Tuesday, March 16, 2010

My Take on "Minimum Maintenance"

Around a month ago, I stumbled across Rachel Anne's site and read about minimum maintenance. And all of a sudden, my house is consistently cleaner than it has been on a regular basis! Amazing.

Here's how minimum maintenance works for me. Every day, I try to spend 5 minutes "picking up" each room of my house, with the exception of the kitchen, where I spend 15 minutes. I set a timer and go to work! I normally start with the kitchen, moving on to the living room, our bedroom, etc. The idea is to do a sweep through, not detailed, in-depth cleaning. I start with the things that stand out the most...stuff on the floor, etc. If it's the bedroom, I make the bed first, if it's the kitchen, I tackle the dishes.

I like this because:

1) It's a short block of time. This makes it easier to start, because it's not something HUGE staring me in the face. Even if I do every room of my house I'm only cleaning for 50 minutes, and at the end, every room looks "presentable." I rarely make it through every room at one time (baby to feed, etc.), but since I'm only spending 5 minutes on each room, it's easy to stop in-between and start over without feeling bogged down.

2) It makes the "big" chores, like cleaning bathrooms and vacuuming, much less daunting. If I'm spending 5 minutes in the bathroom, a lot of times I have time to wipe the counter or take a brush to the toilet. Most of the time I can vacuum the living room in my five minutes--and wha-la! The vacuuming is half-way done. :)

Here's some of what I accomplished during my minimum maintenance today.

The bedroom before:

And after:

The office before:

And the office after:
We're talking ten minutes of cleaning here!!! I love it.

Happy cleaning!


This post is linked to Works-for-Me Wednesday.


  1. This sounds a lot like Flylady.com's way. I'll have to check it out. The timer is my best friend!

  2. Hey Johnlyn! I had never heard of Flylady, so I just looked up her site. She seems pretty intense!
    Yes, the timer is wonderful--it motivates me, and then it says, "All done!" That's the best part. ;)

  3. Wow, that is really impressive! I don't set a timer, but try to do just enough every day. One of the greatest things about our house is that we have a playroom. It keeps the majority of the toys from being all over the house so things seem to stay a lot cleaner. Plus, if the room gets so crazy and I don't have time to clean it, I can shut the door. After all it's a playroom and meant to be a little messy. ;)

  4. Hmm... I might have to think about this one... Sounds good!

  5. Love the pics. As for keeping the little ones busy, I have a set basket of toys in each room that the kids are only allowed to play with there. They aren't allowed to take them elsewhere, so this way, they are occupied with that one toy they havne't seen in a while. My daughter is also starting to really get into helping with the cleaning. I have a special set of cleaning supplies that are JUST hers to "help" me. When doing laundry....blah blah blah. I should just do a post on this. *scurrying off to go plan a post for next week on tips and tricks of keeping house with small toddlers underfoot.* Oy.


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