12 areas to declutter in 10 minutes or less

“If I had more free time then I could finally get organized.” I’ve heard it once, twice, thousands of times (literally). And I get it! Life is chaotic and there never seems to be enough time to get it all done. But, there are ways that we can manage our daily routines and free up time to chip away at the overall goal of becoming more organized. With this approach, you're making organization more a part of our daily routine rather than one-time event, which has proven to stick and is easier to keep up with.

Committing to getting organized can be daunting, especially when thinking about the big picture, like taking on a total home organization project. I always recommend starting small when it comes to getting organized, and tackling smaller, bite-sized areas first.

The good news is that even if you only have 10 minutes every day open to focus on getting your home organized, something is better than nothing! Don’t believe that it’s possible? Trust me, it is true. Organizing projects don’t need to be entire month-long journeys or even week-long clean-outs. And in all honestly, sometimes the smaller organizing projects that take less time to complete can have longer and lasting results when they are all said and done.

So, for all you non-believers, let me give you a few ideas for getting organized that you can do in 10 minutes are less. I am “only” listing twelve areas, but know that there are plenty of areas that can be added to the list! Use this list as a starting off point and I'm sure you'll find more areas to tackle once the motivation kicks in.

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12 AREAS TO DECLUTTER IN TEN MINUTES OR LESS

  1. Fridge door: discard any expired or unwanted condiments, sauces, and spreads. Then, group the remaining items together when storing contents back in the fridge.

  2. Pantry shelf: similar to the fridge, choose a category on your shelf (i.e. cans) to review expirations, categorize, and then store accordingly.

  3. Beauty samples: collect all of the little hotel bottles, makeup and perfume samples, and mini lotions from your bathroom drawers and ask yourself if you’ll realistically use them. If the answer is “yes”, then categorize and consolidate them into either a zippered pouch or small bin.

  4. Medicine: scan for expiration dates and appropriately discard what’s no longer usable or needed.

  5. Children’s books: choose one book shelf and weed out any that are no longer appropriate for your child’s age or reading level

  6. Games: if you’ve been hopeful that the missing puzzle or game pieces might turn up after 6 months, take that as a sign to let go. Discard and donate any games and puzzles that are no longer being used or the appropriate age level for your chilren.

  7. Stack of mail: grab the various stacks of paperwork and mail that you’ve been meaning to get to and sort it once and for all. Recycle what you don’t need, and then separate what remaining into 3 categories: TO DO (paperwork that requires you to take an action), TO READ (magazines, brochures, etc.), and TO FILE (bills, kids’ artwork, or important documents you need to reference later).

  8. Clothing: group one category of clothing together (i.e. tops, pants, workout clothes, etc.). If your clothes are already categorized, take a sweep through one category and decide “yes/no/maybe” to each item in that category.

  9. Music and movies: decide how often you are reaching for these items and if they are worth taking up space in your home. For anything that you do plan on keeping, transfer from the individual hard cases to a CD/DVD case that takes up less storage space.

  10. Email inbox: unsubscribe from email lists that you no longer read or are interested in, and delete or file a selection of emails from your inbox.

  11. Kitchen drawer: categorize the contents of your drawer by sorting like with like. You’ll likely surprise yourself when you realize that you have multiples of certain items (scissors, vegetable peelers, and pizza cutters are popular duplicates!).

  12. Coat closet or mudroom: pull out any items that don’t belong in this space and move back to the area of the home where it should be stored

Have an area that we should add to our list? Let me know in the comments!