I’m a busy mom – my '5-minute method' means I never get overwhelmed

CONVINCING grumpy kids to clean is a chore by itself, so plenty of parents would rather through a day of solo cleaning.

One busy mom uses a five-minute trick to keep her home clean, and she said the tactic has dramatically changed her feelings about housework.

Dawn Madsen, better known on social media as The Minimal Mom, has 556k YouTube subscribers who follow her for parenting tips and home hacks.

Super-minimalist Madsen has four kids under the age of 12, so even though the family has cut back on belongings, the Madsen home is still subject to clutter and mess.

The cleaning strategy Madsen loves takes only five minutes, and she captured the major difference it makes on video.

She began in the kitchen, where she surveyed the mess on the counters and in the sink.


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"When I looked at the kitchen this morning, the kids had been making pancakes, there were dirty dishes," Madsen said.

"In the past, that would've overwhelmed me, but now I say 'Oh, it's only five-minutes dirty,'" she continued.

Madsen brought all four kids to the kitchen and assigned them each cleaning tasks appropriate for their age and skill.

Then, the family set a time for five minutes, and got to work.

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"If there's five of us, that's 25 minutes of work in just five minutes," Madsen reasoned.

In the kitchen, two of Madsen's children finished their tasks early, with time still on the clock, and were able to move on to other rooms.

She dispatched her two sons to tackle the bathroom, where they felt confident in their ability to get everything done with a new five-minute timer.

One secret that makes the method work? Mom is always watching.

"I see myself as the 'manager' in this situation," Madsen explained.

"I'm bouncing back and forth between helping with specific areas, cleaning up myself, and then directing."

That made it easy for Madsen to see when one of her sons finished his bathroom tasks early, and used his remaining time to help out tidying the entryway.

Within minutes, the family had cleaned multiple rooms, and Madsen had even taken five minutes to start a load of laundry while the boys cleaned the bathroom.

She said the five-minute blocks are a great time for young kids to learn new tasks, like her six-year-old son, who's been learning to sweep the floors.

"It helps to build confidence. Will it be perfect? No," Madsen said.

"But give it a couple days and they'll have another opportunity to practice."

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Putting her five-minute rule into place has helped Madsen break the bad habit of avoiding unpleasant tasks, and she hopes the mindset sticks with her kids.

"I want them to realize that even when something looks overwhelming or really messy, if you tackle it for five minutes, you can break that mental barrier," Madsen explained.

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