Start Every Day With A Clean Space
So the New Year is usually when we feel bad about our messes. But just to make you feel better, I'm going to give you a sneak peek of my house in the morning! You're welcome.
Here's what it can look like on a typical weekday when I get home from taking my little guy to school. Keep in mind this all happens before 9 AM...
Food items clutter the counter from making breakfast and school lunches.
Shoes, coats, bags, hats, and mittens are randomly tossed off around the doorway.
Cereal bowls and a few toy trains litter the table along with plenty of toast crumbs underneath.
My kids created pretend pet shops early this morning so there are cut up papers all over the coffee table and floor in the living room. Along with scattered throw pillows, blankets, stuffed animals, and toys
Beds are unmade, with water bottles, headphones, books and pajamas on the bedroom floors.
In the kid's room, there are dress-up clothes and costume pieces spread across the floor from another morning's superhero adventure.
The bathroom has toothbrushes, makeup products, and washcloths on the counter.
The house was clean when I went to bed, but all in the space of 3 hours, it's been completely destroyed.
We could definitely work on putting things away as we get ready or after we're done using them. But most days, its a miracle just to get us out the door in time for school and work.
I can't sit down to work surrounded by a mess, but I do my best work in the mornings. So what's a girl to do?
My new favorite secret weapon is the 30/30 App paired with my morning pick-up routine.
If you've never used the 30/30 App before, it's basically a rotating task list with timers. The items on the list don't disappear when you check them off. They just recycle to the bottom, so it's perfect for daily routines.
This is an even more simplified version of my Roundhouse Clean idea. I'm just picking a few tasks in each room, adding 2-5 minutes for the task, and then aiming to get the whole house cleaned up in under 30 minutes.
Want to give it a try? Here's what you do...
1: Familiarize yourself with 30/30
Download the app follow the quick instructions. It'll teach you how to create, delete and rearrange tasks. It's basically just tapping, swiping, dragging and dropping. It's really simple to use, but powerful.
*UPDATE: The 30/30 App is now discontinued:( I’ve been experimenting with the FlowTimer App and with some tweaks it can work similarly.
2: Brainstorm your cleaning routine
Create a list of about 10 things you could do to get your space in order and add a time of 2-5 minutes. If you have less of a mess, you could add more deep cleaning tasks vs. just picking up tasks. You can also add color and custom icons to the list if you want to make it pretty. Customize it for your daily use.
Here's my 30 min. morning routine list as an example:
2 min - Make Bed (Picking up around it too)
3 min - Throw Pillows + Blankets (Straightening the living room couches)
5 min - Wipe counters + table (Clearing items as I go)
3 min - Dishwasher (Unloading clean, loading dirty)
3 min - Hot spots (Clearing clutter-attracting spots, like my mantle + coffee station)
3 min - Bathroom (Putting away beauty products, quickly wiping the sink)
3 min - Laundry (Gathering all dirty clothes, starting a load)
3 min - Kids rooms (Helping them make their beds, straightening)
5 min - Sweep/Mop (All rooms or just the ones that need it
3: Set an ideal morning routine time
Decide when to do your routine. For me, it works to clean up after I get my oldest off to school. So when we walk back in the door after dropping him off, I'm ready to get started. I like to have it all clean before I do any projects with my other two littles or sit down to work on the computer. When is the best time for you? Before you get dressed for work? After breakfast? It helps to have some kind of time trigger to help you remember to do it.
Don’t have a morning routine? Jumpstart Your Day With a First Thing Routine
4: Make the habit rewarding
Something that makes me excited to do my morning cleaning routine is the feeling I get throughout the rest of the day. I love making lunch in a clean kitchen with no dishes. I like not being stressed out about clothes or being able to find what I need. So I add things that bother me to see piling up, like dishes and laundry. What would make you feel like you have things in order? Add those tasks to your daily list.
5: Problem solve as you go
What if you run out of time? What about things that need to be done that aren't on the list? Tweak your list as you're using it. For example, if I'm straightening the pillows on the couch, I'll quickly gather up any toys around it. I put them away or toss them in a basket of items to return when I'm done. Or if I'm supposed to be wiping down counters, but there's clutter on them, I deal with the clutter and then wipe down my cleared counter. You can always hit pause on the app or +1 minute if something's taking a bit longer. But try to stick to or even beat the timer so you don't waste your day.
6: Use 30/30 for everything else
If you love the app for your morning routine, create more lists to help you in other areas. I also have an Evening Pick-up Routine, a Weekend Chores list, a Deep Cleaning list for each room/zone, a Getting Ready list to get us out the door quickly, etc. You could even use it for work to stay focused and productive.
Nothing has kept me on track like this app, so I hope it's super helpful for you too!
Need organization too? Here’s 25 Ways to Get Organized in Busy Seasons
Want to see my full morning routine? How I Jumpstart My Day.