Wednesday, October 28, 2015

15-Minute Cleaning

I'm one who likes to have her home in clean order, and one who loves organizing, but ... the weekly tasks of actually cleaning are not on my list of favorite things to do. There are just too many other things that I would rather be doing than cleaning! 

When our six children were still at home, it was something that we did together. Or often, they even did it without me! That was the perfect plan for me, and they did a great job!

But those days are past, and now the cleaning of our home is up to me. Straightening and organizing are fun for me, but I have had to figure out how to handle the weekly/monthly/yearly cleaning tasks that are necessary to keep a home in good order. 

I've tried different approaches over the years, but the one that seems to work best for me is what I call ...

15-Minute Cleaning

Instead of focusing on a particular task of cleaning (such as cleaning the bathroom, or dusting, or cleaning the kitchen floor), I'll focus instead on a block of time. Such as 15 minutes. If you put your mind to it, you can do even the most mundane task for just 15 minutes. 

There are many things that can be accomplished in about 15 minutes. Most of my weekly cleaning chores can each be accomplished in that amount of time: cleaning the bathrooms, dusting, vacuuming, cleaning the kitchen floor, etc. 

On a typical week, I set aside a 15-minute block of time each day. It usually looks like this: Mondays - bathrooms; Tuesdays - dust main level; Wednesdays - vacuum main level; Thursdays - clean kitchen/dining room floor. Fridays are for catching up if I missed a day, and Saturdays are for a few other cleaning jobs. Sometimes the 15-minute time stretches into 20, or 30 minutes. But the 15-minute block of time is what draws me to start the task, and then it's not so difficult to keep going to finish the task!

Sometimes I'll actually set the timer. Sometimes I'll watch/listen to a Periscope session from one of my favorite bloggers, or even listen to an inspirational podcast. Or to music on my iPhone. 

Time Blocks 

When there are bigger cleaning chores that require more time, I use the same mentality of breaking the tasks down into manageable portions. And I'll block off a bigger portion of time in the day or week for cleaning.

For example, this is how I am washing all the windows on our main floor and our upper level this fall. Each window actually consists of four window panes that need to be cleaned, and also means that they must be removed from the window frame - cleaned, and then returned. 

Washing windows is one of my least favorite cleaning chores to do, but this plan is working well for me ...

I have been setting aside one hour each week beginning the end of August through the end of October (except for two weeks that we were out of town), for cleaning the windows. Eight windows cleaned over eight weeks! If I had left them until I "had the time" to wash windows, or I felt like washing windows, they would not get cleaned. But I can handle cleaning windows for one hour each week over a two-month period. (And I also schedule this one-hour/week at a time when my dear hubby is home, and he helps by taking the large windows out and then putting them back after I have cleaned them. He also goes the extra mile and cleans the screens for me, as well. He is so sweet!)

So instead of focusing on all the cleaning tasks, I can just focus on a block of time. Fifteen minutes. One hour. And the cleaning that would be so easy to just put off gets done!

Time blocks make a big difference for me
in accomplishing a necessary task ...

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