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House Cleaning Tip: It's Changed My Life

It probably sounds a little funny to say that a house cleaning tip changed my life, but it's true - it really did! I really like to have a clean house.  Before kids, I lived in a house that I kept perfectly clean all the time and it took me 10 minutes a day plus an hour on Saturday to keep it that way.  

After kids and a husband, I'm constantly house cleaning. It's made even worse by the fact that I work at home. I spend my days running between the computer and some cleaning project that I just "have" to get done. In the end, I wasn't really getting anything done.  My house was never completely clean and I wasn't getting as much work done as I should because I was constantly stopping to pick up or clean something.  

I tried FlyLady and while I think there is some validity in her method, it didn't work for me at all.  As a person who may have some obsessive-compulsive personality traits, all of those emails she sends were making it even worse.  Every time I got an email I'd be running off to do something, even though I know she says you don't have to do it right away. I couldn't help it.  If she told me to check the laundry, or put on my shoes  - I was off to get it done.

Finally, a few months ago, I found the house cleaning tip that changed my life. One morning, I decided to just set my kitchen timer for an hour. I figured I'd clean up for an hour and then I'd move on to my work and I'd make the choice to ignore everything else until the next day, with the exception of regular daily items like filling the dishwasher and picking up after myself.  I gave it a week to see if my house would get clean and stay clean.  

Three months later, I can honestly say that my house is the cleanest it's ever been.  Usually the first 10 minutes of every day is spent picking up the kitchen and wiping down counters, and another 10 - 15 minutes is spent doing other general pick-up, but after that I have 30 - 40 minutes to get things done that typically only got done when someone was coming over or I got into one of my infamous cleaning moods, where I would clean like a madwoman all day and end up tired and crabby.  

If you are frustrated because it seems like your whole day is spent cleaning up and you are constantly seeing things that need to be done, I highly reccomend trying this.  We have a pretty large house right now, and an hour is plenty for me to really get into some deep-cleaning projects.  We're moving to a smaller place this summer and I'm thinking I'll be able to lower my daily cleaning time to 45 minutes or even give myself some 30 minute days.  

The trick is to set the timer and then quit when the hour is up.  If you see something that needs attention later in the day, just write it down and get to it the following day.  Yes, you'll still have to do dishes and general pick-up, but you will be surprised at how much you can get done and how much better you'll feel.  Before you know it, you'll be shining silver and cleaning the insides of drawers that you haven't paid attention to in years! 

Gail C.
Hope it works! Anything to help will be a plus.
I REALLY love this idea! I am a wife. mom, full time Elementary School teacher and a full time grad student! I'm not sure if I have an hour a day, but I know that I have 3 days a week that I could do this. I'm starting right away!
Andrea O.
The idea sounds wonderful as my "all the time clean house" lifestyle changed when I started rearing a grandchild with autism and my father, who still lives my himself, started showing signs of dementia. It feels as if I live out of 2 houses as my life is divided between mine and Dad's. I love the idea, but need to know if you have a routine during that hour that gets the entire house cleaned by the end of the week.
Julie S.
Flylady has changed some things in the past few months. She now sends out a daily flight plan and thus there is no need to read each email that she sends. Her system works for me and is very much along the same lines as what you are talking about.
Jenna J.
I am definitely going to try this for a week and see how it goes! I work out of the home and by the time I get the kids settled, cook dinner, try to clean while cooking or spending time with them - it all just falls apart! This should definitely help! Thanks!!!
Amy S.
This sounds just like me! I feel like all I ever do is run in circles and my house is never "caught up" anymore! Thanks! I'm going to try it today.
Shelley F.
This sounds like something I should try! Thanks!
LaNita L.
Thanks. This might be the answer for me. I'll try it.
I have GOT to try this! Right now, I feel so overwhelmed by ALL that needs to get done that I end up not getting ANYTHING done. I was at the point where I was SERIOUSLY considering signing up for a cleaning service. Thanks for this tip.
Thanks. I think I'll try this out.
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