10 Minute Power Cleaning

If there’s a downside to being sick for a coupel of weeks (other than, you know, being sick and feeling like crap), it’s that the housework piles up like zomg.

In the past, if I were to get sick, Bagpiper would pick up the slack around the house. In the past, however, he had a little more time on his hands. He’s been super busy the past few weeks — going in to work early, staying late — so needless to say, the housework piled up.

I don’t mind cleaning, but when you haven’t cleaned house in almost two weeks and you look around your home and see all the things that need doing…well, it’s daunting. Daunting to the point that you don’t even know where to start and you don’t want to start.

That was me this morning. I told myself today was going to be for cleaning, but going downstairs this morning…

…it was scary.

So I didn’t clean this morning.

This afternoon, however, I remembered a 10 minute cleaning list thing I had found weeks ago on Pinterest (my addiction to this website is seriously, seriously getting out of hand). I pulled up the cleaning list and tweaked it to suit my needs.

Basically, the cleaning works like this:

1.Break down your house into rooms — kitchen, living room, bathrooms, etc.

2. Write down tasks that need to be accomplished in each room. For example, for kitchen, my list said: dishes, counters, trash, stove top, appliances.

3. Set a timer for 10 minutes. Start in that first room and clean until the timer goes off. It’s OK if you don’t finish everything on your list in the 10 minutes. The idea is to clean for 10 minutes and then move on to the next room on your list. In my case, it was the living room. In the living room, take everything that doesn’t belong and put it in a basket. Leave it alone. You’ll come back for this stuff later. Set the timer for 10 minutes and clean (dust, pick up trash…ignore the floors for now).

4. After 30 minutes, take a 10 minute break. After your break, go back to room one, set the timer and repeat. So, if you didn’t finish the kitchen in the first 10 minutes, do it in the second 10 minutes. You repeat these steps until the rooms are clean, remembering to take a break every 30 minutes.

5. When the rooms are clean, sweep/mop/vacuum the floors. Do some laundry if it needs doing. That basket of stuff that didn’t belong in the living room? Put that stuff away.

6. Look around at your clean house and feel accomplished.

The original cleaning list can be found here. I just tweaked it to suit the needs in my house (for example, original list has you using the dishwasher. I don’t have a dishwasher, so I did dishes by hand.) and I ignored the first three steps of “Make the bed. Get dressed. Put shoes on.”

I rarely make the bed. I subscribe to the school of thought that believes making the bed is rather pointless. Also, I live in a Japanese house…no shoes inside the home. πŸ˜‰

It’s really amazing what you can accomplish in each room in just 10 minutes. If you’re like me, you’ll find yourself “racing” against the timer, trying to see how much you can get done before it goes off. In my first 30 minutes, I managed to get about 95 percent of the kitchen done (all that’s left is the counters and stove top), the downstairs bathroom, the living room and dining room.

I took a little longer than 10 minutes on my first break…but I stopped to write this blog post. I’m hoping my next 30 minutes yields a finished kitchen, entry way, upstairs bathroom and bedrooms. After that, another break and then the floors and laundry. About the only room I’m ignoring is Bagpiper’s office. That’s his problem.

How do you tackle household cleaning when it piles up like zomg?

2 responses

  1. FlyLady Alice! That’s the only way I even remotely stay on top of my housework.

    This sounds very much like her Crisis Cleaning except everything with her is 15 minutes. “You can do anything for 15 minutes,” is the motto πŸ™‚

    Glad you’re feeling better. Don’t over do it and have a relapse.

    September 13, 2011 at 12:52 am

  2. Cid

    That… is fantastic. I think I’m going to have to try this.

    September 13, 2011 at 9:11 am

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