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Decluttering doesn’t have to be painstaking and arduous when you have this awesome list of 31 things to declutter in 10 minutes or less.
Like any other task, decluttering is a lot easier if you break it into chunks. And for me, when it comes to cleaning and decluttering, the easier the better!
I’m going to list 31 things to declutter in 10 minutes or less with tips and encouragement to help you simplify the process. If you’d like a free checklist that you can print out, work through and check off as you go, there’s a link to it at the bottom of this post.
As you work your way through the list you’ll either need to put away, throw away, or give away the items that are cluttering up that space (with one exception explained below in the living room section).
A laundry basket with 3 grocery bags in it – one for each of the categories above, can work great for this. That way you won’t spend your 10 minutes running around the house putting things away item by item.
When you’re done with your 10 minutes of decluttering – one bag goes in the trash, one goes out to your car to await your next run to your favorite charity for donations and you can walk around the house with the last bag and put stuff where it should have been in the first place.
IMPORTANT TIP – When you’re looking at a room of your house, pretend you’re a stranger who’s never been there before. We get so used to our clutter we don’t even see it anymore. If we look with “fresh” eyes it’s easier to see what should stay and what should go.
1) Kitchen counters
They are THE WORST for gathering clutter in my house. Especially the counter right by the back door. Everything gets dropped there and then spreads… across the other counters like an incoming tide. In this case, the best offense is a good defense.
If you’ve got a place like this in your house that you know just collects way too much clutter, then you need to stop it before it starts by implementing a clutter solution for that area. It might be baskets, it might be cubbies for the kids it might be vertical file folders, it might be a rule that shoes come off and backpacks/purses/briefcases go straight to the bedroom or office.
Look at the clutter you have on your kitchen counter and you’ll know what kind of organizer or system will work best for you.
If you have a 9 x 13 space you might want to try something like this organizer to keep coupons, mail, permission slips, car keys, grocery lists, etc. under control and stop them from spreading.
If you don’t have any kitchen counter space to spare, something like this simple wall hanging organizer might do the trick.
2) Silverware drawer
Do you really need those plastic spoons you’re saving or that broken corkscrew?
3) Kitchen junk drawer
Things to consider – 1) Does it really belong in the kitchen? 2) Do you remember why you have it? 3) Do you ever use it?
4) Other kitchen drawers
If they’re not too messy you might be able to get through 3 or 4 in 10 minutes. It might be time to replace those stained pot holders. And do you really want to hold onto those 3 paper napkins leftover from Halloween?
5) Front of your fridge
The refrigerator takes up a significant amount of visual space in the kitchen. If you want a kitchen that looks clutter free, taking as much stuff (or everything) off your fridge is a great start.
6) Inside your fridge
This is something I do regularly because, really, who wants old food or ancient condiments in their fridge?
7) 1 Kitchen cupboard
You don’t have to clear out all your cupboards at once. Take one at a time and in 10 minutes or less you’ll be able to clear out plastic containers without matching lids, old mugs you haven’t liked for years, the 3rd loaf pan you never use, or whatever. If you’re really fast you might be able to get 2 cupboards done! Repeat 10-minute blocks of decluttering your kitchen cupboards as needed until you’ve decluttered them all.
8) Under the kitchen sink
If you’re like me and have 4 glass vases from the florist intermixed with the Drano and dish detergent and some random sponges (I don’t even use sponges – how did those get there??) it might be time to pull everything out and sort out what you use from what you don’t.
9) The drawer under your oven
It’s so easy to forget this one! Random pans? Do you use them? Would some be better donated or tossed?
10) The Floor
I’ve never actually had a “mudroom” of my own. But that may be a good thing since from what I’ve seen they tend to be catchalls for all kinds of clutter. So if you have one and are fighting to keep it organized. You might want to get something like this hall tree to help deal with the clutter. It’s got a built in bench, 5 hooks and shelves up top and below. It also is fairly compact so fits in a relatively small mudroom. If you don’t have any floor space to spare at all, or your “mudroom” is just the wall next to the back door this hanging shelf with hooks might help.
11) Cabinets and/or surfaces (table tops, shelves, etc.)
If it isn’t really laundry related or you haven’t used it in 6 months it might be time to toss it.
Horizontal surfaces like table tops are the easiest to clutter – and make a huge impact when you declutter them. There are “rules” like no more than 3 objects on a table and things like that. But take a look at what you’ve got. Pretend you’re visiting for the first time. Does it look cluttered? If so, remove anything that doesn’t belong in the living room. Look again, still too cluttered? Start subtracting things that you aren’t that crazy about until things look more streamlined. You don’t necessarily need to throw away or give away things you’ve removed. If that helps you take things out, then good. You might want to rotate out a few pieces. So put the things that you might want to rotate aside and store them for later.
Books can add warmth, interest and a homey feel to any room. But are your bookshelves filled with books you love or miscellaneous stuff that feels more like clutter than cozy?
14) The floor
If you’ve got a “pile system” going on in your living room to hold magazines, books, papers, or other miscellaneous stuff, it’s time to be ruthless and get that stuff up off the floor. Just think how much easier it will be to vacuum!
15) Dining room table
If your dining room table is acting as a desk/catchall for homework/projects, etc. It might be time to try to rethink this system. Having a clear dining room table that you can actually sit down at and eat at (without having to clear of non-dining room stuff) is really a pleasure.
16) China Cabinet/Fancy china
I like to use all my dishes – everyday ones, fancy ones. Heck, why can’t the random Wednesday night be fancy? So I know if I go and look at my cupboard in the dining room that serves as my “china cabinet” and I haven’t used something in 1 year or so, it’s probably O.K. to donate it. If you have china you’re saving for good – use it! This might be as good as it gets! Lol If you don’t like it anymore or it just doesn’t fit your lifestyle, it’s O.K. to donate it. Someone else might just LOVE it!
17) Other horizontal surfaces in the dining room or dining area.
Look at them objectively like a person who’s never seen your house. What’s the impression they give?
18) Surfaces (dressers, nightstands, tables)
19) 2 Dresser Drawers
If your drawers are in good shape you might be able to declutter more than 2 in 10 minutes. Repeat as needed, when you have 10 minutes, until you have all your dresser drawers decluttered.
20) Nightstand drawers
21) Closet shelf
22) Closet floor
23) Under the bed
It’s great to use that under the bed space for storage if you don’t have much room, but it is SUPER easy to forget what you’ve got under there and end up with random stuff that belongs elsewhere.
24) Bathtub/shower area
This probably won’t take more than 3 minutes unless you have kids with bath toys!
Time to take a good hard look at the make-up, hair products and other beauty “essentials” you have stored in your bathroom and determine if they are really “essentials” and things that you use.
27) Linen closet
If you’re lucky and have a big linen closet this might take 2 10-minute blocks.
28) Desk surface
29) Bookshelves or tables
30) 2 Desk drawers
Repeat as needed until all your drawers are decluttered.
31) Files 2-3 at a time
Repeat until as needed until all your files are decluttered.
And there you have it! 31 things you can declutter in 10 minutes or less to get you started on simplifying your life! You can get your free checklist of the 31 things to declutter here so you can work your way through them one at a time and NOT get overwhelmed. Part of living the good life for less is definitely getting rid of the excess clutter and being able to actually enjoy what you do have.
Get the free checklist here: It only takes 10 minutes to get started and get one thing checked off your list!
Tired of feeling overwhelmed and stressed out? Check out this post on how to Declutter Your Mind
or this one that shows you how to start 3 Simple Habits for a Calmer Happier Life
Looking for ways to get started with simplifying your life so that you can live the good life for less? The Seven Days of Simplicity Action Plan can help!
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