The 10 Minute Tidy

Unless you are a Clean Queen or employ a regular maid, you likely find yourself feeling overwhelmed by clutter and mess.

This feeling of being overwhelmed may make it difficult to roll up your sleeves and tackle the housework. The chore of cleaning may seem endless and you probably feel that even starting is hopeless.

Hence, the 10 Minute Tidy!

Depending on the size of your home, this tidying routine may take longer than 10 minutes. However, the more you employ it (and the more helping hands you can acquire), you will find that keeping your home clean is easier than ever!

Set your “Zones”.

If your home is large or has multiple stories, you are going to have a much easier time if you divide your house into zones. Consider what activities happen in each room of your house and combine them accordingly. For example:

  • If your kitchen and dining room are an open concept, this would be one zone.
  • However, if your dining room and living room are open concept, this would be a zone.
  • Bedrooms and bathrooms are usually located close to each other, so you can group these into a zone.
  • Areas like toy rooms would be a separate zone.

Have a basket for each Zone.

Grab some dollar store laundry baskets and designate one for each zone. If you have a two-story home, you can pare this down to a basket for each level.

In the spirit of having your family help out with chores, you can simply have one basket for each family member.

The point of the baskets is that, as you tidy, you are going to place items that need to be put away in the baskets where they belong (or to whom they belong).

So, for example, you may be tidying the living room and discovering toys that belong in the toy room or your child’s bedroom. These toys would then go in the appropriate basket to be placed in that zone once you are finished.

Set a timer.

Since this is the 10 minute tidy, you are going to set a timer for 10 minutes. As I mentioned before, if you live in a larger space, you may need to set a 10 minute timer for each zone or level.

The point of the 10 minute tidy is not to accomplish a complete clean in 10 minutes. What you are trying to achieve is a reduction of clutter. So if you can only do 10 minutes downstairs today and 10 minutes upstairs tomorrow, you are completing the task.

Start cleaning!

As soon as you hit “start” on that timer, this is what you are going to do:

  1. Start in one zone or room and gather what belongs in that area and place it in it’s basket.
  2. In that same room, remove anything that doesn’t belong there and place it in the appropriate basket.
  3. Move to another room and repeat.
  4. Keep doing this until the 10 minutes is up.
  5. If time remains, start putting away the items that belong in each room.

This is not going to clean your home in one go, but it is a quick and easy way to eliminate clutter in each room. At this point, your family should be pitching in to put these things away.

Once the clutter is cleared, even if it is not immediately put away, you can do some deeper cleaning such as dusting, sweeping and mopping.

Be warned!

The 10 Minute Tidy is an easy way to cut clutter but it does require some tenacity – if you ignore the baskets, they will continue to fill up and nothing will actually get put away.

Emptying the baskets and putting the items where they belong is important in having this system work.

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