It can be easy to let things go around the house. Before you know it the kitchen counters are piled high with dirty dishes, the floor is covered in crumbs, there is clutter in every room. It seems like it will take you a full day of cleaning just to get everything back in order. It doesn’t have to be that hard. In fact you can cut the clutter in just 5 minutes. I know what you’re thinking…how on earth?
First of all enlist help. Call together the whole family and announce that it’s time for a 5 minute clean up. No one is allowed to go back to their homework, TV or internet until they’ve helped clean the house for just 5 minutes. You could turn on some fun, upbeat music to make it feel little less like work and more like a fun game. It goes by quick but you’d be surprised what can be accomplished in this short bit of time.
Ask everyone to tidy and clean as much as they can in 5 minutes. It might help do quickly delegate tasks. For example ask little Susie to pick up all the toys and put them away, ask little Johnny to sweep the kitchen floor and vacuum, while you tackle those dishes. Or you can just ask everyone to clean anything in sight and let them decide what chore to do. Once the 5 minutes are up… clean up is over. Everyone goes back to their activities. Does the house look better already? Thought so!
Now what if you’re not sure where to start? There’s no way a full day’s worth of tidying and cleaning can be done in 5 minutes. So pick the most essential areas and tackle those. For example here are some tasks that only take a minute or two but can make all the difference for getting your house to feel at least semi-clean until you can find time for the bigger cleaning projects.
- Grab a few disinfectant wipes and hit the bathroom counter
- Gather toys and clutter into a laundry basket to get it off the floor
- Sweep the entry way, kitchen and bathroom
- Make your bed
- Start the dishwasher
- Start the washer
- Take out the trash
- Clean the kitchen counters
Try to build preventative habits so that you can maintain the cleanliness of your house rather than letting everything build up. For example find homes for items where it would make sense to put them. The easier it is to put something away, the more likely you will be to actually put it back in its place right after using it. Keep a bottle of shower spray in or near your shower so that you can prevent build up with a few quick squirts before or after your daily shower. Shake out entryway rugs to cut down on the sweeping and vacuuming. If you shake out that rug at least once a week, it does a better job capturing dirt before it enters your home.
As you notice areas in the home that get dirty often, try to think through ways that you can build preventative habits to keep that area clean longer. Also try to find ways to clean that area quickly. As you work on these habits, teach them to the kids. They will never know how to keep things clean unless they participate in house cleaning regularly. Just a little bit of cleaning and tidying from everyone in the family can go a long way.
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