To clean or not to clean. Ah. That is the issue that appears on Facebook in the form of memes and quotes almost daily, posted by moms across the world. Do I clean or do I spend time with my kids?
I spend time with my kids every day. I also clean my house every day. I actually don’t mind cleaning. On some days, I would go as far as to say that I actually enjoy it. “How can she do that?” you may ask.
Many years ago, I came across a method of “zone cleaning” that changed my life and the way that I approach keeping up with the household duties. I spend 15 minutes taking care of basic upkeep where I straighten the main areas, put things where they belong, do a “quick hit” of the main bathroom and a quick sweep or vacuum of the main floor.
In addition to that, I take 15 minutes in that week’s particular zone. That’s it. No more than 30 minutes a day AND I still get to do my normal day’s work and spend time with my family. You can too. But first, here’s why I do it.
1. I get more done.
It’s all about momentum. The hardest part is just starting. Sometimes you just have to tell your body to move, regardless of how much you want to sit on the couch and watch Dancing with the Stars. Btw – am I the only one who fast forwards through the really bad dancers?
Once you take the first step, you’re moving and creating momentum. As you continue to put in a little bit of effort, your momentum will remain. If you put in a lot of effort, you’ll have more momentum and get more done.
Try it when you have some time to spend in your closet. Start with purging one drawer. My bet – you’ll move on to another after you finish and see your accomplishment.
2. I feel better.
When my house is cluttered, my brain is cluttered. I can’t think straight when I walk into a room that is filled with nothing but knick knacks, papers everywhere, shoes all over the floor. Clutter is contagious. It grows and spreads like a bad case of the flu, and then it’s harder to get under control.
My Flylady friend uses the term “Hot Spot” to describe an area of her home that attracts clutter. I take my biggest hose of momentum each day and put out those hot spots in my home (typically my kitchen island and the entry way into our home).
When that’s done, I feel like I’ve got life by the horns. I tamed the wild fire and feel accomplished. I feel better.
3. My house is ready for guests at a moment’s notice.
We’ve all been there. We get a text that a friend is spontaneously stopping by and we go into hyper-speed cleaning mode. We accomplish more in our home in those 15 minutes that we do spending 4 hours on any given Saturday. I got over that quickly when I answered the door once with a toilet brush in my hand. So instead, I opted for my new method, 15 minutes of basic upkeep and 15 minutes in the zone, daily. Game changer.
Now, when my neighbor stops in unexpectedly (to drop off that chocolate chip cookie dough I ordered from her trombone-playing son) and says, “Your home always looks so nice!”, I smile and say “thank you” and know that my time (and stress level) are more easily managed by my method. And I don’t open the door with a toilet brush.
4. It’s contagious.
Not bad contagious, like the flu. It’s good contagious, like a smile. When our home is kept up and clean, we naturally want to keep it up and keep it clean. I also find that it’s easier for the entire household to pitch in.
Make no mistake. I am certainly not the sole housecleaner here. My husband and my kids do a lot of the work too. What I find interesting is that when one of us is doing it, another will jump in. It’s contagious in a good way. And it gets done faster.
5. It looks good.
When I look good, I feel good. The same can be said for my home. When my house looks good, I feel better. The condition of my home can reflect back on me. It doesn’t cost money to pick up after yourself, to straighten up – and it costs very little to toss in a load of laundry each morning, clean your toilet and wipe your countertops. Keeping up with it daily keeps it looking good. Just like keeping up with health and exercise keeps us looking good.
I host a Facebook page “Intentionally Refining Your Home with Taryn” where the art of zone cleaning is explained a bit more and I offer daily (Monday-Friday) zone missions. It’s a great way to learn to declutter your home, clean it and maintain it. If you’re interested in joining me in this closed group, subscribe to our website here and then click here to join the group.
Jump in. You’ll find that you have plenty of time for your kids and family and yet you have time to keep a home that is decluttered and company-friendly – without losing your mind.