Alison undoes the cleaning.I hate, hate, hate to clean. I also hate to wake up or come home to a hopelessly dirty house. Gretchen Rubin reminded me of a trick in her book, The Happiness Project, that has definitely made our household run more smoothly.

Set a timer for 10 minutes a day and clean.

Try it.  In our home a couple of amazing truths have emerged:

  1. It’s easy to get on board when you know you can quit after 10 minutes.
  2. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by how much you can get done in 10 minutes, especially if you do it every day.
  3. After 10 minutes, I often feel like I’ve accomplished so much that I don’t stop right away.  What?  I’m actually motivated to clean MORE.

It’s also more fun when you get everyone involved.  With the kids, it works best if they do the same tasks every day so they know what to expect, like putting the books back on the shelf and the toys in the toy box.  I also say, “It’s clean-up time!” instead of “10 minutes of clean-up”; they still think 10 minutes sounds like a long time and inevitably will complain.

In 10 minutes, my husband and I can get the kitchen cleaned, the table wiped off, the living room picked up, and the floors swept most nights.  To me, that means the house is practically glowing. Sometimes I can even get to a bonus pile of junk or a bathroom sink.

It’s the perfect way to clean if you’re a non-cleaner!