15 MINUTES AND A LITTLE PEACE OF MIND

Monday, March 2, 2009


I don't like cleaning. Actually, it's a toss up if I hate cooking or cleaning more. In fact I've often wondered what I would do if I had the choice between having a full time cook or a cleaning lady...I honestly don't know which I would choose....but, that's beside the point. In the little free time I have, I really don't like to spend it cleaning.
However, I had a little wake-up call last week. A friend suddenly stopped by the other night and I felt like a deer in the headlights. All I could think about was "Oh no! Things are a mess. Don't look at the dust bunnies hiding in the corners. Don't look at the dust on the piano or the fingerprints on the coffee table!" Now, my house is not filthy by any means, but I want to have a home where I can comfortably have people over....without having a panic attack in the process.

I've heard the following tip so many times: Set a timer and see how much you can clean in 15 minutes. Have I ever done it? No.

So yesterday morning I was so tired of looking at this mess in my living room:


And this mess in my dining room:
(In my defense I'd been working on a project and hadn't cleaned it up yet...my explanation for the clock, dvd's and empty box of chocolates isn't quite as good.)

So I decided to enforce a little discipline and give that 15 minute clean up a a shot. I can't believe the difference!
(By the way, I got this book from the library, and it really is as awesome as everyone has said. I think I'll be looking for a used copy online to buy...ok, sorry for the diversion).

It actually took about 30 minutes to whip everything into shape because I hadn't cleaned in a little while, but c'mon!...30 minutes is nothing! Now I'm asking myself "What was I waiting for?!!".

Yes, things look prettier, but I feel sooo much better and breath a sigh of relief when I walk into these rooms. That's priceless. 15 minutes each week....yeah, I can do that :).
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By the way I just realized I'd titled this post "Piece" of mind. Argh! Must proof read more closely.

15 Suburbanites Said:

Amber said...

I had the same "epiphany" a couple months ago. I decided to dedicate myself to keeping on top of the laundry and the dishes daily, and it was amazing how much calmer I felt. And by simply keeping up with those 2 things, I had so much more time to get to other projects and a little deeper cleaning. And all it took was 15 minutes for the laundry once a day, and putting every single plate or cup straight into the dishwasher instead of the sink.

It's been about a month, and I cannot believe I didn't do this earlier!! My house is so much cleaner and calm. :)

Catherine said...

You and me both sister! I don't like cleaning, cooking or grocery shopping...so much for being domesticated! I do this too, but ten minutes...but sometimes I keep going, it's usually the kick start I need.

Victoria said...

I totally get your post! If I think about cleaning I put it off. If I see what I can get done in 15 min, I keep going and find that it's not all that bad. :)

My other trick is to have company a lot! It is amazing how much cleaner I am keeping the house since we started having company over at least twice a month. Yesterday it was my in-laws so that REALLY kicked me in gear to clean. ;)

Anonymous said...

I've used this trick for years. Flylady.net turned me on to the 15 min. clean. I can really get a lot done with a timer. When I don't want to make my bed I'll tell myself it takes 2 min. to make your bed everyone has 2 minutes.
lucinda

coco said...

I have a routine that I do every morning to try to stay on top of things. In addition to making the beds etc... I will pick one area of the house each day to focus my attention on. I agree with Victoria, having company really keeps me on my toes, I work best under pressure!

Amber B. said...

That is a huge difference in a little time! I have heard that tip but never used it. I should, though!

I bought the Home Book used on Amazon for $26 with free shipping. It's 40 in the bookstore. Love that book!

janet said...

well i just think this is fabulous, as far as cooking over cleaning, i would have to say i dislike cooking the most. Im going to try this on our teen girls when i want them to tidy thier bedrooms and i will let you know how it turns out.
hugs
janet

Mamaoftwins said...

OHH Good ole Flylady! I love the timer challange. My friend and I do this on instant messanger all the time . We'll find out if the other one wants to join in a challange, we'll set our timers for 15 min. and off we go, come back after it buzzes and tell each other what we accomplished. Its alot of fun to clean with a friend even if its over the internet. LOL

Your house looks great! I need to check out that book you mentioned.

Michelle@Everyday Celebrating said...

glad I came here. I needed to read that. Very motivating.

The BLAH BLAH BLAHger said...

I'm so glad that I'm not the only one!!!

Darlene - Our Creative Life said...

I have always set a time to finish cleaning each room. It does work and it keeps you focused on getting it done by a certain time. I enjoy the challenge to beat the time I've set.

leigh ann said...

I've always cleaned that way...small bursts here and there and that way nothing piles up. I try to take 15minutes to clean up the "social rooms" before bed every night, or at least make sure the kitchen is clean...I recently got the home book,too...love it!!

Katie @ Clean and Classic Interiors said...

I have to admit - I'm a quick cleaner upper too- but I need to set the timer because I sometimes I can't stop myself! This should be a good problem to have but it's not. If I didn't have tivo - I would do it during commercials of my favorite show and that would really get me back to the couch! Now see I'm just making excuses!! I'm setting the timer...thanks!

SoBella Creations said...

I have been trying to spend atleast 30 minutes per day cleaning house also. And making sure the girls rooms are tidy before bedtime.

Kimm at Reinvented said...

Okay, I SO don't care about the mess, I LOVE your table and chairs. :)
See, when you have such cool stuff, no one notices the clutter! Have a great day.