Eliminate 40% of Your Housework

Today's guest post is by Leigh Ann of Intentional by Grace. _____

Some call it their "catch all spot". Some call it a "hot spot". I call it the “I’m going to go insane spot.”

Dining roomPhoto by Andrew Malone

For me, it’s the dining room table. It seems to catch everything that comes through my house.

  • Mail
  • Newspapers
  • Hats
  • Library books
  • Baby toys
  • Burp cloths
  • Papers that need signing

The number of items my dining room table has been home to is astounding.

Once, it was home to all of my sopping wet cloth diapers because my drying rack broke. We ate on TV trays that night. Did I mention we even had company? *gasp*

Obviously, my dining room table doesn’t usually house drying diapers. Nevertheless, something inevitably finds its way to this ever-so-convenient spot.

Do you have a catch all area in your home that screams, “Please come cover me with clutter!?”

Some other examples include (but are certainly not limited to):

  • Kitchen counter
  • Home office desk
  • Hallway table
  • Dresser

Clutter is not conducive to a happy home – let alone joyful mothering!

It has been said that getting rid of excess clutter will eliminate 40% of the housework in our homes {National Soap and Detergent Association}. I would say that is efficient homemaking!

However, you cannot eliminate all the clutter in your home in one fell swoop.  On the other hand, taking control of your "catch all" area will free you from increasing the amount of clutter in your home, and motivate you to declutter other areas of your home, as well.

Alright, how about we do something about your catch all area?

This week’s challenge: Spend 5 minutes twice a day decluttering your “I’m going to go insane spot.” That’s a total of just 10 minutes a day! Set your timer and go to work.

Some Tips:

  • Choose a time in the morning and evening. I declutter my table after breakfast and dinner clean-up. I’m already there. So why not take 5 minutes to knock this task out?
  • Don’t worry about perfection. Just clear what you can in each 5 minute session. You will get another chance later in the day (or the next morning) to work at it again. The point is maintenance, not complete organization (though I suspect complete organization is an inevitable by-product of this short session).
  • Use your time in between tasks. Did you put potatoes in the microwave to reheat? Use that time to work on your hot spot.  Did you just put your babies down for a nap? Before you start something new, tackle your catch all spot.

In just ten short minutes a day, you will be on your way to conquering clutter and eliminating 40% of your household chores. So consider this a baby step toward eliminating housework, but a baby step with large return on investment! More time to play with my kids? Sign me up!

What to include in your post:

  • Before and after pictures. We want to see what the area looked like before you started. Then, we want to see what it looks like once you have completed the challenge. We can all sit back with a cup of tea and marvel at your hard work.
  • Did keeping this area clean affect other areas of your home? We want to know if this motivated you to declutter other areas of your home. Or maybe by clearing clutter in this spot you were able to be a more joyful mother. Tell us how taking control of your hot spot helped in other places as well.


Leigh Ann’s life goal is to create a home where it is impossible to not think about God. At Intentional By Grace, she blogs about her journey of intentional living in order to encourage other women to walk in a manner worthy of their calling.

She is the wife of three years to the man of her prayers, Mark, and mama to a loveable little boy, Samuel (6 months). She takes joy in spending her days conducting kitchen experiments, researching every natural alternative known to man, and making her little boy laugh. She does it all by the grace of God.

You can follow her on twitter: @n10tionalgrace.