I don’t know about you, but my playroom is usually so messy, I just want to close the door and forget it ever existed. I can clean the playroom, go to the kitchen for a minute, and come back to find toys scattered all over the floor. ::sigh::
In this post, I’m going to walk you through the process I use to do a quick 20 minute tidy up in the playroom. Even if you only have five minutes, following these tips can make a world of a difference.
Speed cleaning the playroom
Set the timer
Set your timer for 20 minutes. This sets a sense of urgency and helps you stay on task. If you get a notification on your phone, it’s much easier to ignore it if you know it’s only for a couple of minutes. Stay focused on picking up toys as quickly as you possibly can.
Assess the mess
First, you have to analyze the damage. What areas are driving you nuts? What toys are no longer being played with? Is there trash that can be instantly thrown away? Dirty laundry laying around?
Determine high value, low cost areas
There’s this concept in business called “The Value Matrix.” No, we’re not referring to the film series with Neo and Morpheus. In plain terms, businesses assess projects based on how much they cost and how much value they provide. The goal is to find projects that have a low cost but provide high value.
When it comes to cleaning the playroom, the cost is our time and the value is our peace of mind. So, what are the things that would take little time to do, but would provide high value to you?
This could mean first clearing the pathway of toys so that you are no longer stepping on legos in the middle of the night. Or it could be picking up any dirty laundry laying around (why can’t socks just stay on feet until the end of the day?!)
Starting with these high value, low cost items will get you the most bang for your buck and you will see a huge difference in a small amount of time.
Sort toys so that like items go with like items. You may sort into piles on the floor or into some type of container. We have a cubby system, so I can sort pieces while also cleaning up. Win-win!
Pick up as fast as possible
Don’t worry about getting music or a podcast playing on your phone. Don’t worry about finding all of the puzzle pieces before putting the box away. The goal is to get as much done as you can in a short amount of time.
Listen to the clock…or not
Once your 20 minutes is up, you can decide to quit or you can decide to keep going. Judgement free, the choice is yours and it may change from day to day.
There are some days I am so exhausted that it takes all I have just to put in the 20 minutes. Other days I find motivation to keep going or to at least finish what I’m currently working on.
A note about very messy playrooms
Okay, right now, you might be giving me your best sassy face and saying to the screen, “No way I’ll be able to clean that mess” — points to so many toys covering the floor that you can’t see the actual floor — “with only 20 minutes.”
If the playroom will take more than 20 minutes to clean, pick the high priority items that require the least amount of work, but make the most difference. This may mean chucking all toys into a bin without worrying about sorting first. Or you could clean up the least played with toys first.
But whatever you do, don’t avoid the pick-up just because you wouldn’t be able to get it all done at once. The magic secret is that you can make progress with little steps. Decluttering miracles don’t happen overnight, but by taking consistent steps day after day.
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And that’s how you speed clean the playroom in 20 minutes
This is what our playroom looked like after only 20 minutes of work:
Putting in a little bit of work every single day means that your home can remain relatively clean and clutter free most of the time. Some days it takes 20 minutes to pick up, other days it only take five. In either case, it’s always worth it.