Are you one of those people that just can’t seem to keep the apartment clean for longer than, say, an afternoon? Or maybe you go through a streak of keeping things relatively under wraps for a week until the closet somehow explodes or out of seemingly nowhere there is a huge pile of papers on your kitchen counter. You make a mental plan that, once things quiet down with work, you’ll dedicate some time to cleaning up. This weekend – you’ll set aside a couple hours and just get it done. And then you’ll keep it clean, for real. FOR REAL.

Dishes, laundry, bills, cat litter (ew) – clutter of all kinds, can really build up and weigh you down mentally. Regardless of what you’re trying to focus on, the last thing you need is a brain full of busy-work.

My friend, there is something you can do RIGHT NOW that will get you in a better mental place pretty much immediately. I promise you, in just 10-15 minutes this one technique will set you on the path to lifelong organization you have never known possible.

Trust me, if it worked for me, it can work for anyone!

It’s called the 15 minute speed-clean, and it can be accomplished in a few very easy steps.

HOW TO DO THE 15 MINUTE SPEED CLEAN

STEP 1. Stop what you’re doing. Turn off the tv. Shut down instagram. Close your computer.

STEP 2. Set the timer on your phone for 10-15 minutes. Set your phone to do not disturb.

STEP 3. As soon as you hit START on your timer, get moving as fast as possible. Don’t even give yourself time to think. Pick things up and tidy them as fast as you can. It doesn’t matter if it’s perfect, just start putting things in order quickly, without really giving yourself time to debate it.  There’s actually psychology that shows that your mind is designed to prevent you from making uncomfortable changes, like getting up off your butt and cleaning, and that you can override it by acting before thinking.

STEP 4. The key here is to not spend TOO much time on one single task. You have got to keep your brain occupied jumping around from task to task, otherwise boredom will set in and that’s when Instagram seems like a good idea and before you know it, the entire evening is wasted. It might look something like this:

“Pick up dish from the living room and run it to the kitchen, pick up the blanket off the floor and fold it, throw the pillows on the couch, pick up the coffee cup from the bathroom and move it to the sink, pick up stray sock from the living room and toss it into the laundry, grab the hair towel from this morning’s shower and hang it up to dry, fold a pair of pants and put them away, fill all the dishes in the sink with water so they don’t get crusty, top up the cat food, put the blow dryer away…”

Kinda get my drift? Do this AS FAST AS YOU CAN, like it’s a race.

STEP 5. For extra fun, invite a friend to join in the fun. Guaranteed you have at least one friend who is also a hot mess. Set the timer together, run around like crazy people tidying together, and then check in with each other afterwards on your progress. It’s amazing what you can accomplish in 15 minutes.

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