With three kids and a busy life, I feel like I don’t actually have time to really clean my house. And while I’m driving the kids all around town or helping them with homework it somehow manages to just get messier. It’s pretty frustrating, and I know I could probably clean all day—but who has that kind of time? And if you do have that kind of time on your hands, do you really want to use it all cleaning?
So I have set a small habit in place that makes a huge difference. The 15 minute nightly cleaning frenzy. Now, before we go on, I must tell you that the type of cleaning I am referring to is not deep cleaning of any type. If it involves putting on plastic gloves or using cleaning chemicals, that is not what is happening during the 15 minute nightly cleaning frenzy.
It’s really more of a tidying frenzy, if I’m being accurate.
Here’s how it works:
Sometime after dinner and before the kids are in bed, set a timer for 15 minutes (I use this cool cube timer). The dinner dishes must already be finished—they don’t count for the15 minute nightly clean up because they would take your valuable time and they are an entirely separate small habit.
Once the timer is set, the entire family tidies the house as quickly as they can. We like to add some upbeat and fun music to keep us motivated, but you could clean in silence if that is preferable to you.
Sometimes I assign each person a specific room to tidy up, and sometimes I just let everybody loose. The point is that you are not just getting 15 minutes of cleaning done. You are getting 15 minutes times the amount of people you have cleaning. Since we have 5 people in our family, that 15 minute nightly cleanup is like an hour and 15 minutes of cleaning. Actually, it’s a little bit more because we’re racing against a timer and that magically makes us all work faster.
What kinds of tasks are done?
Picking up toys, books, etc.
Putting away anything that is out of place
Hanging up coats and jackets or other clothing
Hanging up backpacks
Wiping down surfaces
That’s about it, believe it or not. It’s amazing what just clearing clutter can do for the cleanliness of a home. Without the nightly cleaning frenzy, the clutter and the mess continue to compound until it will take several hours to clean it up. With the nightly cleaning frenzy, those 15 minutes keep that daily mess at bay. You’ll wake up to a house that is already tidy and then you’ll be able to use the little bit of cleaning time you have during the day to actually do some deep cleaning.
This is one of those habits that is easy to do, but just as easy not to do. Remember you won’t see a huge difference at first, but as you dedicate this 15 minutes each night you will find that you’re able to get the house cleaner and cleaner—so just set the timer and get it done.
Small Habit: 15 minute nightly cleaning frenzy
Big Difference: Consistently cleaner house, more time to do real cleaning
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