Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Five Minute Difference

I have always struggled to keep my house in order. Even when I was living with my parents as a young adult, I was hard pressed to keep my room tidy.
The one place that I have really noticed a problem is my master bathroom. Nothing makes you want to clean your toilet like watching your baby crawl towards it. I took a good look at the floor around the toilet and scooped up my daughter fast.
I spent the next 30 minutes cleaning my bathroom. At the end of that time, it was still not spotless (the shower/tub was still needed a good scrubbing), but it was at least baby-presentable. I was a little discouraged. While I had a clean bathroom, I didn't want to spend 30 minutes cleaning it every week. Then I remembered the Fly Lady's philosophy: You can clean your house 15 minutes at a time. While I don't often have 15 kid-free minutes to clean the bathroom, I do have 5 minutes I can spare while the kids entertain themselves in their bedroom.
For the last two weeks, I have kept a timer in my bathroom set to five minutes. It stays on my counter to remind me to clean for five minutes every day. After a week of my quick clean, the bathroom is almost spotless! I'm able to clean different little bits of it every day, even places I would never get to on a 30 minute cleaning spree.
For instance, today, I noticed the toilet paper holder for the first time in months. It was covered with dust. I use it every day, but never seemed to notice the dust collecting on the silver fixtures. It took 30 seconds to wipe it off, and, while my husband likely won't notice, I think it makes the entire bathroom look better. The little things really do make a difference!