Organize & Clean

10 Things to Do in 10 Minutes Before Work to Make Coming Home Much Nicer

published Mar 29, 2015
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(Image credit: Bethany Nauert)

Think you can’t accomplish all that much in ten minutes? You’re wrong. In fact, taking just ten minutes before you dash out the house to head to work can allow you to tackle a whole set of tasks that might make coming back home a pleasant treat at the end of a long, hard day. Tomorrow, take ten minutes to cross off these ten easy items of your morning to-do list!

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1. Tuck away your breakfast-making gear

Do you like to make a bit of a mess when you fix breakfast? Do you take out all the mugs to get to your favorite one before pouring your morning cup of coffee? You don’t have to scrub the entire kitchen or even sweep the floors — just take a quick minute to put as much back into the cabinets as you can, or at least shove out of the way. The objective is to show off a little countertop space — a visual that will make it feel like your kitchen is clean (or cleaner than it actually is) when you get home.

2. Put your bathroom countertop in order

Do the same quickly for your bathroom. It can take even less than a minute to put your toiletries back into their drawers or cabinets.

(Image credit: Rebecca Proctor)

3. Make your bed

If you’re a perfect-corner sheet tucker, this might take more than a minute. But if you don’t want to spend a lot of time on it, just (kind of neatly) throw a blanket or quilt on top and arrange your pillows.

4. Put your dirty clothes in the hamper

While you’re in the bathroom or bedroom, throw any dirty clothes that may be sprinkled around into a hamper or your washer.

5. Open the window blinds

Not advisable for everyone (depending on your neighborhood’s safety and whether you need the blinds closed for environmental control), but if you come home before the sun goes down, it might be nice to come home to a bright space flooded with natural light.

(Image credit: Leanne Bertram)

6. Spritz something that smells good

You might not think spritzing a favorite smell-good spray around the entryway or living room would last until you got home…and it’s true you might not be bowled over by scent. But giving a little attention to the air in your home might make it smell and feel a little fresher at least when you walk through the door.

7. Move a bouquet of flowers right where you can see it

If you already have a bouquet of flowers in your home, move it to where you can see it right as you walk in — it’ll be a nice welcome after a long day.

8. Put the living room in order

This might take a couple of minutes, depending on the disarray, but you can at least fluff the sofa cushions, re-fold a throw blanket, straighten the coffee table and maybe tuck a few things away for re-organizing later.

(Image credit: Marie-Lyne Quirion)

9. Lay out a treat

Remember when you used to have an after-school snack after a long day of lessons? What’s a treat for you these days? A snack? A pair of slippers? An episode of your favorite show on Netflix? Take whatever might be a treat for you and lay it out real enticing like so that when you get home you jump right into pampering (though if your treat is chocolate and you have sneaky dogs in the home, go ahead and leave that locked up).

10. Smile and take a few breaths

They say smiling can help improve your outlook. So before you leave your home to enter a potentially overwhelming, stressful day, take a few breaths to center yourself and put a smile on before walking out the door. It could help improve your outlook for the rest of the day and make you enjoy your evening back at home even more. (This TED talk gives more smiling info.)

What tasks do you try to tackle quickly before you leave for work in the morning? Share your tricks for coming home to a cleaner and more pleasant space at the end of a long work day.