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I hate cleaning a lot. My house is ‘just about’ clean. I don’t think I have ever had a super clean house apart from the time we were trying to sell it.
I have learned over the years that having a pristine house simply isn’t possible when you have a full-time job and a couple of messy children. Something has to give and I refuse to feel guilty!
Believe it or not, I have an OCD personality. That is why I only allow 10 minutes for any cleaning task. If I allow myself to have any more time than that, I can’t trust myself to stop.
If you have OCD tendencies too, make sure you use a timer and set it to go off after 10 minutes. Force yourself to stop when the timer goes off. Take a look at your work, and ask yourself if it looks better than when you started. If the answer is ‘yes’ then pat yourself on the back and move on.
When I was working full-time, I guess I could have employed a cleaner, but it is not something I would ever payout for when I can do it reasonably well myself.
Instead of taking on a cleaner, I worked out a simple cleaning schedule that I could do in 10-minute bursts.
I admit that this strategy was evolutionary rather than a pre-conceived plan. I’ve fallen into this routine because it seems to be working. The great thing is I don’t feel I’m spending too much of my time cleaning up when I could be doing something much more interesting.
Remember. If, like me, you are on the OCD scale, make sure you have a timer, so you don’t forget to stop.
Your daily 10-minute cleaning routine
My 10-minute cleanup is a super-simple strategy that you are going to love. It will, quite simply, change your life. You will find you have so much more time for other things and you won’t get stressed about how clean the house is. It will be clean enough.
Step 1 – The daily 10-minute general tidy up
Do a 10-minute general tidy up on a daily basis. Keeping up with this routine means that it should only ever take you ten minutes max.
- Stack the dishwasher
- Wipe around the sink and the counters and put things away
- Empty the garbage
- Tidy up toys or anything else misplaced
- Put shoes away
- Do a quick vacuum or floor sweep
- Wipe the bathroom sink and tidy around
- Put on some laundry
Feel free to modify this list to suit your household. If you have pets, there will be extra tasks, or less if you don’t have children at home.
Step 2 – One 10-minute cleanup of your choice
Choose one 10-minute cleaning job. It should be something that needs doing now. If it isn’t all that dirty/messy, then choose something else. Your time is extremely precious. Don’t spend time polishing things that don’t need it.
Here is a list of some 10-minute cleanup jobs you can do with some suggestions on how to do them quickly.
10 Minute vacuum
Choose one area of the house and take 10 minutes to vacuum. Don’t make it too small an area. You need to stretch yourself to get it done in the time.
10 Minute bathroom clean
Apply cleaner all around the toilet bowl and then pour some bleach down the pan. Leave it while you clean around the sink and bath or shower with a dry microfiber cloth. Wipe around the toilet.
10 Minute de-clutter
Choose a single messy area and tidy it until it looks reasonably straight or your 10 minutes is up. You could make a point of coming back for another 10-minute stint another day if more work is needed. But remember, you are aiming for ‘just about’ tidy.
10 Minute dust
Take a dry microfiber cloth and dust a single room. Wipe over blinds, windows, furniture, skirting boards or anything else that catches the dust.
10 Minute cooker clean
Take a wet cloth and wipe all around the oven and grill area. Wipe the stove area. Try and do this job at least once a week to avoid build-up
10 Minute kitchen sink
Wipe around the sink and drainer with a cloth and some dish soap. Wipe the taps. Apply some white vinegar to remove watermarks if necessary. Pour a bit of bleach down the plughole.
10 Minute refrigerator clean
Refrigerators never really get unsanitary. It’s the dirt created by food debris that is the problem. If you can get into the habit of giving your fridge a 10-minute wipe down once a week, you avoid having to do a much deeper clean later on, and you won’t need harsh antibacterial cleaners.
10 Minute kids room clean
If you have kids, take 10 minutes to shoot around the room picking up clothes and tidying away toys. If your kids are old enough, get them to help you. Better still set them a 10-minute well-defined task, such as to clear the floor.
You will find that forcing yourself to do a job for just 10 minutes max focusses you on the task like a laser beam, and it stops you from going overboard on the cleaning.
What I love about this way of cleaning is knowing that it will be over in 10 minutes. I don’t dread starting a clean any more because I know it will be pretty painless and finished in an instant. I don’t feel I have to have everything polished and sparkling. The house is clean enough. I feel in control, and I’m not embarrassed when visitors come to call.
I would love to hear what you think, did it work for you?