the blended family for beginners

just call me monica geller

just call me monica geller

I have a conscious awareness that when it comes to my home and how clean and tidy it is I’m definitely on the extreme end of the Monica Geller Scale of Anal. I just can’t help it, and I think it comes from so many years of being single and having everything in my home exactly how I like it and it staying that way until I changed it.  Do I sound like I need to be in total control much?  Like I said, just call me Monica already!


In my ideal life, my home is a peaceful haven of tasteful minimalism that is tidy but feels lived and loved in.  Everything is clean and comfortable and you just don’t want to leave ever.  What a complete shock to the system it is having three kids now!  Chaos reigns when they’re with us and in the beginning I felt like I was never going to get on top of things – there was just always something that needed cleaning or tidying everywhere I looked and I was in extreme danger of losing my mind and just giving up on my visions of a tidy and peaceful home.  But I realised all I needed to do was just step up my tidying and cleaning habits a bit – I could actually translate what worked when it was just me into a plan that also worked well now that I have a family.  I also made this handy little checklist that you can have for free, just because you’re lovely!


My love of order and cleanliness also translates to a love of lists, so here is my list of things that help me keep our home relatively peaceful and tidy, without me turning into one of those mums that won’t let anyone touch anything.  It’s a fine line, believe me!


  1. I clean every day.  Don’t laugh but it’s true.  Now I’m not talking about cleaning the whole house every day, but I find what works for me is to do some kind of cleaning every day so that I don’t have to spend an entire day every week doing it.  So, every day I do something even if it’s just little, it keeps things maintained and clean enough that I don’t have to feel embarrassed if friends pop over unexpectedly. And here’s where my Monica-ness comes in again – I really do love to be the hostess and the thought of people coming over unexpectedly and my house being unfit to be seen is enough to make me have some kind of Monica-esque breakdown (I’m talking the episode where they lost a bet with Joey and Chandler and had to move into their apartment so she stayed up all night sanding the floor and baking cookies so that when everyone came over it was nice.  Just slightly unbalanced, no?)  So, keeping things maintained on a daily basis keeps my sanity intact.
  2. I never go to bed with a dirty sink.  Sometimes the very last thing I feel like doing at the end of the day is dishes from dessert or the last cups of tea/glasses of wine before bed, but one of my most pet hates is having to fight my bleary-eyed way through dirty dishes to get to the coffee machine in the morning.  So regardless of how wrecked I am at night I always make sure that the dishes from the day are all done and put away, the benches are wiped down and everything is put away.  Clear, clean and calm.
  3. Clean bench tops with no clutter are how we roll in this house and I plan to keep it that way.  Mail and bills and keys and vitamins and bits and pieces all have a home to go to and it isn’t on the kitchen bench.  Say it with me ‘clear, clean and calm’.
  4. The kids have chores.  Call me old-fashioned but I think that having to pick up after yourself when you’re a kid builds character and teaches valuable lessons about life in the ‘real world’.  So our kids are expected to make their bed every day, pick up and put away their clothes and toys,  take out the garbage and help with the dishes.  I don’t in any way consider this to be child slavery and it keeps a semblance of order that is necessary for my mental health.
  5. Tidying is something that I do without thinking.  Which I know is super annoying to my husband  but I’m a habitual ‘picker up and putter away of things’ and it’s unlikely to change in the future.  So, unless its something that is being used right now or is out for decorative purposes then I can’t help but put things away.  Where they go.  And obviously my preference is that everything has a place where it lives, which when you think about it makes sense because then it’s so much easier to find stuff when you’re looking for it.


Is there anything you do that helps you to feel like you’re on top of your housework?  I find that if I have a rough plan for the week (I say rough plan because honestly, sometimes stuff just happens and you can’t be beating up on yourself if life or fun times gets in the way of your cleaning schedule) then I feel like I’ve got the basics covered and I’m winning at wife-ing and mumming.


So I made this handy little checklist that is yours for total free if you click HERE.  You can print it or save it or do whatever you like with it! It’s simple and easy and in no time you’ll be cleaning house like a boss and rejoicing in your lovely, tidy extra zen home.  Plus as an added bonus you’ll have more time for the stuff you actually want to do on the weekends because you won’t be slaving over the vacuum cleaner.  Enjoy lovely lady!


11 thoughts on “just call me monica geller”

  • Thank you for the cheat sheet! I’ll print it out and put it up on the fridge! My main hassle is the amount of STUFF we have in our house.. toys, clothes, lego, barbies etc etc.. I feel like im drowning in stuff. Oh, and my kitchen counter is a mess with bills, lipgloss, keys, barbies hairbrush – im sure you get the general drift. I really want to do a big clean out so that we can wipe the slate clean (so the speak).. Do you have any tips for doing a larger clearing/cleansing of your house?

    • Stuff is the enemy of a calm house!! But I absolutely hear you about the LEGO – you should see how much of that stuff we have. The other thing I’m constantly picking up is Nerf bullets – honestly those things just drive me mad. I do actually have some tips for de-cluttering – I’m working on another checklisty type thing for downloading as we speak!

  • Love this! Friends definitely has to be one of my favourite shows and Monica was always hilarious! I’m with you one the not going to bed with a dirty sink, I just can’t stand dirty dishes. As for the rest of the house, well, I would say I go between phases of being monica-esque or the complete other extreme and embracing the mess! Lucky it’s just us and doesn’t get too out of control! Can’t imagine what it would be like with children !

    • Oh yes, Friends is just my favourite show ever – I think I’ve seen every episode at least 20 or 30 times. I so wanted to be Rachel but I came to terms with the fact that I’m much more like Monica. I need to learn to embrace mess more I think – any thoughts as to how I would do that? 🙂

      • That’s a tough one Gwen! I think you just have to stick to your core elements – I clean the kitchen everyday, bathrooms once a week, washing weekly etc but as far as other things go I tend to hold off until I can’t stand it anymore haha. I was actually supposed to clean yesterday but found some more fun things to do so now it’ll have to wait until Monday!

  • Great read. Definitely going to grab that cleaning list. I love the feeling of a clean house but can never get it all done so need a good plan.

    • Yay! I’m so happy that you’re going to use my little checklist, I hope it works for you too – it’s honestly what I try and do each week and I really do find that it helps me to stay on top of things. Plus, if I don’t have some kind of plan the whole week just falls apart so this keeps me on track 🙂

  • I just have to say… you are so funny. When I start yelling, “CLEAN THE HOUSE!” my kids look at me like I’m a psycho (point taken) and ask, “Why, who’s coming over?”

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