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How a Messy Mom Cleans: The Fifteen Minute Method


How a Messy Mom CleansWow – I had such great feedback on the first “Messy Mom” post!  Turns out, my readers are messy, just like me! 

Now, I’ve kept you waiting long enough.  It’s time for the first of my messy-proof methods to jump start your cleaning.


The Fifteen Minute Method

Method: The Fifteen Minute Method

How it works: Spend 15 minutes cleaning in each room.

Purpose: To make large areas of the house functional and presentable in a short period of time.

Doesn’t it seem like we can clean more in the 15 minutes before someone comes over than we do all week? We have a sense of urgency and a sense of purpose that pushes us to get a lot of cleaning done really quickly.

When I need to clean large amounts of house in a short period of time, I try to mimic that situation. I set my kitchen timer for 15 minutes, and get to work. I spend 15 minutes in each room, starting with the kitchen, and I challenge myself. Can I get the dishes done, counters cleared and floor swept in 15 minutes? Amazingly, I usually can!

Then, I reset the timer and move to the dining room. As fast as I can, I clear the table, sweep and vacuum.

Next, 15 minutes in the living room and finally, 15 minutes in the bathroom and entryway.

In 1 hour, I can get the first floor of my house functionally clean.

Before: 15 minutes later:
IMG_4453 IMG_4111

Sticking to 15 minutes will force you to prioritize and clean the most important things.    This is NOT the time to reorganize a cupboard or sort your craft supplies.  Those things also need to be done, but not in this 15 minute time frame.


I used this method a lot when I was pregnant with Isaac and exhausted.  I would do 1 or 2 15 minute sessions and then rest.  I also liked this when I was working full-time.  I could spend one hour on Saturday morning spiffing up, and then enjoy my weekend.  I still use this method a lot when I get overwhelmed with the day-to-day messes that two little boys (and their mom and dad) can create.

Have you tried the 15 Minute Method?   Leave some feedback here or on my facebook page. 

Would you like to comment?

  1. I think I need an demonstration in my own home to see exactly how it works. (I'm a visual learner) ;-) Great ideas; now to get my butt up and start moving. Allergies and no coffee are really slowing me down this morning.

  2. Ok, I tried this and did fairly well.... until I took something to the kitchen that belonged there and then got sidetracked fussing with the mess in that room. Going to keep at it again today, after I go back to bed for at least two hours, and see what I can accomplish! "If at first you don't succeed........" ( Call Merry Maids right?) I don't think they even travel this far without extra fees included! :-P

    1. I'm SO glad that you tried it! Two things:
      1. STAY FOCUSED!
      2. Did you make a dent in one room? I find that 15 minutes, spread thoughout the house, doesn't make a noticeable difference. But a FAST 15 minutes in one room makes a big dent. And that dent will motivate you to keep going!