Just give me 10 minutes

Just give me 10 minutes

What can you do in 10 minutes?

Tasks don’t feel so overwhelming if you give them time limits. And if you get multiple people working on a project, you all get done faster.

Like most families, we do better if we get a good, quick start to the day. So if we go to bed with the kitchen messy, things don’t go so well. We have to spend extra time getting it cleaned up in the morning. We start chores later. We generally wind up cranky.

Or one of us has to spend 30-40 minutes cleaning before bed, not fun when we are already tired from a busy day.

To sort things out, we started the 10-minute end of the day kitchen clean-up. That means that we all spend 10 minutes, usually at the same time, putting all the food away, washing, drying and putting away all the dishes, sweeping the floor, and preparing the coffee pot for morning. So when we get up, the kitchen is clean, inviting and ready to get our day off to a good start.

How about those days when you’re really busy and find out someone is stopping over? You know that person you don’t want to see a messy house. Bring on the 10-minute cleaning drill. Everyone drops what they are doing to do a quick clean-up of the most public areas of the house. Ideally, the house would always be ready for company, but that just doesn’t always work in real life. With four people and 10 minutes, the place can look better fast.

Time limits and combining efforts work great for more serious cleaning too. Most of the time, our house is mostly tidy, but getting to those serious cleaning jobs doesn’t always happen as often as would be ideal. So we have cleaning night. We choose one area of the house each week for serious, deep-cleaning attention. We all spend one hour organizing, cleaning, polishing, whatever is needed. If we stay consistent, the house stays in good shape. By working together, we finish in one hour what would take one person four hours.

And some jobs need us all. We live in a timber frame house with tall ceilings and high windows. To clean the beams and windows, we need a 10-foot-tall ladder and someone with agility. Someone else at the bottom of the ladder handing cleaning supplies up and down helps too.

By setting aside a day and time that the whole family knows is the designated cleaning time, we don’t have to spend time getting organized or deciding when to tackle a job. The day and time are already set.

It also helps to have a set time so that small preparation tasks get done to make the job go smoothly.

What chores would you like to get done faster? How could you get your family on board to help? What tasks need particular attention in your home?

As school gets underway and schedules get busier, it’s a good time to find more efficient ways to get done with the basics. Take a few minutes to consider how you could get everyone working together.

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