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Try this at home: The 20/20/20

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It can be so hard to stay on top of the daily clutter in our lives. We spend all weekend getting the house “just so” only have it all fall apart by Tuesday.

There’s a simple tool that can help with it. It’s called the 20/20/20, and here’s how it works.

Set a timer for 20 minutes for three separate chunks of time: Reset, Prep and Rest. Get the WHOLE family involved. This is a time for everyone to pitch in!

Chunk 1: Reset from the Day (20 minutes)

Take this time to reset and clean up from the day’s activities. This might include things like:

  • Putting folded laundry away

  • Washing the dishes and wiping the counters

  • Emptying lunchboxes

  • Putting dirty laundry

  • Taking paperwork out of backpacks

  • Putting bills in your “needs attention” folder

  • Putting toys away (Tip: I tell my daughter that I will donate whatever she doesn’t put away. #truestory)

Chunk 2: Prep for the Next Day (20 minutes)

Take this time to mitigate any snags the next day. You might do things like:

  • Pick out outfits, and iron if needed (or wear clothes that don’t need ironing!)

  • Pack lunches, or get the lunch supplies ready

  • Put out cereal bowls and cereal

  • Take out something to defrost for dinner tomorrow

  • Check the calendar and the weather

  • Put any important paperwork or supplies in backpacks and purses

ChuNk 3: Rest and/or Primp (20 minutes)

This is where everybody gets to reap the rewards. The kids have been a big help, so reward them.

  • Make yourself a cup of tea or pour a glass of wine

  • Take a hot shower

  • Do some relaxing skin care, like a face mask or exfoliating face wash

  • Give your nails some love

  • Let the kids play some video games or have a favorite treat

  • Do some reading

  • Surf Instagram

And that’s it! On paper, it may seem like a lot, but once you get moving, time flies. And, if you think about it, if you start at 7:00 pm, by 7:40 pm, you have a clean, clutter-free house and a steaming cup of tea in front of you.

Pro Tips:

  • Get the family involved. Decide who does what during the 20/20/20. Make lists and post them.

  • Make it fun. Put on music. Try to beat the timer.

  • Don’t overdue it. When the timer stops, you stop. You can do the rest tomorrow.

By the time Friday rolls around, you will have kept on top of things and you won’t be planning to clean your house ALL WEEKEND.

Soooo, will you try it ONE DAY this week and tell me how it goes?!

Life is Not a Pinterest Competition

People often say to me, “your house must be perfect.”

It’s not.

My friends and family can attest to that.

Sure, it’s my own little Petri dish and I have a lot of fun figuring out how to make it as organized as possible. I get to experiment and tinker in the hopes of a more streamlined and peaceful existence.

But it does NOT look like the cover of a Martha Stewart magazine. Or a model home for the Container Store. Or a recent HGTV makeover.

It is a real home, with 3 real-life, complicated humans living in it. And I make it a point to tell people this.

Because life is not a Pinterest competition.

You do not have to have a pantry with matching glass containers that are perfectly and elegantly storing every piece of cereal, every dry bean and every grain of couscous.

You do not have to have every damn LEGO drawer color-coordinated until the day you perish.

You do not have to roast the chicken perfectly and then cut the chicken and then serve the chicken, all while your adoring children sit quietly in their hand-sewn-by-you outfits.

Instead, you can choose to surround yourself with only those things that bring you joy.

And you can be completely unapologetic about that.

Me and Ray LaMontagne Do the Dishes

Photo by  Facundo Aranda  on  Unsplash

I can't do the dishes without Ray. Ray LaMontagne, that is. 

You see, when I look at that messy pile of what-just-happened in my kitchen, my first thought is "ugh". My second thought is "Ray".

I ask myself, is this a "2-song mess" or a "3-song mess"? Then I get to work. "OK Google - Play Ray LaMontagne". 

(If you've gotten this far, and don't know who Ray LaMontagne is, stop right now and listen to this song. You're welcome.) 

So often, I feel downright annoyed by the drudgery of daily life. 

Wake up. Make the bed. Make the breakfasts. Pack the lunches. Pack the homework. Wash the dishes. Fold the laundry. Clean the floors. Run the errands. Pick up at school. Fold more laundry. Wash more dishes. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. 

Let's be honest. It can be BORING. Especially when there are so many other more thrilling things to do. Like read articles about life hacks. Or read The Invention of Wings. Or watch The Handmaid's Tale. Or sleep. Oh, glorious sleep. (Can you tell I'm an introvert?!)

The thing is, when I think about it, usually that thing I need to do will take me no longer than two songs do it. Three songs, max.

So, I roll up my sleeves, tell my husband that I need some alone time with Ray, and then we (me and Ray) do the dishes. (Don't worry - it'll be my husband's turn to do the dishes next.)

After about three songs, the dishes are done, I'm humming my favorite songs, and I'm off to read my book, or watch my show, or cuddle with my daughter, or sleep. Oh. Glorious. Sleep.

Next time you're faced with a little drudgery, invite somebody to do the dishes with you. 

Just not Ray.

He's taken.