It’s 2:00 p.m. and you have 15 minutes before it’s time to pick up your kids from school or take them to soccer practice. Ask yourself, what small task or chore can you accomplish? What about a quick homemaking task or 15-minute clean-up chore? Did you know that id you do a few 15-minute chores each day, that it’s easy to keep your home clean all week?
Throughout the day, you probably find that you have short blocks of 15 minutes—which isn’t long enough to start a big project, but just enough time to complete a small task). When you complete one or to of these small chores a day, you’ll feel better because that chore is done and your home will be a little cleaner.
Don’t let your 15 minutes be wasted time. You can accomplish more than you may think in 15 minutes. Try a few of these ideas:
Load or Unload the Dishwasher
Loading or unloading the dishwasher will save you time after your next meal. If your dishwasher is empty, load all the dirty dishes. You’ll clear the clutter of dirty dishes from the counter.
Or unload the clean dishes so that they’ll be ready to use for the next meal and the dishwasher will be ready to be loaded after dinner. Don’t you find it frustrating when you start washing dishes after dinner and open a dishwasher full of clean dishes? It adds one more step to finish the kitchen clean up. Make sure to do the prep when you have a few minutes early in the day so the dishwasher will be ready to load after your next meal.
Fold and Put Away a Load of Laundry
No one likes to fold and put away laundry—at least not anyone I’ve met. Use the 15 minutes “in between” other activities to put the laundry away.
We may not like folding and putting away the laundry, but you don’t want too much laundry to pile up. Plus, it always feels good to have this chore done!
Sweep the Floors
If your home is like mine, you probably have to sweep your floors a few times a week. When you have an extra 15 minutes, get this quick chore done.
Mop the Floors
Just as you would do your sweeping, take a few minutes and do your weekly floor mopping.
Clean the Kitchen Counters
I don’t just mean wipe them down fast, take a few minutes and clear the clutter from the countertops, lift up the toaster and wipe the breadcrumbs from the toaster. Do a thorough cleaning of the counters.
Clean One Bathroom
Grab your cleaning supplies and do a complete bathroom cleaning of a bathroom.
Dust Your House
Get your feather duster and thoroughly dust your house. Take a few minutes to be sure you dust well. Go the extra mile and lift up everything when you dust instead of just “going around” each item.
Do a 15-Minute Pick-Up and Return
When you have 15 minutes, take a large basket and quickly walk through your home to pick up items (books, magazines, toys, etc.) that are out of place and put them in your basket. As you walk through each room, return the misplaced items to the correct place.
If you have a 2-story house, you can do one floor at a time. You may find it helpful to include a small basket at the top of the stairs for items that need to be returned upstairs or downstairs. Make a house rule to empty the basket if you go up or down the stairs.
Change the Sheets on One Bed
Take all the sheets off one bed and replace them with clean, fresh smelling sheets. Don’t you love the smell of clean sheets?
Sort, File or Toss the Mail
I usually try to review and sort our mail every day, but if you let it pile up for a few days, take 15 minutes and decide which pieces of mail that you need to act on—i.e. pay a bill— and which ones you need to file or discard.
Vacuum Your House
You may not be able to vacuum your whole house in 15 minutes, but you can do ares tht need a second vacuuming during the week. or example, I vacuum my whole house on Wednesday, but usually the high traffic areas that everyone walks through will need a quick second vacuum before the following week. Grab your vacuum and do a quick tidy up.
You can also vacuum around the baseboards and between the couch cushions to get the crumbs that you don’t usually get.
Straighten Your Living Room or TV Room
My kids are always leaving blankets on the couch and pillows scattered in the TV room. Take a few minutes and put everything back in the right place. Don’t forget to find the TV remotes and put them back in their “place” so they are easily found the next time someone wants to watch TV.
Organize Books and Magazines
I love to read. I usually have books that I am reading everywhere. When I’m not reading, I put my books in set places so that they’re not left all over the house and so I can find them when I am ready to read them again.
I also receive magazine subscriptions. Magazines usually pile up quickly. They get left on the kitchen counter, on the table in the living room here someone was reading one, and so many other places.
Take 15 minutes and organize all of your books in one place so that you can find them when you want to read and place all your magazines in one place like a basket or magazine holder to read later. Toss old magazines that you’ve already read or know that you will not read since they will just create clutter.
Prep Dinner or Write a Weekly Meal Plan
Prepping dinner in advance saves you time later when your day is busier with kids and homework. I prefer to prep dinner ahead of time, because when it’s time to cook, I can easily add all the items to the crockpot or start cooking quickly when it’s time.
You can also make a meal plan for the week. Take a look through your pantry and freezer and plan your meals based on the food that you already have. Or, as you plan your meals, make a list of grocery items that you will need. Tip: try to shop only once a week to save time and money.
Read Your Email and Clean Out Your Inbox
This isn’t a household chore, but it does add to your day-to-day clutter. Email can get out of control quickly. If you have 15 minutes, take that time to review your email. If you don’t need it, delete it, respond or file it for later.
You can also take 15 minutes and unsubscribe from all the emails and newsletters that you no longer read or that clutter your inbox. When my email becomes overwhelming, I go through my emails and start unsubscribing.
If You are Tired or Stressed…
Some days are long and very busy or our kids are extra cranky. One these days, if you have an extra 15 minutes, sit down and rest. Sometimes the best use of 15 minutes is to just give yourself a break.
The next time you have 15 minutes, ask yourself what quick task or chore that you can do right now that will save you time later. Or, if you’re tired or stressed, give yourself some rest.
What household chores do you like to do when you just have an extra 15 minutes?
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