Today I put the timer on for 20 minutes to accomplish this goal and it only took me 15, even with washing the dishes. I took some before and after photos so you could see what the state of the place was before, and the level of "tidy" we were aiming for after!
Here's a look at the kitchen:
As you can see, a big part of the quick clean-up is making this a snack-time for our toddler! In his highchair he is much less able to undo the clean-up, and it allows me to focus for a concentrated amount of time on the task-at-hand!
And the living room...
One of the main ways I am able to accomplish this quick clean is by having "buckets". Pictured below you can see we have three cubbyholes in the bookshelf allotted for Jake's toys and books. This means I can just toss them all in there, and voila - his toys are tidied! We have a similar system for his stray clothes, shoes, and diapers with a little basket beside the couch where those things go.
You can also see a little magazine box where I put any library books and miscellaneous notebooks, and there's a photo of raw ground beef because at this point I try to make sure I have something planned for dinner! (That night we had one of our favourite last-minute meals!)
I try to do this clean-up close enough to when Andrew will be home that Jake won't make a big mess again, and neither will I! Obviously there will be a few toys out, and I've usually started making dinner, but having a clean slate makes a huge difference. If I'm still wearing pajama pants at this point....I usually try and put on something a little nicer :)
And lest I make anyone feel guilty, please understand that this doesn't happen all the time, in fact I'm not sure it happens most of the time. The day after I took these photos, we were gone all day and came home to a counter full of dishes and couches full of (clean) laundry. I heaved a sigh, laughed about the irony of this post, and then rolled up my sleeves and got to it! I'm just trying to help people like me! :)
What are your tips for doing a quick clean-up at the end of the day?
10 Tips for a Quick "Tidy-Up Time"
15 Quick Cleaning Fixes
Toy Storage for Small Spaces
Keeping Your Home "Company Ready" Without the Stress
Happy tidying :)
Linked up at A Mama's Story, The Modest Mom, What Joy Is Mine, Growing Home, Above Rubies, Deep Roots At Home, Raising Homemakers, We Are That Family, Walking Redeemed, Graced Simplicity, Raising Mighty Arrows