DIY Cleaning & Organizing

Got 10 Minutes? That’s All You Need to Tackle These 10 Decluttering Tasks

Feeling overwhelmed by clutter but running short on time? Clear your space and your mind with these 10-minute decluttering tasks.
Jasmine Harding Avatar

We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs. Learn More ›

Short decluttering sessions can have a big impact.

Decluttering can feel overwhelming, especially when you’re tight on time. From sorting through the overflowing junk drawer to getting rid of outdated equipment in the garage, tackling clutter can be daunting.

Rather than taking on the big challenges, try setting a 10-minute timer to focus on smaller tasks. Ten minutes of decluttering can make a big difference without cutting into your day. These short and sweet cleaning sessions can add up to a much neater home. Here are ten 10-minute decluttering tasks for a tidier space.

Clear the kitchen counter.

The kitchen counter tends to be a catchall for everyday items like junk mail, stray snacks, and school assignments. Clearing the kitchen counter is one of the fastest shortcuts to a tidier home. Put each item back in its place, whether in the pantry, cabinet, or garbage bin. A clear kitchen counter doesn’t only look nice, it also gives you more space to prepare meals.

Related: Kitchen Cures: The Perfect Solution for Every Unruly Drawer

Toss expired pantry items.

Expired spices, stale crackers, and old cans of soup take up precious pantry space. Choose a pantry shelf or pantry section and spend 10 minutes getting rid of expired items. Consolidate any duplicate, opened items like opened snacks and dry goods. Also, consider donating unexpired items that you don’t plan on using.

Bin old leftovers.

Toss leftovers before they start to smell—your nose will thank you for the good habit. Any leftovers over three days old should be binned. Limp or moldy fruits and vegetables can also go straight into the garbage or compost. Lastly, sort through expired condiments, and get rid of old sauces, dips, and jars that are past their “best before” date.

Go through the medicine cabinet.

From old vitamins to duplicate Advil bottles, the medicine cabinet tends to hold a range of health-related odds and ends. To start decluttering, properly dispose of unused prescriptions and expired medication. To save space, combine duplicate products, like bandages or safety pins, into one package. While you’re at it, toss out some of those old hotel shampoo bottles, as you likely have more than you need.

Related: 23 Insanely Clever Ways to Beat Clutter

Clean the bathroom or vanity counter.

General hygiene products, multistep skincare routines, and makeup products can leave bathroom or vanity counters chaotic. Throw out expired toiletries and products, especially if they have changed in smell or texture. Also consider getting rid of products you haven’t touched in a while, like that face wash or lipstick that just didn’t work out.

Sort through the stationery drawer.

Grab all pens, markers, and highlighters and test them on a scrap of paper. Toss out the dry ones and place the rest in a pen holder or pencil case to keep the drawer or cupboard looking tidy. Culling half-used notebooks and free, promotional notepads will also make the space look tidier. Keep what is useful and give away or toss the rest.

Related: 9 Things Always to Keep in Your Junk Drawer

Clear the entryway.

The entryway can set a great first impression—when it’s clean. Tripping over shoes or bags in the front entry is far from a warm welcome into your home. At the end of each day, take time to put all loose shoes in their rightful place. Also, tuck away any bags, backpacks, or accessories hanging about.

Clean out your bag, purse, or backpack.

Purses, work bags, and school backpacks can accumulate a lot of junk from daily use. Empty your daily bag completely and discard any odds and ends that aren’t useful. Getting rid of these items may even make your bag a little lighter. Keeping your bag organized will also make it much easier to find items inside.

Get rid of old footwear.

Take 10 minutes to sort through the jumble of shoes on the shoe rack or in the shoe closet. Any damaged or worn-down shoes can get the boot. Check children’s shoes for fit; any outgrown pairs are just taking up space. Also, consider donating any pairs that haven’t been worn in a year.

Choose a drawer.

Pick one—just one—drawer to tackle, whether in the kitchen, bathroom, or bedroom. Choosing one drawer to declutter keeps the task short and sweet but will pay off in the long run. From purging broken tupperware lids to tossing old toiletries, these 10-minute increments devoted to clearing a drawer can add up to an organized home.