10 minute cleaner {re-post}

It is 11:30 at night and I {jane} am standing in my kitchen looking at a mess – again.  To make matters worse, I am leaving at 5:30 in the morning to accompany my husband on a business trip, so time is short.  I have not quite finished packing, there is laundry in the dryer and some ironing to do, and I still have a sample to make up for a product we are thinking about.  And I have to ask: “Why do I find myself in this mess again?”  My thoughts drift back to my first mother in law.  She was amazing and probably the best house keeper and home manager I have ever met.  I am sure she was often dismayed by my haphazard (at best) approach to keeping house.  My mother never had the knack and so my excuse is that I was never taught how to run a house.  That excuse sounds a little thin as I am 58 years old and bright enough to figure out a plan.  At least in theory, anyway.  But there is a nagging question those of us with a free spirit always ask.  Won’t a strict schedule cramp my style?  Just how organized is too organized?
I posed this question to some women in my church small group a couple of years ago, and one them told me to about FLY Lady.  The folks at FLY Lady have made a business out of saving people like me.  They began by expanding on a program from the 70s called the Sidetracked Home Executive – SHE for short.  FLY (which stands for finally loving yourself) Lady organizes all of us SHEs with a very practical approach.  The program has you set up routines, do a weekly quick pass over (called a Home Blessing Hour) and concentrate most of your energy on one “zone” or area of your home each week.  It works great and I encourage you to visit fly lady and see what you think.  Their website is a little too cluttered and chaotic for my taste – which I find really ironic.
So here is a quick overview of what I consider Fly Lady’s most useful habits.  The most important is that IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE PERFECT!  Then she encourages you to set the timer for 10 minutes and do a chore.  I find it is amazing how much I can get done if I just concentrate on one chore for 10 little minutes.  Also, it helps to have routines around my chores – little things like run the dishwasher each night, and throw in a load of laundry each morning before you head to the kitchen to start breakfast.  So here is a 10 minute challenge.  Spend 10 minutes picking up your kitchen tonight before you go to bed.  FLY Lady encourages you to start by shining your sink each night (even if you have to take dirty dishes out of it to do so).  But I think if you spend 10 minutes tonight after the kids are in bed and putting away all the last minutes dishes, sweeping the floor and starting the dishwasher you will have a much brighter morning.  The important thing is to stop after 10 minutes.  Set your timer and stop when it goes off.  Let us know how this works for you and what challenges you face in keeping up with your home.
caio . jane . pres + gamma
thanks mom!
i decided to give the 10 minute rule a try.
since i’m in a pretty good habit of cleaning the kitchen before i head to bed,
i decided to set the timer
and clean up
this mess that exists every morning after
we’ve had breakfast and made a packed lunch or two.
it really bothers me for some reason…  probably because my mind is racing with everything else going on the rest of the day.  so, i’m interrupted by my own thoughts and my children’s {most likely} urgent needs which makes the task take a stinkin long time.  but, not this time.
i sent the kids to play and i left my email and phone alone.
when my time was up…
with the exception of my pile of papers, and the dirty window that i just noticed {ha!}, i had a clean kitchen.  not sure why i didn’t take a picture of the entire kitchen, but i promise, it was lookin good.  oh, and i would be misleading you if i didn’t mention that i was sweating {just a little} when i was done.
you should try it.  the 10 minute clean up that is.
let us know if you have any magnificent cleaning tips.
loves . rae
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  • Ashley @ One in the SAHM February 11, 2011 at 11:54 pm

    Oh my goodness, this is SUCH a good idea!! I’m adopting it ASAP! Thanks for sharing!

  • lucinda February 14, 2011 at 10:03 pm

    I’ve used some of the flylady methods for years. The timer trick is great. I know what you mean about her website, her emails were kind of corny but effective.