One of my biggest pitfalls when it comes to cleaning is getting distracted scouring one project to the hilt, while the rest of the house is in shambles. I think the ideal way to approach housework is to maintain a certain level of cleanliness and organization throughout. Once the most important chores are done (beds made, dishes washed, floors swept) THEN (and only then) branch out and really get into the nitty gritty work. (Clean out a closet, deep clean an area, start a long-term project, etc.)
I have such a hard time sticking with this though! I will be cleaning the kitchen, find something that needs to go in my bedroom, take it to my bedroom, notice that the closet is a mess, and the next thing I know, I've pulled my whole closet apart. Then, I get tired of that and realize that I haven't eaten for several hours. So I go into the kitchen to make some lunch and realize that I haven't finished cleaning it! So, I finish cleaning it...then Kort gets home from school...I make him a snack...sit down and do homework...start dinner...clean the kitchen again... nurse Tennyson...get Kort in his jammies and into bed...bathe Tennyson...play with Tennyson...nurse Tennyson and put him to bed...go into my room exhausted and ready to fall on my face... and find closet vomit covering the bed and floor! Boo.
I was trying to think of how I could AVOID this scenario in the future. Then I remembered something my mom always did when we were kids.
It's called Power of Ten.
Here's how it works:
1. Set the kitchen timer for 10 minutes and focus on completing one full (compact) cleaning project within that ten minutes. When the timer beeps, reset it and start on another project. (Sometimes I even do 5 minute increments for even smaller tasks that need to get done.)2. Give each of your children a bag or basket and have everyone pick up and put away ten items. This is a great exercise to do at the end of each day to restore the house to its original state. It's also fun to set a 10 minute timer and play upbeat music (Kort favors him some Black Eyed Peas "I Gotta Feelin'" as of late) while you work.
What time-saving clean up tricks do you use to keep you on track?