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    20-Minute Tidies

    By Sara Richmond Walls     

    The one thing I always hated about cleaning my house was the two to three hours it took getting the rooms straight enough to actually clean them. I found myself spending so much time putting things where they belong that it added hours to my cleaning day, hours that I could be spending in more enjoyable and more productive ways. So, I came up with a solution that has worked so far: two to three 20-minute tidies per week.

    Let me give you an idea of what all it entails. Basically, my husband and I (and if you have children, get them involved too) take 20 minutes, no more, no less, to scurry around the house and tidy it up. Some of the things we take care of are the dishes, the laundry, the trash and shoes. Read below for more!

    The Dishes

    During the 20-Minute Tidies, my husband and I take care of the dishes. We put clean ones away, put dirty ones in the dishwasher and gather any dishes that have accumulated in other parts of the house into the kitchen and take care of them as well. That way on cleaning day when I go to clean the bedroom, I’m not having to run the water glasses from the night before back into the kitchen.

    The Laundry

    Typically, I enjoy doing laundry, but the one thing I hate more than anything is thinking I am done with the laundry and then finding a pair of dirty socks under the bed. This one is a hard one for my family. On 20-minute tidy days, I try to get all of the laundry in one place. Check under the beds, under the couch, behind bathroom doors, etc. It also helps to do a load or two of laundry during the week to make “laundry day” easier.

    The Trash

    We have two kinds of trash problems in my household: several small cans in the office and the bathrooms, and the piles of junk mail we receive. On the nights that we tidy, my husband and I sort mail, throwing away what is not necessary, and take the trash out. This is also typically when my husband takes care of the kitty litter and takes it out with the trash.

    The Shoes

    Many times, closets are not nearly as shoe-friendly as they could be. Still, we find a way to store our shoes there. Throughout the week of long work days, shoes have a tendency to wind up just about anywhere in our house: the bathroom, the kitchen, and the living room, pretty much wherever we take them off. It could be said that we’d have much less work on our hands if we just put them up when we first take them off. As I don’t see that happening in my family, the 20-minute tidy session provides a good time to put the shoes up and get them out of the way. In Conclusion

    The 20-minute tidy may not work for everyone. In some households it may be shorter, in some it may be longer. The goal is to make a concentrated effort in clearing the junk out of your way within a specific time frame (and yes, after 20 minutes even if we are not completely tidy, we call it quits!)

    Written by Sara Richmond WallsRate this article:

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