The Ten Minute Rule

Walking into the house with little ones can be stressful. Everyone seems to need something at the same time and you have things that you need to do. The solution: the ten minute rule. Whenever I entered the house I would politely announce, “Ten Minute Rule!” My kids knew what that meant – don’t ask me for anything for ten minutes. This ten minutes gave me a chance to do the following:

Put my keys away on my key hook (maybe you have a bowl or a ledge) so they could be easily found later


Put my pocketbook away

Empty the dirty clothes out of my gym bag

Go through the mail – recycling unwanted mail, and filing my “to read” mail in my hanging file holder




Put any leftover dirty dishes into the dishwasher

Put away any items that I purchased from CVS, Target, etc.

Jot down any notes on my To-Do list

The kids were expected to put away their lunch boxes, emptying any leftovers. They could also get themselves a snack and a drink of water if they couldn’t wait.  Sometimes I set the timer to remind myself (and them) when it was over.




It sounds simple but it let me get the house tidy and it put me at ease and ready to help the kids with their homework. Give it a try and let me know how it works for you!

Laine Hardman can be reached at, 703-401-4829 or

One Reply to “The Ten Minute Rule”

  1. So SMART! And what a gift you have given your children, who will remember this exercise and I bet use it on their own children. Bravo, Laine!

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