Time Management Tip 28: Creating A Simple Timer Based Cleaning Routine

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(Links in this post are affiliate links. I will be compensated when you make a purchase by clicking those links. See my disclosure page for more information)

creating a simple timer based cleaning routine For years I tried various cleaning routines yet never found one that worked for me.

Then I joined Money Saving Mom’s “4 Weeks to a More Organized Home Series” during the series Crystal constantly had us setting a timer and then cleaning just one specific area.

I had been using a timer to help me in many areas of my life for years, but never had I used it to control my cleaning time, I had wrongly adopted the “stick to it till it’s done” attitude.

My “stick to it attitude” was failing since I often did not have the time to complete a task fully so therefore it never got done.

When I gave cleaning  tasks a clear time frame, my sense of accomplishment shifted from getting the job done to getting the time done, and that was a big break through for me.

Finally I was cleaning on a regular basis and that meant the house was slowly getting cleaner and in time cleaning took less and less time because things were not as neglected. A shower cleaned once a week takes less time to clean than a shower that has not been cleaned in…well weeks.

During week 4  of Crystal’s series, I sat down and formulated a cleaning schedule that broke down my home into various sections and tasks.

I then e-mailed my new “cleaning routine” to Money Saving Mom and my first guest post was born.

Here is a snippet of my full cleaning plan I shared over at Money Saving Mom

15-Minute Daily Cleaning Assignments

Cleaning doesn’t really take long. Often I was spending more time dreading a chore than it took to do the chore. Now I set the time for 15 minutes each weekday and work on the following:

Monday: Master Bedroom

Tuesday: Upstairs Bathroom

Wednesday: Wild Card Day (I pick an area that is the most cluttered.)

Thursday: Downstairs Bathroom

Friday: Master Bedroom

15-Minute Room of the Week Assignment

In addition to the Daily Room Assignment, I also spend 15 minutes each weekday focusing on cleaning a specific area of my home.

Saturday Assignment

Every Saturday, I pick one area of the home and attack it for 30 minutes. I save Saturdays for bigger projects, such as reorganizing a closet or book case.

If you have been following this series since day one, you should have a good handle on  how long various cleaning tasks take you. You also know where you large and small windows are that could be used for cleaning.  I challenge you this week to sit down and take that knowledge and turn it into a cleaning schedule that works for you.

Post Update : Since writing this Ruth at Living Well Spending Less has written a wonderful resource “How To Create A Cleaning Schedule That Works For You” that is also the introduction to her 8 part  “The Beginner’s Guide To Cleaning” . The introduction and the guide is full of valuable information that will help you not only set up a cleaning system that works for you but also give you the knowledge to clean with accuracy and efficiency , saving you time.

Looking for cleaning tips? Follow my How To Clean Tips board on Pinterest.

Linked to Thrifty Thursdays,

My number one tool for timer based cleaning is a simple kitchen timer. One with a clearly visible count down screen like this one is perfect. Timer apps on smart phones  or tablets are okay but I prefer to see clearly how much time I have left without having to swipe the screen with my cleaning hands.

Dig Into The Time Management  Series Using The Links Below


Introduction: 31 Days Of Time Saving Tips For The Work-At-Home Mom

Day One: Perform a Time Audit

Day Two: Night Owl Or Morning Bird?

Day Three: Where are Your Largest Windows?

Day Four: Making the Most of Small Windows

Day Five: Daily To Do Lists

Day Six: Maximizing The To Do List

Day Seven: Say No

Day Eight: Eliminate Poor Yes Choices

Day Nine: Put Your Time Offenders On a Budget

Day Ten: Combine Joy

Day Eleven: Making Effective Use of Waiting Time

Day Twelve: Making Use of Travel Time

Day Thirteen: Making The Most of Mom Taxi in Waiting Time

Day Fourteen: Take Time to Rest a Few Moments Each Day

Day Fifteen: Tag-Team

Day Sixteen: Involve the Kids

Day Seventeen: Mechanical Slaves

Day Eighteen: Outside Help

Day Nineteen: Timer Magic

Day Twenty: Take a Rest Day

Day Twenty One: Less Stuff, Less Mess, More Time

Day Twenty Two: Hold A Family Work Bee

Day Twenty Three: Keep Gatherings Simple

Day Twenty Four: Saving Time in The Kitchen

Day Twenty Five: The Self Cleaning Home

Day Twenty Six: Streamlining Your Homeschooling day

Day Twenty Seven: Create an I Did It List 

Day Twenty Eight: Create a Simple Cleaning Routine (you are here)

Day Twenty Nine: Create To Go Bags

Day Thirty: Making Minimum Standards

Day Thirty One: Treat Life Like a Marathon Not a Sprint


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  1. I have found over the years if I set a time for what I think is a reasonable amount of time to finish a certain job, if I’m almost done when the timer rings, I usually just decide to go ahead and finish. Plus, knowing there’s a time limit keeps me plugging at it and not being distracted by carrying things to the other room, seeing who texted me, getting food out of the freezer, making sure the music I have on is nice…Thanks for the reminder!

    I’m visiting through Teach Me Tuesdays. I’d love it if you’d take a few minutes to visit me back.

  2. I really like this concept. I know when I have a lot of cleaning to do but I really want to relax, I make a deal that I can watch a show as long as I clean during commercials. With an hour show that adds up to about 15 minutes and I get a lot done as I race to finish a task as the show comes back on. 🙂 Stopping by from Thrifty Thursday.

    • Victoria says:

      I do the same thing but with books. I make myself clean for 5 to 10 minutes between chapters.

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