PARENTS

How To Be A Domestic Fraud

21/04/2012 13:45 | Updated 22 May 2015
How to be a domestic fraudGetty

When you've got kids, it's all about pretending you run a tight ship. So play at being Nigella and make it all seem effortless - with just a hint of goddess thrown in for good measure. Here's our cheat's guide...

1. Pretend you're organised

Mess is inevitable when you've got a family. But clutter is a different matter, and if you're trying to create the illusion of order, it will just get in the way.

Cassie Tillett, co-founder of The Association of Professional Declutterers and Organisers suggests that at this time of year you have a rake through your kitchen cupboards and clear out-of-date products: 'This will help make room for the store of items you're likely to use in the colder months.'

2. Create a good impression

If you're expecting guests, you can get away without cleaning the house from top to bottom with some clever cleaning cheats.

'De-clutter your hall by organising shoes and coats, and putting a damp cloth sprinkled with your favourite essential oil on the warm radiator so your guests are greeted with a beautiful scent,' says Lilli Klint, founder of Lilly's Eco Clean.

3. Make things bright and beautiful

It might look good in an interiors mag, but floor to ceiling taupe means two things in real life: mess and hard work. After all, there's a reason your mum chose that patterned carpet in 1978, and it wasn't style – it was because it didn't show up the dirt.

Not only that, bright patterns are mood-boosting and lead the eye away from other areas of disarray... Pick bold kitchen accessories like MoreVibrant's fab tablecloths, oven gloves, aprons and panhandles.

4. Make Sunday the best meal of the week

If weekday meals are chaotic, last-minute affairs, then fool yourself – and your guests – by focusing on Sunday lunch.

Red Tractor, the independent food standard website, has loads of handy quick fixes for weekend family meals. Perfect inspiration for those 'What on earth am I going to cook?' moments...

5. Be a smooth operator

If you've got a baby in the family, you might find the whole weaning stage a bit of a hassle. The options seem to be making your own purees and freezing them in ice cube trays, or buying expensive pouches.

Any self-respecting domestic fraud will know there is an alternative that will save you pounds, hours and a fair bit of sanity. What is it? A specially designed mincer like The Wean Machine, which enables you to give your baby what everyone else is having, and the only effort required is the squeeze of your hand! (But watch the salt content - leave out salt when cooking and only add later for adults and older children!)

6. Stay on your feet

Aching legs and swollen ankles are not a good look for a domestic goddess, so keep your pins svelte with a product designed specifically for that area.

Mama Mio's Lucky Legs Cooling Serum doesn't just instantly cool and ease weary limbs, it leaves a subtle shimmer on them too – perfect for emerging from the kitchen looking more Sophie Dahl than Antonio Carluccio.

7. Use your table

Domestic goddesses have calm, well-behaved children who sit waiting for their meal to be served. If that doesn't sound like you, pretend it is by making the table itself a distraction, especially during the festive season.

"A fun table sets the tone for a fun day but also takes the pressure off the cook. Pile it with games, sparklers and other distractions and nobody will remember you forgot the cranberry sauce or spoiled the gravy!" says Talking Tables founder Clare Harris.

8. Glam it up in minutes

Have you ever seen Nigella dish up with a pale, sweaty complexion and liner-free eyes? Didn't think so.

But instead of scrabbling for your long-lost mascara at the back of the bathroom cabinet, invest in a do-it-all kit like Frontcover's Packing Case, which has everything for face, eyes and lips, together with tweezers, brushes and a mirror. Perfect for travel, too.

9. Sort your bag

No self-respecting domestic goddess heads out of the house trailing overflowing old carrier bags.

Create the illusion of organisation with a bag like Mamami's fabulous Amara - a two-tone black bag that looks so glamorous, nobody will ever know that inside is everything but the kitchen sink. An easy-to-clean interior and huge, quick-find pockets means you can find what you need – usually a wipe – in seconds.

10. Make time for a soak

Goddesses get hours soaking in therapeutic oils after a hard day being wonderful.

You can cheat by barricading yourself in the bathroom and getting 20 minutes to soak in the tub. Pick something to quickly restore your overworked muscles – and balance your mind, too. Nelsons Arnicare Arnica Bath & Massage Balm relaxes away aches, hydrates skin – and smells divine too!

Did we miss any of your domestic tricks? Go on, share your quick cheats below...

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