Wednesday, June 25, 2008

WFMW - A Tidy House in Minutes

For those of you whose homes are always neat and tidy, just keep on movin' along. You don't need this post.

For those of you whose homes always look like a tornado just finished passing by, here's some help.

I homeschool my children. That means that they are home with me all day.


So I get no break during which I can actually clean my house and it will, you know, stay clean. Because, sure enough, as soon as I finish one room and move on to another, someone will go into that freshly cleaned room and do...something. It started to feel like I was drowning.

Enter the kitchen timer.

Now what we do is we all work together and go from room to room, using our trusty kitchen timer, spending just five minutes per room. Five minutes is actually a long time and we usually finish up long before the timer dings. Once we are done in one room, we move immediately into another, continuing through all the common areas of the house. Once they are done, I send the kids off to work in their rooms, while I tidy up the kitchen.

I think this works because of a few things. First, the kids are with me so no one is getting into any other mess while I'm working. Secondly, and maybe even more importantly, the kids are working, so they appreciate the cleanliness of the house and try to keep it neater. And finally, for younger children, it's like a game. My kids are a bit older now, 11 and 13, but the understand that the time goes very fast and don't even complain about it because they know it will be done very quickly.

Even if you don't have kids, I have found that having a timer motivates me to work quickly and allows me to get much more. I will still spend about 5 minutes per room and know that within half an hour, my home will be back in shape.

For more Works for Me Wednesday ideas, be sure to visit Shannon!


Diane said...

I often use the timer, though I set it for fifteen minutes. Clean that long, then go putz on a quilt or read for a bit.

It's amazing how much you can get done in a short amount of time - I can clean the entire house in a short amount of time, but not feel as if I've been cleaning all day.

Debra said...

That's a good idea. Of course, I've heard of the timer, but I like the idea of doing it WITH them, so they feel we're working toward a common goal TOGETHER.

It's a simple idea, but helpful.


Wani said...

Great idea. I need to do that sometime!

AmyDe said...

I HEAR you!


The timer works really well for us too (when I can find it).

Jodi said...

great idea!


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