Lynsey Crombie Queen of Clean mopping kitchen floor

Why Lynsey Crombie’s 15-minute clean could change your life – and how to do it

If you’ve always struggled to keep on top of dirt and clutter, Lynsey Crombie’s 15-minute clean could be the routine you’ve been waiting for. A regular guest on This Morning and other TV shows, Lynsey, AKA the Queen of Clean, is always full of sound advice. She also, from her own experience, knows how hard it can be to fit in cleaning around other daily demands.

“The 15-minute clean is something I developed when I was aged only 21 – a single parent to twins and juggling work with motherhood,” she explains.

“It was a stressful situation to be in, and I couldn’t cope. I had a modest two-bedroom house, which should have been easy to keep clean. But with two babies constantly on the move, and my head not in a very good place, it was starting to get messy.”

At breaking point, Lynsey knew she had to do something, and the 15-minute clean was born.

What is the 15-minute clean?

Lynsey’s 15-minute clean concept is simple. It involves putting 15 minutes aside every day to tackle different areas of the home, in three consecutive five-minute blocks.

Lynsey explains how it all started.

“Every day, before we left the house to go to playgroup, I would pop the twins in a play pen for 15 minutes, and I would spend five minutes in three different areas,” she tells us.

“So I’d tackle the living room for five minutes, then the kitchen, then one of the bathrooms. I’d time myself and work against the clock. And it immediately worked – it was amazing, really.”

And Lynsey quickly saw other benefits to her method.

“I also used it as a form of exercise as, with the kids, I couldn’t really go to the gym. 15 minutes of pure movement was so good for keeping my weight down. So I got an all-round body workout and a clean house!”

It’s been part of Lynsey’s routine ever since.

“When I moved to a bigger property, I switched things up. I was still tackling three rooms every morning, but it was about mixing them around. So one morning you’d do the lounge the kitchen and the bathroom, then the next day you’d choose one of the bedrooms, maybe an en suite, and then the hallway. The key is always to break down the house into sections – that way, housework never feels overwhelming,” she explains.

“Then, every day when you leave the house, you know you’re coming back to a clean and tidy shell. It’s knowing you’ve done something, so you feel a bit more positive about your day. You’ve made the bed, you’ve vacuumed one of the rooms, and you’ve left the bathroom tidy. Then, if you meet a friend and bring them back for a coffee, you know your kitchen is tidy enough for them to sit at the table.”

Why 15 minutes?

We asked Lynsey how she settled on this particular timescale.

“It was essentially how long two babies would sit in a playpen listening to their favourite Noddy tunes before they started to get frustrated, and one of them would whack the other one over the head or something!” she reveals.

“Half an hour would have been too long in a playpen, whereas they would tend to settle and sometimes nap in that shorter period.”

Lynsey Crombie Queen of Clean wiping down worktop
Image credit: Lynsey Crombie

But she realises that 15 minutes is also a not-too-intimidating length of time, which seems to be easy to turn into a habit.

“People don’t want to waste hours of their time doing housework,” she says.

“If I called it ‘the one-hour clean’, people would be like, ‘oh my god, an hour cleaning – no thanks’. Whereas 15-minute short bursts are manageable even for the busiest working mum. Even if you can’t find the 15 minutes at the beginning of the day, you will still find it at some point.”

Lynsey also likens the 15-minute clean to exercise.

“If it was an hour clean, that’s a really hard habit to build – it’s like comparing 15 minutes of squats to an hour of squats. A 15-minute habit is more likely to stick,” she says.

Consistency is another factor.

“If you do something every day for 90 days, it almost becomes second nature and you don’t even notice you’re doing it,” says Lynsey.

“It’s like developing a gym habit.”

How to start a 15-minute clean

Ready to revolutionise your housework schedule? Here are Lynsey’s tips for getting started:

1. Make a plan for the week

“At first, you’ll need to make a little plan at the beginning of the week,” says Lynsey.

“Have a quick walk around the house and see what needs addressing. Is the washing basket overflowing? Are shoes and bags and parcels scattered all over the hallway floor? Make a list and then use that to decide where your 15 minutes will be dedicated each day.”

Lynsey adds, “I would always say the high-traffic rooms in your house – that could be the hallway or the kitchen or the lounge – will need focus more than once a week. Your lounge will be on that list twice, the kitchen maybe three times. Guest bedrooms, bathrooms, upstairs landings that aren’t used as much, they don’t need to appear on the list as often.”

This isn’t something you’ll need to do forever, though.

“The 15-minute clean is a habit,” says Lynsey.

“Once you get into it, you won’t need to write a list every Monday because you’ll know exactly where to spend your time and what you’ll need to be doing.”

2. Break the house down into sections

To make the 15-minute clean as efficient as possible, Lynsey advises working in rooms close together, such as a bedroom, en suite and landing, or three parts of one open-plan living space.

You could also tackle a related chore across different rooms – for example, laundry.

“You could spend five minutes unloading the tumble dryer and folding everything up, five minutes putting the clean laundry away in the right places, and five minutes collecting dirty clothes from around the house and popping them in the washing machine,” she suggests.

3. Eliminate any distractions

Another key to Lynsey’s success has been to ensure nothing distracts her from the task at hand.

“Turn off your phone and the TV, too,” she says.

“The worst thing you can do is have Good Morning Britain on in the background and get completely distracted from the task in hand. You hear something and you think, ‘I need to stop dusting and listen to this segment’. It’s all about turning off the distractions.”

4. Get everyone involved

If you live with other people, make sure you sign them up to help.

“This method works really well for young children,” says Lynsey.

“You can go into their bedroom and say ‘Mummy’s got a game’, then start the timer for five minutes and ask them to to put their toys away and see if they can beat the clock.”

With older children, it might be make the bed, fill their laundry basket or put their clothes away.

“In the case of a lot of kids, you’ll take laundry to their room, all folded and lovely, and it will sit there for a week!” Lynsey admits.

“But if you can get the kids into the habit of helping from a young age by turning it into a game, it’s more likely to become a habit as they get older.”

5. Be realistic

“In five minutes you can bleach the toilet, wipe the toothpaste out of the sink, go over the mirror, pick up the bath mat and give it a shake and open the window,” says Lynsey.

“But you can’t clean grout in five minutes, or get the soap scum off of the shower screen.”

That’s why Lynsey advises keeping bigger tasks off the list.

“The 15-minute clean won’t cover all your housework – you do have to add to the system,” she says.

“You should save certain jobs for the weekend, or when you have a day off, and you have the capacity to give things a deeper clean. That’s when to degrease the oven, sort out the under-stairs cupboard, vacuum the sofas, blitz the mattress – those more intensive jobs.”

Lynsey’s quick cleaning lists

Wondering where to spend your limited time in each room? Here’s what Lynsey recommends:


  • Wipe and bleach the toilet
  • Wipe down the sink to remove marks like toothpaste
  • Shake out the bath mat
  • Open the window
  • Give the bath/shower a quick rinse down

Living room

  • Plump up the sofa cushions
  • Throw clutter like kids’ or pets’ toys into a dedicated box or basket
  • Run a vacuum around the floor
  • If time, dust the TV screen and any furniture

Top tip: If you haven’t got a duster to hand, Lynsey recommends using an old ‘bedtime sock’ to pick up dust.


  • Make the bed (you may want to air it when you first get up)
  • Hang up any clean clothes that are lying around
  • Open the window
  • Run a vacuum round


  • Go over surfaces with a damp cloth and a little multipurpose cleaner
  • Load the dishwasher or do a small amount of washing up
  • Spot clean the floor with wet paper towel if you see any marks
  • Run a vacuum around if you have time
  • Change your tea towel

Top tip: Dirty dishcloths? Put them in a bowl of boiling water and add a denture tablet to clean them.

So give it a go, and see how you get on. This writer has tried it and has already noticed a big difference in how tidy her house looks – and feels less embarrassed about inviting people over on a whim, for fear they’ll be greeted by mess. And as Lynsey says: “If you’re focused and really working against the clock, you’ll be surprised at what you can achieve.”

Good luck!