Clean home in 20 minutes a day

It seems to be that one of the biggest struggles for homemakers (especially those of us with younger children) is how to keep a clean and organized home while also being realistic with how much time that takes in our day. I’m especially familiar with the frustrating feeling of “getting nothing done” because independent play has been quite the struggle for my children. Now that they’re getting a bit older I can usually get about 10-20 minutes where they can occupy themselves while I do a few chores, but no more than that. — and if you’re still in the trenches where 10 minutes sounds like a dream because you don’t even get 30 seconds, I see you. I was you for the first 3 years of my daughter’s life.

One of the best things I did last September was decide to implement a deep cleaning rotation. Tackling just one small area of our home where I can put 10-20 focused minutes in and get a large benefit has served me so well. I started by first hiring a local cleaning lady to come do a one time deep clean of our main living spaces on a Saturday morning so that I could start this new routine with a clean slate. That may not be financially possible for everyone, but if it is, then I highly recommend it. If you don’t have the ability to have someone come and help deep clean to start, then just go ahead and start where you are.

I got a piece of computer paper out and wrote out the week. I picked one main area to focus on each day. I can’t tell you how much peace this has brought me. We have a fairly small home, so this worked easily. I wrote it out and it has lived on the front of my refrigerator since September. This is how I decided to break down my tasks:

I do my cleaning at the same time every day so my children know when to expect me to be unavailable to them (barring any emergency, of course). This helps limit their interruptions. I choose to do my cleaning as soon as we get home from spending the morning at the local park. That way, my kids have already gotten to use up a lot of energy already and they’re ready to sit and watch a show and have some lunch. They get to sit in their chairs and eat/relax and I get to spend those minutes cleaning. It’s truly a win/win.

This system has brought me so much peace. I no longer have areas that are completely neglected. I no longer feel overwhelmed with “never enough time”. It has significantly helped reduce feelings of frustration on my end. I’ve noticed that because I have built time into my daily schedule for cleaning that is reasonably aligned with my children’s limited ability to be happily independent, I feel calmer. I may notice on Wednesday evening that my stove is a mess and the microwave needs to be wiped, but instead of feeling “behind” on cleaning or feeling inadequate at keeping a clean home I now am able to simply look at it and say to myself “yeah, this is getting messy. I’ll tackle it tomorrow when I deep clean the kitchen”. I no longer feel the need to fix things immediately. I have built time into our week to get everything done that needs to get done in just a few minutes a day.

I know it can be overwhelming to start a rotation, but I encourage you to try it. You can set it up to best fit your home, your needs, your points of overwhelm, and the amount of time you have in your day to reasonably devote to it. I hope this has been helpful and may inspire you to be a bit more proactive in setting the tone for your home.

Until next time,

  1. Lauren Cecora says:

    This was how I survived struggling with PPD. I allowed me to put blinders on the things that didn’t need to be accomplished that day and alleviated so much stress. I’ve gotten away from that now that my kids are older and my mental health isn’t as bad, but I stand by rotations for people who are overwhelmed and overworked!

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