When I was a single Mom, I worked full time and played both Mom and Dad so cleaning was usually the last thing on my mind. Between paying bills, making sure Em was active at school and doing well, and trying to keep myself healthy (and beat the lack of sleep syndrome), I had to learn to adapt my cleaning schedule to fit the rest of my lifestyle. That’s when I learned the beauty of speed cleaning.
The basic idea behind speed cleaning is to get as much as possible done in as short of a time as you can. Instead of spending hours scrubbing your home, you break it into little tasks that can be done quickly. The time savings is obvious because once you get a routine down, you’ll be shocked at how much time you’re NOT wasting anymore. The money savings, may not be as obvious. When you’re spending a large amount of time and the old saying really is true; time really is money. Let’s look at an example: Say you need to go to the grocery store to pick up a few items that are on sale, but you decide to clean the house first. By the time you get done cleaning, you’re so tired that you decide to put off grocery shopping until the next day.
Oops. The sale ended and now you end up paying full price for those needed grocery items. Depending on how much you bought, that could be as little as a couple of dollars extra to a couple of hundred dollars extra. That’s just one example and I could go on and on with them, so I worked out a system that worked for me so much that I kept it in place even after I got re-married!
Part of my system involves totes in every room. When I walk through a room, I pick up any items that I see on the floor. They automatically go into the tote. Once a day, I spend 20 minutes or so putting the things in the totes away. Emma also helps put them away as part of her daily chores. Other parts are worked in around what I’m already doing. For instance, the kitchen gets cleaned while I’m cooking. I load up the dishwasher first so that dinner dishes can be added and then run. I get dinner cooking and wipe down the counters and the sink out. Then, I pull the trash bag and have Emma take it out. If I have time, I start (or switch) laundry. Basically, I try to manage my time as efficiently as possible.
By doing things this way, I’ve managed to save myself over $500/year. Yes. I tracked it. I’m kind of OCD like that. If you’re thinking about starting a routine for yourself, the best way to kickstart it is to do 20 minute increments. Clean for 20 then rest for 20. You can also clean for 20, go do something else you need to do and them come back and clean for 20 more. You’ll soon find that you’re more productive than you ever thought you could be!
So will you start a speed cleaning routine? Do you already use one?
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