The Cleaning Frenzy {15 Minutes to a Tidier House}

housekeeping challenge

Sometimes the house is a mess. Not just MY house, haha, but anyone’s house. It’s a common phenomenon. It happens to everyone at one time or another probably every day or every week or every month. Our houses get messy.

Sometimes they get messy because you have too much stuff and you don’t know where to put it. Sometimes a house gets messy because you just don’t feel like putting things away. Sometimes rooms get messy because someone wanted to eat again (seriously, why does it seem like people want to eat EVERY DAY? Sigh). Or things are a little unruly in every corner because you have kids or dogs or a family. But I think we can all agree that for whatever reason, mess happens.

I’ve shared my four daily routines here for the past six years and I still stand by them. They’ve worked for my family for 25 years. I don’t make housekeeping more complicated because I don’t want to spend all day cleaning or preparing to clean or trying to keep up with my expectations. We just know what the necessary daily routines are and do our best to stick with them. Those daily habits mean our house stays “clean enough.” Not perfect, mind you. But good enough.

One of my favorite routines of all time is what we call a cleaning frenzy.

Whenever our house starts to get a little crazy (and let’s just be honest it might be that way at some point every day) we stop what we are doing, pump up the tunes and start putting things away. It’s quite simple to get started, but it can be very contagious. You see one person around the house in a cleaning frenzy and you just can’t help yourself.

Pretty soon you too are washing dishes, grabbing stuff off the counter or coffee table and putting it away. And before you know it, the house is cleaner than it was 15 minutes earlier. You can step back and smile at how much tidier the room looks. You are amazed that it really wasn’t that difficult at all to clean it up and make it “better than it was!” You just had to get started!

So if you are sitting there right now looking at a mess (eh hem) maybe you should try a cleaning frenzy. In fact, let’s try a group project, shall we? I bet we all have a mess somewhere in our house. I know I do.

Here is the mission. Let’s all step away from the computer, put on our favorite 1980s tunes :), set a timer for 15 minutes, pick a room and GO FOR IT. We’ve got this. 

Then come back and let us know you completed the mission, OK?!

READY, SET, GOOOOO.

Check out my book page for my books, including the New York Times Best Seller, Love the Home You Have and Make Room for What You Love!

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Comments

  1. I love this idea in theory, but I lack the self-control to do this regularly! Maybe I should just *schedule* a 15 minute cleaning frenzy and then it may happen. :) But since you’ve got me all motivated right now, I guess I’ll go clean up that closet I’ve been putting off!
    Lauren recently posted..(Things I Wish I Knew Before Studying Abroad) Week 1: What To Know After A Week In LondonMy Profile

  2. I did this with my boys yesterday – a 26 minute cleaning frenzy – and I love how quick it is to make the main area of the house so much tidier! I really do love a tidy home, and even though the boys, dogs & the mister don’t appear to care, they are happier when it’s tidy too!

  3. I LOVE this idea! If I did this 2 times a day; I would feel so accomplished haha. Even when I’m cleaning, the amount of technology that gets me distracted, whether it’s the TV, email, internet, phone, is unbelievable. And the cleaning, takes hours instead of 15 min! Def going to try this very, very soon :)
    Mya recently posted..Update on my herb gardenMy Profile

  4. Absolutely! You read my mind, Melissa!

    http://creeksideministries.blogspot.com/2011/12/take-15.html

    And then we’re done for the day! Yippee!
    Linda recently posted..Gleanings : : Gender . Small . Joni & Ken . Space . Move ItMy Profile

  5. …just so all of you know…if you put on some 60s music…you will be able to work nonstop for thrity minutes…and bake muffins at the same time…i know of what i speak…blessings laney

  6. I love your cleaning frenzy idea! The biggest challenge to cleaning is getting started and pumping some of your favorite tunes can certainly help with the inspiration.

  7. I love this! We usually do one before naptime and bedtime for the kids and it really helps so much.

  8. Laney…you’re brilliant! I’m not even sure I know any ’80’s tunes. -grin-
    Sandra at Thistle Cove Farm recently posted..Sabbath KeepingMy Profile

  9. I did it! Unloaded and reloaded the dishwasher, washed a few dishes, cleaned off all my kitchen counters, including my “desk” area. I always do better with cleaning up when there’s music on! Thanks for the nudge this morning.

  10. We do this too but we call it 5-5-5, five minutes in the 3 main living areas. We do this every evening as a family and it makes such a huge difference!

  11. I LOVE this idea! We love to combine the dance party and the tidying into one fun package, and most of the time the kids have fun. I know I do! Happy cleaning (and boogie-ing) everyone!
    Camille recently posted..Stop Touching My Melon Balls: Why My Children Must Go Back to SchoolMy Profile

  12. Peggy dlugos says:

    I used to do this with my kids when they were little. It’s amazing what you can accomplish in just 15 minutes.

  13. Thanks for the nudge. Dishes in the sink washed and the kitchen floor. Will work on the stove and counters later.

  14. We will do that with our walls. I have 2 toddlers in the house and they always manage to get fingure frints all over the walls. whenever I notice it getting bad the entire house will take a wet wash rag and scrug parts of the walls for about 10 minutes. I gets so clean with everyone pitching in.
    Tanya recently posted..Three Key Characteristics of a Smart Social Media PolicyMy Profile

  15. The cleaning frenzy is the story of my life. My poor home is gonna need it when I get home!

    hazelberrypaper.blogspot.com

  16. Melissa, Thanks so much for reminding me about the cleaning frenzy. I used to do it years ago on a regular basis when I got in from my shop. I’d set my timer for 15 minutes and “go to town.” It’s very effective and fun. One of my best friends has a home that always looks great. I notice that she restores everything back in place once she’s finished a project or a snack. She also keeps a lovely basket in nearly every room for quick pick ups. I won’t be home until late tonight, but I will begin doing this again tomorrow.
    Mimi recently posted..35 Tips For Taking Great Photos of FlowersMy Profile

  17. I’m on a cleaning schedule and it only takes me thirty minutes twice a day. If I slack off, which especially happens on the days I work, it really shows. I love the idea of turning the music up and going to town on the house!
    Jennifer recently posted..Cottage Breakfast RoomMy Profile

  18. Do you remember the kid’s show the Big Comfy Couch? It was a polite little show about a family of clowns. By the end of the each episode there was a mess and they’d do a ten second tidy! Your 15 minute clean up is the awesome adult version! Check it out:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJa7P6dfmco
    Brianna recently posted..My Labor of LoveMy Profile

  19. Patty Lucas says:

    Well ladies, I am a retired person with grown children (in fact my eldest is 39 today) with no grandchildren so my home is always clean now. Truthfully I miss wiping noses and cleaning little fingerprints. I have an embroidery on my wall that says “Cleaning and Scrubbing can wait till tomorrow, cause babies grow up we’ve learned to our sorrow, so quiet cobwebs, dust go to sleep. I’m rocking my baby and baby’s don’t keep”. By the way I listen to 1960’s music when I clean and sing along to all the songs.

  20. This sounds like one of the many cleaning strategies from Fly Lady. It works if it done regularly.

    • Yes, Flylady has some great tips! I think she does 5 minute room rescues and some sort of decluttering boogie too! I just like to get the whole family together and go crazy cleaning up after ourselves every day to regain our sense of order. It definitely makes a difference! We’ve used this method since our girls were small and it made it more of a game than a chore! ;-)
      Melissa recently posted..31 Days of Falling for Fall! My Profile

  21. I’ve been doing this for years but now I have a name for it! My kids know ” the look” before I even speak. We run around like maniacs and then sit down sweaty. I guess that’s love…and family, they just know!

  22. Deborah "Annie" Ruge says:

    Thank you so much for the inspiration to jump start me in this new season. I love a clean house. Recently, we have had two grown children and three dogs move back in, and it is usually chaotic and not tidy with all of our schedules…now I can get them all on board to keep things organized and clutter free.

  23. Donna Macheska says:

    omg! I REALLY BELIEVE IN THIS..I DO IT ALL THE TIME..THANK YOU FOR MAKING ME FEEL GRAT ABOUT THIS

  24. Stephanie Churchman says:

    We do this at home with one twist. My three teens and I start at one end of the house and move our way through to the other end. Nobody leaves the room until it’s “clean enough”. It took longer the first time and they caught on very quickly that if you do it often enough it takes less time to clean the entire downstairs than the time they used to spend avoiding doing a single chore… and they aren’t embarrassed having to move clutter when their friends come over

  25. We have a smiliar thing at our place – it’s my ‘hour of power’ once the baby goes to sleep. I put a load of washing on, unload and load the dishwasher and soak the baby’s bottles. Then I put a slice in the oven and help my 4yr old clean his room. He then comes to help in the kitchen or paints/draws in the dining area while I finish up the slice and filling the slow cooker or putting a meal in the oven, etc. Dishes and more washing in my arvo ‘hour of power’ and if he’s too busy to clean up in the morning, we do it in the arvo. Once both boys are alseep after dinner, I do a quick 30 minute tidy up and tackle Mt Foldmore. I have a cleaner once week for 2 hrs to do the bathrooms and floors as I work full time. Hours of power are usually Saturdays. I do the 30 minute tidy up each night. Makes a huge difference.

  26. Jean U. says:

    This is the only way I can clean–get into a frenzy and really mean business! Otherwise, who wants to spend half or the whole day cleaning?

  27. I actually do a cleaning frenzy in the last 15 minutes before I go to work each morning. I’m a morning person so that makes it a little easier to get up and go through my morning routine and still manage to find 15 minutes to Swiffer the main rooms or put up all the clean dishes that were washed in the dishwasher the night before. :) Sometimes it’s only 10 minutes, but this morning I managed to get in 20 and the house looks a lot better!

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