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clutter collageOver the holidays, we were so busy with events, family and resting, that many of my good habits in the clutter and cleaning department went by the wayside. A few weeks back I posted about 15 minute cleaning sessions, and how much you can accomplish in a short time. Many people were skeptical and challenged me, because they didn’t believe you can really get that much done in 15 minutes. Well, here’s proof. And be gentle, because I am about to show you my mess!

This is my reading nook in my room. It is a small area where I go daily to pray, read books, and relax. When the world is chaotic, this is my quiet place to escape and settle down. Only, over the break as I cleaned other rooms, stuff got dumped in here. Dishes were left after quick snacks, suitcases dumped, laundry piled up, and everything that didn’t have a home ended up here.


Every day I spend 15 minutes tackling a cluttered surface. Just 15 minutes! I turn on music, set an alarm, and go. I do what I can in that 15 minutes. I don’t leave the room where I would get sidetracked, I just put things in a basket to be delivered to their rightful home at the end. This is a Flylady trick I learned 10-12 years ago that has saved my sanity!

1. Turn on great music. Music you love. Music that makes you want to shimmy around!
2. Grab a basket for items that don’t belong in the room, and a trash bag for trash.
2. Set a timer for fifteen minutes.
3. Clean!

Any items you find in your mess that don’t belong in the room–whether they belong in the kitchen, the closet, or even for giveaway, put them in the basket! Don’t leave the area to go to another room to put them away–you will find yourself sidetracked, cleaning all day with no real progress to show for it. So stay focused, stay in one place, and tackle the clutter.


This is my (embarrassing but real) before:


And after fifteen minutes of cleaning, this is my after:




Ah, peace. I can breathe again.


Now, I didn’t get time to dust or vacuum. The charging station wires aren’t all straightened out. The bibles and binders off to the side aren’t stacked in perfect order. But those things are perfectionist items, not clutter-busting. I was able to get all of this DONE in 12 minutes, leaving me three minutes to put the items in my basket in their rightful rooms, then take the trash out to the trash can.


Here’s the thing I’ve learned the past few years: clutter is ALWAYS overwhelming. It always ends up messy. And when it is messy, it seems like a gargantuan task that will take hours just to make a dent in. But it isn’t true. Just fifteen minutes can make a huge difference! I do this once a day, six days a week. Or, I try to! Sometimes life gets in the way. But when I do, our home is so much more peaceful! And even better, I haven’t spent hours cleaning to only have it messed up again. So I encourage you to TODAY, set a timer and tackle that one spot that seems impossible! DONE!
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