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Gemma Bray - The Organised Mum

Saturday, July 4th, 2020 , by
Gemma Bray - The Organised Mum

I honestly never thought I would be writing a fan page for someone who writes about housework. Really? Me? Inspired by a ‘cleanfluencer’? Never.

Yet, here I am writing a tribute to Gemma Bray, founder of The Organised Mum Method, best-selling author and social media influencer.

I came across her work by accident, on Mumsnet (more on this later), and checked out her blog, which outlines a pretty simple method for keeping on top of the housework in 45 minutes per day, Monday to Friday (plus “basic adulting” tasks at weekends). Fifteen minutes of Level 1 jobs every day (load of laundry, make the beds, quick hoover of main traffic areas in your house etc.), and thirty minutes of level 2 (this is a different room each day), then Friday Focus, which is a deeper clean of one room over an eight week cycle. Essentially, if you stick to it, you have a clean and decluttered home to live in, and you don’t have to spend any time on housework at the weekends.

Now, this appealed to me as someone who was working two days a week, looking after a toddler the rest of the time, and ending up sending my husband out to the park with the small person for half a day at the weekend so I could clean the house. It’s bite size, and it’s also flexible. I’m full-time at home now, mumming and writing, and I batch it and do two lots of level 2 every other day. There are plenty of examples on the Facebook group – Team TOMM – of people flexing it in other ways depending on their routine. And that’s why it’s so brilliant. If you’re rubbish at cleaning and never do it, it gives you small chunks to do each day (you can split it into 3 x 10 minutes or reward yourself with a biscuit for every task, or whatever), but it also limits people who clean too much to only 30 minutes a day.

And this is the history of how it was developed and why I think Gemma is so inspirational. She devised the model as a new mum with post-natal anxiety, so stop herself from obsessively cleaning. Then she started an Instagram, set up a blog and a Facebook group, and watched it fly. The Facebook group is an amazingly supportive community where people ask for housework tips and life hacks. There’s a partner group (Team TOMM: Mind, Body and Soul) where people seek wider advice. And, unlike Mumsnet, which I don’t go anywhere near these days, people are nice! And it’s robustly managed to ensure it stays that way.

Gemma is super down-to-earth, a great believer in the power of “good enough” rather than perfection, and a purveyor of humour and wisdom over social media. The recently-launched Life Laundry podcast has helped keep me sane (ish) during lockdown – it feels like sitting down with your mates for a coffee and having a chat. You get the feeling that Gemma is sometimes a bit baffled by her own success, which is what makes her so incredibly likeable.

Is it anti-feminist? Why is it only about Mums? Well, it’s not. Gemma called it TOMM in a tongue-in-cheek way, named after her son Tom who urged her to set up Instagram at the beginning, and it stuck. And for lots of people it actually helps to share the load, as the tick list job sheets make it easier to divide the work between household members, including older kids.

There’s an app accompanying the routine, which I absolutely love because it’s really easy to customise for your own house by adding and removing tasks (I don’t clean the windows every week and I have no rugs to shampoo, but I like to clean the cat’s food area as part of Kitchen day). I love lists and I love ticking things off, so this plays to my nerdy little psyche a treat. And it gives me a great sense of control, to know that I’ve done enough, and even if the living room is covered in trains and puzzle pieces, I know it’s clean underneath.

Gemma has written a best-selling book, with another one due out in September, having established herself as a freelance writer to enable her to work around her children when they were small. And here’s little old me, establishing myself as a freelance writer so I can always be the one who picks my son up from school. It’s women like Gemma who help me believe it’s possible.

Plus my house is clean (most of the time!)

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# Fans
Karen

Karen

  • Sunday, 05 July 2020 13:03
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I love this, Gemma is lovely, the app is a life changer as is the book and podcast, I can’t wait for new book to come out. Xxxx
CHATHAMGIRL

CHATHAMGIRL

  • Saturday, 04 July 2020 18:02
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This is a really lovely review of The Organised Mum Method and of Gemma. Www.theorganisedmum.blog

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