That home from holidays clean..

It started about 2 days before we were due to come home. Those first thoughts about the state of the garden while we had been gone for three weeks, knowing that it would be out of control. Then I would think about the piles of shite that the girls bought home from school at the end of the year that are sitting on their desks, the general chaos that the house was in at the end of the year when it was Christmas miracle that we got through each day it was so full on. And then once I started thinking about THAT I knew that things would soon spiral and I would be in the GET ME HOME AND GET STARTED ON THE NEW YEAR frenzy of activity that hits me every mid January. The drive home consumes my mind with acton plans and then when I get home and take a look around I would rather do this than get on with the jobs at hand.

The intentions of BE-ing would have to sit aside while we hit DO for a few days at least and tried to get the place under control. Enough rest, it’s time to get focused for the year ahead when there will be no time for anything.

You see I’d just come from weeks away staying in other houses. Grown up parent houses with their shit together and everything neat and tidy and not a LOL surprise doll in sight. Then to a holiday house that has all the essentials needed, nothing else and the simplicity and tidiness is enough to realise that you have 67,000 more things than you actually need.

This is not a new thing for me, sure as there are chia seeds in my trolley, and yelling at my children to stop fighting because we are deep in school holidays, in January of each & every year there will be ALL of the nesting. Non pregnant nesting that is! It’s an epidemic that was passed down to me by my Mum who when getting home from holidays when we were kids would go MAD throughout the house. Cleaning the fridge, pruning the garden, sweeping and hosing the pavers and restoring order all in the first few hours of being home, that there’s no wonder I do the same. This year it seems particularly prevalent thanks to Marie Kondo and her joy sparking ways with her new show on Netflix – it’s everywhere you look – but let’s get this clear Marie, it’s been happening to overtired Mums back from summer holidays getting Christmas decos down since the dawn of time.

It’s like when you get home you look at your place with fresh eyes. Every mark, every corner of dust and general filth that you somehow just don’t even SEE somehow is amplified. All that STUFF seems so cluttered and dusty and dirty.

Some of my past years have included a few year back when I went deep in the garage with clothes clean ups dealing with bucket and buckets of hand me downs. SO MANY GIRLS CLOTHES.

Or the January of 2016 when I attacked the toys.

And the verandahs.

My usual January deep clean when I get back looks like this:

Cleaning windows
Wiping down all window sills
Cleaning out toys/books/kid CRAP
Clean out of all girls bedrooms/school stuff
Washing every item of bed linen/towels/changing beds
Indoor plant spa treatment
Mopping every floor
Tying roses back
Verandah clean up
Spider web removals inside and out
Cleaning out bathroom drawers (I literally did this at 10.15pm Saturday night…I NEED A LIFE)
Kitchen deep clean (wiping every cupboard on the outside and bench)

And this year, well I seem to have gone an extra level deep: I have been very interested in the FILTH behind each and every one of my pieces of furniture. You see, we seem to be infested with carpet eating moths and they are EVERYWHERE and you know just how well I would be coping with that. So as well as everything in the list above I have also been doing the following, just for shits and giggles:

Wiping down every skirting board
Pulling out every bed and piece of furniture and cleaning behind it
Wiping every door frame in the house
Washing the walls with hot sugar soap
Exit moulding the walls

I have gone deep friends and it has almost killed me because the more I look, the more I see, the more I see, the more I do. I am exhausted. While I know this will set me up for the year ahead (given that this only happens once a year) it can’t be sane.

And then yesterday, well I took things to a ridiculous level when I decided that a lounge room furniture re-arrange was in order given that we have lived like this for 8 years and it’s time to mix it up a bit so I waited until 2.30pm when it was REALLY hot and the westerly sun was hitting the room I was cleaning and changing and gave myself 2 hours to get it done. So Daisy and I attacked it, didn’t really throw much stuff out because IT ALL BRINGS ME JOY MARIE and then we had a new room!

Art work moved about, furniture moved, everything cleaned behind and underneath these bits of furniture and some more space for the new year. I love it. I am mad, but I love it.

Today I am going to take it down a few notches – perhaps spend some time with the girls who have literally been on their own as cyclone Beth moves through the house. I have work that needs to be done, and now that all that DO-ing has been done, there can be some time for BE-ing again.

And I am just starting to imagine the levels of CRAP I will be able to throw out once the girls are all at school this year and I have 3 whole days to myself. For the first time in 5 years. I CANNOT WAIT.

But tell me I am not alone, have you been hit with the January deep cleanse?
Done some hardcore cleaning?
Got any tips for dealing with carpet eating moths?
Got some plans for switching your rooms up a bit?


  1. OMG… I have no words. I feel exhausted just reading that. No words Beth. Have you thought about booking yourself into some sort of program or institution? ha ha ha. Ok, now I feel really really really lazy so I am off to clean something. Give me strength. Are you sure you aren’t a Virgo, seriously!!!

  2. You’re amazing! I always get the most inspired after coming home from a holiday. It’s like I see things with fresh eyes. I am trying really hard to declutter this year. I say that every damn year! I have made progress but I think getting pregnant (mid 2017) and then having a baby around really confused my brain and I wasn’t as much of a mindful consumer as I was a crazy person trying to throw what little money I had at solving problems (with mixed results)! Now I have to undo some things haha.

  3. I think you are a bit nuts, but I get it – I just don’t have quite enough time to go as nuts as you because my place of work only gives me 4 weeks leave a year and I like to use it to go travelling (crazy, I know). BUT on the weekends, my inner Beth is channelled and I’ve done bits of you – plant spa, clean out of the kids’ rooms (teens have the most clutter!) and I have my eye on the pressure cleaner for outside pavers and we are about to do the books. The linen cupboard needs another go as does the pantry and I’m itching to sugar soap and possibly paint the dining room and living room. Somebody stop me!


    Love these deep clean posts!!!i have been following you for what feels like forever ( more like 8 or so years) and i love love love your take on cleaning…… inspiring!!! Love your blog!!

  5. Hi Beth, this is me usually before we ever go away because I find getting home to a messy house and kids crap completely ruins any glimpse of relaxation that I may be feeling, after a holiday/break. The feeling of getting home to a clean house out-ways the stress of the pre-departure clean up every time. Take care and good luck x PS Your house looks lovely.

  6. Michelle Cockbain says

    Too funny – my husband joked last night if I was pregnant again as it seems I am nesting! I have gone full #kondo on my wardrobe and hubbys underwear draw! We are shite deep in a major heritage renovation and I have just had my last round of chemo prior to a staged double mastectomy coming up. I need the house clean and tidy after holidays! Surely after all these years., everyone would get it! With our gorgeous brood, 19,18,15,13 – I still treasure kid free days but they are finally getting big enough to sort their own stuff! Good luck! Enjoy the moments that make the memories. My version of “being” and “doing”

  7. Dearest Beth, will you come to my house? Please???

  8. This post speaks to me on many levels. You are my spirit animal Beth (only you have cooler clothes and hair).

  9. Holidays houses! That would explain it. I was in two different ones over the new year and now I’ve come back and wondered why on earth we have so much crap. And how quickly I can deal with it. (Although I will not be removing any books from the house and Marie K can get stuffed with her whole “you should only have thirty books” rubbish.) At the moment, I have a kitchen attack plan. 1. Clean off kitchen table. 2. Empty panty onto said table. 3. Re-arrange newly-depleted pantry stock. 4. Clean and polish kitchen table. We’ll see where it goes from there. Perhaps the spare room might actually turn into a spare room instead of the place we put stuff with no designated place when we moved.

    Best of luck with your holiday cleaning!

  10. I just love your house. Love the photos and love your busyness madness of cleaning because I so relate. But it is so exhausting. Once the kids are back at school and Mags is in Kindy, get yourself a massage and facial. You deserve it. x

  11. I just love your house. Love the photos and love your busyness madness of cleaning because I so relate. But it is so exhausting. Once the kids are back at school and Maggie is in Kindy, get yourself a massage and facial. You deserve it. x

  12. impressed beth!
    you could hire yourself out darls!
    lol mxx

  13. So my mother got this bug every spring. Problem was she was so FREAKING PISSED AT EVERYONE because in her mind it was all our fault. It was absolute hell to live through. My brother and I were made to help, except anything we did was not good enough, and then there was the FREAKING PISSED-NESS. She was a mean son-of-a-gun every spring. She was forced by social norms to do something she hated, and we bore the fallout. I never revisited that on my kids. They were boys anyway, and not afraid of me!

    But consequently even the sound of a vacuum sweeper puts me in a foul mood. I schedule window washers twice a year. That makes me move furniture and clean behind it. Aside from that, I keep a tidy house and vac every few days, but don’t run your finger over too many pieces of furniture!

  14. You, my friend, are completely batshit crazy. But you knew this, I knew this. A few thoughts…
    I recently did the same with the kitchen cupboard doors/drawer fronts/skirting boards – but what about the insides? We have our pots and pans and plates and bowls etc in two big drawers…looking recently at the bottom of those drawers has me alarmed at the filth. And we put our crockery there?! Now of course I can’t unsee it. How often would you clean the INSIDES of your kitchen drawers and cupboards? Riddle me that.
    I haven’t pulled back our bed like you (you fruit loop) but I know it would be filth. Harriet is about to get a big girl bed so the girls room may get a bit of a switcheroo and I’ll be cleaning skirting boards and vacuuming the dust bunnies like a fiend.
    Does washing those small paned windows of yours send you mental? I love them but I don’t think I could deal.
    Also: child free days SAY WHAAAAA?!!! Is Mags off to big girl kinder? I think that’s what you NSW folk call pre-school…hmmm. Eleanor is doing three days this year and it will be GLORIOUS. Still go that little hanger on Hbomb though, God help us all.

    P.S. It is my new years resolution to comment on blogs again! I’m doing well aren’t I?!

    • Of course I am! Thank you for your comment – I always love to receive them – like a letter in the post these days! The windows drive me mad of course they do!

  15. You inspired me to to a clean today!
    Thanks for keeping it real, like sweaty under boob real, it makes the whole life thing seem a little bit more doable… Cheers!

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