Posted by: Sheri Lukasiewicz @ Peace by Piece | January 19, 2010

10 Minute Maintenance

Back when we had a household of 4 very active children, ranging in age from Elementary to High School, our home began to accumulate the clutter of their activities, and just the tell-tale signs of a very active home. 

It was back then, that I conceived and implemented a process that I referred to as ’10 Minute Maintenance’.  A couple of times a week, the entire household would pitch in for about 10 minutes, and do some very general cleaning and de-cluttering.  With everyone joining in at the same time, much was accomplished in a very short amount of time! 

It would include gathering up the remnants of ‘chips & salsa’ from kids’ rooms, clearing the entry-way of  shoes, bookbags & gymbags and getting them to the right rooms, sweeping the kitchen floor, distributing previously folded laundry to the proper rooms, emptying trashcans, dusting the TV & entertainment center, purging newspapers & magazines, picking up games, running a quick vacuum over the living room carpet, clearing the stairs of any items waiting for a ride upstairs, wiping off the bathroom countertops, etc.

The point is, with 6 people all collectively pitching in, much tidying up could be done in a short amount of time.  Maybe a couple of times it lasted 15 minutes.  Sh-h-h-h-h!! Don’t tell them!

I had some rules of my own about maintenance night that helped it flow well.  First, I would only have it on nights when everyone was there to participate, and I would announce it in the morning as we were starting the day.  Those two rules took the objections ‘off the table’.  Everyone knew in advance that ‘tonight was maintenance night’, and everyone was there to pitch in.  We would generally do it about newstime, but that’s just because it worked well with our household dynamics.

Perhaps you’ve vowed to stay on top of your family’s clutter this year.  If so, then maybe ’10 Minute Maintenance’ will become a welcome staple in your ‘virtual toolbox’.  You may not have a workforce of 6, but there is power in whatever number your household consists of.  Happy Maintaining!!



  1. I love this!! We do this at our house but it is a little less planned. Our 10 minute clean up is spontaneous and it doesn’t have a name 🙂 I usually do it when I notice some things have started to accumulate where they shouldn’t be. Then I usually put a fun activity at the end, like a game of UNO.

  2. Thanks, Amy. Fun at the end – Rewards bring Results!

  3. Great job of describing 10 Minute Maintenance, Sheri. Maybe instead of politician’s phone calls around suppertime, someone could call and announce “10 Minute Maintenance.” Now that is a real call to action! 🙂

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