You know that feeling that you get when you realize someone is coming over in the next few minutes or a few hours and you look around your house and your heart sinks. You know that you don’t have much time at all. After you panic you’re left with choices, right? Do you decide that this is good enough and don’t pick up at all? Do you prioritize just the main room? Or do you speed clean as quickly as you can? I know that my house is always the cleanest when we are having people over that day!
Now, I’m not saying I’m for setting unrealistic standards for ourselves. I believe in messy hospitality. This is the home that you live in and it doesn’t matter how clean it is at any given time. Yes, we should do our best but sometimes it’s okay if your best is keeping the kids alive and the sink not smelling too much! I get it. I love cleaning more than most people. There are certain chores I’d rather not do (folding laundry is the worst) but overall I feel so much calmer and in control when I’m cleaning and right afterward when my house is in order. It’s not a big house, and having a clean house is lovely, but sometimes you really just don’t have the time.
So with that in mind, I want to get into this concept that I have of a speed clean that I relate to the 10 second tidy. I used to watch this show when I was little, The Big Comfy Couch, and they had a 10 second tidy they would do. It was silly! But I think about it sometimes when I’m rushing around the house cleaning.
No matter how good you are at keeping up with daily chores and such there will be a time when your house is a disaster and it really needs to be tidied up. My personality is one where I really like things to be clean and orderly. It helps me stay in control and overall helps me feel better about my day. But sometimes I really just do not have time to mess around doing everything. So I will prioritize doing as much as I can in a small amount of time!
I do this by following some simple rules.
Set a timer.
This is important even if you don’t have a true time limit. How many times have you found yourself scrolling Pinterest or Facebook and then realizing you were only sitting on the bed to fold the laundry really fast? Yep. I’m guilty too! When I set a timer, it helps me stay focused because I know it’s not going to last forever. This is the step that makes me think of the 10 second tidy! If you have a set amount of time and can focus, you’ll be surprised at just how much you can get done in even a short speed clean!
Set your priorities
I don’t know how many times I have tried to clean the house only to be constantly distracted by other tasks. If I could just stick to one task my time would be used so much more efficiently. Did you know multitasking isn’t actually real? Before you tell me that moms have to multitask constantly, I get that. I just mean on a very base level in our brains we can’t multitask. Our brains have to use a lot of energy to switch from one thing to another.
With that in mind, go ahead and set a list of priorities that you need to get done in your timer. Do you really need to get the dishes done? The first thing to do might be to put a load of laundry in so that by the time you’re done with other things you can switch the load. After you get done with the dishes go wipe down the sinks and toilets in your bathrooms. Whatever it might be, get it done one at a time and based on the priority level you set for it.
Put some music on or a podcast episode you’ve been dying to listen to!
With this one, I usually put on music, but I do love a good podcast episode. The reason I usually do music is that if I set a timer of 30 minutes, and then put a 45-minute podcast on, I’m naturally going to ignore my timer because I want to finish the podcast episode. This negates the speed clean and you might clean longer than you intended because the timer doesn’t matter to you. Now, obviously, there is an easy solution to this. Just set the timer for 45 minutes! Yes, you’re right. That’s just my personal opinion but do what works for you! The music I usually play is a playlist that makes me want to dance! Something upbeat and happy that isn’t going to make you too calm and ready to wind down.
Whether someone is coming over in 2 hours, or you really just HAVE to get some cleaning done, this is a great way to get a lot done in a shorter amount of time. I’d love to hear what you do when these situations come up. Let me know in the comments. Happy cleaning!