I’ve got a new game that I keep trying to convince C to play. It’s called 5 Minute Clean Up. We set a timer for 5 minutes, and see how much of one room we can clean in that time.
She isn’t in to it. I know, can you believe it?
It may not be the most fun game around, but it’s definitely the most successful strategy I’ve had for getting my house under control. You see, I tend to get bogged down in the details. Putting a towel away devolves into a Pinterest worthy re-organization project, and considering few people snoop in my linen closet, it’s not a worthwhile endeavour.
Here’s why it works for me:
- I respond well to timelines. If you know you have 5 minutes to do a 10 minute job, you’re going to focus on what will make the biggest impact.
- It doesn’t suck up my whole day. There are 6 rooms on my main floor that can conceivably be tidied in 5 minutes, adding up to just 30 minutes of cleaning time (elapsed time tends to be more, since inevitably, a toddler needs a book, a baby needs a nap, I need a snack).
- It takes the pressure off everything being perfect. The top of my piano is still messy, but all the small toys that M could try and choke on are off the ground.
- I have a better idea of what I can accomplish in 5 minutes. I no longer put off unloading the dishwasher because I know it takes less than 5 minutes.
- If a room requires more than 5 minutes, I’m ok re-setting the timer for another 5-10 minutes, because I know I haven’t wasted any time frittering around.
- I can actually see what major issues need to be re-organized and make note of it for later.
- The more often I do a 5 minute clean, the deeper I get in that clean.
What tricks do you use to get your house under control without losing an entire day?