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?

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Categories: The new identity | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “

  1. It’s funny, I just read another blog post today about setting a timer and having a “power hour” and seeing what you can do with an hour of dedicated time to just one thing. An entire hour seems daunting, but the five minutes at a time seems very do-able. Though I don’t know how much Ollie would like this game either. But for me, five minutes might actually work well. Especially if I tell Ollie, when my timer goes off in five minutes then I’ll stop cleaning and play with you. Or something like that. Yep, trying this tonight.

  2. shaunaceyb

    lol I do get the kids to help but the only reason they’re inclined is because I’ve

    • shaunaceyb

      oops posted too soon.
      the only reason they help is because I’ve told them if I have to clean up their toys by myself, then they get put in a garbage bag. Ya, I’m a mean mom… but it works!
      I was panicking on the weekends trying to find time to do all.the.things and I’ve realized I just can’t do it.
      Also, truth be told, I had someone come to clean the house for the first time and I’m having her come once a month… I told my husband I’m willing to give up some “luxuries” for this!

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