Monday, October 21, 2013

55 15 Organizing Tasks You Can Do in 15 Minutes

We are busy people.  And I am guessing 99% percent of the population doesn't share the same crazy obsession with organizing that I do.  I do it like it's my hobby.  But most people, not so much.

I find myself doing quick spurts of organizing.  I don't blog about them each and every time because I do it impulsively and before I know it I am done and grinning ear to ear.  So it got me thinking about those quick and random acts of organizing that make a big impact on our home.  You may not have five hours to clean out and entire room, but everyone has 15 minutes each week to spare for a little organizing lovin'.

Here are my top fifteen organizing tasks that can be done in fifteen minutes or less!  Have fun friends!


 
  • Empty out all trash
  • Wipe down dash and center console
  • Clean windows
  • Vacuum Seats
  • Add a small bin to corral all of the items you prefer to keep within the car



  • Remove all expired foods
  • Wipe down shelves and bins
  • Categorize remaining foods by type
  • Create special baskets for breakfast foods and lunches
  • Use a Sharpie or Washi tape to label food container with expiration dates




  • Pick a drawer, any drawer
  • Empty contents
  • Donate/toss anything that you haven't used/touched within the past three months
  • Vacuum/wipe down inside of the drawer
  • Place items back using drawer dividers if possible {drawer dividers reduce risk of "toss and shut" syndrome.  Anything can be used from washed out yogurt cups to muffin pans to cereal boxes}




  • Recycle all junk mail
  • Unsubscribe from mailings {many online services can help you do this quickly}
  • Place important dates into your calendar
  • Scan/File statements
  • Designate a single basket or paper tray as your inbox for weekly sorting



  • Toss any expired products
  • Combine like bottles and toss anything that you don't use frequently
  • Remove contents and wipe down shelves
  • Place items back strategically {by item type}
  • Remove any medications and store them in separate, dry environment {medications should not be stored in a medicine cabinet}




  • Donate anything you haven't used within 3-6 months
  • Tag or turn your hangers.  After you wear something, place the hanger back in the opposite way.  Now, you have a system for purging down the line {unturned hangers mean you haven't wore the item and it has to go}
  • Add a bin or bag to your closet for donations.  Now, you have an instant place to purge when you follow the "one in, one out" rule.
  • Vacuum out floor of closet, wipe down shoes
  • Plan your wardrobe for the week



  • Delete spam and old Emails
  • Sign up for an Inbox cleanup service {there many out there similar to this one}
  • Reply to anything that requires a quick response
  • Create folders/labels to "file" away your Emails.  Create one label as an active "To Do" list and use the rest to quickly find important correspondences.
  • Unsubscribe from unnecessary notifications from Social Media sites.




  • Return piled up items back to their original home
  • Wipe down the counters
  • Store away appliances that are not used frequently
  • Add a small basket or bin for the items that typically land on your counter, and empty it at the end of each day




  • Remove all expired foods
  • Wipe down shelves and bins
  • Categorize remaining foods by type
  • Create special baskets for breakfast foods and lunches
  • Use a Sharpie or Washi tape to label food container with expiration dates




  • Empty contents
  • Vacuum inside of pockets and pouches
  • Toss garbage and items that are no longer needed
  • Categorize contents and place within small pouches {such as pencil pouches} or a purse organizer {for example, one pouch holds cosmetics, one pouch holds electronics, etc...}



  • Remove contents from drawers and top of nightstand
  • Wipe down outside and inside
  • Toss any expired lotions, chapsticks, etc... Purge items that don't belong
  • Add dividers/organizers to drawers
  • Place a small dish on the top to hold your favorite daily jewels/hair ties



  • Blank slate it!  Clear your desk of clutter and piles
  • Wipe down desk
  • Add an "inbox" for important papers/documents
  • Toss old pens, pencils and broken/unused supplies
  • Keep only items you use daily on your desktop, tuck the less frequently used items away in drawers or bins




  • Create a shopping list/meal plan for the week/month
  • Search Pinterest, magazines and cookbooks for a few new recipes to try each month
  • Sign up for a meal planning service {many available which will plan your weekly meals and provide you with a shopping list}
  • Use online services {such as Evernote} to create an online catalog of your favorite recipes, or put them all together within a recipe binder



  • Empty the closet/cabinet to give it a blank slate
  • Wipe down shelves, go the extra mile by adding pretty shelf liner
  • Toss/donate any items that haven't been used within 6-12 months
  • Place sheets within baskets {for the non-expert sheet folders}, or within shelving dividers
  • Refold/roll all towels to face the same way
  • Use space saving bags to condense large quilts and pillows




  • Empty contents of your makeup bag/makeup drawer
  • Wipe down insides of bag/drawer 
  • Toss expired items {it's not good for you to use expired makeup yo!}
  • Purge down items that are duplicates or seasonal
  • Wipe down each makeup item/case with disinfecting wipes
  • Clean makeup brushes {details here}



Those are just a few things that I do, that take me 15 minutes or less, and happen when I have a spare moment and feel like getting something accomplished quick.   I always feel superfab after tackling each one of these tasks, and they all make a positive impact on our lives here in the Jones household.  I try to do something every day or two, but many of these items can be tackled in a single weekend or spread out throughout the month.  And if you have attention issues like I do, a timer will be your best friend forever.  As will good tunes.

Now it is your turn!  I have to know, what am I missing out on?  What quickie organizing tasks do you accomplish within 15 minutes or less?




images found: { 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11 / 12 / 13 / 14 / 15 }



55 comments:

  1. I do a lot of the cleaning tips you noted above on a weekly basis. It makes my 'cleaning' days go by a lot quicker and lets me have more time with my family. In addition to what you put, you can take 15 minutes (or less) and clean/organize your jewelry. For some reason I end up wearing the same necklaces, bracelets and earrings because well...they are right there in front of me. I like to re-arrange my jewelry pieces so items that I haven't worn in a while are in my 'regular' drawer. Sometimes you forget what you have and you fall in love again with some pieces.

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  2. Jen - love this list! I confess, my car needs a serious, and I mean a SERIOUS organizing overhaul. Thanks for the list - C

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  3. I am with you, Jen! I love a quick 15 minutes of organization! I could only think of two quick organization tasks that I LOVE, which were not on your list. After doing a few loads of laundry, I like to wipe down the top of the dryer to get rid of all of the random soap drips or lint and put all of my detergents and cleaners away. I also like to organize my markers in ROY G BIV order.... especially my Sharpies! :)

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    Replies
    1. Ooooh! I do that in the laundry room as well, those little lint bunnies can quickly take residence! And I love that you organize your Sharpies! :)

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  4. Wow, in my case any of this tasks will take me more than 15 minutes! I always read your blog but I should start doing what you suggest!
    xoxo
    Summer in Savannah

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  5. Thank you!!! This is so helpful!

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  6. This is my favorite blog post ever written! I'm going to bookmark it an print it out :-) I've recently gotten back into FlyLady and I love having a list of small tasks to do for 15 mins a day. Am going to try do a couple of these tasks each week. Thanks so much for posting this!


    MY BLOG: ♥♥♥ Ella Pretty ♥♥♥

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  7. I do all of these! I also keep a microfiber cloth/tiny waste basket near every surface that I use so I can wipe down things while I'm in the area (i.e. wipe the desk while a website is loading, wipe the bathroom mirror while i'm swishing mouthwash, wipe the kitchen counter while I'm waiting for food in the toaster oven, etc) I find that these small things also helps keep everything tidy.

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    Replies
    1. Such a great tip Lisa! Thanks so much for sharing!

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    2. Great idea! The surfaces in my vehicle are always dusty! Microfiber cloth to the rescue!

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  8. I needed this today! Thanks so much! My 15 mintue task would be; picking up all the toys in living room, moving items to designated spot, straightening the couch cushions,and finally vacuuming the floor. I do this everyday. A vacuumed floor makes me happy! Casey

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    Replies
    1. I totally agree with you on hovering every day.

      I've got a pink carpet in my lounge, a yellow patterned one & red Lino in the kitchen. Even tho I love these colours I find they show all the little bits. The only way to keep them looking sort of nice is to Hoover them every day.

      Cheerio from the uk.

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    2. * Hoovering, not hovering:)

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  9. Hi Jen-

    First, I love your blog! I loved your confessions post about the Monica-type closets. Second, where did you get the wardrobe in picture 6? I clicked the link at the bottom of the post, but it didn't offer any purchase information.

    Thanks!
    Kelly

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    Replies
    1. Hi Kelly!

      They are from IKEA: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/80157214/

      Thanks so much!
      Jen

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  10. Wow! I love people like you that help people like me, bite the bullet and show me how a task so daunting isnt really that bad.
    Aesthetic Lounge

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  11. Great ideas, especially the Email Inbox one - although I always delete spam, I tend to keep all sorts of emails that are no longer necessary. I think my inbox will take longer than 15 minutes :)

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    Replies
    1. Haha! Mine took four hours the first time I sat down to do it, but now it only takes me fifteen minutes per week. Although, my "to do" folder continues to grow ;)

      xo!

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  12. thank you so much for all of the great quick organizational tips. I always feel so much better once I get an area organized

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  13. Love! I do a couple of these regularly (mostly when my OCD-ness kicks in and I can't stand the clutter any more!) I would also add bathroom counters to your list. It may just be me, but my bathroom counters tend to get cluttered (and in need of a good cleaning) pretty quickly if things aren't put away right after they are used.

    thecraftygrad.blogspot.com

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  14. Fabulous ideas. I have always found the smaller tasks make such a difference with limited time.

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  15. You've inspired me to tackle my out of control inbox today Jen!

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  16. Thank you for this! Your ideas projects and thoughts are truly wonderful! I so wish I could send an early thanks giving card to you and you family for all that you have taught me (a stay at home momma!) love Katie xo

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  17. this totally speaks my language!
    and how beautiful is that car interior!

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  18. oooh I needed this post! My inboxes are totally out of control, I had no idea inbox services existed! Another great tip from Jen!!

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  19. I think I already do maybe only one or two of these - so this list is wonderful to have! I have to ask - where is the pink purse organizer from? It is so cute and looks just like what I need! I have purchased many versions and have yet to find one I like - this looks like it might be just right. :) Keep these amazing posts coming!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Heather!

      I found the link to the purse organizer here: http://www.mochithings.com/purse-organizers/basic-purse-organizer-v2/3729

      xo!

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  20. I LOVE posts like this Jen! Thanks!

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  21. Good ideas! I find myself always organizing my pantry and crafting area ;) In fact, just organized my crafting area...aaaaaaahhhh what a good feeling!

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  22. love the list....but I really need to put my big girl hat and clean the refrigerator...honestly I take a good half an hour to clean the refrigerator.

    I would like to add quick bathroom cleaning like sink area and toilet. normally before I take shower, I wipe down all the surfaces daily in the bathroom....it takes less then 15 minutes;-)

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  23. This reminds me of how much organizing I have to do! I find my 15 minutes of organizing turn into total overhaul/deep cleans that take forever. How do you stick with just one thing to organize??

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    1. I could seriously organize around the clock and I totally understand what you mean! :) That is why all of the random acts of organizing take place around here. But often times my hubby and kids just look at me and I know to stop and spend time with them. They keep me in check ;) Maybe if you know you will be spending 15-30 minutes each day or every couple of days {or even schedule it in|, you won't feel so bad stopping?

      xo!

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  24. I'm definitely OCD....because it takes me at least a half hour to spiffy up my fridge lol. Awesome list :)

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  25. Really inspiring! These quick tips go directly to my favourites folder... specially at this moment when I need some extra organizationin
    my life
    Besos desde España!

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  26. You've got fans oversees as well! I am from the netherlands and love you're ideas! You could add:organizing your spices. I like to cook so I have a lot! Or organize your books (maybe just a few shelves). There are lots of things you can do in 15 minutes, thanks for the reminder and greetings from the netherlands!

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  27. Thanks for the tips!! I tend to do a lot of sort tasks in the same day and end up really tired. I'll try to do them one by one and see if I can enjoy them more :)

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  28. I am also a huge organizer and firmly believe in the fifteen minute plan! I hate wasting time, so if I have fifteen minutes, I will always grab something and organize it. The floor may be covered with toys, but my cupboards and drawers are organized! LOL!

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  29. Love this post!!! xo
    http://bobsyouruncle-x.blogspot.com

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  30. I must say that I am excited about your blog. I loved your 15 minute projects. I will drop by again.
    Blessings to you!

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  31. It's not really an organizing "task" but a tip. I received a beautiful jewelry travel roll. I wanted to put it to good use but don't travel that often sooooo.....I put my earbuds and travel charger for my phone as well as the memory stick I carry back and forth to work in it. Works like a charm and keeps everything from getting tangled in my tote!

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  32. I absolutely love this list Jen. Taking a swiffer duster and just going over surfaces in one room wouldn't take very long either. I went through my kids' rooms this weekend and knocked down all the cobwebs. It may be almost Halloween, but I'd rather not have that kind of "decor". It didn't take very long to do and made me feel so much better.

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  33. Jen, I love your blog! I used to spend my weekends, cleaning, tidying and organising. Then I had children! Now, I'm all for doing short tasks as I find a bit of ttime. A task spend a few minutes on almost daily is sorting my (kids) nappy/diaper bag. I take out all the snack packaging and other rubbish, replace any dirty clothes with clean outfits and replenish nappies, wipes, snacks, etc. Then it goes back to it's spot where it's out of the way, but can easily be picked up on the way out. Like your tips, makes daily life easier!

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  34. Girl you have my little organizing heart pounding out of my chest! HAHA! I randomly found you the other day while googling planners (awesome btw & can't wait until you get back from vacation to order one!) I have been creeping around you page though & just love it all! Although I thought what you originally did with the bathroom, I think the most recent update is awesome!! You have so many wonderful ideas! I can't wait to explore more & get to know you better!!

    XOXO,

    Shayna

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  35. Great tips, I am so much more likely to do something if it only takes 15 minutes. Sometimes I just don't want! to do the most stupid little things (like emptying the dishwasher) but it makes life so much more pleasant if I do! The other day I cleaned out my freezer, got rid of all the ice and reorganized it within half an hour. I have a little freezer which helps with the time but still I was dreading it!

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  36. So many great tips! This is something I could definitely be better at. I usually wait until I have a big chunk of time to do a major overhaul, but if I devote a few minutes here and there, I could use my bigger chunks of time on larger projects. Thanks for the list, Miss Jen! Hope you're having a wonderful week!

    ~Abby =)

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  37. After reading this post I went straight to the bathroom and organized the drawers under the sink that were a mess, 'cause after all 'It only takes 15 minutes' :D

    Thanks Jen, again!

    Sokru
    sokerimursu.blogspot.fi


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  38. I am in love with your blog and this post. You have such useful information! I was wondering, what is the car interior in the first photograph?? It is so beautiful, I just have to know what kind of car that is.

    Thanks for all the information, Jen.

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  39. Love all of these! I try and do many of these on a daily/weekly basis to keep up around our home. One thing that is quick and easy is a wipe-down of our cabinets. We have white, painted cabinets in our kitchen, bathrooms, and laundry rooms, and they get dirty FAST. A quick wipe with a damp microfiber cloth helps keep dust and dirt off regularly. It's a great thing to do regularly, especially since we entertain a lot!

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  40. We keep two small baskets on the bottom two stairsteps - on for our room and one for our baby boy's room. Everything that collects downstairs ends up in those baskets, and at the end of the night, we take them up and put the items away. It keeps our downstairs from getting so cluttered and minimizes the constant trips upstairs!

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