog post – we only keep the stuff that we wear and the stuff that actually fits! We have a “junk” drawer in the kitchen for random items which has small baskets in it for smaller items like batteries, tape, tealights, birthday candles etc.
Q- What is your best advice for homes with lack of storage?
Q – How do you keep small rooms with loads of stuff clean?
A – My best advice would be firstly to only keep items that you use or need, the temptation to keep lots of stuff in case we ever need it is very easy to fall in to and creates lots of clutter (I can be equally guilty of this but have become more ruthless over time haha). Secondly to add as much multi-purpose storage as possible like ottomans that can be used to store toys/stuff and sat on, or beds with pull out drawers, sofas with hidden storage, mirrors which double as cabinets etc. Thirdly to make the most of all available space, a good example of this is our under stairs cupboard or linen cupboard which were both wasted spaces when we moved in, blocking the space off in to a cupboard created more space for us downstairs and adding shelves to the upstairs boiler cupboard created a space for towels/bedding, another would be to add shelves above desks etc. As for the cleaning side, I would say that doing a little and often as above would still apply and maximising storage will help keep the stuff out of the way when cleaning.
Q – Do you use bleach to clean your bathroom or just Zoflora?
A – I use bleach too, I prefer fragranced bleaches like mint or lemon that aren’t as harsh on the nose! I like the dettol bathroom foam and wipes for quick cleans too.
Q – Can we see all your storage?
A- Lots of it can be found on various blog posts on here, but more will be shared over time!
Under Stairs Cupboard Storage
Dressing Room Table Storage
Study Desk Storage
Christmas Decoration Storage
Q – Do you rotate decor around the house or are you cut throat?
A – I try to rotate as much as possible, but when I no longer have a use for something for longer than a few months it has to go otherwise they just build up and waste space. I am a little cut throat with “stuff” to be honest – if I don’t use it or need it, I’m not scared to chuck or sell it!
Q – Is your fridge/freezer as organsied?
A – The fridge has clear storage boxes that keep it organised for jars, condiments, eggs, drinks, cheeses etc. there is a photo somewhere down my feed but will post about this in more detail soon. The freezer isn’t organised in terms of storage solutions as such but each shelf has a “category”: meats, vegetables, herbs, deserts etc.
Q – Any tips on storing tupperware?
A – I have all of the bottom parts stacked inside each other and the lids all stored upright in a separate container to save space. I do tend to purchase similar containers so that they sit neatly inside each other.
Q – Where do you keep your TV boxes without having any wires showing?
A – Our boxes are kept in a kitchen cupboard behind the TV and the wires go through a cable tunnel in the wall. An infrared sensor is plugged in to the boxes and sits just behind the bottom of the TV to allow them to be controlled by the remote controls.
Q – What do you do for a living?
A – I manage the Student Services department for a University, so nothing to do with home decor in my daily life at all! Decorating my house and this account are just a big hobby for me!
Q – Do you ever get asked to promote things?
A – I’ve been contacted by a few businesses asking me to share random photos (not ones I have taken) of their businesses to promote them and have politely declined – that isn’t what my account is for! I have been sent items to try by a few, but will only ever share things that I genuinely like and use myself. One company that I am sent items from is Pretty Little Home, which I am a brand rep for, this was something that I actually applied for because I really love all of their beautiful products!
Q – Who’s your style inspo? Where do you get your inspiration from? Any specific people, books or insta people.
A – I wouldn’t say there was a specific person/people or books but I get lots of inspiration from stalking show homes on RightMove. I have the app on my phone and filter by brand new homes, then just search huge radius’s all over the country jus tto get an idea of how they have styled them and which elements I can incorporate in to my home.
Q – When people come round do you get stressed about them making a mess?
A – I suppose it depends who they are, mostly not really as the majority of my friends and family are comfortable enough to even bring their own slippers to my house – even the broadband engineer who came last week took one look at the carpet and immediately put shoe protectors on haha! At the same time we love hosting parties and having people over so I wouldn’t say it stressed me out!
Q – Would you ever have pets?
A – Pets are not for me is the short answer to that – I’m not a pet person at all!
Q – How do you have the will power to stick to your organising paper work?
Q – How do you store your paperwork and how long do you keep it all for?
A – We’ve been using my planning sheets to organise our lives for a long time now so it has just become habit. In fact, we find it difficult to go shopping without having a proper meal plan and list now! All of our bills and other paperwork is organised b category in the filing cabinets so we always know where they are, the newest document is placed at the front of the file (more info can be found on my study organisation blog post here) and all important dates (such as contract renewals) are kept on my planning sheets. Documents older than three years get shredded to make room for new ones.
Q – Are you OCD?
A – I’m not officially OCD no, I just like things clean, tidy and to have a place. I think a lot of us have some OCD traits though!
Q – Where do you do your grocery shopping and how often do you go?
A – We start at Aldi and then finish any items we couldn’t find at Asda (plus items that we prefer with a certain brand). We do one big food shop each month for the whole month, meat gets frozen and we top up bread/milk/veg as necessary throughout the month. Each night we will cook from scratch, slow cooker meals are normally prepped the night before and put on the next morning. More info can be found on my organising printables post under the meal plan heading.
Q – What is your routine like when you get in from work?
A – The first thing I do is to check on dinner, if it’s in the slow cooker I’ll check it’s not burning etc or if it’s a meal from scratch I’ll start cooking that around 6/6.30pm ready for when Mr R gets home. I normally have about half an hour to an hour before I start cooking which gives me time to do the daily task like dusting/bathrooms etc or some days just chill! The washing up is done whilst cooking and waiting for things to cook and finished off after eating – the kitchen is then wiped down with dettol wipes. We then catch up and watch TV for a few hours. Then I straighten the sofa cushions up and a quick hoover up of downstairs and off to bed! Nothing too wild here 🙂 Of course, some nights if I’ve popped out for some retail therapy or if we’ve gone out for the evening some of the tasks don’t apply.
Q – Can I have some slow cooker recipes?
A – I love my slow cooker – it makes cooking so much easier! My favourite slow cooker recipes can be found on my slow cooker love blog post here.
Q – What’s your fave smell for the house?
A – My absolute favourites are fresh linen smells like yankee candle fluffy towels/clean cotton and scentsy clothesline/clean breeze. I’m not keen on sickly sweet smells but do like to experiment with different wax melts/candle fragrances.
Q – Can you please come to my house and organise it as beautifully as yours?
Q – Can you come and organise my house?
A – This is not something I currently offer but who knows a Mrs Rackley Home Consultation may be a thing of the future haha!
Q – When are you having kids?
A – We do not have any immediate plans for kids at the moment but do plan to have them in the future. We have a few more adult only luxury holidays we would like to enjoy first!
Q – What are you planning to do next with your house, do you plan on moving soon?
A – We still have one spare bedroom to wallpaper a feature wall, a utility room which needs kitting out, an upstairs bathroom to finally finish and eventually would like to re-do the ensuite bathroom and add a large bay window style french door extension to the lounge. We have no plans to move again, at least not for a long time!
Q – Do you plan on doing a garden tour?
A – I am not green fingered at all so our garden is not very exciting but a garden tour will follow in the summer when it has some life to it and the garden furniture isn’t covered up.
Q – If over the years your husband got messier and then kids came along, would you do all the work yourself to keep it clean or end up giving in?
A – This question is hypothetical so I can’t really answer this without knowing the future, however at this moment in time I would say that Mr Rackley has actually got neater and neater over the years and that I know that I can’t rest with the house being a mess so yes I probably would keep it up myself if I had to, but I don’t envisage that becoming an issue in the near future – my kids will learn to be clean and tidy from a very young age, they’re not going to have much other choice haha!
Q – Do you have a Monica cupboard?
A – I’m afraid not! The nearest to a Monica cupboard is probably the loft because I don’t actually go in there so it’s not as organised as the rest of the house!
Q – Will you be doing a bathroom tour?
A- Yes these are on my list of blog posts to write soon – the upstairs family bathroom still needs the finishing touches done and then I can share it properly (we’re also re-tiling a feature wall in there soon after changing our minds!)
I hope that was helpful!
Lots of Love
Mrs Rackley xx