Is a daily blitz of 30 minutes the secret of a spotless house?

From washing to sweeping and scrubbing the bathtub, cleaning a house can be just as time-consuming as a full-time job.


Throw in the fact that many of us also have a living to earn, along with children to look after and a partner we want to see occasionally, and the task may seem positive Herculean.

Even in 2019, women still do more housework than men in 93 percent of households, according to a study by University College London last month.

Now, however, a new book undoes the idea that hours of hard vaccination are needed to make a house shine. The Organized Mum Method (TOMM) claims that everything can be cleaned in just 30 minutes a day.

Author and mother of three Gemma Bray has insisted that British households can save time on weekends by spending half an hour every day from Monday to Friday on housework (photo: Antonia Hoyle)

Author and mother of three Gemma Bray has insisted that British households can save time on weekends by spending half an hour every day from Monday to Friday on housework (photo: Antonia Hoyle)

The author and mother of three Gemma Bray insists that from Monday to Friday, only half an hour is spent on housework every day, so that you can not only pamper your home, but that you no longer have to touch your finger lifting on the weekend and spring cleaning should be banned forever.


Bray, a no-nonsense Northerner with nice slogan (& # 39; get in it, get it done and then leave! & # 39;) Coined The Organized Mum Method while resisting the weight of housework on maternity leave from it running her own fish and chip shop.

Two years ago she started sharing her concept online. Now, with 161,000 Instagram followers (or TOMMers, as they are known in her huge online community), she is one of a new kind & # 39; cleanfluencers & # 39; – social media stars, including Sophie Hinchcliffe, also known as Mrs. Hinch and Lynsey & Queen of Clean & Crombie, who has gathered an army of fans with their cleaning advice.

The country's obsession with cleaning has also led to a revival of traditional products such as sodium bicarbonate, which have begun to appear in the aisles for cleaning products from stores such as Wilko.

The idea of ​​running an orderly home in less time than is necessary to view The Great British Bake Off is attractive – especially for someone with a random approach to the household like me.

But does TOMM work? I put on my marigold to find out …


From Monday to Thursday, concentrate on cleaning part of your house for 30 minutes a day. Monday is the approach to the living room, Tuesday the bedrooms, Wednesday your corridors and stairs and Thursday the kitchen.


This is followed by the & # 39; Friday Focus & # 39; – a half-hour deep cleaning stint dedicated to a specific part of the house that rotates in an eight-week cycle. Bray & # 39; s fans (known as Team TOMM) all follow the same scheme on social media and the book contains a checklist of & # 39; Friday Focus & # 39; from eight weeks to copy.


The average Briton spends two years cleaning their homes during their lifetime, new research has revealed.

Cleaning the bathroom is now part of your & # 39; daily duties & # 39; – an additional 15 minutes a day in which parts of the house are kept clean with a lot of traffic with a & # 39; small and often approach & # 39 ;.

This is not (fortunately) a book that pushes perfection – Bray discourages obsessive cleaning and grants & # 39; permission to stop after the 30 minutes have passed & # 39 ;. However, there is a reservation: a cast-iron focus is needed during the half hour. Scrolling through social media or stopping for a cuppa is not recommended.

The extra daily time, which can be spread throughout the day when you can grab a minute (up to a maximum of 15 minutes), is to make things tick & # 39; tick & # 39 ;.


(Discovering Bray & # 39; s regime adds fifteen minutes to the core of 30 minutes of cleaning it feels somewhat unfair, but her idea is that this blitz becomes second nature to the point that you hardly notice it.)

Tasks in this section include making beds, vacuuming or sweeping, cleaning the bathroom and kitchen and washing, drying and storing for one wash.

Antonia Hoyle (photo) put on her marigolds to find out if Gemma & # 39; s time-saving method really works

Antonia Hoyle (photo) put on her marigolds to find out if Gemma & # 39; s time-saving method really works

Antonia Hoyle (photo) put on her marigolds to find out if Gemma & # 39; s time-saving method really works



Because, as TOMM explains, you can't clean up clutter, & # 39; TOMMers & # 39; at entry level like me with & # 39; The Messy House Bootcamp & # 39; – a blitz of a week (or more if necessary) in which all

Household belongings are divided into three piles and kept, interned or donated.

Bray argues for a & # 39; one-touch policy & # 39; – once you have picked up an item, decide what you want to do with it before you put it down again – and recommend taking photos of the clutter before and after photos, then the clutter-free space to stimulate motivation.

As a hoarder, I fear this part, which takes about an hour per room. But after two days, during which my initially reluctant daughter Rosie, eight, and son Felix, six, help throw a pile of tat in their rooms, I get merciless. A candlestick that I received for my 21st birthday is embedded, along with my eyeshadow collection from the nineties.

& # 39; I feel so much freer, Mama & # 39 ;, Rosie admits, seeing her carpet for the first time in months. Me too. By the end of the week – six garbage bags lighter – I am ready to go.



Bray devotes Monday to the living room because of the & # 39; bashen & # 39; that it gets during the weekend.

Chores, although not on prescription (TOMM recognizes that no two houses are the same), can be tidying up, washing, cleaning windows, dusting and vacuuming.

I put the children in front of the television (not sure what Bray would think about this, but holidays are not the easiest time to start a new cleaning regime. The moment you clean up, they ruin it), set my clock (the timing of a cleanup is & # 39; non-negotiable & # 39; to prevent TOMMers from overflowing) and start working with my duster, starting in a corner of the room and clockwise for efficiency, according to the instructions.

I'm not trying to get caught in the weeds & # 39 ;, as Bray says, and waste time on smaller jobs. Instead, I rush around like a madman sorting books, filling out bills, and watering plants, before running a bucket of hot soapy water, TOMM & # 39; s preferred cleaning fluid, to wash the windows. I am so focused that I complete tasks with which I normally fill weeks in just 23 minutes.

Antonia concluded that she & # 39; of simplicity & # 39; likes the Organized Mum Method, but 30 minutes a day is more than she would normally spend on cleaning

Antonia concluded that she & # 39; of simplicity & # 39; likes the Organized Mum Method, but 30 minutes a day is more than she would normally spend on cleaning

Antonia concluded that she & # 39; of simplicity & # 39; likes the Organized Mum Method, but 30 minutes a day is more than she would normally spend on cleaning


Tuesday is bedroom day, so assigned by Gemma Bray because it is apparently the most challenging and, although it is best done at the beginning of the week before the energy levels are marked, it is too much, she thinks, for a Monday.

In addition to dusting, vacuuming and tidying up bedrooms, her regime stipulates that all sheets must be changed. I am shocked by horror. Normally I would never change more than one bed per week and since we had guests staying at the weekend, I have four sets of sheets to change.


It takes me 27 minutes and 40 seconds to strip and remake all four beds as fast as I can, by which time I am sweating heavily.

I may be slow, but I am skeptical that I could reduce my time.


Blessed relief! Wednesday is all about tidying and cleaning the entrance hall and stairs – according to Bray the easiest areas and therefore assigned to the & # 39; worst and dullest day of the week & # 39 ;.

Of course they are better for bungalow residents than people in houses with three floors like me …


TOMM recommends investing in a decent doormat that prevents dirt from entering, and a closet in the hall that makes it easier to submit bills before the paper stacks.

I take a damp cloth to collect dust, start at the top of the house and work down, with an extendable lambswool cloth (£ 12.99, for high and delicate items. Bray swears by the ostrich duster, (£ 18, that she describes as her & # 39; only cleansing pampering & # 39 ;.

I may not be as thorough as I should be, but I can manage it all within 20 minutes. Just as well, because I am still traumatized from yesterday.


Clean a room clockwise for maximum speed and efficiency.


Wear marigolds


They help you to focus and prevent you from playing with your phone.

Call in the help

Children from five to ten years old can strip their beds, vacuum clean, remove dust and empty the dishwasher.

But do not undermine their trust by doing their job again.

Cannot find 30 minutes?

Divide the time into two 15-minute segments.

Shop online and plan meals to save time.

Be yours "Future friend"

For example, do not leave dishes dirty on Sunday night if you know they will make you miserable on Monday.

Be environmentally friendly

Make your own cleaning solution for water and white vinegar and sprinkle sodium bicarbonate on carpet before vacuuming to deodorize.

Banish strange socks by buying each family member a net laundry bag for them to put in their dirty underwear.

Wash and dry each bag with the contents intact and give it back.

Save your bedding in a pillowcase from the matching set to keep it handy together.

Listen to music to make cleaning more enjoyable.

Get a wireless vacuum cleaner to vacuum faster.

Always be realistic

Trying to reach perfection will break you.


Thursday is kitchen day – because, as Bray puts it, & # 39; who doesn't want a neat kitchen if they put down tools on Friday? & # 39;

Jobs advised, among other things, emptying the crumbs from the toaster where & # 39; the raisins of your fruit bread are going to die & # 39; cleaning in the microwave and cutlery trays – neither of which I have done for months.

I put on my marigolds – in addition to protecting your skin, Bray says they improve focus (plus it's hard to scroll Facebook with a rubber thumb in hand).

I remove crumbs from the toaster and remove baked bean stains from the microwave before I wipe the cabinet fronts with the floor. It is not perfect, but you can feel the difference.


The idea behind & # 39; Friday Focus & # 39; van Bray is that, by thoroughly cleaning or cleaning up part of the house for half an hour a week, clutter and dirt can never go back, making & # 39; your house cleaner and cleaner & # 39 ;.

It is a bold claim, but as most online TOMM community apparently go through the eight-week cycle – broken down into children's rooms, living room, kitchen, bathrooms, the master bedroom, hall and stairs, a diverse room and the garden or outdoor space – together help them motivate each other.

I shrink at the thought that a stranger sees my mess and as a newcomer who is not yet in sync, I go looking for the not-yet-spotless kitchen and choose three packed drawers that escaped my earlier de-clutter to get out disappear, as TOMM suggests.

The effect is not dramatic, but throwing away 10 surplus fridge magnets and 13 broken hair clips feels cathartic and the weekend is well deserved.


Although Bray only cleans 30 minutes a day, plus the extra 15 minutes, that is probably even more than I would normally do for housework.

I am currently cleaning randomly, & # 39; needs to be done & # 39 ;, which means that parts of my house that need my attention most urgently receive it. To be honest, 45 minutes, no matter how fertile they are, feel a bit ambitious to me, no matter how simple Bray's formula is.

However, I love the simplicity of TOMM, the practical support it offers and especially the recognition that time is too precious to be a slave to the dust cloth.

The Organized Mum Method: Transform Your Home In 30 Minutes A Day, by Gemma Bray, will be published by Piatkus on September 5 for £ 12.99. © Gemma Bray 2019. Call 0844 571 0640 to order a copy for £ 10.40 (offer valid until 12/09/2019, p & p free for orders over £ 15).

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