Life, right? We all have that excuse when we get behind on things. I’m a busy mom too, so I feel like I’m always behind on something. But I thought I’d share with you a quick little cleaning hack. This is for the time when company is coming over, the in-laws are stopping by, or just before my husband gets home from work and the house is a mess.
I call it the 5 x 5 system. You start by choosing 5 spaces in your house (similar to the Flylady’s zones) and you spend 5 minutes in each one. The rule is: you cannot leave that room until the 5 minutes is up OR unless it’s really super clean.
These are the 5 spaces we always choose:
1. The kitchen: I always start in the kitchen because it always takes me longer than 5 minutes. I start by filling the sink with hot, soapy water and open the dishwasher (both Flylady tricks). I sweep the room for any dirty dishes, then either wash them or load them in the dishwasher. I never finish the kitchen in 5 minutes, but I know I’ll have some extra minutes left from my dining room, so, I’ll finish up the kitchen after. After the 5 minutes is up, I move on to the next room.
2. The dining room: For us, the dining room mess usually consists of picking up toys, clearing off the table, and food crumbs. If I’m fast enough, I can even squeeze in a quick vacuum for the dining room and kitchen. After 5 minutes, on to the next room.
3. The living room: Again, for us, the mess of the living room is usually picking up toys. It’s also where our clothes end up, since our laundry room is upstairs. I give it a quick tidy and vacuum the rug. This one rarely takes the full 5 minutes, so I’ll head back to the kitchen to finish up the dishes and then move on to the next room.
4. The office: This room gets used a lot, for a lot of different things. It’s where the kids play, it’s where we watch TV, it’s where I work out, which means, there’s a lot of stuff in here. A quick tidy of the space, which takes under the 5 minutes, and I’ll head back to the kitchen to use any remaining minutes.
5. The entryway: This space is a huge mess for us. It is a constant struggle of hanging up coats and putting shoes away. But, now is not the time to focus on that, now is only the time to tidy and feel good about the space you’re in.
These spaces may not work for you, perhaps you don’t have an office, or a dining room, but I’m sure you can find 5 spaces in your home to focus on. Remember: 5 spaces, 5 minutes each. Do NOT get distracted by other messes! If you finish up a room before the 5 minutes is up, great! Head back to one of your other rooms that you didn’t get to finish and spend the remainder of the five minutes there. For me, it’s ALWAYS the kitchen!
You’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish in 25 minutes and no one will know whether you spent 25 minutes or 5 hours tidying. It’s quick, effective, and will make you sweat! Ready to get started? Let’s go!