30 day challenge: Pomodoro cleaning

Although I love the autumn and everything that comes with the change of seasons, as soon as the weather turns crisp my mind can’t help jumping ahead to the most depressing day of the year: January 2nd. Last year’s long cold snowy winter was pretty torturous for everyone, so this year I’m trying to take a few steps to avoid the soul crushing doldroms that January brings. Firstly, I bought Greg snowshoes for his birthday, in the hopes that it will give us a fun outdoor activity to get us out of the house. And secondly, I’d like to try to set 30 day challenges for myself. I’m thinking maybe if I have something to focus on during the dreary months it will give my life a little more purpose than just shivering on the couch and counting the minutes to April. Going forward I’ll probably try to start these on the 1st of the month, but in the interest of getting things started I’m starting out breaking the rules.

September 30 Day Challenge: Pomodoro cleaning

Cleaning is something that I just hate. It feels like one of those things that you spend hours toiling over and before you know it the house is filthy and you have to start over again. It’s like cooking – I just can’t quite get over the fact that you can’t just do it all and be done with it forever. We’ve tried having “Monday Cleaning Night” but you can imagine how popular that was in the house – combining a Monday with cleaning. I thought of instituting a chore jar, but sort of figured it would play out like Lisa trying to get Homer and Bart to help out around the house:

Lisa: Okay, now we’re gonna draw jobs from the chore hat!
Homer: Come onnnn ‘bikini inspector’…. ‘Scrub toilet’?!? Okay, that was a practice…Practice…practice…. Okay, here we go – ‘feed fish’.
Bart: I’ll supervise!
Lisa: You know, the reason for the hat…
Homer: Oh, it’s a great hat. No one’s questioning the hat.
Lisa: Will you at least do the dishes?
Homer: Lisa, I’ll do the dishes when I pick it out of the chore hat and it’s not a practice….. See, there it is! But that was a practice. The system works!

My mom and sister and I, in our many conversations about the drudgery of housework, have talked about using a timer to get stuff done. But like most things, even though I know it’s a good idea and it works, for some inexplicable reason I just never do it. So I thought it would be a perfect experiment – can you really keep a large-ish house clean on 25 minutes a day?

I’m going to refer to this by the official commercialized version, The Pomodoro Techique, mainly just because “Pomodoro cleaning” sounds a bit punchier than the alternative “25 minute cleaning”. Plus the website is kind of neat and helpful.

Here’s the rules I’ve given myself for this challenge:

  • I’m only committing to doing this on weekdays, because weekends are for fun things, not cleaning
  • Because I will only be devoting 5 days a week to this challenge, which doesn’t cover every room in the house, I’m going to focus on the more heavily trafficked areas
  • If I decide that I want to have a free evening, I reserve the right to do multiple Pomodoros in one day
  • Main areas of focus will be the living room, dining room, kitchen, hallways, bedroom and 2nd floor bathroom, with the guest room, office and craft room being bonus areas

Ok wish me luck! I’ll keep you all updated. Unless of course I give up after two days, in which case I’ll just delete this post and pretend I never said any of this.

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10 thoughts on “30 day challenge: Pomodoro cleaning

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