I have always liked to organize. Or more accurately, I like things organized. There is a bit of a difference.
Early on, when I was a newlywed, I found out about Flylady.
For those of you who aren’t familiar, the book and website are for people who aren’t “born-organizers” (their term). She gives a starting place – laced shoes and a clean sink.
Challenges are issued each week for a particular room and then each new month the challenges move to a new location.
I loved the thoroughness of it. The feeling that everything would be covered. If I missed a week here and there, I could catch it the next time through that room. Plus all of the deeper cleaning and organization felt like a bonus to me – not a requirement – so it gave me a feeling of being ahead.
The main thing that I came away with – although it was all good – was the 15 minute rule.
Don’t do organizing in more than 15 minute increments she would say. This was so smart. It is easy to make a giant mess and then be too tired to put any of it away.
So I would unload, clean and then re-set the silverware drawer. Never the whole kitchen at one time. In this way, I would feel accomplished, but not exhausted. Soon it became my mantra. Only 15 minutes!
When I would assign chores to the kids, I would say we are going to each do one thing – dishes, dusting, floors, etc. – but only for 15 minutes. See how much you can get done! And it was really amazing to me that the dishwasher could be unloaded and usually loaded again in 15 minutes. In this way, we never spent lots of time on cleaning. At the end of the day we might pick up and put away for 15 minutes. The kids always knew it would end and three pairs of hands made light work.
Over the years, I have managed the cleaning different ways. Sometimes we would clean in 15 minute bursts on a Monday and complete it. Or we would do different chores each day. Cleaning has never been a top priority for me although I do appreciate a clean environment. I prefer to keep cleaning quick and daily over long and arduous! Who’s with me?
Do you have a cleaning mantra or method that you have stuck to over the years?