Cleaning: Getting Started!


Ugh. Cleaning.
It sucked as a kid, and it sucks as an adult. Worse, because there is no Mom to ground you and do it herself when you don’t do it. {And frankly, I’d rather be grounded!}

The hardest part is getting started. I know what needs to be done. I can see it, I walk over on around it, and when it’s really bad, I can smell it.
How’s that for honesty?
So how do I do it? Where do I start? How do I turn the switch to “on” and get going?

My next plan–my backup plan, after all else fails–is this little buddy:

Enter the timer. It’s a virtual lifesaver. Once, Abigail lost my timer for like two weeks. I went crazy without it. I’m on a seriously tight budget and knew my husband would freak, but I seriously considered ordering a new one.
Then I found it.
While cleaning, of course!

What’s the deal with the timer? I know you’ve heard of setting a timer while cleaning (15 minutes if you’ve ever been a Flybaby), but what about setting it to start cleaning?

This is what I do, and it works like a charm: I give myself an amount of set time before I have to start cleaning. I usually give myself enough time to finish whatever I’m doing, for my meds to kick in, or to drink a Diet Coke.
{Sometimes I give myself enough time for all three!}

Typically, by the time the timer rings, I’m able to get going. If not–and sometimes this happens–I give myself another five to ten minutes. Even if I give myself another ‘snooze,’ I’m not sucked into the rabbit hole of time wastage. I’m aware of the time I’m wasting, rather than looking at the clock two hours later and realize I haven’t accomplished all that I was going to do!

What else do I use a timer for? I time myself on the computer, particularly when it’s getting close to dinner time. If I set the timer to the “must start cooking” time, then I’m far more accountable for getting dinner started. Otherwise I’ll waste enough time that making say, homemade pizza dough, at 6:30 because rather unreasonable.
{And of course, if I’m waiting for water to boil or something, I’ll set the timer so I don’t let it boil indefinitely while I go back to my rabbit hole the computer

My timer also has a count up function, so the kids can race to see how fast they can get a chore done. And of course, we don’t clean without the timer. Our daily schedule includes a 5 minute (bedroom) rescue, 15 minutes of chore cleaning, and 15 minutes of deep cleaning. For the deep cleaning we work in one area a week, all together. No matter what, we stop when the timer rings. It goes by really fast, and sometimes we’ll even take a break between the 15 minute cleanings. It’s manageable on my level–and theirs!

Hmm… now that I’ve written this post, I’m starting to wonder…
where’s my timer??

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2 Responses to Cleaning: Getting Started!

  1. Tiffanie says:

    I too am a ADHD mom & my oldest son was just diagnosed. What a REFRESHING blog! Too many women are undiagnosed or don’t speak of it… Bravo!

  2. […] a bonus Mom-tip with a timer, read this post on how to get started cleaning your house! Photo credits here. Linking up to Top Ten Tuesday at Many Little […]

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