Break through the emotional roadblock of not knowing where to start. If your house looks like you never have ‘time’ to clean it, read on for instructions on how to find that time, and what to do with it…
Your house got cluttered and messy one step at a time, and ‘one step at a time’ is the only real way that you’re going to clean it up. Marathon cleaning sessions are frustrating and demoralizing. Today you’ll learn how to clean up your home in 5-minute sessions, and to be more effective that a whole day of ‘crisis cleaning’ ever was.
Step 1 ~ Pick one area
Stop looking at your whole home as one giant project! That’s so overwhelming that you’ll never even know where to start. You need to narrow your focus. Pick one area, no more than 2 feet long or wide, to concentrate on first. Your area can be a section of the kitchen or bathroom counter, a section of shelving in the family room, one of the couch cushions that’s piled with stuff, a single cabinet, the top of your microwave, or even the corner of your bathtub where you piled the bottles, razors, and plastic boats. Any defined space that isn’t more than 2 feet wide or long.
If it’s your floor that needs work, you can mark off a space 2 feet by 2 feet to work in. Just put a soup can,or something similar, on each corner to mark your square, so that you don’t get confused about where to start and stop working.
Step 2 ~ Get a timer
Not a clock, a timer! Set it for 5 minutes. It needs to be the count-down style, where it will beep to let you know when your 5 minutes are up. The reason you don’t want a regular clock is that I don’t want you to have to keep checking the clock. I want you to set it once, and then not focus on it again until you hear the beep.
Step 3 ~ Go!
For five minutes, clear out the clutter and garbage in your area. Throw away everything you can. Remove any items that don’t belong there, and move them to their proper areas. Do NOT get sidetracked into cleaning any areas that you’re returning item to! You’re not allowed to leave your designated area for more than 30 seconds. For example, if you find dirty socks in your area, you must get them to the hamper or the laundry room and be back to your area in thirty seconds or less! So HUSTLE!
Step 4 ~ Review
When the timer beeps, you’re finished. Look at what you’ve accomplished. Remember, it may not be completely clean. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It just has to be ‘5 minutes better’. And it is! You’ve done it, you made it 5 minutes better. It’s an improvement over what it looked like five minutes ago, and that’s enough to celebrate over.
Maybe that’s all the time you have right now. That’s okay. You can go on with your day knowing that you already accomplished something towards your overall goal of cleaning and de-cluttering your home. You don’t have to face the day feeling like you have unfinished business, because you did what you set out to do; you made it 5 minutes better.
Maybe you’ll do 5 more minutes later today. Or tomorrow. Or next week. Or whenever. Whenever you have 5 minutes, and a burst of enthusiasm for the job. You’ll keep that enthusiasm high because working for just 5 minutes is very manageable, both logistically and emotionally. It’s almost impossible to get overwhelmed doing a task for 5 minutes. Your goal is just to work for 5 minutes, without specifying how much or little you have to accomplish during that time.
Remember, you must clean your area for 5 minutes, not in 5 minutes! So when the timer goes off, you have accomplished your goal.
Feel good about that. You earned it!
Don’t be surprised when you find yourself looking at your home in a new way. Phrases such as ‘I’ll just give this spot five minutes.’ will slip out when you least expect it, and you’ll find your home’s appearance starting to improve, without stress, five minutes at a time.
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