Do you ever find yourself picking up the house over and over again, day after day? Do you ever find that you spend at best 30 minutes to an hour, or at worst a couple hours just putting things away, folding clothes, wiping down counters, emptying the dishwasher, cleaning up the kitchen?
I have been there many times. Feeling like a maid. Thinking I would rather be spending my time writing, reading, playing a game with my kids, anything but this!
Until I discovered and implemented the 15 minute clean up. Similar to The Big Comfy Couch 10 second tidy (anyone remember that?), the 15 minute clean up is an all hands on deck, mad dash, clean and straighten up the house all together, all at the same time!
This is quite a bit different from many "clean your house in 15 minutes a day" plans which usually include choosing an area to light or deep clean for 15 minutes a day on your own. This involves a whole house tidy (minus personal bedrooms) and takes team work!
15 minutes? Yes! Depending on the size of your house, number of and age of participants 15 minutes should be enough time.
If you have limited participants (as in not many people living at your house) my guess is your house may not be that messy anyway. If you have an extremely large house - I am not sure if 15 minutes is enough time for a whole house quick clean you may have to do a 20 minute version, adjust the time as needed! If you have an average size house and 1 or 2 participants, other than yourself, this should be adequate time.
Tweens and teens can do A LOT of work in 15 minutes. They just need specific directions when establishing this new routine, if you assume they "know" what to do jokes on you! Make sure you communicate your expectations clearly with your crew. After they actually do know what to do (because you have told them and shown them what you mean) you won't have to tell them every time, but be patient, you may have to repeat yourself a few times.
It's important to have thick skin mom, this will not be a popular idea at first, if ever, so expect some groaning and dramatic sighing.
If you have younger ones you can teach them to do a job and do it well. It may not be perfect but it will be done and they will be learning important life skills and teamwork!
What can you do with 15 minutes?
This is what we do:
Your list of to-do's may be different. You decide what tasks should be done during your clean up time.
We try to make it fun with a good play list (singing loud and dancing highly recommended! especially by mom). We set the timer so we know when to stop.
Setting a timer is very important for the kids, they will work harder knowing there is an end time. This is also important for you, mom, so you can move on to something much better than cleaning!
On that note, if members of your 15 minute crew are being purposefully sloth like, just give a friendly warning that another 15 minute session is not out of the question if everyone isn't working as fast and as hard as they can! Positive peer pressure.
The best part is - knowing we will be doing the 15 minute clean up helps me concentrate on other tasks instead of thinking "I better do the dishes before I...." or "I need to fold these clothes before I..."
This is such a time saver! 15 minutes of team work saves me at least an hour a day (sometimes more!) allowing me to spend my time on things I love to do, including quality time with my family!
I like to do this before we leave the house for the day so when we return from afternoon/evening activities or a day out we come home to a clean house!
The idea for the 15 minute clean up is my own adaptation of a quick teamwork tidy idea Large Family Logistics by Kim Brenneman a book that was recommended in a blog post by, Amy Spencer. Her blog The Many Sides of Amy is delightful. So encouraging, funny, heartfelt and full of love. I highly recommend it!
Please comment and let me know if you try this time saving tip! It has done wonders for me not only with time management but mentally (I operate better in a space that is at the very least picked up!).
Large Family Logistics and Home Management Plain and Simple By Kim Brenneman
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