Clean house in 15 minutes a day!

That is what the blog promised. It sounded good, too good really, so I started to read. I almost instantly knew it wouldn’t work for me. She said I only needed to spend 15 minutes a day & I could have my whole house clean in one week. Her schedule was roughly: dust – Monday, vacuum – Tuesday, mop – Wednesday, bathrooms – Thursday, bedding – Friday, catch-up/odd chores – weekend. So, I started to think: dust my entire house in 15 minutes? Maybe if I lived in a studio apartment! Clean my 2 1/2 bathrooms in 15 minutes? Maybe if all I did was wipe them down with a damp rag (& with a newly pottty-trained boy in my house that wasn’t going to cut it!). My house isn’t that big, but I knew that 15 minutes a day wasn’t going to do it! However, the thought of making myself do all the dusting on one day was daunting, not to mention impossible with two small kids. I knew, though, that I needed to come up with some sort of system that I could stick with that would, over time, get my house clean. And if not clean, then at least cleaner!

I decided to stick with the 15 minutes a day. That isn’t scary. It doesn’t sound impossible. I can probably do that in between changing a diaper & reading Curious George for the 15th time. Then I made up a list of chores that I need to do in my house: dust, sweep & mop, sweep (the wood floors), clean the bathrooms, clean the kitchen (more than I do in an evening clean-up), & change the bedding. Next to each category I listed the rooms that I need to do that chore in. So for example next to sweep & mop I put entry, guest bath, living room, kitchen, master bath, & kids’ bath. Finally, I printed the list & put it into a picture frame which I hung in an inconspicuous place in my home ( it just worked out that the frame is wide enough that a dry erase marker can sit on top).

 

 

Each weekday (& the occasional Saturday), I set an alarm for 15 minutes (I like using the timer on the ipod, because I can pause it if an interruption comes up). Then I start at the top of my list & work my way down. Some days I can cross off 3 or 4 items, other days I just get through 1 item. The nice thing is that there is flexibility. So, for example, when someone spills oily salad dressing & it ends up being tracked through the entire downstairs & you have to spend an hour mopping the floors, you can cross all those items off. OR if company is coming, you can skip the entire upstairs & concentrate on the areas they will actually see, like the guest bathroom.

 

The beauty is: 1.) at the end of my day with small children I have at least ONE item I can cross off my to-do list, 2.) I can see what has been done recently & what still needs to be done, and 3.) When the list is all crossed off, I simply wipe it down & start again.

For anyone who’s curious it takes me about 2  or 2 1/2 weeks to get through my whole list, sometimes it takes 20 or 25 minutes to do a chore (the bathrooms always take me a bit longer), I always have to sweep under the dining room table more often than is on my list, & it takes me about 55 minutes to dust my whole house (not 15!).

I know this system is not for everyone, but it works for me & I figured if it could help out one other mom who feels like she is drowning in housework & has no idea how to fit it into her day then that would be great!

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Clean house in 15 minutes a day!

  1. Neva Powers

    GREAT JOB!!!

  2. Stefanie

    I really like that idea, thanks for sharing!! I’m trying to think of how to get it started in our house, where to hang it, and get the kids involved in cleaning and crossing things off (they have their moments of wanting to help me clean).

    • micahandheather

      Good luck! I can’t wait until my kids are willing to help. They want to help now, but it usually doesn’t end up being that much help in reality!

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