How the “One-Hour Method” Will Change the Way You Clean

published Aug 3, 2023
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Rear view of woman at kitchen sink in front of window doing dishes
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I don’t know about you, but the prospect of deep-cleaning or organizing my entire house feels really overwhelming — like, so overwhelming I don’t even want to start. Like any other major project, I’ve found it’s a whole lot easier to tackle home-related tasks if you break them up into smaller increments. But even figuring that out can feel like a lot — especially amidst the other life stressors we all face from day to day.

Quick Overview

What Is the One-Hour Method?

The One-Hour Method is a simple and effective strategy in which you spend an hour each day cleaning or decluttering a designated spot in your home, or whatever can fit in that time. The goal is to do what you can in the allotted time so you don’t feel overwhelmed by mess.

No one should be at all surprised that TikTok is full of super-smart ideas for making these tedious chores feel more manageable. One of them, which TikTok creator and Florida-based Realtor Britt Scaffedi (@britt_scaffedishared) shared in several viral posts, is a simple-but-effective strategy called the One-Hour Method. The whole idea? Spend just one hour each day cleaning or decluttering a designated area of your home, or whatever you can fit in that amount of time. Within a month or so, your space will be transformed and easier to maintain — and without the overwhelm of trying to squeeze everything in at once. 

Scaffedi says she came up with the method randomly one day when she was in a long-time funk of feeling unaccomplished and like nothing was ever completed. “I thought, ‘What if I just focus one hour on getting whatever it is that I want done?’” she says. “Sometimes it would be one task, and other times it would be multiple tasks.” 

For example, you might be able to tackle your entire kitchen in an hour (lucky you). But if it’s been a bit since you decluttered or deep-cleaned that space, then focus on organizing just one drawer or scrubbing down one appliance — whatever it is you can reasonably handle. Making a room-by-room or chore-by-chore list might help (and it’s pretty satisfying to check things off as you go). 

The One-Hour Method is still Scaffedi’s go-to approach for staying on top of chores she’d usually neglect. She simply sets a timer for an hour and gets as much as she can done. The best part is that you can adjust the method depending on how much capacity you have at the time. 

If Scaffedi has energy, she says she will sometimes repeat another hour on a different chore, or she’ll just do another chunk the next day. “The goal is to not overwhelm yourself and just do a little at a time. Little by little things will get done, and once everything is completed, then you can maintain it regularly.” 

Scaffedi’s advice to others who might be feeling like they’re no match for the mess around them? Don’t compare yourself and where you are in your journey to anyone else. Your home is as unique as you are, and it’ll take time to figure out a process that works for you. If you go too fast, too soon, you might lose steam, which will only draw out the process and lead to more frustration. If you’re still not quite sure where to start, Scaffedi created a helpful step-by-step guide called Simplify Your Life, which she sells on Etsy.