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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

In Which I Clean the House

I didn't sleep very well last night, so I decided to give my article some breathing room today. I needed to do some domestic chores, but I felt lazy. So I decided to make a time-management game of it. I set the timer for 1 hour and tried to see how much I could get done.

I emptied the dishwasher, a task I had begun the night before. I put in the dirty dishes, wiped off the top of the kitchen counters. I got my clothes out of the dryer and put them away. Then I scrubbed two toilets, mopped two bathroom floors and the kitchen, plus the stairs leading to the basement. I vacuumed the one room in the house with carpet, changed two lightbulbs, one of which burned out while I was working. At this point I still had a lot of time left, so I put two new bills into my online bill payment and paid them. I cleaned off the glass coffee tables with windex. There was still time left so I took out the recycling, cleaned off the top of the ping-pong table and did some general straightening. The only major tasks I didn't get done were cleaning the rest of the bathroom counters and showers and mopping the hard-wood floors.

What did I learn? An hour is a long time for housework. Grouping tasks, like mopping everything at the same time, or cleaning the toilets all at once, makes things go faster. I had originally planned to clean one room a day while Akiko was in Spain, but I hadn't really done much yet. It would be better to spend one hour every other day and do as much as possible. The timer was a helpful, because without it I would have just done about 15 minutes and quit. I was actually looking for extra things to do at the end.

7 comments:

Professor Zero said...

Yes - it's not the cleaning itself that takes the time. It's the placement and filing of stuff, and all the little repairs and fixes.

After all the house and yard work I've done in 2011 and am still not finished with, I am highly tempted by the idea of a condo in new construction - dust, mop, go.

Professor Zero said...

... actually, though, I do know how much time my house takes me on average, of actual cleaning indoors: 8 hours a month.

Andrew Shields said...

I just timed one hour of cleaning my desk. It's not quite done yet, but it's much cleaner than it was! By focusing on cleaning my desk, I did not end up cleaning up my email inbox instead.

Jonathan said...

You'll need another hour for that.

Andrew Shields said...

Another hour of work on the desk today ... now it's on to email.

profacero said...

OK, I am about to link to this post to disagree with what it says about how long it takes to clean house.

Jonathan said...

This post is not about how long it takes to clean a house, but about how much dent in the task one hour will make. There i an important difference.