Taking Stock with Rob Stocks - 28 February, 2011

Have your say

If there’s one thing which gets in the way of domestic bliss more than any other, in my household at least, it’s the whole issue of cleaning.

That’s not to say, were it not for My Good Wife, I’d live in a pigsty. Even I have a point at which mess becomes too much and the vacuum cleaner has to come out.

I do know how to use it and, despite the fact it’s pink, I frequently do.

But I’m more of an “as and when required” kind of guy.

Washing up, for example, I like to treat like clothes. There’s no point doing one or two items – I’d rather wait for a big load, or pile, and tackle it in one go – after all, it saves on the suds.

Shoes is another big bone of contention.

I’ve never been one to leave them by the front door and frequently forget – a crime punishable by the silent treatment.

She’d send me to the doghouse, but I’d probably forget to take my shoes off again when I came back in.

I don’t want to give the impression I’m idle when it comes to household tasks. I like to show willing, but the problem is I’m just not very good.

In an attempt to rectify this, I’ve asked for a list of clear instructions.

But the truth is, I might be better following just one simple piece of advice.

“More haste, less speed” should be my cleaning mantra. Operating a “that will do” attitude – well, it just won’t cut the mustard.

Of course it would help if I could spot the jobs that needed doing in the first place.

When it comes to cleaning, I most definitely have tunnel vision. The problem is anything which needs cleaning tends to be outside of the tunnel.

“Didn’t you spot that?” I’ll be asked.

There is, of course, no right answer.

Yes, implies you’ve seen it and done nothing about it. No simply implies guilt and doesn’t work particularly well when you’re responsible for most of the mess in the first place.

That’s particularly true in the kitchen, which I see as a place for creativity and experimentation – a view not shared by everyone in the household.

Offers to cook are often turned down, not because of the quality of the finished product, but rather the by-product.

Sometimes it’s just better to agree and offer to pop out for a takeaway.

A fine solution all round – as long as everything goes in the bin, oh and I’ve remember to take my shoes off by the door.