The kids may complain at first but if done on a consistent basis


they may feel empowered like mom is not coming in and just throwing away willy nilly. They can learn to make choices about what is most important to them. Of course if they are young they will need more guidance and choices limited. A 5 year old doesn’t need to be told to “get rid of 20 things in your room” but instead, say “Here are 2 old barbies. You can keep one and share one. Which one do you want to keep, this barbie or this one?” Of course, older kids and teens can be sent to their room with a timer and a garbage bag or box. I think having focused energy for 15 minutes might help over come the overwhelming feeling of it being an all day affair.

I have done the 5, 10, or 15 minute thing with my dh and dd. I have asked “give me x minutes” focused on straightening up. I set the timer and as soon as it dings, they can quit and go on to whatever they want to do. I believe the reason it works at my house is because I don’t harp on them to “give me a few more minutes” (or items to get rid of).

Thanks all for the motivation on this


Between my 6 kids, two jobs, my self employment activities, my new treadmill schedule that I fit in when I’m already exhausted and ready to go to bed… I really do NOT have 15 minutes to spare. No kidding. But you’ve inspired me, and I’m going to try to fit in five minutes per day – starting tonight when the kids go to bed. Hey, not much – but it will add up a lot faster than the zero daily minutes I’m spending now.