Have you ever heard of the snowball effect? It’s where one small action, completed repeatedly, will result in what seems like a big action.
Take cleaning for example. When you leave a plate or cup in the sink, it’s not really a big deal. But do that for a week and your sink will “all of a sudden” be overflowing! If you don’t do laundry for a day, it’s barely noticeable. But if you don’t do laundry for two weeks, your closet might be completely empty!
The same is true for just about every part of your home.
You might be tempted to ignore the small pile on the floor beside your door. Or look past the cups sitting in the living room. But if you disregard the little messes for too long, your entire home will be a disaster.
The mess snowballs!
That’s where the 5 minute clean up comes into play.
5 minute clean up guidelines:
Spending what seems like an insignificant amount of time picking up each day will actually result in significant time savings down the road. All it takes is 5 minutes, more or less. Here are my quick and easy 5 minute clean up guidelines.
Set a time limit.
I like to use 5 minutes as my work time because I like a challenge. It’s short enough that I won’t make excuses about being too busy and it’s long enough to actually make a dent in the mess.
However, if you’d rather try 10 or 15 minutes, go for it!
Whatever the timeframe, make sure to set a timer. A countdown clock seems to mysteriously make you work faster.
Chose a specific time of day.
Choosing a specific time of day to tackle your clean up session builds in an automatic trigger. If you decide to spend 5 minutes each night after dinner, you can just tack it on to your kitchen clean up routine. If it’s right before bed, you’ll think of it every time you start to wind down.
I personally like the idea of cleaning up right before bed, but definitely choose a time that works best with your schedule.
Also, if you’re home most of the day, you’re likely to make more messes. You might need to consider scheduling two or three of these sessions; especially if there are young kiddos around!
Create a system.
Your system will look different than mine. But I’d like to give you a peek into my clean up session so you can modify it to fit your home and lifestyle.
I usually just fill up my arms as I clean up, but an empty laundry basket might be a more sophisticated way to clean up. Moving room by room, I straighten up. Once everything is where it needs to be, I pick up items that don’t belong in that room. When I get to the room where a particular item belongs, I drop it off.
Just like in the snowball example, consistency is key. Make it a habit to spend 5 minutes cleaning up (picking up) every day and your house will be less likely to get out of control!