10-15 min. cleaning session in 2014 - Mothering Forums

10-15 min. cleaning session in 2014

IsaFrench's Avatar IsaFrench (TS)
11:00 AM Liked: 274
#1 of 153
01-01-2014 | Posts: 2,005
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time for new resolutions .... have decided i'll do a few more 10-15 min. sessions through the day in 2014 !

i know that if i'll post about it here, i'll feel a bit better about it & am more likely to stick to having a go at my weekly and monthly tasks (which are nicely printed in a folder, it's just that i don't get around to doing them much ....)

this morning i

- swept and mopped the kitchen floor

- vaccumed a bit

late afternoon i

- wiped part of the tiles and furniture in the bathroom whilst i was running a bath (all the toothpaste projection marks irritated me ...)


am not counting my "daily tasks" in these sessions, since i'm now usually ok doing them regularly ( wipe toilet seat, wash up and shine sink, one load of laundy, un-hang and fold whatever is dry, then in the evening, wipe inside of washbassin and inside of the bathtub ...)


my plans for tomorrow = start on doors and door frames (haven't done them in ages, i can see marks on them ... but i always seem "not to have the time now" ....)

IsaFrench's Avatar IsaFrench (TS)
03:51 AM Liked: 274
#2 of 153
01-02-2014 | Posts: 2,005
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- wiped two doors + a high up very dusty vent in the toilet

it feels good to have a plan .....

Surfacing's Avatar Surfacing
10:40 PM Liked: 32
#3 of 153
04-16-2014 | Posts: 6,633
Joined: Jul 2005

How is your plan coming along?

IsaFrench's Avatar IsaFrench (TS)
03:05 AM Liked: 274
#4 of 153
04-17-2014 | Posts: 2,005
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thanks for inquiring .... have been VERY irregular in my efforts basically (= not able yet to follow my nicely thought out plan ...)


i would add, ... "as usual" ...i'm dithering and procrastinating ... have had family health issues to contend with and found therapeutic -for me at least- to knit and crochet A LOT since it lessens my anxiety a bit


...so i now have a nice stack of mainly crocheted washcloths, hand made, in colors i like,

have the pleasure of thinking "i made those myself" every time i see them ....

(have something on the go for nearly every time i wait for the bus or in a waiting room ...)


i already own more than a dozen now .... but haven't got round to using each one even once LOL !


what i have been able to tackle a bit in the last few month is a little weight loss and a very little decluttering ... so i still need to work on sleeplessness and weekly cleaning routines .... a work in progress !!!!!

traffic is very slow in the decluttering forum, was hoping to find some inspiration .....

how do YOU tackle keeping where you live clean and tidy ? any suggestions you could give me ? or sharing what works for you ?

OkiMom's Avatar OkiMom
10:04 AM Liked: 54
#5 of 153
04-17-2014 | Posts: 5,391
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Hey, I was wondering if anyone was still doing this. I haven't been on in FOREVER, thanks to a super busy house, so I thought Id stop by and say Hello!

Surfacing's Avatar Surfacing
09:09 PM Liked: 32
#6 of 153
04-17-2014 | Posts: 6,633
Joined: Jul 2005

I find it challenging and overwhelming to keep our home clean and tidy with five of us.


Things I find that works for me:

- tidying as you go (e.g., walk into the washroom, pick clothes up off the floor and deposit into laundry room)

- sometimes folding one article at a time of laundry (e.g., walking by the basket and seeing a large towel, just grabbing that towel and folding it, putting it away) -- I don't always have the time/energy to stand there and fold two baskets at a time, so this is a way of "chipping away at it"

- honestly a huge sanity saver is having a cleaning lady as often as I can afford it (this helps me because I feel very overwhelmed keeping up with the messes five people make)

- decluttering and organizing always makes me feel better


Unfortunately I am not a great person to ask advice from, haha! I am overwhelmed by our situation but find it a bit easier as the kids get older and I have a little more time to myself to do things like cleaning Haha


I admire your daily chores, never mind the extras that you are trying to add on.

IsaFrench's Avatar IsaFrench (TS)
01:46 AM Liked: 274
#7 of 153
04-18-2014 | Posts: 2,005
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Hi Okimom, ... i remember reading some posts of yours ....when you only had 2 children .... time is just flying (had a look at the craft forum ......)


Well, Surfacing ....it helps me to see that i'm not the only one who's struggling with this  !

There are 5 of us too in our household .... & i'm not happy that "they" don't pick up more after themselves ..


as for the daily chores, even years ago, before reading about it on Mothering (there used to be a "Motivated Mom calendar thread" a while back ...) i figured out that daily scrubbing of the kitchen sink and of the toilet would be in order (except that i thought i was highly weird for thinking that the kitchen sink needed scrubbing .... especially after visiting a relative in which household this was NOT a priority ...)


So it was relief in a way to spend hours reading what various people thought of the FLY lady system, of the SHE system & of the Motivated mom system etc ....

That's how i came out eventually with my own daily list that i'm comfortable about ....


now, today is the last day of school for the next two weeks & am hoping .... not only to keep the children busy BUT ALSO to have a good go at decluttering for the 15 days from now, and to get to definite improvement by Sunday the 4th of May ..... we'll see how that goes !!!!

OkiMom's Avatar OkiMom
05:29 AM Liked: 54
#8 of 153
04-18-2014 | Posts: 5,391
Joined: Nov 2007

Hi Isa! I haven't been on mothering since my baby was a couple months old.. Life has been a crap shoot the last year..


99% of the time my house is presentable, it might not be perfect but I feel comfortable inviting anyone in and not cringing at the mess. Things that have helped me:

1) My children are required to help with chores/clean up. Mine are 7,5,3 and 1. If I tried to clean up after them all the time it would be crazy and Id end up stressed and crabby. So, we have clean up sessions throughout the day and they are either helping or there is a consequence for not helping.

2) We do 5 cleaning sessions throughout the day other than when we clean up after meals. Every morning we do room chores (tidy, vacuum if needed, take the clothing to the laundry room etc), we do our daily chores, a middle of the day pick up, a dinner pick up and an end of the day pick up. Generally everything but the chores take 5 minutes, chores take around 30-60 minutes.

3) Every morning we have a family meeting during breakfast time. We discuss the plans for the day and the kids get to choose (to an extent) what chores they want to do. I have a list of what needs to get done for them to choose from. I found this worked a whole lot better than assigned chores since the kiddos feel like they are getting a say in what they do. Also, mine get bored if they have to do the same chores every week so this adds a bit of variety.

4) Make things simple.. I use to try to keep the shoes all nicely laid out.. Yea, right, talk about a headache. Now they get tossed in a box. Things say clean, the box is in where no guest can see it and Im not stressing over having to have things all nice. I keep a box downstairs, whenever I see something downstairs that I know isn't suppose to be there I throw it in the box. End of the day one of us takes the box upstairs and puts everything away. Better than running up and down the stairs 100000 times a day.

5) If things start getting out of hand in any one area or if a deep clean (like carpet cleaning) needs to be done we have 1 Saturday a month dedicated to it and I feel no issue with telling everyone that we need to stay home a 2nd Saturday so I have my husband's help with things

6) Something that has helped a lot with day to day functioning is I do all my meal prep work and baking 1 day a week. The rest of the time meals take little to no time to throw together because all the work is already done. I throw this in with laundry day since my laundry room is right off of the kitchen so it makes sense to do both at the same time.

7) I don't schedule anything outside of the house on either Monday or Friday.. I find that if I can get a good foundation laid for the week and weekend things go smoother and my house stays clean. If I try to do more than a run to the park on either of those days it throws off the rest of the week/weekend.

OkiMom's Avatar OkiMom
05:46 AM Liked: 54
#9 of 153
04-18-2014 | Posts: 5,391
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Right now Im trying to get my youngest to go take a nap, not even close to her actual naptime but she is crabby tired from not sleeping well so Im hoping she will..


Today I need to:

- do a couple loads of laundry, my mutt decided that clothing would be a great place to show me shes not fully house trained. YUCK

- catch up on yesterday chores: clean upstairs bedroom and upstairs common areas (TV room and office)

- todays cleaning: mop downstairs, weed front and back flower beds, sweep patio and porch, wash the mutt, clean the litter box, wash cat and dog dishes, clip dogs nails

- school with my oldest: reading, writing, spelling, science, read aloud, math and art

- freeze the shredded chicken in the fridge, hubby shreddedu7  and bagged it last night but left it in the fridge since he didn't know how much I wanted frozen

- iron church clothing, finish oldest daughter's dress so she has clothing to wear to church, child needs to stop growing.

- Work on curtains, need to sew them for all downstairs windows (8 in all)


Hubby is working a 24 hour shift so he will only be home for lunch and dinner time so we shall see what I get done.

IsaFrench's Avatar IsaFrench (TS)
02:27 PM Liked: 274
#10 of 153
04-18-2014 | Posts: 2,005
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impressive reading Oki ....if you carry on posting, i should be feeling the urge to do more !!!

today i went out on 3 separate occasions (for 1.5 hours, back 1 h, for 5 hours, back 30 min and for 1.5 hours ...)

so accomplishments were minimal

- took DD2 to school, came back via market place & baught 3 items

- washing up, shining the sink, started a load of laundry, did a bit of food prep for my picnic

- after first outing, gave a call to book a medical appointment, checked e-mails and sent a few, packed picnic and went to dance class

- a little more shopping after picnic, came back home leisurely (stopped at a park to sit and think- ... since i know i'll have even less "alone time" for the next two weeks ... which frightens me a bit)

- after second outing, more paperwork done, some into enveloppes & went out to post the letters & then drop by a friend near the post office to translate into french a few "starch meals" ideas from the Harcombe diet (she lost 2 kilos already & is happy about it & her DH is going to eat the same as moral support, he only has 5 kilos to loose ....)

took my time talking ... so stayed longer than i intended ... therefore my lot thought i had abandonned them LOL => DH did the washing up that was blocking the sink & DD1 offered to help prepare the evening meal since i was coming back so late and she was hungry !!!

- did the washing up as the children brushed their teeth (and swept a few confetti from the girls room ....)


i d' like to instaur several pick up sessions throughout the day too since the children are on holidays ...

first things first, ... not staying for too long at the computer since we have a roller blading class tomorrow morning & today it's outside & the other side of town too (= earlier get up time !)

mariamadly's Avatar mariamadly
11:24 AM Liked: 1447
#11 of 153
04-19-2014 | Posts: 1,635
Joined: Jul 2009

Nice to find this thread!  I'm haphazard about the house overall.  Just try to keep it tidy and tend to clean as I go, but no "formal" routine -- i.e. I sweep when I can't stand it any more, not at set intervals.  We do keep the kitchen sink clean and empty (without a dishwasher), which I like a lot.  When a sudden baking project comes up (i.e. last-minute request from out-of-state DS1 or DS2 for rolls baked from scratch), I'm able to just hit the ground with it.


My 10-15 minute session approach has started in the attic.  We have a walk-up with a lot of boxes and spare furniture.  Plus we started using it as our bedroom when my mother moved in last fall and we gave her the master.  So, a very nice incentive to get it organized.  I started sporadically but am now more formally giving myself at least ten or fifteen minutes every weekday to purge, sort, and store.  Just finished getting forty years of Lego bricks (not a typo, DH's were included) into a large dresser my mother gave us.  The toughest part for me was walking away before it was ALL DONE, but it was also the healthiest.  A short time limit helps so much; I let myself work beyond it but keep it in mind as permission to break a huge project down into stages.


Next is a f-ton of Brio trains, tracks, and accessories.  Stay tuned!

momtoS's Avatar momtoS
08:08 AM Liked: 34
#12 of 153
04-23-2014 | Posts: 2,755
Joined: Apr 2006

Okay here is my first 15 minutes:

loaded dishwasher

stripped bedding

put in washer

did quick decluttering of desk area

quick pick up.

momtoS's Avatar momtoS
08:21 AM Liked: 34
#13 of 153
04-23-2014 | Posts: 2,755
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Got together one garbage bag for donation.

momtoS's Avatar momtoS
09:33 AM Liked: 34
#14 of 153
04-23-2014 | Posts: 2,755
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Shovelled some snow. 

mariamadly's Avatar mariamadly
10:44 AM Liked: 1447
#15 of 153
04-23-2014 | Posts: 1,635
Joined: Jul 2009
Originally Posted by momtoS View Post

Shovelled some snow. 

Whoa!!  The last of ours finally melted last week, and we're in northern New England in the U.S.  Are you having a late winter, or early?

momtoS's Avatar momtoS
02:52 PM Liked: 34
#16 of 153
04-23-2014 | Posts: 2,755
Joined: Apr 2006

We are having a bit of a long winter. It is supposed to snow again the next three days. I can't wait to see green. :(

IsaFrench's Avatar IsaFrench (TS)
12:50 AM Liked: 274
#17 of 153
04-24-2014 | Posts: 2,005
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am sure i did a few 15 minutes sessions yesterday ....but with the children on school holidays, i find it HARD to concentrate and work in an organised fashion, let alone record it ....

clutterwarrior's Avatar clutterwarrior
07:22 PM Liked: 87
#18 of 153
05-01-2014 | Posts: 1,615
Joined: Apr 2010

This morning I:

cleaned both toilets and toilet brushes

dusted all books in son's room

dusted furniture and knick knacks in his room

put delicate clothes on to wash


To do:


hang clothes out to dry

shop for food for the weekend (It's Friday here)
read a bit of book for discussion group

write book review

prepare dinner

IsaFrench's Avatar IsaFrench (TS)
04:28 AM Liked: 274
#19 of 153
05-02-2014 | Posts: 2,005
Joined: Mar 2008

hello clutterwarrior, how are things in your part of the world ?

i had a little time of frenzy on Wednesday afternoon just before our dinner guest arrived ... but that flat would need much more attention ....

yesterday i only packed a picnic & we had to walk 45 min each way because of no public transport on Labor day

.. but it was great to "escape" from daily chores !!!

+ came back to have a 30 min nap & prepare may bag & flee to a 3 hours long danse workshop !!


now, this morning i

- went food shopping - on foot and carried the shopping trolley 3 flights of stairs

- started one load of laundry

- baked some mini muffins (to use an over ripe banana)

- a half price chicken is in the oven

- am researching how to prepare Aubergines with no oil (yes, i know, procrastinating again !!!)

- need to leave the computer soon so as to clean up the sink before lunchtime ....


this afternoon i plan to

- take a bus to go and buy 25 kilos of oats & bring it back in our shopping trolley

- wipe washbasin and bathtub

- declutter and find a few items i cannot lay my hanbs on (instead of buying more of the same !)

crazyms's Avatar crazyms
02:52 PM Liked: 2374
#20 of 153
07-15-2014 | Posts: 1,203
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I was looking for this thread! I see it's been a while since anyone's been on but I need this! I've gotten way behind here lately and just haven't gotten a good routine going since moving into the new house. I'm trying to work at decluttering and 10-15 min sessions to keep me going until I can get a little better order here.

I just finished cleaning off and organizing the top shelf of my pantry shelf - it's open so it's visible from the front door and was aggravating me. Swapped over a load of clothes and did a few more dishes. I've been slacking as my new sink area only has space to dry a few items even with my rack since it's directly under a low lying cabinet grrr.

The plan for this afternoon:
- Clean the kitchen counter to lay out a towel so I can get ALL the dishes done. We made homemade shampoo and deodorant earlier so we have more than usual.
- Strip the beds and start washing through all the bedding in the house. I want to line dry all of it and then some will be being packed away and others put in the donation pile. This will take a couple of days to get done but I want to start today.
- Clean off the small shelf station so I can reorganize our homeschool books there before the school year officially starts for us.
- Clean/organize the spice/baking center cabinet

I think that will be more than enough to get done today. If I can accomplish that much I'll feel a lot better and be able to tackle more tomorrow. I of course need to take out the garbage and pick up/vacuum the living room too.
mariamadly's Avatar mariamadly
04:43 PM Liked: 1447
#21 of 153
07-15-2014 | Posts: 1,635
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Nice to be reminded of this thread! My 10-15 minutes have been very slow lately. I've decluttered the large, high-impact things that were obvious to me at first. DH has a lot of old paperwork and books, he expects to be able to send much of that on its way. My part is old letters, and I've been at least skimming them to make sure they need to go. My parents and I wrote at least weekly for a few years when DH was active duty military in the 1980's and 90's, and I want to get those down to maybe a half-dozen that give a nice representation, rather than keeping every. single. one. But there's about a half-inch of progress every time I sit down to it, and that's a half-inch that stays done.
IsaFrench's Avatar IsaFrench (TS)
08:13 PM Liked: 274
#22 of 153
07-15-2014 | Posts: 2,005
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thread starter here .... presently away on holiday but major decluttering awaits me upon my return ... as well as some deep cleaning alongside the daily tasks ..
so should be able to post from Thursday onwards, having been able to replace my dying computer ....
IsaFrench's Avatar IsaFrench (TS)
02:56 AM Liked: 274
#23 of 153
07-19-2014 | Posts: 2,005
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spent 40 min removing ice and cleaning the 3 drawers of our freezer so that i could store properly all the meat packets i got half price on the short sell by date rack .....
should try decluttering this afternoon .. might well go swimming (if i manage to tear myself from the computer, ... sucks up too much of my time ...)
crazyms's Avatar crazyms
03:31 AM Liked: 2374
#24 of 153
07-19-2014 | Posts: 1,203
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Originally Posted by IsaFrench View Post
spent 40 min removing ice and cleaning the 3 drawers of our freezer so that i could store properly all the meat packets i got half price on the short sell by date rack .....
should try decluttering this afternoon .. might well go swimming (if i manage to tear myself from the computer, ... sucks up too much of my time ...)
The computer sucks up too much of my time too. I guess that's why I like the 10-15 min sessions. I get to go back to the computer if I can at least finish at least 10 min of work I hope to get a good bit done today. Just hope I'm not too exhausted. I got little sleep before dd getting up and I just haven't been able to get back to sleep. The house is so small though I can't do much right now without risking waking up the kids. I'm hoping to get started early this morning with a cool shower and a cup of coffee to get the day going. I hope that I can motivate enough to get something done!
crazyms's Avatar crazyms
07:54 AM Liked: 2374
#25 of 153
07-19-2014 | Posts: 1,203
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Washed a few dishes this morning. Just a few more to go but I need to make breakfast now.

I just did a bit in the kids room. Got one box of stuff ready to come out of there that we'd started on yesterday. When DS gets up and we've had breakfast we'll get back in there to finish going through the toys. Need to go through the books as well. I want to finish up there room this morning, hopefully before lunch, and get it all cleaned and set up like new. If I can manage that I'll be ready to tackle some more of the house but at least I'll have one room completely finished!
IsaFrench's Avatar IsaFrench (TS)
11:43 AM Liked: 274
#26 of 153
07-19-2014 | Posts: 2,005
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started making bite size little pastry things which stay in the oven for 20 minutes SO THAT i would spend 20 min cleaning the bathroom (wall tiles not wiped for AGES) ...it worked ! actually spent 20 + 10 min in there ....

went swimming
more shopping
cooked the meat for tomorrow's picnic
then started painting my toe nails as an avoidance tactic (decluttering) then checked my phone messages ...
as a result only went through one bag & still don't know where to store the odd bits i want to keep from that one bag ....
at least i found a kind of comb+ cap that i baught ages ago to keep my hair up & it seems to work and fit my present length of hair ....

then of course back on the computer to check the weather forecast & ask the picnic organiser if it will still be on in spite of the wind ....
which means i also spend some time browsing here and there ....

should wipe the spill on the side of the cooker really .... + have a go at the tiles in the kitchen ....
Aroha Jade
08:57 PM Liked: 8
#27 of 153
07-19-2014 | Posts: 33
Joined: Jul 2014
Hello IsaFrench, I just joined here because I am in the throes of decluttering. I know those avoidance and delay tactics all too well, it's so hard sometimes to know where to put random items. Like we had a bike tyre puncture repair kit. It would get lost in the garage but didn't really belong with the clothes either. In the end we settled for a "sports" shelf with balls, skipping ropes etc. But will we remember to look there when we need it? Time will tell.

Decluttered the worst shelf of my music cupboard yesterday and now trying to muster strength to tackle the next one. Good luck with yours.
crazyms's Avatar crazyms
09:15 PM Liked: 2374
#28 of 153
07-19-2014 | Posts: 1,203
Joined: Jan 2010
I got all the toys gone through in the kids room and set their room back up. I didn't bother going through their books again but we did get the shelves with the books looking better. I just decluttered their books a couple of months ago so I'm just gonna leave that one for now. Didn't accomplish any other decluttering today but... I did learn to knit and am progressing my way through a sampler scarf to get use to it so I can start on the Christmas projects on my wish list that I wanted to learn this technique for so... I'm saying that counts.

I WILL clean off the small bookcase in the living room though before I go to bed. I want that cleared so I can organize our homeschool stuff there.
phathui5's Avatar phathui5
10:24 PM Liked: 5886
#29 of 153
07-19-2014 | Posts: 17,020
Joined: Jan 2002
I love these threads! Will try to get a session or two in tonight once the kids are tucked away.
Aroha Jade
04:19 AM Liked: 8
#30 of 153
07-20-2014 | Posts: 33
Joined: Jul 2014
Originally Posted by crazyms View Post
I did learn to knit .
congratulations! Have fun with your scarf.
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