Are you overwhelmed by the idea of keeping up with your clean house? You only need to follow one simple rule to maintain a tidy home! Check out this post to learn what it is!
There’s a funny scene in just about every parenting themed movie, TV show, or commercial – mom spends forever cleaning her home until you can see a gleam on the counter with a loud ‘ding!’ indicating just how squeaky clean it is and then the kids come home. Within seconds the home is destroyed and it looks just as bad, if not worse than it did before she started.
Rinse and repeat, such is life when you have children.
I’m sure there are families out there that somehow have spic and span homes for the majority of the day. I’m not sure what their trick is – staying out of the house? A play room to confine everything into? Following a foot behind their children and cleaning as they go? Whatever it is, I clearly do not possess that skill.
No, by the time I get the boys to bed and I look around my empire, I shudder at the chaos that I see.
But somehow, I go to bed each night with a reasonably clean home.
In fact, I can’t sleep if I know the place is a mess. Partly because I know that if I don’t go to bed with it clean, there is no freaking way that the house will be even manageable once the boys wake up the next day.
At this point, you might be thinking something along the lines of, “Well, that’s great for you that you have the energy or time to spend an hour or two cleaning each night.” But you’d be wrong. In fact, most days I can’t even find the motivation to do the basics. It’s hard to find the motivation to do a nice, deep clean on your house when you know it will only stay that way until your demons wake up. But here’s the thing – you don’t need to be deep cleaning every day to have a clean home. There is only one rule you need to maintain a tidy home. No, really. One. Little. Rule.
Here it is: At least once a day, spend an uninterrupted 15 minutes cleaning. That’s it.
15 minutes is all you need to get the majority of your tidying done. For me, the ‘unbreakable rule’ is to spend the first 15 minutes after I get the boys to bed cleaning and tidying. Not convinced? In preparation for this post, I tested my theory the other night – I put a timer on my phone for 15 minutes and got to work once I put Ryan down for bed. Here’s what I got done:
-pick up all toys and place into toybox.
-vacuum and mop (Swiffer Wet Jet, to be fair) mudroom, kitchen, and living room.
-wipe down coffee table, TV and baseboards in the living room.
-put away dry dishes.
-wipe down kitchen counters.
-clear off and wipe down the kitchen table.
-remove dry clothes and transfer wet clothes to the dryer.
To be honest, those are the main things I try to accomplish before I go to bed in order to be able to fall asleep without stressing about the mess. And I got it all done before Ryan even fell asleep. It wasn’t dragged out over 2 or 3 hours when I could be relaxing or blogging or spending time with Alex or whatever it is I want to do when I am child free. It wasn’t rushed or done half-assed and exhausted right before I gave up and went to bed. It was done early in the night and I was able to sit and relax while the boys slept. And I was able to wake up and not worry about catching up on all that I didn’t get to the night before.
No, my house isn’t spotless, sanitized and perfect each night. Once a week I spend the majority of an afternoon doing my ‘big’ clean, where I do all of the more in-depth cleaning. I set Ryan up with a movie and a snack while Owen takes his afternoon nap and go crazy. But these 15 minutes a night will maintain the cleanliness and tidiness in your home and keep everyone sane. 15 minutes is all you need to maintain a tidy home.
So choose a time – if you’re a mom, I HIGHLY suggest right after the kiddo goes down for bed or a nap (or both!) Otherwise, maybe right after dinner or the 15 minutes before your favorite show comes on will work best for you. I love this tip and method because it puts a timeline on things – I know that I only have to spend 15 minutes cleaning, and I don’t have to guilt myself into cleaning for 30 minutes or more. Just 15 quick minutes completely devoted to getting the house into order.
If you find you need a little more time to get it together (I do have a small house and younger kids with less stuff) think about adding another 15 minutes – maybe after breakfast or lunch. Also be sure to do things like wash dishes or load the dishwasher throughout the day. A sink full of dishes in and of itself will take over 15 minutes for me, so I try to clean mine as the day for on.
Give it a try- I promise you’ll be shocked at how much you can accomplish and how much it will transform your cleaning routine!
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