The secret is out. Today I’m going to share how I keep my home tidy every. single. day. It’s called my 15 Minute Rule.
The rule is simple: Keep your home in a tidy enough state that if you only have 15 minutes to clean before a friend comes over, you won’t be totally embarrassed. Now truthfully, it’s rare that I have friends showing up unannounced like I live in an episode of Seinfeld, but it has happened, and my 15 minute rule saved me. My husband and I live in a 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom apartment. We don’t have a lot of space to hide clutter, and if a friend wants to use our bathroom, we only have the one, so it HAS to be clean.
The key to success behind the 15 Minute Rule is daily tidying. By tidying up a little bit every day, you’ll never let your home become so much of a mess that you’ll feel helpless. These are the things I do on a daily basis to keep my home organized.
- Put everything away when you’re done using it: load dirty dishes in the dishwasher (as opposed to letting them pile up in the sink), fold and put away laundry when it comes out of the dryer, and empty your suitcase within 24 hours of returning from a trip.
- Have a dedicated place for backpacks and handbags so they aren’t just thrown on the floor when you walk in the door.
- Every night before bed: Load and run the dishwasher, clean pots and pans, wipe down all dirty surfaces, fluff pillows in living room, and put away any toys, water glasses, etc. laying around.
15 Minute Cleanup
If you do find yourself having to tidy up in a pinch, complete these quick steps for a tidy home in no time.
- Clean and put away dirty dishes.
- Wipe down kitchen countertops.
- Clean the bathroom: wipe down the toilet and sink area.
- Light a scented candle to diffuse any bad / stale smells and place it near the front door so your guests get a whiff as soon they walk in the door.
- Take out the trash if it’s particularly smelly.
By following my 15 Minute Rule and tidying up a little bit every day, you’ll never let the messes get out of hand again.