Before Christmas I started using a strategy to organize my home. Each afternoon I set the timer for 15 minutes and started working on a project.
- Why 15 minutes?
- Why in the afternoon?
I am often tired & “brain-dead” in the afternoon and don’t have the “thinking” capacity to work or create. So, the afternoon is a perfect time to do some mindless activity…like organize a room, clean a closet, sort through stacks of papers.
Each afternoon I set the kitchen timer for 15 minutes and head to my project. By setting the time, I have a deadline and work as quickly as possible to finish my task. It’s a race to beat the clock & finish my task.
I don’t wait until I have a spare 15 minutes, I schedule it into my day so I get a “little bit” done each & every day. How can you do this when you have a bunch of young kids running around the house? When the weather is good, send them outside. When it’s not good, I had my kids read silently or watch a fun, educational DVD or pull out an activity that is not available at any other time. These might be puzzles, special coloring books, special toys… Or, include your kids in getting organized, like some of the comments below.
What have I done in 15 minutes?
What can “you” do in 15 minutes?
- File, using whatever filing system you use. We have 4 drawer filing cabinets with manila folders. Each folder has year-category of expenses or other records we save annually.
- Organize a guest bedroom, clearing out all boxes and putting all stacks of paper in its proper place
- Clean the kitchen counters. Put all papers (coupons, mail, school work) in it’s proper place.
- Clean my desk
- Organize sock drawers. Have all kids do this with you. Put matching socks together. Find ones with holes to either mend or throw away. Put all strays into craft box to make puppets
- Fold the laundry. Stack in basket for each child to put away properly.
- Clean the shelf above our staircase
- Organize my fabric by color-into rubbermaid boxes
- Organize stacks of magazines around the house into crates. I found empty crates in our garage & put them in our extra room upstairs. I have baskets & stacks of old magazines & sorted through them, keeping some & giving away others to our public library.
- Organize wrapping paper, gift bags, cards, bows. Find specific place in your home for all of these items. I use an empty armoire. I place bows in a gift bag & hang it on a hanger on the rod inside. Shelf above rod has gift tags, cards
- Put the loose books around my house back on the right bookshelf
- Iron 2 shirts
- Iron napkins, placemats
- Reorganize my cloth napkins & tablecloths
- Move all my old videos into an old dresser in our TV room (Yes, I still have a VCR so I can watch some old videos)
- Collect all cassettes & videos we need to take to Half Price Books
- Clean the drawer under the kitchen telephone…I know you have one of those drawers 🙂
- Put all my rolls of ribbon on a dowel and hang
- Organize my kid books so I can loan them to young homeschooling moms
- Organize old curriculum that I’m saving for my kids or can loan
- Dust all picture frames
- Dust living room & dining room
- Collect all single sheets of scrapbooking paper and put in file according to color
- Clean desk drawer and use silverware tray to put back everything in an organized fashion.
- Collect office supplies and put in rubbermaid box with label of what’s inside.
- Collect all miscellaneous candles and put in rubbermaid boxes according to size or color. Store in cabinet
- Organize drawer of kitchen towels, washcloths &/or hot mitts
- Organize kitchen cabinets of cups, glasses, mugs. Throw away old plastic cups.
- Organize kitchen cabinet of party serving dishes
- Clean my bedroom dresser top (yes, mine is the messiest in our house)
- Clean Steve’s dresser & bedside tables
- Clean my closet shelves
- Organize my shoes into shoe boxes
- Find all clothes hanging in my closet that I haven’t worn the last year. Put in bag to donate.
- Put clean sheets on all beds
- Organize all video games
- Clean shelves above washer/dryer
- Clean utility room shelves
- Organize shelves in utility room closet
- Organize shelves in guest bedroom closet
- Organize tupperware drawer in kitchen. Stack similar containers. Take all tops and stand together.
- Sort through medicine bottles. Throw away expired bottles and those you don’t use any more.
- Unload the dishwasher, Reload the dishwasher
- Clean a bathroom
- Gather credit card receipts and organize by category
- Enter credit card charges into Quicken
- Put digital photos into folders by year & category. 2011-Christmas, 2011-Charleston trip, 2011-Graduation, etc
- Plan your menu for next week
- Send 3-5 thank you cards. Use Send Out Cards to mail them for you
- Clean & organize your refrigerator door, taking down old photos & unwanted papers
What project can you do in 15 minutes?