Tuesday, March 22, 2011

10 minutes of (in?)sanity

I have a new system for cleaning my house.  I call it the 10x5.  I spend 10 minutes cleaning 5 times a day.  I pulled out my old egg timer out from my school items, the one I used to time my kids' warm-ups and such.  I set it for 10 minutes and I race myself to see how much I can get done in that much time. 

Funny how little it takes to amuse me.

The thing is, I had no idea how hard it would be to keep up with a house when I am home all day.  Someone always needs me, and I've had a rough time with exhaustion and fibromyalgia this winter.  Plus, when you're home all day, you're making messes all day.  My house was way cleaner when I worked full-time at school. 

I have a tendency to feel overwhelmed by large tasks, and when something overwhelmes or stresses me out, I avoid it.  By no means is my house a disaster, but I like very clean and very fresh.  I've learned that's not really an option any more.  So, this egg timer deal is awesome for me.  I set it for 10 minutes, work until it goes off, and walk away even the task isn't complete.  That's a bigger for me, and hard; but it's good.  It needs to be ok if something is not perfect!  The baby can fuss for 10 minutes if she has to and be fine.  Or, if she's not fussing and I'm feeling like I'm on a roll, I'll set it for another 10 minutes.  This way, instead of saying, "When the baby naps I'm cleaning the whole downstairs!" but wanting to curl up in a ball of hatred and self-pity at the very idea when the time comes, I'll say, "When the baby naps I'll clean the kitchen for 10 minutes."  This way, I always feel "complete," because even if the kitchen isn't totally clean, I finished my 10 minutes.

I know, I'm insane.  But this messy house thing has been a major stresser in my little life!  It's nice to have a system that works.  Here's what I accomplished in 10 minutes today:
1.  Swiffered the downstairs
2.  Cleaned some dishes
3.  Cleaned my grody microwave

I was on a roll, so I added another 10. 

4.  Emptied the dishwasher
5.  Fed the dog and gave her her pill (we're dog-sitting)
6.  Put a few things in the dishwasher
7.  Killed a spider
8.  Switched a load of laundry

I'm most proud of the spider.  She was huge!


  1. Anonymous1:46 PM

    I LOVE this idea! I'm starting to schedule myself when I'm home on M and F, too. It helps make me feel accomplished and sane. The biggest thing I need to set time apart for? Showering. Yeah.

  2. Anonymous2:00 PM

    Great idea! I think I'm going to have to try that too. My kids love to help clean (Amelia wants to do the toilets - seriously!) - so this would help get them more involved too. Thanks for sharing! :)

  3. Taylor, thank you for this encouragement :) I've been struggling with this lately and I don't even have a baby around! I'm really working on learning the concept of good is sometimes better than perfect :) So thanks for the advice and encouragement!


I love hearing from my readers! Thank you for taking the time to comment. All comments are reviewed before publishing.