Let’s be honest here, my fellow hockey parents. There are not enough hours in the day. All the time management skills and life hacks in the world are not going to save us when we spend 7 hours at a rink on a Saturday and another three on the Sunday. We want a minute to sit. We’re hungry. Our players want food and rest. And you think “Oh, I’ll do that tomorrow”. But you dont because tomorrow you have to go to work and be productive so that you can pay for hockey. All the house cleaning schedules in the world are not going to save you because they don’t work with your reality.
Except….an untidy house stresses you out. Looking at the piles of stuff that gets thrown on every available surface in the midst of the hockey weekend is worse than watching your goalie face down a breakaway. I get it. So something has to give, right? And it can’t be your sanity. You need that to survive the whole work thing.
Enter the ten minute tidy. What is this, you ask? (Ok, maybe not, it’s fairly self explanatory….but let me tell you why this solves the house cleaning crisis). For this hockey season, I decided that I wasn’t going to wait until I had an hour to devote to cleaning, because that ain’t gonna happen between September and March. At least not frequently enough for my mental health.
As a kid, every Sunday night was “house cleaning night” at the farm. Dad would finish whatever chores early and descend on the house like it was his sole mission in life. He would start downstairs, booting us kids up to our rooms to clean. And if he got upstairs to a less than tidy room, our names would be yelled at a volume previously reserved for misbehaving livestock. I’ll have my siblings fact check me, but I’m 99% sure it was my sister’s name yelled the most frequently, just so we’re on the record.
Lovely as this concept is, reserving one night of pain for cleaning and then not having to think of it for the rest of the week, this method does not work in my house. By the time we get to Sunday night, it takes every ounce of energy I have to get food into bellies, boys into showers and lunches ready for the week. House cleaning is not going to happen on a Sunday night while hockey is in our world.
So this year, I made a promise to myself that I would spend 10 minutes each week day tidying up. I have been watching the Clean Mama’s Instagram feed for a while and she always makes it look so manageable. And that, my friends, is the million dollar word in the middle of the hockey season chaos.
Whether it’s putting stuff away where it belongs or it’s pulling out the vacuum to take care of the worst of the floors, all I have to do is ten minutes. After that, I could move on to the next thing on the schedule or keep going as the mood and the to-do list required. This method is popular among the fitness gurus on Instagram and is repeated in articles about how to make exercise a habit. Just start with ten minutes and if you aren’t feeling it after that you can call it enough. More often than not, you get into the groove and continue the workout.
We’re halfway through the season and right this second my house looks like a bomb went off in it. We’ll blame the mid-December surgery. I’m doing what I can, but what I can is limited to things that don’t require lifting.
The good news, for me, is that once I get the go ahead from my surgeon to return to lifting things, it won’t take as much effort to get back to something that resembles a tidy (if not clean) house.
It will just take ten minutes at a time.
Like exercise, some days just aren’t going to be good days for it. There are the days I stop after ten minutes. Even when I do put in the bare minimum, I have accomplished far more than I used to.
Then I tackle whatever is bothering me most. Usually, it starts with a load of laundry. Get that going. Clean off the countertops and kitchen tables. Then I tackle either the bathrooms or the kitchen/living room. The boys’ are responsible for their own rooms. Thankfully our house is smaller than the farmhouse I grew up in. No need to project my voice quite as forcefully as my dad did.
I save that for the hockey rink.
It’s not a perfect system and there are times where things slip back into their old ways. But it takes just ten minutes to get things back on track.
Do you have any tips and tricks are for keeping your house clean in the middle of your “busy” season. Whatever that might look like.
See you at the rink,