Just because you don’t have time, energy or knowledge to declutter your home, don’t think that decluttering isn’t for you! Here are my 30 favourite 10 minute decluttering projects for busy people that’ll kick-start your decluttering and tackle the main clutter-hotspots in your home. 10 minutes every now and then is better than nothing and you can make quite an impact with this list!
HOW TO DECLUTTER YOUR HOME WHEN THE ODDS ARE AGAINST YOU
Decluttering your entire home can sound way out of reach if you’re busy or tired or both! It’s even more of a challenge if you’ve always got the kids with you, you don’t know where to start, or you’re the only one in your family who’s wanting to give it a go. Don’t worry though as I have a solution!
To make it really easy for you, and to show you it’s perfectly possible to tackle that clutter if you know how, check out my favourite 10 minute decluttering projects for busy people. They’re tried and tested and really work!
10 MINUTE DECLUTTERING PROJECTS FOR BUSY PEOPLE
#1 The children’s shoes – Throw out old, worn out shoes that don’t fit or your child never wears. Find proper storage for the ones you want to keep.
#2 Your jewellery – Sort through your jewellery, keep the items you love, donate/throw away the rest. Give it all a clean and put it back neat and organised.
#3 Your computer desktop – Remove unwanted icons, empty the recycle bin, put on a personalised background picture.
#4 Your phone – Get rid of apps you don’t use, re-organise them so that the ones you use regularly are on your home screen and put on a background picture that inspires you and brings you happiness.
#5 Fill a bin bag with clothes – Go through your clothes and take out any that you know are damaged, don’t fit or you don’t ever wear. Throw away what isn’t good enough to donate.
#6 The kitchen work surface – Remove all the items, clean it thoroughly and only put back what you absolutely must have there. Find a new home/donate/throw away everything else.
#7 Your bedside table – The surface and drawers shouldn’t be a dumping ground for random stuff. Only have what you need for the night and first thing in the morning, for example, a light, an alarm clock/your phone, a book, notepad and pen. Get rid of the rest as it will distract you from a calming bedtime and good night’s sleep.
#8 Outdoor coats and shoes – Go through all of these and, in the case of your kids, make sure they still fit. Donate/throw away the rest. Work out which coats, if any, you need out for the particular season you are in and store the rest. E.g., you don’t need a lightweight summer mac on your coat rack in mid-winter.
#9 Your children’s books – Either with or without your kids, sort through the books, donate the ones you don’t read anymore, throw away the tattered ones and keep the rest in a nice bookcase or on a shelf.
#10 Your cook books – Do you use them or are they there to just look pretty or for the occasional reference? Think how and when you use each cookbook and make sure that you only keep the ones you turn to regularly.
#11 Your makeup – Tip all of your makeup out on the bed. Throw away anything that you haven’t used in, say, the last 3 months. Treat yourself to some new products if your budget allows to replace the old ones you love. If you love nail varnish, keep a set number of bottles and if you come across a new colour you absolutely must have, then adopt a one in/one out policy. Organise all make up, clean brushes/pencils etc so that they are tidy and neat and you can find what you’re looking for at the drop of a hat.
#12 A drawer of your choice – Pick any drawer around the house and empty it completely. Sort into piles and throw away/donate anything that you don’t want to keep. Ask yourself whether you’re likely to ever use that item. Chances are that if you haven’t used it in the last 6-12 months then you’d probably forgotten it was there anyway. Only put back what should be kept in that drawer, make sure it’s neat, organised and re-home what’s left over.
#13 Grab a laundry hamper and take it round the house – Pick up anything that doesn’t belong in that room and return it to its proper home.
#14 Pictures and cushions – Go around the house and straighten pictures and fluff up cushions to make your home neat and tidy.
#15 Throw out broken toys – Keep an eye out for any broken toys and those with missing parts or pieces and get rid of them. Explain to your children what you’re doing if you feel it’s appropriate and they’ll understand.
#16 Your underwear – Throw out anything that’s misshapen, has holes or doesn’t fit or (in the case of socks) has a missing pair. Make a note of any replacements you need to buy and return everything to the drawer(s) so it’s neat, organised and you can find things quickly and easily in the morning.
#17 Bathroom products – Take a look in your bathroom and all the cupboards in it. Throw out empty bottles and anything that you don’t use and aren’t likely to use in the future. Make a note of any replacements you need to buy and also things you won’t need to buy for a while (because you’ve already got 3!). Don’t stockpile things, just buy a new one when you get close to finishing the old one.
#18 Household towels – Sort through all your bath towels, hand towels etc. Throw out any that are threadbare or have holes. Work out how many of each type you need to keep (make sure you keep on top of the laundry and you’ll need fewer towels) for your family and throw/donate the rest.
#19 Bed linen – As for towels above. Store them with the duvet covers and sheets inside the relevant pillow case and you’ll save yourself time trying to match up the complete sets when you come to change the beds!
#20 Fridge – Go through the food in your fridge. Throw out anything that’s past its best, the empty cartons and food you’ll never eat. Add any replacements to your shopping list. Give the inside a thorough clean whilst it’s empty. Declutter the fridge door if it’s full of To Do lists, notes and random photos and paperwork.
#21 Freezer – As for the fridge above.
#22 Under sink cupboard – This can be a catch-all for cleaning products, carrier bags and all manner of things we don’t know where else to put. Pull everything out, get rid of any empties or stuff you’re never likely to use. Organise what you’re keeping into some containers and keep it neat and tidy from now on!
#23 Medicine cabinet – Get rid of anything that’s out of date or empty. Re-stock it next time you’re at the shops.
#24 Kitchen appliances – Do you have any kitchen gadgets that you never use but are taking up space in the cupboards? Decide whether you want to keep them because you’re definitely going to use them or donate/throw them away.
#25 Mugs and glasses – How many of each item do you have vs how many do you actually NEED? Get rid of the excess and free up some space in your cupboards!
#26 Art supplies and half-finished projects – Go through pens, pencils, paperwork, stickers, glue etc. Make sure everything’s in working order, the glue’s not gone dry and the pencils are sharpened. Decide which art projects you and the kids are likely to finish and which would remain half-finished for ever more – get rid of these ones!
#27 Your finances – Go through your bank statements and cancel any subscriptions to things you no longer use, e.g. gym memberships, magazine subscriptions and so on. For any outgoings that you have, make a list of these to see if you can switch to cheaper providers for utilities etc and save yourself some money! Read more about how to simplify your finances.
#28 Christmas decorations – Go through your decorations. Throw away lights that don’t work, anything that’s damaged and broken. Keep your favourites and donate what’s left.
#29 Car – Put the rubbish in a bag, deal with the random stuff that’s left over like kids’ toys, the odd glove and anything lurking under the seats. Make sure you’ve got spare change, baby wipes, a blanket, notepad and pen so you’ve got them handy if you need them.
#30 School bags – If your kids are anything like mine then the school bags get filled with all sorts of ‘stuff’. From important letters to bits of twig and half eaten apples, they really do collect the clutter. Go through them and feel the weight drop off!
LET ME KNOW HOW YOU GET ON!
I’d love to hear how you get on if you try these projects and if you’ve anything to add!