Friday, 6 September 2019

Ad - Book review - The Organised Mum Method by Gemma Bray

I received a copy of this book in exchange for a review. This post contains Amazon Affiliate links.

Today I'm sharing a review of a new book - The Organised Mum Method: Transform your home in 30 minutes a day by Gemma Bray. Gemma Bray believes that there is more to life than housework, and she has been sharing her perfected system - The Organised Mum Method - on her blog and social media channels since January 2017. There has been a phenomenal response to her method, and this book contains the tips, tricks, cleaning schedules and more which will help you to get your housework under control and completed quickly and efficiently, leaving you plenty of time to do the things that you'd much rather be doing.

The Organised Mum Method book review

Despite being familiar with the method and already a subscriber to the blog, I must admit that I hadn't actually embarked on the plan myself. With my review copy arriving at the beginning of our school summer holidays, I decided that now was the time to make a proper start, and I've been following the routine for over 8 weeks - enough time to work through the plan in its entirety.

What is the Organised Mum Method?

In a nutshell, the Organised Mum Method involves completing Level 1 daily jobs (which should take 15 minutes), Level 2 jobs in one room each week (which will take 30 minutes), and a Friday Focus where you concentrate thoroughly on one room or area (again for 30 minutes). The Friday Focus rooms rotate through an eight week schedule so that each room receives a deep clean during that time. You are encouraged to use a timer to keep yourself within the time limits and to prevent distraction, although you can spread the cleaning throughout your day in smaller chunks, depending on your personal schedule.

You can find all the information about the method on Gemma's Blog The Organised Mum, along with free printouts and plenty of other information and tips.

So why buy the book if all the information is available on the website?

Well, I think I can answer that from personal experience. As I said, I was familiar with the method and subscribed to the blog, but I hadn't actually done anything about it. I just needed something to get me started, and for me this book was the kick.

For a start, I found it really helpful to have all the information organised in one place in a sensible order, rather than having to jump around different parts of the website. It's really easy to find what you are looking for when you need to refer back to something.

The book also has plenty of supplementary discussion about the method. For example, I found that the explanation of the rationale behind the method, and why certain rooms are scheduled for particular days, really made sense and helped the plan to stick in my mind.

For me, I find information in book form rather than online much easier to digest. I took the book on holiday with us at the beginning of the summer and made notes about how I was going to use the schedules, ready to go when I got home. Reading the book in advance meant that I was fully familiar with the process before I got started, and I found the tips and advice really motivating.

If I hadn't read the book, I doubt I ever would have started.

The Organised Mum Method review

What was particularly helpful about the book?

Reading the book helped me to understand what stage I was already at when it came to housework. Luckily I do keep my home fairly decluttered so I was able to jump straight in with the method. If your house is quite messy then you are encouraged to complete a one week 'Boot Camp' first to get your house into a state that you can work with.

It also helped to cement the reminder that it's much easier to clean quickly if you don't have to tidy up first. For example, wiping down the kitchen counters only takes a few seconds if they are already clear, so it's an incentive to keep things tidy as you go along so that you can clean more efficiently and stick to the time limits.

How I adapt the method to work in my larger house

One of the things that had first put me off this cleaning method was that I have quite a large house. As all the rooms need to be divided over just four days, I didn't think that I would have time to fit everything in, and it all felt too overwhelming. However I sat down with a pen and paper and came up with a timetable that I felt I could make work for me. Gemma's suggested daily rooms are in italics, and I've added in my extras.

Monday - Living room and dining room
Tuesday - Bedrooms - Master bedroom, Harry's bedroom and en-suite, Mia's bedroom (clean sheets are alternated weekly between ours and the children)
Wednesday - Hallway, cloakroom, study
Thursday - Kitchen
Friday - Focus Day - a rotation of eight different rooms
Weekend - Family bathroom and master bedroom en-suite.

You'll notice that the bathroom/toilet is missing from Gemma's plan. This is because the bathroom comes under the Level 1 jobs and should be cleaned daily. However as our house contains four bathrooms/toilets there is no way that I can clean them all thoroughly, along with the other daily jobs, in just 15 minutes.

So I add the downstairs toilet to Wednesday as our hallway doesn't take long to clean, and I do Harry's en-suite bathroom on Tuesday as it doesn't get much use. Then at the weekend I give the family bathroom and our en-suite a thorough clean. I do clean the toilets more frequently and I wipe down the surfaces in all bathrooms daily.

I have a couple of extra rooms - a dining room and study - which are added on to Monday and Wednesday respectively. I also have two guest bedrooms at the top of the house. These rooms aren't used regularly so I clean them properly as part of the Friday Focus Miscellaneous Rooms (or if we have guests using them!).

Hand holding a cleaning spray
Photo credit JESHOOTS.COM via Unsplash

How realistic is the 30 minutes of cleaning a day?

I do have to accept that along with appreciating the benefits of a larger house I need to spend a little more time cleaning it. So I must admit that it does take me longer than 30 minutes to do my Level 2 jobs. However it's not usually longer than 45 minutes, and if I was stretched for time I could finish within the half hour. I also don't include tidying in my room cleaning, I try to make an effort to keep things tidy daily anyway throughout the house, rather than leaving it until I'm concentrating on a particular room.

Because of my extra bathrooms I do need to spend a short amount of additional time cleaning at the weekend. I could probably fit this cleaning in during the week, but it wouldn't be at the standard I want it to be.

The thirty minutes of daily room cleaning doesn't include the Level 1 jobs, and it also doesn't include things like washing up and wiping surfaces after making a meal, as these are all things which are part of running a home.

Do you still need the book if you follow the method already?

Many people have been following this method for a while now, having used the information on the blog and in the Facebook group, and may feel that they don't need the information in the book. However while I feel that the book is aimed more at people that are new to the system, I think that it would still be of interest to people who are familiar with the method. It helps with understanding more about the method and why it works, and there are lots of really useful tips and pieces of advice.

Has this method worked for me?

My answer to this question has to be yes! There is no doubt that since I started following this method my house has become cleaner. It's a little and often method of cleaning which really does work, and there are so many benefits. For example, when you are dusting the same ornaments every week you start to think about whether you really need them, or whether you could do a little decluttering. When you actually set a timer, you discover just how much you can actually get done in a short period of time if you concentrate and don't allow yourself to be distracted.

I've started to take more notice of my home, and do something about the parts that were bothering me. When you spend the time to care for your house you start to think of ways that you can improve your storage or just make things look a little nicer.

I really felt the benefit a couple of weeks ago before we went away. Normally the week before we go on holiday I'm running around like mad trying to clean everything because I like to come home to a clean house. This time I found myself at a loose end, because everything was already clean!

Obviously there is no escaping the fact that in order to be successful with this method you do actually have to get on and clean, no-one else is going to do it for you. But if you are someone that likes seeing tasks broken down into easily manageable chunks and enjoys the satisfaction of ticking things off a list, then this could well be the system for you.

You can buy the book here -   The Organised Mum Method: Transform your home in 30 minutes a day

1 comment:

  1. Yes a bigger house does mean more time. It’s little tips that I have found make a difference like buying chopped onions. Made a curry before work today just grabbing frozen veg from the freezer. So easy. X

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