That stupid timer gets me again!

Don’t you just hate it when you have a good idea and it’s working for ya and you forget about it and then one day in your desperation you remember it and go…  “HEY, I HAD AN IDEA TO FIX THAT!”

Well, I do.  It seems back in 2007 (YES, 2007!!) I had a great idea.  It also seems that I keep forgetting how cool and wonderful this idea is, because if I remembered it my house would be cleaner and I would be way less cranky. 

To assist me in trying to work this idea AGAIN, and hopefully on a more consistent basis I’m re-blogging about it.  (Is that even a term? re-blogging?)  Maybe I should say re-posting.  If you want the original post, check the archives for August 2007 “Time Management”.  It’s not necessary since I’m going to re-blog it here but you might stumble upon some of my other great ideas I’ve apparently forgotten about.

The problem:

Feeling overwhelmed about housework.

The solution:

The timer…  yep, a one dollar egg timer.

I get overwhelmed way to easily.  I also get distracted way to easily.  My tweetdeck has popped up a notification five times since I started this post and I’m close to losing my train of thought on this post.  Waking up and being motivated in the morning is easy.  I’m very gung ho while I drink the first cup of coffee.  It’s pretty much all down hill from there.  So I devised a plan.  I can’t take full credit because the gist is the basis of a lot of cleaning/organizing/housework plans.  I just make it into a bit more of a game then they do. Deep down I’m just a kid, didn’t you know that?

Count how many rooms are in your house.  If you have a ‘fancy’ room, like a dining room no one ever goes in except Thanksgiving then don’t count that, at least not every day.  Add 2 because you’re going to want to do the kitchen twice and probably a quick pick up of the den/living room twice. Multply that by 4.  That’s how many hours it will take to tidy up the house. 

Confused?  I have seven actual rooms, kitchen, den, two baths, three rooms. I also have the garage which is where the laundry is, a few toys, and hubbys workout equipment.  I’m going to say that is it’s own room because it does need tending to once in a while.  So I have eight, plus two for a total of ten. Divide by four and we get 2.5 hours.  That’s not to shabby, especially when it will rarely ever actually take that long.

Pick a room, any room, and take your timer with you. Take a box or tub to be your “stuff that doesn’t belong in here” basket and whatever cleaning supplies you might need for that room (don’t forget a trash bag). Set it to 15 minutes… and GO!

Start with the first thing you see and just work that room until your timer reaches zero.  Do whatever you can. Make the bed, pick up toys, fold clothes, clean a mirror, dust, anything.  Once the timer buzzes just stop.  Your done there for now.  You can do more in there tomorrow.  Go to the next room and repeat.  Save your kitchen and den repeats until the end of the day.  Maybe a final after supper run, or ‘before mommy’s shows come on’ incentive.

It may take a couple of days but you’ll notice a few things:

1. It normally won’t take 15 minutes to tidy EACH room. Especially since most of us don’t have to dust every single day nor do we care to scrub the toilet every single day.

2. If you tell your kids your ‘racing the timer’ they think it’s a game and want to help race too!

3. The room that was an overwhelming disaster area (not that any of us actually have one of those) will slowly start to resemble a room, and the day you find the floor will be a joyous occassion worth blogging about!

Once you get the routine down pat you can invite your friends to join you.  Race to see who can do the most in their 15 minutes. 

You can even apply this to other areas that you feel suck time right off your clock!

  • time on the computer
  • sorting mail
  • planning meals
  • phone calls
  • reading
  • and more!

On the weekends, I cut my time down to ten minutes a room or maybe even just five!

Just make sure you leave lots and lots of time for reading blogs, commenting, and posting! Whoo hoo!

Let me know how it works for you!  I’ll post pics later of how well it worked for us here.

Happy Tuesday!


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