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If you’re a regular reader, you know that I often talk about money things. But, I’m thankful to say that my 20 minute method enhanced my money management.
Saving money and paying off debt doesn’t just depend on how you manage your money. It also depends on how you manage your life. Most of the time, we put these management systems in separate categories, but they should really be combined into one comprehensive system.
If you are managing your time and your household well, planning ahead and having the ability to prepare becomes so much easier.
And when you plan ahead, you naturally can save a lot more money. Imagine what you can do with your increased savings.
It’s all a domino effect.
When I was not managing my life well, I was always overwhelmed and tired, not to mention stressed. And now I had to cook dinner? Nope, I’d just grab dinner from the nearest fast food joint.
It was a cycle that was exhausting and expensive. It was hard to fully manage my money and budget when I was tired all the time.
So, I created a system for myself that would cater to my busy lifestyle, since I work outside of the home full time.
It seriously changed how I managed everything in my life.
I was able to get almost every household task done during the week and have free weekends to really unwind. Working moms, I’m sure you realize how precious it is to have free time.
I absolutely love that my weekends are free of cleaning and laundry and grocery shopping. It’s so much better than wasting the only time I have off to take care of tedious chores.
This system literally gave me time back into my life. It’s hard to beat the feeling of waking up on a Saturday morning with the house clean, laundry done, and chores checked off you list.
I know what you’re thinking. How can you possibly do any more tasks when you’re already exhausted from everything you have to do during the week, like working a full time job, picking up your kids, and still having to make dinner, ughh.
I hear ya and I totally get it.
This is exactly why I developed this system! Because I was also super tired after work and didn’t want to do more stuff.
So, I made it super easy that it really doesn’t take much effort or time. Because I’m also a little lazy, so I wanted to put in the least amount of effort and get a good result, haha.
Since adopting this system into my routine, I’ve become much more efficient, productive, and less stressed.
I lovingly call it the 20 Minute Method
You’ve heard of the power hour, right? I used to watch video after video and as motivating as it was, I knew it would never work for me. I just don’t ever have that big of a chunk of time to devote to household chores on the weekdays.
But, 20 minutes? I can do that.
I’ve been using this method for about 6 years now, it’s so easy to get started and stick to it, so it’s like second nature to me now.
For every category, you’ll divide your tasks into 20 minute blocks of time (except for batch cooking and grocery shopping, but those are done once per week).
Why 20 minutes?
It’s a time frame you and I can squeeze in to our schedule, no matter how busy we are. And, I’ll bet that you’d be surprised at how much you can finish in just 20 minutes.
In fact, yesterday after dinner my kitchen was a total mess. I had pots and pans everywhere and the counters were disgusting. I set my timer for 15 minutes and surprisingly I finished cleaning the kitchen in 11 minutes!!
We typically overestimate the time it takes to clean something. 20 minutes gives you enough time to get the job done with the feeling of overwhelm. On the other hand, 20 minutes is not that long to spare, so you won’t be postponing that task it every time you’re tired.
I clean the following rooms:
My bedroom and master bathroom
My kids and husband have their own chore list, but this is mine. It’s basically the main living areas and my bedroom/bathroom.
Each chore takes anywhere between 15- 20 minutes to do. Really! I’ve been sharing some of my 20 minute tasks on my Insta stories and it’s shocking how much you can get done in such a small window of time.
One thing that helped me was setting a timer.
Put 20 minutes on your timer and just start. If you’re not done in 20 minutes, just stop and continue the rest of that task the next day. But, I’m very confident that MOST things can be done in 20 minutes, especially when you start adopting this method on a regular basis. You’ll find yourself moving faster and getting things done quicker. Plus, you’ll notice that the areas stay tidy longer and don’t require a full overhaul of cleaning.
Since my girls each do their 1 load of laundry every week, that leaves me with my husband’s and my load of colors, the family whites, the towels, bath rugs, and the sheets.
Super coincidence that my loads add to five like my cleaning days, haha.
Since I don’t want to do laundry on a friday night, I start my laundry on Sunday night. All I do is pop in a load in the washer, then before I go to bed, I moved it to the dryer.
The next day, I put a load to wash before dinner (takes 3 minutes) and after dinner I fold what’s in the dryer. Before bed, I then put the washed load in the now empty dryer. I continue with this method until Thursday night, which completes all of my laundry for the week.
You’re probably wondering when my girls have time to do their laundry.
They do it on Monday and Tuesday, those are our lighter days, with no extracurricular activities, so we have enough time in the afternoon to do more than one load. The whole process probably takes an extra 30 minutes or so and it’s usually when I’m preparing dinner anyway.
Now we move on to Food tasks, my favorite pastime… just kidding!
I shop for groceries on Wednesday night around 7pm. I know that won’t work for everyone. But, I chose this time because it’s after dinner (so I’m full), the kitchen has been cleaned up, and my load of laundry is washing. And the dinner rush at the grocery store has finished by then.
Shopping for groceries during the week has changed my life. It gave me so much extra time during the weekends to do whatever I want, why would I ever go back to grocery shopping on a busy Saturday?
Also, shopping on Wednesday gives me a chance to check out the ads for the week and write my shopping list based on the sales.
How Much time should go to Grocery Shopping?
Shopping usually takes me from 1.5-2 hours, because I go to 2-3 stores each week (Costco, my favorite international market, and Food 4 Less).
This combo of stores gives me the best value and prices for my groceries. It helps me stay within my budget and I get my family everything they enjoy eating.
The car is the easiest part of my week, it literally gets done in 10 minutes tops. But, I have older kids, so if you have younger kids, it will probably take the full 20 minutes to tidy up. All I do is tidy the interior by taking out the trash and I restock the snack bag.
If you’re not familiar with the snack bag, it’s one of my essentials for staying on track when I’m running errands.
You can read more about it and how to set it up here.
That’s it for car cleanup.
To keep it as clean as possible during the week, I’ve made it a habit each day to remind my kids to take all their belongings inside the house and I try my best to do the same as well. This helps curb the mess in the car and makes cleaning it super fast.
Once a month, I will vacuum the inside and I wash the car every 2-3 months (I should do this more). Washing the car turns into a fun activity we do together.
Benefits of the 20 minute method in real life
My 20 minute method helps me get everything (almost everything) done during the week and saves more time on the weekends. Even if you are tired, 20 minutes to check something off your list is totally doable….and well worth it.
Put some music on, chat on the phone, or listen to a podcast or audio book. This helps make the time go by faster and you get a chore done.
Not too bad, right?
Using this method makes me feel efficient and organized. You’ll feel much more in control of your days and your weekends will be yours to enjoy.
It’s so much easier than using your weekend to do everything. Doing laundry and cleaning all day on Saturday, then going grocery shopping on Sunday, having no time to rest during your weekend and starting the grind again on Monday. No, thanks!