If the task of organizing your home seems too mammoth to tackle, there’s an easy solution. Rather than feeling you need to dedicate your entire weekend to it, break it down into small, easy to handle chunks. Most of us, no matter how busy, can manage to squeeze at least one or two 10-minute segments into our day. That time waiting in line at the bank? Rather than spending it idly checking your phone, use it to organize your purse. That 10 minutes waiting for the pasta to boil? Organize your kitchen drawers. Short, sharp bursts of activity can be a powerful thing, and you’ll be amazed at how quickly you can bring your home under control by making them a regular part of your routine. Next time you find yourself with ten minutes to spare, why not put it to good use with one of these activities… you’ll be amazed by the results.
Laundry: If you haven’t seen your floor in weeks, it’s time to pick up all those dirty clothes and stick them in the hamper. If you’ve got kids, whizz through their bedrooms and do the same. If you’ve still got time to spare, you could even go one step further by throwing them in the laundry.
Paper: If every spare surface in your home is groaning under the weight of piles of paper, sort it out. Work through one pile at a time, sorting by what can be kept, shredded, or recycled. If you want to be super-efficient, sort the “to keep” papers into categories as you go.
Kitchen Drawers: Waiting for dinner to cook? Then put the time to good use by organizing some of your kitchen drawers. Throw away anything that’s not needed, and, if you have plenty of drawers to play with, dedicate each one to a particular purpose (one for cutlery, one for kitchen towels, etc.). It’ll make it much easy to keep things organized in the future if everything has its own dedicated “home”.
Surfaces: If you want to give the appearance of a clean, organized home, get those surfaces cleared. It’ll only take a few minutes or so to sweep everything away into a hamper, drawer or closet (you can get around to organizing things a little better in your next spare 10 minutes), but it’ll make a world of difference to how things look.
Bags: If the clutter from your house has started creeping into your bags, grab a few, dump their contents onto a surface, and work through what can be thrown in the trash, what can be kept, what can be recycled, and what really belongs elsewhere.
Reusable Grocery Bags: If you have reusable grocery bags stuffed in every drawer in the house, but never seem to have one when you’re at the store, gather them up, stuff them into the largest bag you have, and hang from a spot where you’ll be reminded to take them every time you hit the shops. You might even find it easier to keep them in the car.
Checklist: Going on vacation? Then pre-empt and prevent any last-minute panic by creating a checklist of everything you need to do before you go (organize a pet sitter, ask a friend to water the plants, etc.) and everything you need to take with you.
Meal Planner: If you spend the final part of the afternoon panicking about what you can cook the family for dinner, spend ten minutes at the beginning of the week creating a weekly meal planner. As Lambertslately.com notes, it’ll not only save you a lot of time and energy, it’ll also save you some money as well. Use the meal planner as the basis for your weekly grocery shop, and as well as having all the right ingredients to hand for the rest of the week, you’ll be less tempted to stock up on anything unnecessary.
Office supplies: If your desk hasn’t seen the light of day for years, take ten minutes to declutter its surfaces of anything you don’t need. Unless you’re a calligrapher, two pens are enough. Do as Chambermaster suggests by sweeping a few into your supply drawer and binning the rest. Pop everything you don’t use daily (notepads, hole punches, staplers, etc.) into a drawer – they’ll still be on hand when the occasion calls, but your desk will look a lot neater without them taking up unnecessary surface space.
Carpets: If your carpet has any small stains, wipe them out by spot cleaning with either a commercial stain cleaner or a homemade alternative of 1-part vinegar and 3 parts water.
Walls: If you have kids, you’ll probably have the odd wall that bears their imprint. Take ten minutes to go through the house, dabbing away any dirty handprints or stains from the paintwork.
Beds: It may sound simple, but if you want your bedroom to look instantly pulled together, make your bed. You don’t have to spend an age arranging the cushions to look “just so”: simply straightening the sheets and smoothing the duvet can make all the difference.
Vacuum: Ten minutes is all you need to vacuum your floors (unless your house is particularly large, in which case, simply tackle the downstairs in one 10 minute segment and the upstairs in another one… and don’t forget to vacuum under the beds while you’re at it).
Closets: sort through your closet by making piles of things to keep, throw, or donate. Be a little ruthless: if you haven’t worn an item in a year, will you really ever wear it again? If the answer’s no, then it’s time to liberate it from your closet.
Jewelry box: If your jewelry box is a mess, it’ll only take ten minutes to straighten out: untangle any twisted necklaces and bracelets and reunite any separated earrings.
De-Web: Take a long broom or mop and whip it around the corners of the ceiling to remove any cobwebs.