Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The 30 minute rule

I do not like housework and I know I'm not alone in that department.

I dread getting the vacuum cleaner out, setting it up and then dragging it through the house, because I know once I'm finished I'll only have to do it all over again next week....and don't get me started on ironing. I told MONT when we met that I do not iron (except when I'm sewing) so any clothing he needs to be ironed is his responsibility.

Anyway, I digress...I've taken the advice of someone (can't remember who) on a blog I read ages ago, to impose a housework time limit. They actually impose a five minute rule because they had little kids and that's all they could manage at a time, but I've got a bit more time to devote to this dreaded task, so I'm now imposing a 30 minutes rule.

I embraced this because, when I was working full time, I used to spend just about all of Saturday trying to psych myself into cleaning the house, then I'd take ages vacuuming and tidying and washing because I was so fed up and so easily distracted that I'd stop what I was doing and go an have a cuppa, or a sit down or...well, nothing. I'd just stop and then feel like my entire day had been chewed up by housework.

The trick to this "rule" is to only do what you can in that 30 minute period then stop. Whatever you've missed can be done the following day when you set yourself another 30 minutes.

Now, you don't have to set yourself a strict 30 minutes, you can apply the 15 minute rule, or the 20 minute rule if that suits you better....or even longer. Totally up to you

Maybe a quick 5 minute tidy up is what you'd prefer. Easy, just stick to that then. The thing is not to let the chores eat up your entire day.

A friend of mine, who hates housework even more then I do, was sceptical about this, but then tried it and reports back that it's terrific so she's now embracing it...  Whatever works for you I say.


  1. Oh darn, the internet swallowed my comment! I was going to say I'm not a big fan of housework. I don't iron either, unless I'm sewing. I might try to impose a 15 limit, though I doubt I'd get much done :)

  2. That's excellent advice. Little chunks are easier to manage. For me it is the thought of it rather than the actual doing it that puts me off. xx

  3. I think that is a great idea. I used to spend a whole day a week cleaning and then discovered that I hated my day off as I wasted it on cleaning! Now I try and clean in blocks throughout the week and I assigned the vacuuming to the 11 year old! xx

  4. Sarah, I actually bought a new wizz-bang iron the other day, just so it was easier to iron my sewing stuff. Nothing to do with shirts/skirts/dresses etc.

    Brismod, I'm basically lazy and anything I can do to minimse housework is a good thing in my book. Much more important things to do than dust and vacuum

    Nellie, exactly! Days off are for more pleasurable pursuits, not dusting etc...please send your 11 year old to Number 10. I have plenty of stuff for them all lined up and waiting
    Pretty please

  5. What a brilliant's not that I'm opposed to housework but my kiddies undo it all so fast that it's hardly worth the effort :)

  6. When I was working full time, I had a similar system as I too found Saturday was becoming 'cleaning day' and I wanted my weekends back. Nowadays, I do the 'essentials' every day and whatever else I can when I get a chance :)

  7. Tammi, I just wish my dogs and old cat would don some wide fluffy slippers and start doing the sweeping up of all their fur balls and dust bunnies...

    Amanda, don't you hate it when one of your days off is devoted to something, like a chore, that you know is going to have to be done again and again? I know I do.


I love to hear your thoughts.