Sarah once wrote a post about her friend who manages to have a busy lifestyle yet also a tidy, clean house. Her secret? Ten minutes of housework every day. When I read that post, a light bulb switched on. I could do this. (couldn’t link to the actual post – wonder if its been archived?).
I don’t actually hate housework, and I do love a tidy and clean house. But I don’t like to spend ages on it, and I’ve never been able to stick to a schedule so its always been more crisis management than household management. But could I achieve a baseline level of tidiness and cleanliness in ten minutes a day?
I intended to give it a go, so I honed the technique to suit me, and was surprised and pleased to find that yes, it is possible to keep my house clean and tidy in ten minutes a day.
And this is how I do it.
- Making my bed (this is a habit that I just do every day)
- Cooking and prep
- Washing the dishes, wiping down the cooker top and giving kitchen surfaces a quick wipe down (I do all dishes once per day – this takes less than ten minutes in itself and is a habit more than anything else)
- Ironing (I do not iron anything. Ever. Problem solved)
- Cleaning out the rat cage (usually done on a Sunday although I give some bits and pieces a wipe down every 2 days)
- Cleaning the car
- Taking laundry out of the machine and hanging it up (putting it away usually fits into my ten minutes on a Friday, but not always)
- Big jobs, like defrosting the freezer, cleaning out the fridge, or any sort of clearing out
My only pets are the rats so I don’t have cats or dogs to clean up after. I also don’t have children. I have no idea if this would be doable with children – but if you try it and it is, let me know! I also only need to do one laundry load a week (plus sometimes one bedding/towel load) so I only do laundry at weekends. I also only have two indoor bins – in the bedroom and the kitchen
So, onto how I do it…
First of all, I divided my house into seven areas and decided what needed to be done in each. Then, on each particular day I spend ten minutes in that room/area, doing whatever needs to be done.
Dust, vaccuum, tidy up piles of papers, remove anything that belongs elsewhere
Sweep and mop floor, clean inside oven, clean window ledge, wipe fronts of cupboards/drawers, tidy up anything lying about, give sink a good wipe down
Dust, tidy up piles of papers, remove anything that belongs elsewhere, put things away (I don’t vaccuum – instead I vaccuum on Saturday when doing main bedroom, to save faffing)
Vaccuum stairs, dust all areas, remove and put away anything sitting on stairs or on ledge by door
Sweep and mop floor, put clean laundry away, wipe down toilet and sink, change towel, wipe down skirtings or doors if dusty, wipe down washing machine, tidy away anything lying around in utility cupboard
Change bedding (not every week), put laundry downstairs into machine, vaccuum, dust surfaces, dust doors and skirting board if required, empty wastepaper bin, tidy dressing table, put away any clothes, pick up anything lying on the floor and put it away
Sweep and mop floor, clean toilet, clean sink, change towels, clean bath and shower screen, dust skirtings and windowsill
Some days are easier than others (Wednesday and Thursday!) so sometimes if I have a big job that needs done, I’ll fit them into those days. Often, the spare room needs nothing done, and I also find I don’t need to vaccuum the stairs every week, so on those days I have time to spare. And I don’t always do every single thing listed above. For example, the oven doesn’t need cleaned every week, but by cleaning it regularly, it takes just minutes to wipe down. Mostly, I manage all I need to do in ten minutes. I don’t time myself exactly; some days its nearer twenty minutes, whereas other days less than five. But knowing I only have to do ten minutes improves my focus and makes me just get on with it. And I actually enjoy it, because I know it won’t last long and I know its keeping my house looking how I want it.
Would this work for your house? Or do you actually enjoy housework?!