Monday, January 30, 2012

My 5 Minute Solution

My house was getting grubby, people!  With the combo of being closed up over the winter, and Christmas travel and some very calculated blind spots on my part, there's cat fut collecting in the corners and dust on the door jambs.  Coming home and putting away the Christmas decorations at the beginning of the month really brought it home.

My first instinct was to pitch right in, and do a deep, deep clean.  Spring cleaning a couple of months early, and have done with it. But I know me, and tempting as it is to just get it all done at once, I also have the terrible habit of then thinking I don't have to clean again, since "I just did all that heavy cleaning last week...month...season".  lol

So, instead of marathoning it and then ignoring it till I break down again in July, I've implemented a different solution. 

I broke the house into different areas; living room, guest bath, sewing room, hallway, laundry room/closet, bedroom, master bath, stairway, upstairs, kitchen, dining room, garage, and front porch.

Everyday, I set a timer for 5 minutes, and clean for five minutes in each area.  Whatever is out of place or needs doing (dusting, etc) that catches my eye first, I just pitch into.  I haven't been doing the porch, stairs, garage or upstairs every day because it's been cold!

I've been doing this for a month or so, just about every day, and I've been shocked at how effective it's been!  It really keeps things nicer around here if I work a little every day, instead of doing certain jobs on certain days of the week or month.

Of course, this new plan is in addition to the regular daily chores of dishes and dinner and cleaning the stove and counters, etc.  I'd never keep the kitchen completely clean in just five minutes!  The five minutes I spend in the kitchen with this cleaning, I do some things that are easy for me to miss, which usually means looking up.  Being on the short side, I just don't notice sometimes when the upper cabinets and tops of things get dusty!

I'm not sure why this is working better for me, considering that I would spend an hour or two cleaning most days before this, but I think the timer and the fact that I'm cleaning in every room every day helps me to keep more focused and get more done in the same time frame.  I don't just wander around "deciding" what to clean I guess.  I suppose I am actually putting more time in with this method too, since the regular things, like laundry or cleaning up after dinner aren't in the "five minutes time".  I use the timed sessions for the things that are easy to forget or overlook, like fan blades, etc.

It's also been easier for me to stay motivated, since the timer makes time seem to go more quickly, so it's not a big deal to do "just" five minutes.

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Mrs. Mordecai said...

That is such a great idea. I find I get more done when I focus more on the work and less on the lists. I might have to take a page from your book this week. :)

Bethany said...

It has been my new favorite method of trying to achieve clean in every room at once. I'm far from it so far, but I think if I'm consistent it might actually work.

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