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10 Minute Clean Up for Lessons

Every single week. A couple of hours before your first student arrives.

You know what it feels like. The tension of a messy house. All of a sudden you see everything your eyes have glossed over recently -- the cereal crumbs under the table, the handprints on the window, the smudge on the door. Or, like in my hallway, the spider carcass and goo left over from being smashed by a shoe. (just keepin' it real, folks).

And that's just the dirt. How about the socks that are under the coffee table, and the Monopoly game that was left out, and the pile of bills strewn across the counter? The clutter, the mess, its all overwhelming, especially when you have a client coming over.

If you have kids, then just multiply that mess exponentially and you've got a recipe for a disaster, not an environment for a business. So, how do you keep it clean and ready to go for your clients?

You don't.

This is real life folks. Your house, especially if you live with other breathing humans, will never just stay in a state of "ready to go" for piano lessons. Not happening. Your house and my house actually look lived in and that's how it should be. You shouldn't always have to live like a piano student could walk in the door at any minute, right? Your house should be home first and business second.

A few weeks ago, three friends were over to my house for a dinner party. One of them had never been here before, and when I had stepped away from the table, she leaned over and asked the other two about my den . . .

"Does it always look like that? Is it that clean all the time?"

And both of my other friends, who also happen to be piano lesson clients, together, in unison, said with quite a bit of emphasis: "No! It's only like that because of piano lessons!"

Then they all burst out laughing. And, yeah, when I heard about it, I did too.

Because its true. Piano Lessons brings a different standard (on piano lesson days) to my household. The rest of the time, its just a regular semi-messy house like yours.

And I say it is only "semi-messy" because we do have "big chore day" on Saturday when everyone works for a couple of hours to deep clean the house. So, its not like we're starting from scratch getting the house clean, but it is definitely on the semi-messy spectrum. And it definitely doesn't look like I'm ready for piano students.

So, how do I get it from regular semi-messy to clean and tidy for clients?

It's called the 10 minute clean up. And I make my kids do it. (OK, I do it too . . . )

I call out "10 minute clean up!" and for, well, exactly 10 minutes, we clean up. There are three of them and one of me, and it is amazing what four people can do in 10 minutes!

My kids know the standard -- what the house should look like for lessons, and they go for it. All the way down to one of them turning on the TV to channel 949 -- Music Choice Light Classical -- at volume level 8 in the living room.

It took us about a month. About a month of me begging and cajoling and reminding and trying to get the system down, but, now, it is like a smoothly oiled machine. The 15 year old does certain things, the 12 year old has her tasks, and the 7 year old has his. And together, we get it done.

But here's the beauty of it. When the 10 minutes are done, we stop. It's good enough and I'm good with that. My kids are grateful the 10 minutes are over, I'm grateful the house is spit shined, and we are good to go.

So, if you haven't figured out a way to keep the house up for piano lessons, don't worry about it. You don't have to. Settle on keeping your house the way you want it during the week.

But then add a 10 minute clean up on piano lesson day. Outline the tasks that need to be done. Assign them to your kids or putting them in a specific order if you are doing them yourself.

And schedule that clean up. Know when you are going to do it. That way you're not stressing all day long about your messy house.

Here's how to implement the 10 minute clean up in your house for piano lesson day:

1. Plan the tasks.

2. Assign the tasks.

3. Train your kids and/or yourself on the tasks.

4. Practice the tasks (give yourself at least a month to get this down).

5. Then go for it!

Give the 10 minute clean up a try. You'll be glad you did.

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