I have written before about my daily habits that I complete every single day.  Even if I don’t get anything else accomplished during the day, I know that my house will stay somewhat orderly with these habits in place.

My very favorite of the daily habits is the fifteen minute tidy.  To me, it makes the biggest impact in my home by far.  So much can be accomplished in fifteen minutes, especially if the entire family is contributing, which they should!  Let me show you an example of a very typical Tuesday night.

Messy living room before 15 minute tidy

This is what my living room looked like at 7:00pm.  To be fair, most of it was my junk from a class that I teach.  I was running out of the door for our co-op, and I needed a bag to pack my supplies.  My supply bag from last week quickly got dumped onto the floor before leaving.  When we returned home at 4:00pm, I started getting dinner ready and the kids started playing around my supplies, which compounded the mess.  We have toys, paper, drawing/craft supplies, books, shoes, a blanket, a bowl, and a robe all scattered everywhere.

Now, let’s be honest here.  A very big part of me wanted to pretend like that mess didn’t exist and that I would have the energy and time to take care of it in the morning.  I actually had to leave soon for my dance class at 8:00pm, and I really did not feel like tackling the mess.  This is where you have to let your habits take over and tell yourself that it will be much easier devoting a short amount of time to this task, so that tomorrow will be ten times easier.

After the 15 minute tidy

So that is what we did. I recruited my kids and it did not even take the full fifteen minutes to put everything back where it belongs and throw away the trash.  I still had plenty of time to get changed for dance class and make it there on time.  When I returned home, I had a clean living room and kitchen, my kids were ready for bed, and we read a chapter from our book in a peaceful, cozy living room, as opposed to a chaotic living room, had we not buckled down and followed through with the fifteen minute tidy.

I’m constantly amazed at how this simple habit at night makes the morning go so much smoother and gets us off to a positive start.  No one likes waking up to a huge mess!  That just makes me feel ten steps behind already.  Fresh starts are so much better!

My challenge to you is to implement this small habit in the evening.  Recruit the family if you have one, and you will see even greater rewards.  Many hands make light work!