as you will be moving out and setting up your own home very soon, bear with me while I share with you some of my motherly advice. I know you have done really well whilst living here at home, but believe me, things will be different when you have your own walls to look after. I know, I speak from experience.

I understand cleaning is probably not one of your favourite activities. And why should it be? But actually, we should really clean certain places in the household regularly, probably every day, in fact. Once you get into the habit, it won’t seem like a chore anymore.

I know you loved being in our kitchen, so I think your kitchen will be important to you too. You will use your kitchen worktop and the dining table every day. It is where you will prepare your meals and where you will, most likely, spill food all over the place. The resulting leftovers not only look unattractive, but they are also a source of bacteria and bad smells. That’s why it’s better to clean the surfaces in the kitchen every day. All you have to do is go over them with a dishcloth and some washing-up liquid and then dry everything thoroughly. It’s quick and you will be happy to stumble into a nice clean kitchen in the morning after a pleasant night.  

Oh, and while you are in the kitchen, it would be best to rinse dirty pots, pans and other cooking utensils immediately after you use them. It means you won’t have to clean those dried-on spots that are difficult to remove. You should also know; dirty dishes also attract vermin and have an unpleasant smell. So just clean them immediately, it saves time, prevents them from getting dirty and keeps the kitchen looking tidy. And any lady friends you will invite back to your flat will be dead impressed, and not only by your culinary skills.

Maybe you have visitors who will want to use the bathroom. Here’s a tip. Keep an eye on the washbasin. Any hair, shaving remains, or toothpaste residue just look horribly nasty and provide a breeding ground for bacteria.  It’s better to just grab a cleaning cloth once a day, probably in the morning, after you’ve scrubbed up, and go over the washbasin with warm water and a little detergent. It won’t take long once you get into the habit.

I know you love drinking coffee, and your coffee machine will be in constant use. The trouble is coffee tends to splash in all directions and leave unsightly stains. Added to which, the moisture and heat in the machine ensure that bacteria and mould can multiply quickly. Just give any parts which come off a daily clean with warm water and a drop of detergent. Or you might even pop them in the dishwasher. Just a thought.

Dear son, I definitely don’t want you to become a cleaning slave, so I do have some good news for you as well. Before you start thinking that you have to mop or vacuum your gorgeous flat every day, let me tell you it is quite ok to just keep an eye out for coarse dirt. When you come back from somewhere, the dirt from your shoes often gets onto the floor. Even when preparing a delicious, yummy meal, something can fall down. So, it is better to quickly pick up such coarse dirt straight away before it gets stuck, or you spread it all over the flat.

Also, don’t worry, you don’t have to empty the rubbish bins every day. It’s just a matter of keeping an eye on the kitchen rubbish and using common sense. But remember, when you do have some food scraps, then getting rid of them every day will make sure your beautiful flat won’t stink.

Now, don’t worry, just because I write my columns doesn’t mean I will come and check up on you and make sure that you do as I recommend. You will be your own person in your own four walls. I will still love you. I just want the best for you.

Good luck.

Your loving mum.

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