Keeping it tidy with the 15 minute rule

I’m naturally messy. I’ve always been. I try clothes on in the morning, change my mind, and put the discarded clothes on the « clothes chair ». I work in the living room, put stuff all over my desk and the dining table, and then I go do something else and the mess stays there for days. So it piles up one little bit at a time, and we end up having to tidy and clean the whole flat at the week-ends. Which is not how we would like to spend our week-ends, obivously.

But then someone on twitter talked about the 15 minute rule and I decided to give it a try.

What is the rule?

Well, it’s really simple. You set a timer for 15 minutes every day and then you use that time to tidy, pick up after yourself, and clean.

15 minutes is a very short time. Which is great: you won’t even feel discouraged when you set your timer because you know it’ll be over before you can start to complain. That’s the trick. 15 minutes a day is short enough to not be too much of a hassle and long enough that your flat will constantly look somewhat tidy. Which, in my case, is already an upgrade.

The most important rule is that whenever the timer’s up, you stop. It’s ok. You’ll do the rest tomorrow. Don’t go overdrive on the first day, clean and tidy the whole place for 2 hours and then give up the following day. The idea is to build a habit, and to make it easy to incorporate into your daily life.

Also, try tackling the tasks you don’t naturally do regularly. For exemple, I’m good at doing the laundry. I like it. On the other hand, I’m shit at actually folding and putting away clean laundry. So that goes onto my list. Here’s what’s on it, by order of importance (basically, what is the most visually displeasing):

  • tidying
  • putting away laundry
  • doing the dishes
  • wiping surfaces and counters in the kitchen and bathroom
  • dusting.

Obviously, 15 minutes a day is not enough to clean your whole place. As far as I’m concerned, all the other chores are assigned to special days according to my schedule.

Here’s the plan:

Monday : cleaning the bathroom. (counters, sink, tub)
Tuesday is a day off. I come home too late.
Wednesday: cleaning the toilets, dusting if needed.
Thursday : cleaning out the bunnies’ pen, hovering.
Friday: day off
Saturday: cleaning the kitchen (counters, sink, fridge, microwave…)
Sunday: cleaning the rabbits’ pen and hovering again.

So I’d say I actually spend 20 to 30 minutes a day tidying and cleaning, which is not so bad. To be honest it just means spending less time on Twitter and I’m all for that!

Does it work?

I thought I would never stick with it but I actually enjoy the routine and the fact that we don’t spend hours cleaning at the week-end anymore. My husband does the cooking and the dishes most of the time, so I feel it’s fair I do the rest as it doesn’t take as much time (also, I hate cooking with a passion, so I’m okay with our agreement).

Tell me everything! Do you have a cleaning schedule? Do you use the 15 minute method?

Photo by tu tu on Unsplash

Suzanne

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