The magic of the kitchen timer



If it’s true that cleanliness is next to godliness, then I’ve been consorting with the devil.

When I was still engaged in a career outside the home, I kept a passably tidy house.  For one thing, I wasn’t around to mess it up, and there was an certain amount of urgency about straightening up each morning.  Saturdays were spent on marathon sessions of mopping, dusting and vacuuming.  Bummer.


Since retiring, I have become a world class procrastinator.  I now have all day to get the place cleaned and shined, so I put it off as long as possible.  Inevitably, something more exciting comes along and housekeeping is shoved to the back burner.  My platform has unabashedly morphed into “Why do today, what can wait until tomorrow?”

Then, someone gave me a kitchen timer and changed my life.  I read about a little known sport called the “15-minute boogie scoot.”  You simply set the timer for 15 minutes, scoot around the house, clearing it of clutter and dust.

It’s amazing what you can accomplish in 15 minutes when you’re totally focused.

When the buzzer goes off, you quit.  You’re done and free to get to the fun stuff. However, nine times out of ten I find I’m on such a roll, that I wind it back up and do another 15 minutes.

It also helps to have a little soundtrack going in the background.  Some days it’s a Gregorian chant and more often it’s Keb Mo singing the Delta blues.

This also works for small tasks like cleaning off your desk.  When the stack of stuff gets so high you can’t see over it, simply apply the boogie scoot.  Don’t worry about finishing – you can do another 15-minute workout the next day (or next week).  Before you know it, you’ve got a clean desk with important papers neatly filed away.

This week I took the timer  out into the garden where those 15 minutes really flew by.  If I only do two boogie scoots a day, that amounts to 3-1/2 hours a week.  Had I tried to do all that at once, I would have been overwhelmed and probably died of a heat stroke.

This week I decided to incorporate my boogie scoot exercise while grocery shopping.  Not only did I curb my spending, but I cleared the store when other shoppers heard something “ticking” in my handbag. I was in and out with seconds to spare.


I’m saving up for the “Talking Chef Kitchen Timer at left.

When time’s up, a little voice shares witticisms like “What’s a matta you, Why you feel so sad? Is it because your cooking is so bad, hey!”; or, “Your oven has two settings – too soon and too late.”

My goodness, how did he know?!

3 thoughts on “The magic of the kitchen timer

  1. I always love your wisdom and humor.

    Cheers from Palm Springs…

  2. Emily, this is terrific!! Maybe I can finish ironing and get the house back in order in one week!!!

  3. I adhere to the Scarlett O’Hara philosophy: “I’ll think about that tomorrow.” But I may plug into the 15-minute scoot occasionally—-it’s a thought.

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