Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Can ten minutes make any difference??

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I deeply dislike house work... No, seriously, I do. I would much rather make a huge mess in the kitchen... I do like the smell and feeling of a clean house though (I wish that would be the only determining factor about hiring some help...sigh).

But something I read last week might've just changed my life... I received the latest issue of "Woman's Day" magazine (got a free subscription), and there was an article about cleaning.

The first thing that jumped out to me was this quote, "Most people overestimate how long a chore will take. Time yourself emptying a dishwasher, making your bed or folding a load of laundry. I bet it will take less than 5 minutes!" (Lorie Marrero, the creator of the "Clutter Diet").

That was intriguing! I decided to time myself. Sure enough, I started with an ever-growing pile of dishes in the sink. I put a timer on to see how long it would take me to unload the dishwasher. The result? 3.46 min! That was exhilarating! I then timed how long it would take me to load. Yes, it's a bit longer process but I still stayed within 7 min. So in about 10 minutes I managed to both load and unload a dishwasher.

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I went on a crazy spree... Wiping countertops and the fridge, scrubbing a sink and the stove, put some kitchen stuff away, wiping the table and the little one's chair - less than half an hour. Half-bath - under 10. Making Kid's lunch - 3 minutes (unless it's early in the morning and I feel like I need some toothpicks between my eyelids. Then...don't ask...).

As many of you know, I'm working from home. I literally spend 3-4 hours a day on a couch hugging a laptop (and yes, I attempted to move it to the desk before but kids disagree...). I decided to challenge myself - I try to take 15 minutes of every hour to do house chores instead. It's better for my health too :) Not every day goes smooth - like the night when the sicky kid was up like 7 times - on that day I was spread on the couch cushion way longer than I want to admit... But most of the days are pretty successful. If I devote just 45 minutes a day in 3 increments, I might even be able to fake the resemblance of a clean house for good... And that surely feels nice :) Again, I discovered that the secret to every problem is to figure out what works for you...

Have you ever timed yourself while cleaning? What chore do you dislike the most? What stimulates you to go and do it (well, besides enjoying a clean house, OK? :)

13 comments:

  1. All house work is a chore but I like this idea will time myself today and tomorrow and see how it goes.
    Thanks for this post. might be able to make chores fun by trying to beat my time and then get others to beat that time.
    Carolx

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    1. Let me know how it worked for you :)

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  2. Haha, that is indeed very interesting... I am sure I overestimate cooking ALL the time, and think I'll be there for hours, but get surprised when it's not even 1hr and I'm already washing the dishes I used (like yesterday!). My least liked chore would have to be folding little kids' laundry (seriously, it sucks more than trying to fold fitted sheets!). After that, I'd go with cooking, unless I'm by myself and can take all the time in the world and play music.

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    1. Hahaha... Laundry is actually one thing I enjoy doing :) Much more than scrubbing the floors...

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  3. I'm going to have to try this one. Doing something for a few minutes multiple times a day does sound a lot better than my approach.

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    1. Yes, my previous approach was a lot less enjoyable too :)

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  4. Usually about 2 or 3 days a week, I run home at lunch and spend 20 minutes doing dishes, picking up toys. Basically just tidying up. But it sure makes a difference to come home to some order after a long day at work.

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    1. Yes, it does! That's why I try to have my kitchen clean by the end of the day, so when everyone is up the next day, they can enjoy a clean space.

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  5. I do this method all of the time and it works for me. Years ago, I did the time-unloading-the-dishwasher thing and found it takes under five minutes. That's when a chore I really didn't like, turned into one that is okay. I guess the reverse of, "Time flies when you're having fun," applies in these cases.

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  6. Believe it or not, the days I bake a double batch of cookies are also the days my house gets cleaned. I make mental notes of what needs to be done, so as soon as I put cookies in the oven I'll fold a load of towels, for example, and be finished as the timer goes off. I take those cookies off the tray, put more dough on then unload the dishwasher, or dust the dining room table, or clean a couple of mirrors, or vacuum the rugs, etc. When I double the dough and bake several dozen cookies I find I've had time to do several mini-chores and tidy the house. With a cookie-monster husband and four sons, there's never been a concern about cookies getting stale around here.

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  7. I love it when my house is clean and I love the smell but I have to admit, when my kids were younger I seemed to clean more than I do now! We downsized to a much smaller house and I still don't like to clean:) I never timed myself but maybe I will......the next time I clean! lol Lynn @ Turnips 2 Tangerines

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  8. I haven't been able to do much cleaning since hurting my arm. But Hubby and kids can clean whole house in about 3 hours. I should try to time it next time.

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  9. I love to clean! But I hate to cook. I think that we would make a great team. I love how the house smells afterward. I have issues. LOL. My grandmother would have me help her Spring clean her house to teach me the "right way." I guess it brings back memories or is my way of trying to keep her spirit happy. She would say the first thing to know about cleaning is that nothing is ever truly clean. Again, I have issues.

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