# Home and Garden

15-Minute Tidy

You know how it is at the end of a very long day when you feel like you just can't go on. You just want to watch your favorite show or read a book or just go to sleep. But the problem is that the mess from dinner hasn't quite been cleared up yet... and the living room could probably do with a once-over...

Usually at the end of even a very long day I can commit to 15 minutes of tidying up. I know that if I clear away everything tonight that tomorrow I'll wake up to a tidy house, which will then, in turn, set me on the right foot for the day. If I leave the mess, I know I'll have to wake up to last night's dishes and a disheveled living room. And if I'm having to deal with yesterday's mess, I just feel like I'm playing catch-up the whole day. I reason with myself that 15 minutes isn't too long and sooner than I know it I'll be on my way to doing something I really want to do that evening.

The marvelous thing is, you will surprise yourself with how much you can actually accomplish in 15 minutes! Many times I'll feel like I've been cleaning for ages and I'll look at the timer to find I have 8 minutes left. Try it... the next time you unload the dishwasher you'll see it actually takes only 3 minutes (instead of the hour it feels like).

I learned this technique from Anthea Turner's Perfect Housewife series and the FlyLady blog. You must try it the next time you are feeling overwhelmed with tidying your home.

For more on this topic, check out this week's video, 15-Minute Tidy. If you are unable to see the video above, click here, look in the sidebar of this blog, or visit my channel: www.youtube.com/TheDailyConnoisseur

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M.Lane said...

"Sometimes from the husbands!!" NO! LOL

I never thought about timing myself [not sure after wine or a couple of drinks I could work the timer] but I have to tidy up the kitchen before bed no matter what. I have only started doing this in my 50s and I have no idea why an untidy kitchen depresses me now and never did before!!

Great post!


Deborah said...

Jennifer, where do you get the fantastic music trailers for your videos? I would love an entire library of that music.

Single Socks said...

What's great post!I I am always disappointed to wake up to " left over" mess from the day before, and I think you have just given me the nudge I needed to squeeze that15 minutes in. thank you!

The Daily Connoisseur said...

M. Lane- Ok not all husbands are messy. Although I've yet to meet one. How lovely that you do the kitchen. Can you move into my house??

Deborah- Most of the music comes from garage band and much of it I compose. This is a jazz piece that I did not compose.

Single socks thank you!

Unknown said...

I agree - I feel so much more relaxed in the evening after a very quick tidy up. Although I'm not the world's tidiest person, I need some measure of order in my home!

Hannah x


Deb said...

I tried this for the first time tonight and it works like a charm. I've just read your book for the second time and have started giving myself a Madame Chic overhaul ��

Tara Lane said...

I haven't watched the video yet, but I love the FlyLady shout-out. She's very big on getting ready every day (no schlumpy lady...although I don't use lace-up shoes) and decluttering; both of those are very chic!

Ok, now on to the video.

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful idea...I shall give it a try! Loving your book!! I am on my second read through.

Unknown said...

Wait--if the husband left a mess in the living room, why isn't HE cleaning it up?? Even children are usually expected to clean up after themselves.

Ugh, sometimes I feel like nothing has really changed for women since Betty Friedan.

The Daily Connoisseur said...

UNKNOWN- (why am I not surprised you didn't use your real name?)- My husband does clean up after himself. His standards of tidyness are not quite up to my (high) ones, however. So instead of nagging him to go that extra mile, I do it for myself. I think the problem with a lot of women is we expect the men to be on the same page as us with everything. He doesn't care if the pillows are straight. I do. So I straighten them. We have a very happy marriage because of it.

Greenjane72 said...

An interesting subject - the husband involvement I mean. As I get older (or could I call it 'more mature'!) I increasingly realise that there's nothing wrong or anti- feminist or whatever you want to call it about a couple who love each other and share a house and children , taking charge of separate roles in that relationship. In my own example I have worked full time in the past and hold a masters degree in clinical psychology. These days I work part time and raise our 3 children while my husband works full time. He does a lot of parenting but not a huge amount of tidying! A clean house is important to me so I'm happy to take a lead role in that. 15 minutes of tidying at the end of the day is an excellent idea and one I have adopted very easily and happily. I don't think it means a return to the dark ages of inequality. Jane

Unknown said...

I follow Flylady also, and the 15-minute tidy-up is best (and more fun) when the whole family does it at the same time.

Andrea said...

I love the Flylady blog! I'm glad you mentioned that website. I discovered the Flylady right around the same time that I discovered your blog, and each has been such an inspiration to me! Thank you for this practical, helpful reminder.

Unknown said...

On your advice, I began reading the Flylady's blog and FINALLY feel like I have a handle on the cleaning of my house. I tend to go through phases of 'all out cleanliness' to 'lack of desire, and letting it go'. Sort of a Bipolar Cleaning Tactic. Now, thanks to you, I follow the Flylady's advise and tackle a little at a time, a little each day, and have faith in the system that it will all get done, IN ROTATION.

Just to let you know, I really enjoy your gentle calmness, and topics. Your advice helps me take a look at the shopaholic-ness and reevaluate how much I really need or want. Best to you!

Unknown said...

Actually, the "Unknown" moniker is not my doing, but is generated automatically when I comment, I don't know why. (Because I'm not a blogger or on facebook?)

To me, yes, there is a difference between between being a homemaker/SAHM and a maid, and I do object to the whole notion that women should be expected to clean up after their male partners. While I get that my opinion is apparently controversial, I certainly didn't regard it as so outrageous or offensive that it needed to be anonymous! Anyway, I'm sorry for the offense. I didn't mean my comment to be rude, but I can see why it would read that way.
best wishes,

The Daily Connoisseur said...

Thank you Claire (Unknown) for coming forward again. After five years of blogging I was getting tired of all of the critical comments being left by anonymous users. I appreciate you clearing things up. All the best!

And thanks to everyone else for your input. So appreciative of you all! x