15 Minute Cinderella

by Becca Christensen

Whether you’re single, married, married with kids, divorced with or without kids, living with roommates, or running a house full of pets, keeping up with a home takes work!  If you love to have a clean house but hate to clean or never seem to make time, have no fear!  This post is going to give you a simple system to keep your house clean with a minimal time commitment (like those “lose weight without dieting” gimmicks, only true).

When I became a homeowner I promised myself I would always keep my house clean enough to have people over at the drop of a hat.  I live in a townhome and my complex has an amazing pool and I always want my friends to feel like they can invite themselves over on the weekends to use it.  The Lord has blessed me and I desire to be generous with those resources. 

That being said, I’m also a single, 26 year old with two jobs, a bible study, a blog, 15 weekends of travel per year, a commitment to read 50 books per year, and on occasion when I’m not passed out in my can of Diet Coke by 10 p.m., a social life. I do not have endless hours a week that I want to spend playing Cinderella and I’m guessing, neither do you.  So I did some research.

I printed three weekly chore lists from Pinterest and recruited three of my girlfriends to try them out with me.  For a week at a time we would follow these “15 minutes a day to a clean house” chore lists and compare notes. Later I weighed the pros and cons of each and made my own master list.  Now, I wake up a half hour earlier. I do my quiet time (this is key to my sanity and spiritual growth) and then spend 30 minutes doing my chores for that day BEFORE work. This ensures they get done no matter what my day holds.

My advice would be to try this yourself.  It takes discipline but the payoff has proven to be worth it for my friends and me.  You’ll need to make your own priority list because your household is unique and so your chores will be as well.  But to give you an idea, here’s a simple version of mine:

  • Monday
    Take out the trash.  All of it.  Bathrooms, garage, kitchen, etc.
    Dust the whole house
  • Tuesday
    Vacuum the house (this one does take more than 30 minutes because I have 2 sets of stairs, and can’t be done at 6 a.m.)
    Mop (every other week)
  • Wednesday
    Clean bathrooms
    Clip/print coupons and make shopping list
  • Thursday 
    Run and empty dishwasher
    Laundry
  • Friday
    Trash again
    Pick up room
    Cards for the next week (birthdays, anniversaries, etc.)
  • Saturday
    Change sheets and towels
    Grocery shop
  • Sunday
    Prep meals for the week (pack lunches for work, etc.)
    Clean out car and run it through carwash

As you can tell, your list will need to be customized. But none of these tasks in and of itself takes a long time.  If you divide them in an order that makes sense and put the harder things on the days when you’re home longer (like laundry or vacuuming) this will help you maximize your success.  I put the easier tasks on the weekends because I enjoy having more time on those days to relax.

If cleaning and organizing overwhelm you, don’t let yourself be defeated before you try!  Make a list and make yourself stick to it for two weeks.  You’ll be surprised by how much you enjoy the way your house looks and runs, which may just motivate you to keep going for another two weeks, and two more after that. 

I would love to hear your results and stories so please feel free to shoot me an e-mail.  I can be found at rebeccaholmeschristensen@gmail.com.  This goes for any questions as well.  Also, for great cleaning list resources check Pinterest or www.messies.com.

Becca Christensen works as an event specialist in the non-profit/sports world. She loves to bake, travel, read, blog, spend time with family, and root on the Indianapolis Colts. In addition to contributing to the Beautiful Blog, Becca attends Beautiful Monday Nights. You can read more about Becca on her blog, Oh, The Places You’ll Go.

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