15 Home Organizing Mini-Tasks You Can Tackle in 15 Minutes

published Jan 2, 2017
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(Image credit: Anna Spaller)

Okay, so you’ve got a few minutes before the newest episode of your favorite show comes on—how do you spend it? You could flip through the channels to find something random to watch until it starts, or, you could work towards making your home a more beautiful, organized place (and make your life a little bit easier). Need inspiration? Try one of these quick tasks…

Coordinate your bookshelves

Are your books actually organized, or do you just place them wherever you have room on a shelf? Since you have a few minutes to kill, you might as well come up with a system and put them all in their proper place.

Clean out your medicine cabinet

Seriously, when was the last time you did a full sweep of your medicine cabinet? It’s home to so many essential things you use every day, and that means it can get messy really quickly, but it’s small, so it won’t take you too long to fix it up.

Stack up stray tupperware

Your tupperware stacks so neatly together, and yet, somehow, it always winds up a disorganized mess. Spend a few minutes matching up lids to containers and organizing them so you can access them more easily.

(Image credit: Esteban Cortez)

Rid your refrigerator of old food

If something smells a little funky in your fridge, take this time to go through and toss out anything that’s old or expired—you can deep clean later, when you have more time, but this will help you get a head start.

Spruce up your spice rack

Are your spices all over the place? (Same, I’m definitely guilty of this!) While you’ve got a few minutes to spare, get them in order so you can have a spice rack to be proud of—and can actually find the oregano next time.

Free up your phone

You probably have tons of stuff taking up space on your phone, like multiple photos of the same thing, apps you don’t use, and old texts that you don’t need to hold on to anymore. Now’s your chance to clear it out and get some valuable GBs back.

Organize your photos

Have a shoebox full of photos and memorabilia that’s totally disorganized? Or maybe a folder of pictures on your computer that makes no sense? Take this time to go through them and get them in order—bonus points if you put them in an actual album.

(Image credit: Carolyn Purnell)

Work toward Inbox Zero

If your emails are totally out of control, you might not be able to actually achieve Inbox Zero in one sitting. But if you take advantage of many of these little breaks—before your show starts, or while waiting for an Uber—to go through some of your emails, you will get there eventually.

Clean off your desk

Your desk probably has some clutter on top of it (especially if you work from home). While you’ve got some free time, clear off any old notes and organize your desk supplies—you’ll thank yourself later when it’s time to be productive again.

Clean out your bag

Do you carry a purse, backpack or briefcase with you regularly? It’s probably got some random things in it—like receipts and gum wrappers—that you can clear out, so you can better find what you need while you’re on the go.

De-junk the junk drawer

This might be more of a task for a rainy day if your junk drawer is out of control, but if it’s just a typical mishmash of miscellaneous items all out of place, take a few minutes to put little things in small boxes or sandwich bags, and get rid of any papers (like old mail) taking up space.

(Image credit: Natalie Jeffcott)

Make your bed

This is probably the easiest thing on the list—it only takes a few minutes to strip your bed and put it back together, so tuck in those sheets and fluff your pillows while you wait.

Organize your night stand

If your night stand has become a magnet for half the stuff in your room—think books, glasses, beverages, notes, etc.—take this time to clear off any clutter and make sure the drawers are neat and tidy.

Take on your underwear drawer

Your underwear or sock drawer is an easy fix when you’re looking for something quick to declutter. Go through and match up socks and fold anything out of place, and if you’re feeling up to the challenge, come up with a new strategy for keeping everything organized.

Get rid of old makeup

Go through your makeup bag (or drawer—wherever you keep the goods) and toss out anything that’s old and expired. If you’ve got new products you know you won’t use, set them aside to see if any friends might want them before you let them go to waste.

Re-edited from a post originally published 1.2.2017 – TW