Monday, January 17, 2011

The Secret to a Clean House: The 10-Minute Tidy

(Watch Video First)

Ok, I know there are a few things we're all thinking, so let's get them out of the way: 1) That grown woman pretending to be a giant baby is a little weird. 2) Who can do ANYTHING in 10 seconds? Unfortunately I can't fast forward through chores like that! 3) Why did you have that posted? I can never have those 37 seconds back!

My answers: 1) I agree! 2) No one can - I'll tell you how I've changed it for a real person to do. 3) I'm sorry, at least I didn't post a longer clip!

Well I wanted to share that video to talk about one of my all time favorite tricks that my parents did with us kids, and how it still works to this day. When we were kids (even through high school) my mom or dad (normally my dad) would say, "the house is a mess, let's help mom by all of us picking up for 10 minutes." They would set the timer on the over and we would all take off in different directions running through the house to see how much we could get done during the 10-Minute Tidy. And let me tell you, 4 people can get A LOT done in only 10 minutes (especially if you're running...which of course, being competitors, we did). Now, I will say, maybe it helped that my mom is a neat freak. So the house never got dirty, things would just get out of order - you know, shoes here, a sweatshirt there, toys on the floor, books on the table. But at the end of 10 minutes, the house was back in tip top shape.

To this day, I love a good 10-Minute Tidy, and Ronnie's nice enough to play along! I'm naturally lazy when it comes to cleaning. I can think of a million ways I'd rather spend my time. But 10 minutes is easy to mentally commit to, so it gets me started, and once we're on a roll, we'll usually continue to clean from another 10-20 minutes to complete the job. And man, at the end of those 10-30 minutes, the house looks so much better. We do a 10-Minute Tidy 2-3 nights a week, and it keeps the house from getting very messy.

Here's what we do:
Whole House -
Pick up/put away stuff out (7 minutes)
Swiffer tile/wood floors (3 minutes)
Kitchen -
Clean Dishes (empty/load dishwasher) (3 minutes)
Soft scrub counter tops (2 minutes)
Family Room -
Straighten pillows on sofa (we have a lot of pillows) (1 minute)
Put away remotes (30 seconds)
Bedroom -
Put away shoes/clothes (3 minutes)
Clear night stands (30 seconds)
TOTAL TIME: 20 Minutes (10 minutes per person)

If we get caught up and want to really get the house looking good:
Whole House -
Vacuum (10 minutes)
(Quick) Dust (10 minutes)
TOTAL (extra) TIME: 20 Minutes (10 minutes per person)

Give it a shot! We just did one yesterday, and man the house looks good :)

PS - Pass along any and all cleaning tips you have. I'm still a cleaning newbie (since this is my first home and the first time if I don't clean it, no one will). And, well, let's just say I'm really good at surface cleaning, but the deep cleaning (the kind that actually matters) I need some lessons!