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02 September 2016

15 Minute Tidy


A big part of keeping my sanity is based on 15 minutes, just 15 teeny minutes to work on tidying and making a huge difference in how our day flows.

It's easy to look around and see all the things that need to be done and get overwhelmed. I can just set my timer for 15, or 10 minutes if that's all I have and just DO IT!  It's amazing what you can get done when you have an end in sight and a ticking deadline.

Let's talk kids. I don't like to call them distractions. Everything else is the distraction when it comes to raising babies.  I like to either set our little ones up with some coloring or a snack (which is totally counterproductive). But the truth is, no matter how determined you are to work for just 10-15 minutes, chances are your little loves will need you in that time frame too, and that's ok, this is just about making whatever difference you can in 15 minutes.

Organization, now is not the time to organize anything or pull everything out of a drawer. Nope, this 15 minutes is just for tidying. If that is just picking up a path to the kitchen from the living room, ok. Or if it's the toilet and shower you have put off for weeks. That's a good one too.  Going through kids clothes, not so much. You want to feel like you can SEE some accomplishment when your 15 minutes is up.

Deep Cleaning. Can you think of any deep cleaning you can get done in 15 minutes? No? Me either. I do my best to keep this 15 minutes to whole house tidying. There is a time for deep cleaning, it's not when you are in the middle of overwhelmedville.

Social Media. Now that is a distraction! It absolutely is for me anyway. I try not to look at my phone at all while I am working on getting my 15 minutes done. 15 minutes browsing social media feels like 10 seconds. I will use it as a reward though. If I get all the laundry put away, I am going to browse for a few.


What does my 15 minutes look like? 
Well usually it's the time right before we are walking out the door, going to bed or starting some longer activity or project. Our kids love to bake, we try to do a quick tidy beforehand. And when they ask to play skip-bo, the longest game ever with a 6 year old, we do a quick tidy before we get started. No crumbs on the table bugging us.

We almost always start in the kitchen, move dishes to dishwasher or sink.
Wipe off the kitchen table and counters, quick sweep.
Put all the kids toys away, fluff couch throw pillows and blankets.
Make sure the tables are cleared off.
Tell the kids like 4-7 times to put their dirty clothes away, then just do it myself half the time.
Clean off bathroom counter, just put stuff away.
Hang bath mat up and close shower curtain
push toys from hallway into kids rooms and shut doors.

That's about it. I like it because when we come home, or hubby does, we aren't walking into a disaster. It's obviously lived in but not a mess and didn't take much time.  I try to do the same as soon as the kids leave during the school year, it's a nice starting point for my daily chores. I'm going to share them soon, updated now that we have a better idea of what needs to be done here.

Some days this quick tidy happens 2-3 times, just depends on life. Some days it doesn't happen at all. Ya know, life. Ideally though I do it first thing in the morning before the kids are up, if I didn't get to it the night before. Once before the kids get home from school and once before hubby gets home.

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