15 Minutes At A Time

'It's only February.', I tell myself, in response to the guilt I feel every time I walk past my Christmas tree stand and boxes of décor, in the hall outside the attic door. 'Tomorrow.', I say affirmatively, whenever I have to give the linen closet a hip check to get it closed, with out bedsheets tumbling out.

'By the end of the week.', I mutter as I walk by the giant letters THANK YOU CARDS written on my kitchen dry erase board.

Here is the truth: The items on my To-Do list have been there for long enough that I have gotten TOO used to putting them off. Once I reach that point, it is pretty safe to say, instead, 'I'm never going to do that.'.

THIS IS NOT OKAY. It is not easy to stay positive and motivated when I spend my days surrounded by guilt inducing reminders of all the things I haven't done. I realized I needed a change, STAT. If my old system of Lists, obviously was not working, I wanted to at least try something new. I decided to recruit my iPhone to help.

Here is a problem that I have: It would appear that I am only capable of cleaning one room a day. It sounds crazy, but listen: I subscribe to the philosophy of 'If you are going to bother doing something, you best do it right'. This means that I can't just wipe down my counters, sweep my kitchen floor and move on. I start scrubbing the walls, which make me notice the thin layer of dust on the trim. After the trim, I notice the cabinets have dust in the crevices and the occasional food spot. Staring out the window as I scub, I notice the window is dirty, and the window track needs cleaning... OMG it goes on for hours. I spend 4 hours in the kitchen, while the rest of my house looks like a bomb went off.

OK, so we have pinpointed my problem. Do any of you have this issue or is it just me???

I remembered something I had read a long time ago:


So this is what I have done this week (AND IT IS WORKING GREAT!):

I set timers on my phone in fifteen minute intervals, between the hours of eleven and three.


11:00 - Make beds

11:15 - Laundry (gather from around the house, start a load, fold what comes out of dryer)

11:30 - Living Room

11:45 - Downstairs Kitchen

12:00 - Lunch

12:30 - Internet, Work on blog, Pay bills

1:00 - Son's Room

1:15 - Daughter's Room

1:30 - Upstairs Bathroom

1:45 - Laundry

2:00 - Blog

2:30 - Upstairs Kitchen (yes, two kitchens to clean)

2:45 - Downstairs Bathroom

3:00 - Hallways and Foyer

I have gotten so much more done in 15 minute intervals, than I would have gotten accomplished meticulously cleaning each room one after another. It is amazing. It took a few days to get each room to where I wanted it to be. Many times, it was hard to walk away from a project that I knew I wasn't finished with, when the alarm went off.  I am so glad I stuck to the plan, because the results are staggering, compared to my old way of doing things.

Possibly this is how the rest of you have always done things, and I am late to the game? IDK, but I figure there must be a few people out there like me, that may appreciate trying this out.

What other systems do you have for keeping your houses neat as a pin? I love hearing new ideas and systems! Tell me!!