Friday, September 16, 2011

Clean Freak Calendar: Tidying up in 5 minutes?

So you are probably asking yourself: Is this woman crazy, how does five minutes of tidying up accomplish anything?  There is no way that five minutes will do anything for my house.  Well, I might not have seen your house personally but I can guarantee you that over time five minutes of daily tidying will do wonders for you.  Please note the emphasis on the words over time.

Five minutes of daily tidying will not seem like much at first.  You set the timer and by the time it is done your house will look much the same, especially if you are a messy person/family.  But over time several things happen:
  1. You will get more efficient.  Simply put, you will be able to tidy more things in that space of time because you are doing it frequently.  We get better at things we do more often - it's called practice and amazingly enough it applies to cleaning.
  2. You will make a dent in the mess.  I don't care if you are the worlds biggest slob, tidying up for five minutes every day will decrease the mess level in your house.  This is true for the simple reason that tidying involves throwing out.  Unless you compulsively purchase, throwing out junk will decrease the junk level over time.  If it doesn't then you may want to look at the amount of "stuff" you are bringing into the house.  That is for another post at another time.
  3. You will become tidier.  I am a messy person.  There I admitted it.  My mother was right when she said that I dropped my jacket and shoes where I took them off and that you could locate me in the house by following my trail.  I still have a tendency to do this and probably always will.  Having said that, tidying up frequently leads you to think about tidying up.  You will start to catch yourself dropping your jacket on the floor and instead you will hang it up.  Trust me, becoming tidier is inevitable - it will just start to happen. 
These three things will lead to five minutes every day turning your messy house into a manageable house.  Please notice I said manageable not spotless.  If you are the type of person who likes/needs their house to be spotless you probably already have a system that works for you.  My system is for those who want a manageable house and who aren't quite sure how to accomplish it.

If you have a spouse and kids include them in the five minute tidy up.  Set the timer and turn it into a race or a contest or just a family activity.  Maybe the reward for doing the clean up is a fun board game or a group hug or a gold star.  However you do it know that tidying up for five minutes every day is the foundation to a manageable home.