The 100 Item Rule: A Clean Home

A clean home is a happy home, but not many parents want to spend all day following their kids around, cleaning up the messes they leave in their wakes.

You can shine your sink, polish your kitchen counters, and mop your floor, but if your kids are anything like mine, by the time you finish that, the living room has been turned into a fort, complete with a Lego moat.

If you’re as tired of the mess as I was of the mess–and as embarrassed when unexpected company popped in–then pay attention. This cleaning rule changed my life and helped me get the clutter under control.

At least five times a day, I pick up 100 items. Now stop laughing and listen. I know that 100 items may seem like a lot, but think of every single item as one induvial thing.

That sink full of dirty dishes? Count each fork as one item. The paper towel you left on the counter and need to toss in the trash? That’s one item. The Legos on the living room floor? Let’s be real, there’s probably about sixty there.

I do this constantly throughout the day. It’s actually pretty fun, trying to see how fast I can get to 100. When I first heard of it, I thought it sounded crazy, but honestly, now I usually get past 100 before I realize it

This afternoon is a great example of how much you can get done in a short time: I got my kids set up with some paint and was going to sit down to knit for a few while I supervised from the couch. Instead, I grabbed the laundry basket and folded one load of laundry. That’s 42 items. Then I went through our mail from the week. Already at 59. Next I loaded the dishwasher. 77. I finished up by picking up two twelve-piece puzzles that my daughter had played with that morning. All together, I picked up 101 items and it took me about ten minutes.

That made sitting down to knit so much more relaxing. I wasn’t thinking about laundry or worrying that someone might mix up the puzzles. Sure, the next time I get up, there will be a paint-covered table to wipe down and art supplies to pick up, but it’s more manageable.

Give it a try and see if it helps you! And let me know if you have any cleaning hacks that work in your life.