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How to make cleaning easier: Using a TIMER

There are some jobs around the house that I really just don’t want to do. Things that really should be done, but aren’t an absolute must for my family to survive.

Wiping down baseboards, washing windows, and things like cleaning the floor under the fridge. These tasks are not nearly as important as getting laundry done or making sure we have clean dishes daily.

But sometimes, regardless of how necessary, or not, a task is, I just don’t feel like doing it. And on those types of days, when I’m in that kind of mood, I need a little extra incentive to get a job done. So basically I have to trick myself into cleaning🙄.


How to Make Cleaning Easier?

The way I found that works the best for me to actually get those tasks done that I really don’t want to do, is by using a timer.

And if you are part of a busy, active family, cleaning may be the last thing you have time for. So using a timer is a great way to work towards having those necessary, & unnecessary, tasks out-of-the-way so you can enjoy the rest of your day!


Why is using a timer great cleaning hack for busy moms & families? Here are the reasons it's been super helpful to me, a mom of five, that I'm sure will be helpful for you too!

  • It's a specific, set amount of time that you are doing a given task!

This right here is why it's saving me from letting the house fall apart. Knowing you only have to do something for a certain amount of time is a huge incentive to just do it.

It's easy to give more weight to a task than necessary. So sometimes you end up just not doing it at all!

By using a timer you will just get it over and move on with your day.

  • The added pressure helps you focus

You will focus on the tasks at hand & likely get more done in that short amount of time than if you were trying to complete the task throughout the day. All the while trying to complete several other projects/tasks. You know how you know you've worked all day, but it feels like you didn't actually get anything done?

Well, it's because there is so much on your plate to do. If you are trying to do 15 things, versus focus on one at a time, you will continue to feel that way.

And that is a pretty deflating feeling!! Using a timer is a great way to get focused on specific tasks!

  • It becomes a challenge

If you any ounce of being competitive, especially within yourself, or like a good challenge. Then using a timer becomes a game with yourself.

Meaning that every time you set your timer, you challenge yourself to get more done.  Soon you will be able to breeze through tasks. And maybe even end up with some left overtime at the end to do something else, or call it good.  

Either way, using a timer is a great motivator to get after it!

  • You get more and more done each week

If you are using a timer on a weekly basis for chores, you will find that each week you get more done.

If the first week you get a task only 50% finished, you are likely to get it farther along the next time you are using a timer for that specific tasks.
This is also how I am using the timer as a challenge - each week, I try to get just a bit more done than I did the week before.


How to keep your house clean with little effort using a timer!:


First of all, I have a very small list of daily chores that I like to do each day that help me feel like my house isn't going to cave in on me.

These are just the basics to get by during the busy seasons of life. Like when my kiddos are in sports (or let's be honest, all the time!). 

But here's the daily list if you just want a quick glance:
  • start a load of laundry/fold what's in the dryer
  • make bed
  • straighten kitchen (after breakfast)
  • quick sweep (like super, super quick!)
  • swish toilets (trying to train kids to do their bathroom daily…)
  • wipe bathroom counters
  • clean up the kitchen (dishes, clear counters, etc)
  • put away any laundry if any is still out
  • go over tomorrow’s schedule, menu, to-do list

Those daily chores are a must and have really just become a part of my everyday rhythms and routines (mostly!).

So I don't feel the need to use a timer for those. But, there is, of course, so much more to get done when you have a full-size family and home. So I've made a list of 5 items that are my weekly chores.

And this is where using a timer comes in.

Because I'm only going to give myself 30 minutes to work on these tasks. If they don't get done, oh well! They are more done in 30 minutes weekly than they would've been otherwise.

So I'm totally good with imperfection here.

The other thing is, sometimes I just don't get to it. No big deal, it'll come up again next week, so I don't stress about trying to "make it up".  

You can think of the "extras" that you want to do weekly, or daily, and be using a timer for those items. But for reference, here's my list.

weekly "extra" cleaning list:

  1. Appliances (wiping down/disinfecting the front, cleaning inside,etc.)

  2. Mopping (kitchen, dining, downstairs hall/entry, bathrooms)

  3. Dusting & Mirrors (as much dusting as I can in the house, then mirrors in bathrooms and Living room)

  4. Bathrooms (because I've already mopped & done mirrors I focus on shower/baths/toilets)

  5. Washing Sheets/Bedding

As I said, I don't always get to these things, but its way more than I would've otherwise. All because I'm using a timer. I've also found I am using a timer more when I wear my watch. It's right there on my wrist all the time, ready to go!

The best way to stay on top of those extra chores when you aren't really in a mood to is definitely by using a timer!

You can set it for a small amount of time so it doesn't feel too overwhelming. And you'll be able to focus on each specific task, and not trying to do 87 things at once.

Then you can challenge yourself to get more and more done each week during that time! Before you know it, those tasks you don't like won't carry the weight of taking up a bunch of time and will get easier and easier!!

Here are several other Cleaning & Lifehacks to use a timer for:

  • Quick Clean-Ups: Set your timer for 7-10 minutes and have everybody pitch in to get the house (or specific rooms) back in shape.
  • Limiting the use of devices or TV for the kids (or yourself!)
  • Exercise: maybe you only have 10 minutes, but it's still better than nothing! 
  • Time-outs: of course the kids may get them, but maybe you need one! Take some time for yourself to just be!!


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