The Five-Minute Tidy

5:36. Five minutes and thirty-six seconds. That’s what the online stopwatch timer read when I finished my quick tidying blitz through my living room last night. I had been curious to see how long it really took me to tidy up, so I timed myself.

In that time, I grabbed items that were from other rooms and put them by the staircase to take upstairs to their rightful places when I went to bed. I picked up that day’s junk mail and tossed it in the trash without a second glance. I picked up the documentation for our new digital programmable thermostat and peaked inside the kitchen (where Daniel was washing the dinner dishes) to let him know that I was moving that documentation to a new temporary location. I uncovered a magazine I hadn’t read yet and put it on the couch to browse through at my leisure when the tidy session was finished. I put books on the bookshelf. I even popped a Duffy CD in our sound system. Love that gal! Her vocals are the perfect accompaniment to an evening wind-down session with me, my computer, and a notebook and pen to record ideas as they come to me. Then I sat down next to the magazine and notebook, grabbed my laptop, and hit “stop” on the timer.


Not too shabby!

Sisters to the Five-Minute Tidy are the Three-Minute Flash Clean, the 15-Minute Declutter, and the Thirty-Minute Deep Clean. Or at least that’s my theory. I’m still working on proving that hypothesis. A couple of mornings ago I tried out the 15-Minute Declutter in my kitchen as I cooked breakfast. It worked out pretty well … while the scrambled eggs cooked, I uncovered a clean countertop and put dishes to be washed next to the sink as I went, and even went so far as to do some of them and clean out old leftovers out of the refrigerator. Shazaam!

{Photo: cema}

1 Comment

Filed under Cleaning

One response to “The Five-Minute Tidy

  1. Elaine

    It’s amazing what you can accomplish in 5, 10, or 15 minutes! I always stop and admire my handiwork when I’ve done something like that.

    I hope your junk mail makes a stop at the paper shredder before you discard it.

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