15 minute tidy ups
Discover how 15 minutes a day can change your home
It’s the end of the day and you are feeling tired and just wanting some downtime. The kitchen is a mess and there are bits and pieces strewn through the house. Do you clean it up before you go to bed or leave it for the morning? I have good news! All it takes is for you to set your timer for 15 minutes and do a quick tidy up. Over the years I have worked hard at finding strategies that are not time intensive or particularly hard work and that allow me the freedom of time with my family.
The 15 minute tidy allows you to concentrate your efforts and energy on that space until the alarm sounds. You will be amazed at how much you can achieve in just 15 minutes. For example each evening following dinner I set my timer for 15 minutes to clean the kitchen and dining area. I put away dishes, wipe the benches, tidy up any mess from the day and basically reset our areas for the following day.It continually surprises me how much can be achieved in just 15 minutes.
Implementing the 15 Minute Tidy Up
· There are many times we don’t feel like doing housework or tidying up, but over the years we have found value and worth in 15 minute tidy ups and we have created a habit around it. Give it a go - you will feel so much better for it.
· The first thing I do is set my 15 minute timer on my phone or the oven.
· Start small – the last thing I would want is for you to feel overwhelmed. Forming habits is best when you start with one habit and get it working for you and then move on to the next one. So you might start with committing to a 15 minute tidy up each evening and once that is working you might add in another one during your mornings. It is all about working on systems that work for your household.
Hints and Tips during the 15 Minute Tidy Up
· Put your phone down and remove as many distractions as possible. Messages and notifications can generally wait for the 15 minutes to be finished.
· Set a quick goal of what you would like to achieve during your tidy up.
· Once the 15 minutes has started, do not change your goal. Stick to the spaces you started with - even if that means you notice something else needs doing along the way. There will always be more jobs to do; these can be done at another time.
· During the 15 minutes, do not stop for anything (if possible). Of course there will be times when the children urgently need you or sometimes another emergency. However try where possible to concentrate on the tidy up for those 15 minutes.
· Involve your children (if they are old enough) in the tidy up and let them know you will be able to help them once the timer sounds.
· If I am tidying the kitchen, I normally start with putting the dishes in the dishwasher. This way I have a clear bench that I can then wipe down. I also generally do a quick vacuum with one of my favourite products the Dyson handheld vacuum.
· Try not to put things into cupboards just to get them away. I have a washing basket with me while I am doing my 15 minute tidy up and anything that doesn’t belong in the space I pop into there. That way at the end of my tidy up I can pop it away in one go (rather than being in and out of the space during the timed period).
· Have something to look forward to once you are finished. Perhaps you could reward yourself when the 15 minutes is over – enjoy a cup of tea or coffee or have a short break etc.
You can also use the 15 minute principle in other areas when decluttering and tidying as well as general life. I have recommended to followers over the years to simply set aside 15 minutes each day to that particular space or task, sometimes spaces can be very overwhelming when there is a lot of tidying and decluttering to do. As I say most people are totally amazed at how much can be achieved in 15 minutes. Just 15 minutes each day over a week equals 1 hour and 45 minutes and over a month it adds up to 7 hours and 30 minutes. That amount of time on problem areas rewards you with a massive improvement.
If you use the 15 minute tidy already or give it a go for the first time I would love to hear if it works for you. Send me an email and tell me about your experience.