If you're short on time, targeting your efforts to a specific organization task can work wonders for overall decluttering in your home. Try these tasks which can be done in as little as five minutes to start conquering clutter.
Declutter the Bathroom
If you have 5 minutes: Put away anything on the countertops, and pull the shower curtain closed to conceal any bathtub clutter.
If you have 10 minutes: Straighten any open displays, and relocate items that don't belong in the bathroom. Don't worry about what's behind closed doors.
If you have 15 minutes: Dive into the vanity cabinet and any other storage space. Toss items that are outdated or unused. Corral items by type into baskets or bins.
Declutter Your Pantry
If you have 10 minutes: Stack and store items as they are, but align rows of cans and boxes for a neatened appearance.
If you have 15 minutes: Regroup food by item type. Toss anything that is expired. Wipe away any spills or dirt on shelves.
Take an hour : Pull everything out of the pantry and do a deep reorganization. Look at your pantry configuration and what you need to store to determine what should go where. Keep the items you use frequently in the most accessible places. Give the shelves a good scrubbing before re-placing items. As you put things away, make a list of any storage accessories (such as trays or baskets) that would make your storage more efficient, and keep your eyes peeled for those items when you are out and about.
Declutter Your Message Center
If you have 5 minutes: Take a quick glance at the place where you stash all your important reminders, such as a bulletin board, magnet board, or refrigerator. Pull down anything that you immediately see as outdated or no longer needed.
If you have 10 minutes: Dig a little deeper if your message center is overflowing. Spend a little more time going through the items.
If you have 15 minutes: Take everything off the message center and sort into piles: keep on the board (telephone numbers, etc.), move elsewhere (paid bills, pictures, etc.), and toss (anything you don't need).
Declutter Your Plastic Container Collection
If you have 5 minutes: Separate lids and containers into their own spots.
If you have 10 minutes: Organize lids and containers by size.
If you have 15 minutes: Pull out the lone lids or containers. Pair up lids and containers that match, and discard anything that doesn’t have a match. Place the items back in an organized fashion.
Declutter Your Bookshelves
If you have 10 minutes: Straighten books, and dust the very edges of the shelves and any items on display that look dusty.
If you have 15 minutes: Do a quick sort. Recycle magazines that are out of date. Pull books that you know at a glance need to be donated. Dust the shelf edges and around empty space, and move display items to dust around and under them.
Take an hour : Pull everything from the shelves. In addition to recycling magazines and pulling books to be donated, reorganize books in alphabetical order, by subject, by color, etc. Dust the full shelves before placing books back in their rightful spots.
Declutter Your Kitchen Cabinets
If you have 5 minutes: Simply straighten the insides of your most disorganized or most frequently accessed cabinets and drawers. Bringing order to the things you use most often will make daily routines easier.
If you have 10 minutes: Spend a little time doing the organizational tasks you always think about when you're cooking but don't have time to do in the moment, such as relocating your cooking utensils to a drawer closer to your range.
Take an hour : Do a quick sort and toss. Put items you never use into a donation box, and toss gadgets that no longer work or are past their prime.
Declutter Your Jewelry
If you have 10 minutes: Place earrings and rings in small divided trays and bracelets and bulkier necklaces in shallow bowls. (Delicate necklaces are easily tangled and should be hung up or laid aside, if you're in a hurry.)
If you have 15 minutes: Do a purge and sort, eliminating things you no longer wear.
Take an hour : Hang fabric covered memo boards for hanging necklaces. Place a piece of grating in another frame and hang earrings from the grill.
5-Minute Decluttering: The Nightstand
Remove items that don't belong, and place everything else in a pretty box or basket.