The Crap Basket Strategy

house & home productivity systems & routines Oct 22, 2015


I’m sorry you had to read that.

Did you cringe too?

Here’s the thing about housework. It has to be done.

Again, sorry!

For me, there are different levels of ‘housework’. There are painless things like doing the washing, making beds and dusting. There are mid-range things like putting away clothes, cleaning the kitchen and vacuuming. Then there are highly painful tasks like cleaning the shower, mopping, cleaning windows and tidying.

Tidying? Some may argue that this is not a ‘highly painful task’ but let me break it down. In my experience, tidying is the ‘root’ of all cleaning tasks. Almost nothing else can be done thoroughly until the tidying process has occurred.

Some people are super tidy and live in clutter-free homes, but my home is lived in.

Toys sometimes get dragged into different rooms and left there.

Bits of paper and bills pile up on the kitchen bench.

Clothes get flung in odd places.

Books and magazines make their way to cosy spots and get left behind.

Shoes lay where they were abandoned.

Over the week, there just seems so much else to do than to continuously tidy up. So it gets overlooked (and stepped over). Now, let me be clear... I’m not talking about ‘hoarder’ mess. I’m talking a few things here and there; and as a working mum, I’ve got so much shit to do throughout the week and tidying isn’t always a priority.

Having said that, by the time I get to my day off or the weekend, the clutter is ready to be dealt with. I can’t vacuum, dust or clean around clutter. So I have to do it. Prior to implementing this strategy, I felt like I was walking around the house for hours picking things up but not actually making a difference.

Enter: The Crap Basket Technique.

I’ve mentioned this technique before on my socials and it’s drawn a lot of attention and questions. The thing is that it’s not a magic wand, but it’s not difficult. It’s seriously the simplest process. I am a busy, working mum and therefore I need strategies that minimise the time spent on cleaning, but maximise the results. Sometimes, a good crap basket tidy can make my house look as clean as a whistle without even touching the vacuum or dusting.

Ok, so here it is.

I put the kitchen timer on for 25 minutes. Then, I grab my #1 tidying tool => The clothes basket (seriously); and head to my bedroom. In record time, I sweep through the bedroom putting clean clothes away, putting things in their place, straightening the bed and (here it is) placing anything that doesn’t belong in my bedroom/ensuite into the ‘crap basket.’

Then I move down the hallway to Amelia’s bedroom and repeat the tidying process there. Anything that is in the ‘crap basket’ that belongs in her room comes out, and gets put away. Alternatively, anything that doesn’t belong in her room gets placed in the ‘crap basket.’ On I go.

I move to the bathroom/toilet/laundry and repeat the process; putting away any items from the ‘crap basket’ away, and placing anything that doesn’t belong in those rooms into the basket.

I think you’re getting the idea.

Eventually, I move through the spare bedroom, the toy/play room, the kitchen, the dining room and the lounge room. By the time I reach the lounge room, everything is put in it’s place, except any items remaining in the ‘crap basket’. It takes me less than 5 minutes to retrace my steps and move from room to room putting away these items.

As Amelia gets older, I will work with 2 baskets... One for her and one for Tim so that they can put away their own crap. But for now, this works.

Now, my house is tidy; all in 25 minutes (or less if I do it often).

Finally, a tidy house. Now I have two choices. Either to vacuum, mop or whatever. Or to put my feet up. Which would you choose?

Do you have a tidying technique that I should try? Let me know.
Tash xx