“The One Where My Kids Never Help.” If you’re a FRIENDS fan I hope you enjoy that reference. I don’t care if your a working mom, stay at home mom or work from home mom. If there are humans you claim and allow to occupy your space then you all have the same daily dilemma. The mess made by your children. How do these tiny people make such a mess? You can turn your back for less than five minutes (see: as soon as mom goes to the bathroom) and BAM! Just like that the damage is done. One room or maybe even your whole house can be deconstructed in the time it takes to make a meal. I’m talking toy bins flipped over and deadly LEGO pieces laying all over your floor waiting to ruin your day. God forbid there is glitter in your house. Let me just say that after almost eight years of parenting I’ve seen some stuff with glitter.

It’s inevitable. Some days I look around and there are even messes on top of other messes. It’s never ending and for me is incredibly stress-inducing. The worst part is that the people who make the mess never help. I end up being stuck with a giant mess late at night or even just leaving it for the next day. Something had to change in our house and for me, I knew that waking up and going to sleep with a clean house would make a world of difference. Here is my 15-minute hustle and ultimate #momhack that will change your life. 


The 15 Minute Timer 

No, really that’s the mom hack. You set a timer and make everyone pitch in. I have THREE simple instructions to make this #momhack go smoothly and you will see the magic of your children cleaning. 

  1. Set a timer for 15 minutes and name that time as what your family will soon understand is part of the schedule. For us, it’s the “15-minute hustle.” The mom I learned this trick from calls it “the shakedown.” Whatever you choose to call it, make it a thing and don’t look back.
  2. Those 15 minutes are for speed cleaning and every dang person in your house is about to hustle up! You heard me. Every single person is going to contribute no matter how small. Can the baby be put in a bouncer or be worn and clap? That’s her job for 15 minutes. Can your toddler be given a bin and told to pick up all the balls? That’s his job. Do your older children have messy rooms and toys all over? Pick ’em up buttercup. This is 15 minutes to only do work!
  3. Look around at the end of the fifteenth minute and be AMAZED. The people that destroyed the house have cleaned it. 


Less Stress Is the Best Stress For Me

It doesn’t matter how you choose to keep the time. Buy a fancy timer in a character your kids’ love, use a watch or microwave. However you can count down the minutes is how you can watch the magic happen. This is something I learned after seeing a fellow Instagram mom show everyone how she keeps her kitchen clean. I thought if she could scrub her kitchen top to bottom in 15 minutes then my kids can pick up their toys. If we’re about to leave the house and my stress level is at an all-time high then I allow 15 minutes before the time we need to go to be for the hustle. After doing this for several weeks all I have to do is say “If you want to go we’re doing the hustle” and everyone knows what I expect to happen. We do this before bath time every night too. It’s an extra 15 minutes added on to our nightly routine that they expect and I need. It leaves me with less to do once they are in bed and I can always expect to wake up to a clean house.

This has honestly changed our lives and I hope you can find a way to make this #momhack part of your life too.

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Emily was born and raised in Houston, TX and then met her husband, Jon, at Texas A&M. They married in the small town of Wimberly and shortly after moved to sunny Florida. They have two children, Sophie (7) and Graham (3), who keep them active and constantly laughing. They have fallen in love with the city of St. Augustine and love spontaneous trips to the beach before dinner. Emily is a self-proclaimed positive polly with a healthy dose of sarcasm to make light of any situation. She enjoys a glass of wine in a quiet house but secretly loves the daily chaos. Emily is a former preschool teacher and has also tackled being a SAHM, WAHM and recently started a new career with an office job. While embracing the almost 5-year age gap her children have she is learning and loving every minute of this new transition that feels so familiar.