Tuesday, June 7, 2011

A cleaning trick that works for me

The other morning I woke up and came downstairs to this.

It has been much worse at times. Just imagine this photo, but with cereal strewn across the floor, puddles of water here and there, a path of broken crayons, and a few more toys scattered about. This angle doesn't do it justice. You can't see the dirty dishes and junk piled on the end tables. It's just the way things are with three little kids, for obvious reasons.

It stresses me out to have things so messy, and the main problem is it's hard to tell where to start. I tried several different systems and came up with one I like. I can wake up in the morning, come downstairs to a big mess, and within 20 minutes have my day back on track.

First, I get a timer set for five minutes. Each step should take only that long. If I finish one step with time still left, I work on one of the others.

1) Run around with a trash bag and throw all the garbage you see into it.

2) Grab all the dirty dishes and throw them in the sink, and then get started washing them.

3) Collect all the dirty clothes and get a load going in the washer. Start folding anything that might be in the dryer.

4) Put things away and straighten up the main room, as fast as you can.

It doesn't fix everything, but once 20 minutes is up my living room looks more like this:

Now the house looks decent, dirty dishes are all in one place, and laundry is underway! From here I have a much easier time seeing what needs to be done.

Do you have a system you use to help with cleaning?


CJ said...

Thank you for reminding me!! I have laundry calling my name!!

Megan said...

Very nice and quite a good tip! had fun today! Let's do it again soon!

Emily said...

We don't worry about cleaning as long as the kids are awake. Once the kids are down for the night, Brett and I work together to clean up. That way the house gets cleaned up completely at least once a day, we both sleep better, and we don't stress about getting everything organized just to have it trashed again same day. I figure if we have people over during the day, they'll just have to understand!

Amber said...

Now that my first is 6 years old, we have a daily "tidy up time". Before she watches her daily TV, we need to clean up all the toys, art supplies and clothing that she's strewn about during the day. If we do it every day it takes about 20 minutes, and it keeps things from reaching the level that makes me want to just curl up and cry.