Spring is a time to refresh, and what better place to start than your home? Here are 10 spring cleaning projects you can do with just 10 minutes of free time. So turn on some music, open the windows to let in some fresh air, set a timer, and get started!
Sort papers: If you’re like me, you’ve got at least a few stacks of paperwork around the house – mail, receipts, schoolwork, and other documents. Take 10 minutes to sort them out! Shred what’s not necessary, and file away the rest. Going forward, consider switching to online or automatic bill payments.
Clear the counters: Does your kitchen feel cluttered? Having too many appliances, fruit bowls, and decorations on a countertop can be visually overwhelming and leave you short on space . Consider leaving out only things you use on a daily basis, and tuck everything else away into drawers, cabinets, or the pantry.
Organize your desktop: Not that one, the digital one. Opening your computer up to a cluttered home screen can raise stress levels and decrease productivity. If you have an external storage system, this is a great time to back up photos, videos, and documents. You can also offload them from your desktop to a cloud-based storage system. Another option would be to organize them into folders by date, subject, or even just by year. Trashing documents that you no longer need, like your child’s classroom contact list from three years ago or a series of blurry photos, can clear out space on the harddrive, resulting in a faster computer!
Empty out your inbox: Take ten minutes to go through emails, trash spam mail, and unsubscribe to the chain, spam, or business emails that flood your inbox. If you’re not willing to let go of all advertisement emails, consider changing the frequency with which you receive them. Going forward you might look into having one email address for advertisements and promotions, separate from your personal or professional email.
Clean out your fridge: This is my least favorite task, but it’s got to be done! With 10 minutes you can check expiration labels and trash what’s out of date, get rid of old leftovers, and wipe down the shelves and outside of the refrigerator. If you have any time left over, start on the pantry or food cabinets!
Tidy your workspace: For some it’s a desk, for others it’s the kitchen table. Wherever you do your work, scoop up pens and pencils and deposit them into a jar (maybe repurpose one of the old condiment jars you just cleared out from your fridge!) or cup, organize your stacks of paper and work supplies, and wipe down the area.
Let in some light: Wipe down the windows in one room! If you have time, do more than one, but in 10 minutes you can definitely clean all the windows in one room and dust the blinds. Having clean windows lets in more light and can make a room feel more open and airy. While you’re at it, crack the windows and let in some fresh air!
Tidy up your entryway: This is the first area guests see. It sets the mood when you come home from work, and is the first place to fill up with clutter. You can hang up coats and put away any other items that don’t belong, store seasonal items that no longer serve you (goodbye, scarves and mittens!), and put loose change into a jar or cup. If you, like me, have stacks of library books to be returned and packages to mail, put them all in a tote bag and bring them out to the car!
Kitchen cleanse: Do you have a whole cabinet of plastic food containers? You can quickly sort through them, recycling anything that’s stained beyond recognition, warped from too many trips through the dishwasher, or that doesn’t have a matching lid. Next you can tackle kitchen drawers: take everything out, and you might find that you have multiples of the same tool or gadget. You can repurpose anything you don’t need by giving to your local buy-nothing group or donating to a local organization or thrift store.
Sort out shelves: Whether it’s bookshelves, decorative art, or storage, pick a shelving space and get to organizing. If it’s a storage shelf, consider sorting by color, size, or utility. Clearly labeling shelves helps other household members know where things are, and where they should be returned. If you’re working on your bookshelf, you can swap out old, tattered books and donate them to a library or retirement community, making space for your new spring reads. For shelves of decorative odds-and-ends, sometimes less is more. Try clearing off your favorite knicknacks to let one or two complementary pieces shine.
Spring cleaning can be much less burdensome if we make tidying a part of our weekly routine! With some simple systems in place – like keeping a change jar at the entryway table, or going through emails and unsubscribing weekly – clutter can be reduced overtime, making spring cleaning tasks less daunting. That way you have more time to focus on more enjoyable spring projects, like spending time with friends and family or starting a garden**