(Image credit: Apartment Therapy )

What if we told you your whole house could be cleaned in ten minutes? Okay, we'd be lying. But cleaning it in ten-minute increments is an easy strategy to whip your home into shape. And we have another strategy using the "mystical" power of ten.

Nobody likes to clean, but most of us enjoy living in clean, orderly homes. We used to set aside a few hours each weekend to, like Humpty Dumpty, put the house back together again, but it was always kind of depressing to spend valuable free time in this way and also to notice it visibly deteriorating throughout the week. For the past few years our strategy has, instead, been to tidy and clean for ten minutes at different times throughout the week. Set the timer and dash around the house putting things away or throwing things away and go back to whatever you were doing when the time is up (it goes mercifully quick!) Specific tasks like scrubbing the tub or dusting might take up the whole ten minutes. Get the family involved by setting aside ten minutes right after dinner for everyone to pitch in - unless you observe the no swimming/cleaning for an hour after a meal rule.

Another way to use the power of ten is to put away ten things quickly whenever you have a free moment. Our parents made us do this as kids during television commercials. We'd scurry around trying to get our ten done first and score the best seat on the couch. It might also be fun to have a cd player queued up to a high-energy song and see how much everyone can get done while the song plays. You might be surprised by how many laughs you all have in the process.

Do you have any quick, easy strategies to share, especially ones that get the whole family involved?