Decluttering can be an overwhelming and time consuming project. My goal is to change all of that with this list of 10 minutes decluttering tasks. Simple mini projects that you can start doing today to get closer to living a simple life.
The biggest complaint I hear over and over with decluttering is “I work my tail off cleaning out a room and before I know it it’s right back to a mess again.” And I totally get it, really. Cleaning out a room or even your entire home is just part of the process. You then need to maintain that home to ensure that things do not get out of control again.
You worked hard to get things cleaned up so now I want to teach you how to work easy to keep it that way. This list of easy decluttering tasks is something you can do in 10 minutes or less to keep your room or even your home neat and clutter-free.
That is the craziest part of the clutter. We go about our days minding our own business and the clutter sneaks its way back in. We get up early, run all day long, and the piles begin to reappear. Our once neat and tidy kitchen counter is slowly getting buried once again under a mass of random piles.
And this can be more than just annoying, it can be costly.
It costs us time and money. And those are two things that are too important to just let slip away. And that is what this article is all about. A list that will save you time, countless amounts of money and your sanity too.
My top 10 Minute Decluttering Tasks you can do today!
Work your way down this list completing one task at a time and watch your home begin to take shape with less lying out and more put away.
Decluttering Task #1 Clean out a junk drawer. (5 minutes)
It just might surprise you to know that I have a junk drawer. To be perfectly honest I actually have two of them. One for me and one for my Hubs.
Listen, being clutter-free does not mean you are living under strict rules that forbid junk drawers. Actually, the opposite is true.
Being clutter-free means you have a place for everything and everything has a place. This is the basis behind every single decluttered home out there. And sometimes the place is simply a junk drawer or as I like to call it, my Miscellaneous Items Drawer.
I have one of these drawers in my kitchen and inside I keep things that help me to run my day. The center hub of our home is the kitchen so for that reason, I have a drawer in there that holds a few key items that I might need to use but do not need to dedicate a specific space for.
Here are a few examples:
#1. Pens, pencils, highlighters
#2. Scissors, tape
#3. Post-it notes, a pad of paper
#4. Large black magic marker
#5. Clothespins (I use these everywhere. They are simply the best invention ever!)
#6. Notecards, paperclips, rubber bands
#7. Nail file, band-aide, chapstick
As you can see these are items specific to me that I like to have on hand but not devote a specific area for.
The key to a clutter-free home is a junk drawer or misc. items drawer has a specific purpose and for that reason, you need to clean it out to ensure the clutter doesn’t find its way in there.
How long will this decluttering hack take?
This literally should only take 5 minutes and it looks something like this.
- Remove 1/4 of unnecessary items that you know have a specific home somewhere else in the house. Put them in a small dish or another container to put away when you are done.
- Organize what you have left. I love these small drawer baskets. My drawer is very small so I can keep a better handle on things not getting out of control. These skinny baskets are dirt cheap and come in three sizes all in one set of 8! (seriously, I just bought another set while typing this!) They work so great to organize my items into categories. Now I can get in, find exactly what I need, and get out quickly.
- Clean things out a bit with a rag or Clorox wipe. Ha, I love these babies too!
- Put away any items you removed from this drawer. AND DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP!!
Decluttering Task #2 Clean out your coat closet. (10 minutes)
This is one area of my home that if not kept an eye on can get out of control and quick. And to be honest I really have no idea why. I mean a coat closet is for coats only. The name even confirms it. So how on earth soccer balls, shopping bags, and pet toys find their way into our closet is simply beyond me.
If your home is like mine then this room needs you to keep an eye on it. And you can do this in just under 10 minutes with this 2nd 10 minute decluttering task.
How to declutter and organize your coat closet.
- Remove any items that have a specific home somewhere else in the house. Grab yourself a clothes basket like this one, yet another of my favorite organizing tools.
- Remove any out-of-season items and put them in a tote or guest bedroom closet if that is where you keep your seasonal outerwear.
- Organize quickly what you have left.
- Put away all the items you have in the clothes basket. AND DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP!!
Decluttering Task #3 Organize your silverware drawer. (3 minutes)
When I first help a newbie declutter I always have them start here. It is a super simple drawer to declutter and an even easier drawer to keep that way. But that doesn’t mean we never have to clean it out again. I bet if you take a peek inside of your drawer right now you can find a few things that do not belong. A plastic fork, bread ties, a spatula, a pen, bread crumbs. (never really sure how those end up in there but they do in our house!)
How to declutter and organize your silverware drawer.
- Pull everything out.
- Wipe done the inside and get all those little crumbs out.
- Rinse out your silverware organizer and quickly dry. I used to have a plastic organizer but for some reason I found it stained up quickly and just looked awful. I then switched to this steel mesh one and I just love it! It is super easy to keep clean and looks nice too.
- Return on the items that belong.
- Toss the trash and put the other items away right now.
Decluttering Task #4 Delete photos or videos from your smartphone. (10 minutes)
This is my favorite decluttering mini-task for passing the time. Are you stuck waiting for your son to finish up football practice? Or are you sitting in the orthodontist’s office for the 2nd time this month? These are perfect places to work on this decluttering task! Now, I realize that for some of you 10 minutes just won’t cut it. You have thousands of pictures on your little phone and you just might need days to get through them all.
So, this for you just might be an ongoing task that you will work on in 10-minute chunks whenever you find yourself with a few minutes to kill.
There are few ways to organize and declutter these types of files quickly on your phone.
- Quickly go through a just delete the bad, unfocused or duplicate photos. This one step alone may be just enough to really clean things out.
- Delete any photos that you no longer need. Screenshots are something I use quite often on my phone but I never remember to delete them.
- Photos I have sent to my computer or have printed out to keep.
Once you have the excess off then you can organize what you have left.
- Set up files on your phone sorting things into categories. This option will only work if you have a phone that supports this. If not you can instead send those pictures to your computer and organize them there.
- Set up an account in iCloud to send and organize your photos.
Decluttering Task #5 Email clean-out (10 minutes each)
It is amazing how quickly an email account can fill up with spam and useless clutter. Here too I try to spend a few minutes each week or day even to keep on top of things. Then on Sundays, I will spend even more time cleaning things out.
You can take this tip one step further and each week or month unsubscribe from all unnecessary emails. Even though this is a time-consuming task, it is one of those tasks that have a big return on investment. The less useless emails you have coming into your account the more time you will save.
Take this task one step further and set up folders to better organize the emails that you do want to keep.
Some folders to consider are:
- Financial Investment Records
- Kids Records
If you have older children, then a file by name for each of them might be a good idea as well.
Total time can vary depending on the number of emails you have to go through. To keep this from getting overwhelming, set a timer for 10 minutes and work in chunks throughout your week.
Decluttering Task #6 Clean-out your makeup (10 minutes)
Depending on how much makeup you have this 10 minute decluttering task might only take 7 minutes for me, this task only takes 3. I am not a big makeup wearer so that means I do not have a lot of makeup at all. This area still requires my attention. This is the key to keeping a home clutter-free. There simply is no fix it and forget it clutter remedy. You need to keep on top of things, all of the things, so you do not find yourself in a huge mess.
How to declutter and organize your makeup.
- First and foremost toss any makeup that is expired or dried out.
- Clean out the container or drawer where you keep your makeup.
- Put it all back in an organized way.
Decluttering Task #7 Organize your movies. (7 minutes)
In our home, we do not have subscription television. We live in the country so the only option available to us is satellite TV. And let me just say that the cost of a basic package is nuts! Years ago we cut the TV cord and have never looked back. This decision saved us thousands every single year. If you want to read just how we did it you can do so here.
A side effect of no subscription television is we have acquired quite a few DVDs. I have a nice system all set up for our movies, but as you can imagine things can get out of order quick. I find if I spend just a few minutes every week I can keep things in a system so that our movies are really easy to find.
How to declutter and organize your movies.
- Set things up into genres. We have ours set up into 5 sections (remember we have a lot of movies here!)
- Set’s-this includes trilogies or boxed sets
- Gather any movies that are piled up. It just amazes me how these piles magically appear overnight.
- Check each movie quickly to make sure you have the correct disk inside.
- Put each movie back in its genre.
Decluttering Task #8 Clean your shoes (5 minutes)
Whether you keep your shoes in your closet or in your mudroom/entry room you will want to do this task routinely. Shoes are something that gets messy easily but takes minutes to fix.
How to declutter and organize your shoes.
Step # 1. Have an everyday area. We all have our favorites so keep those shoes in a place that are easiest to get too. A boot tray like this one works perfectly.
Step # 2. Keep the kid’s shoes close to their coats. If you are able a hook on the wall is perfect for coats and bookbags with a basket below to corral their shoes. This will make getting out the door in the mornings so much easier.
Step #3. Keep dress shoes or other shoes that you wear sparingly in a bedroom closet.
Step #4. Remove any shoes that are unwearable, do not fit, or you no longer love as you are doing this.
Step #5. Find a spot for outdoor shoes. If you have a barn or garden you may want a place in a garage or mudroom to house messy boots or shoes.
Decluttering Task #9 Gather up that trash (7 minutes)
This is by far my favorite decluttering hack out there. So many times quite a bit of our clutter is simply trash. Trash that we fully intended to toss but just never got around to. Take a bag or a wastepaper basket and start walking your home.
Gather up all the crumpled papers, read newspapers and/or magazines, junk mail, kids papers, flyers, useless receipts, empty plastic shopping bags, food containers and anything else you can find. Recycle what you can, shred what you should, and toss what is left.
Decluttering Task #10 Purge the unmentionables (10 minutes)
It might sound silly, but this 10 minute declutter task is another one of those decluttering chores I just love to do. I cannot tell you how many clients of mine have an issue with socks and underwear. Whether it’s their own or another family members this quickie task is important to do but doesn’t need to be done too often.
How to declutter and organize the panty drawer.
- Toss anything that is stretched out, stained, or torn.
- Toss anything you no longer like or doesn’t fit (and sadly never will again).
- Toss any socks that have lost their mates months ago. At this point, there is probably little hope of a reunion.
- Do this with your younger children and even your spouse if they are okay with that.
And there you have it. Decluttering a home can be a bit tricky but keeping a home decluttered is simple with this list of 10 minute decluttering tasks.