A few years ago I read a trick somewhere, and I wish I could remember where, but it went something like this: A friend calls you and says they’re in the neighborhood. Can they stop by in about 10 minutes? What do you do? Do you panic, and run around your house straightening up and cleaning and pushing things into closets like that scene in the beginning of “Forgetting Sarah Marshall”? Suddenly the mess seems overwhelming; how are you supposed to get ready for company in 10 minutes when you have to spend hours on the weekend cleaning it?
That’s the trick: rather than spending hours doing everything at once (on your precious weekend, no less!) keep your home within 10 minutes of being “guest ready” by doing a little bit every day. For me it’s making the bed every morning, wiping down the bathroom counters with a Clorox wipe, tossing laundry in a hamper, keeping newspapers and magazines stacked and off of surfaces. Then all the “big stuff” that’s left to do on the weekends is vacuuming or mopping the floors, something your guests likely won’t even notice when they pop over unannounced (for the record, this has never actually happened. I just like a clean house and this justifies it, haha).
I’ve also heard a variation on this called the “20 minutes a day” rule, which is sort of the same thing: spend 20 minutes each weekday doing one cleaning task (dusting, scrubbing toilets, folding laundry) so that it never becomes overwhelming all at once. Do you guys subscribe to something similar? It’s so much nicer to walk in the door after work and see clutter-free surfaces and a made bed. What about you?