It’s 2:00 pm and you have 15 minutes before it’s time to pick up your children 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 if you do a few 15-minute chores each day, it’s easy to keep your home clean all week?
Throughout your day, you probably find you have short blocks of 15 minutes (which is not long enough to start a big project, but just enough time to complete a small task). When you complete one or two of these small chores a day, you will 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 think in 15 minutes. Try a few of these ideas:
15 Ways You Can Keep Your Home Clean in 15 Minutes A Day
1. Load or Unload the Dishwasher
Getting the dishwasher loaded or unloaded will save you time after the next meal. If the dishwasher is empty, get all the dirty dishes loaded. The clutter of dirty dishes will be cleared from the counter.
Or unload all the clean dishes so they will be ready to use for the next meal and the dishwasher will be ready to be loaded after dinner. Don’t you just hate it when you start washing dishes after dinner and open a dishwasher full of clean dishes, it’s one more step to finish the kitchen clean up. Do the prep when you have a few minutes early in the day so the dishwasher will be unloaded and ready to load after the next meal.
2. Fold & Put Away a Load of Laundry
No one likes to fold and put away laundry (at least not anyone I have met). Use the 15 minutes “in between” other activities to get the laundry put away.
We might not like folding and putting away the laundry, but you don’t want too much laundry to pile up and it always feels good to have this chore done!
3. Sweep Your Floors
If your home is like ours, you probably have to sweep your floors a few times a week. When you have an extra 15 minutes, get this quick task done.
4. Mop Your Floors
Similar to sweeping, take a few minutes and do your weekly floor mopping.
5. Clean Your Kitchen Counters
I don’t mean just wipe them down fast, take a few minutes and clear the clutter off the countertops, lift up the toaster and wipe away the bread crumbs from the toaster. Do a thorough cleaning of your counters.
You might also like: How to Find the Perfect Home Cleaning Routine for Your Personality
6. Clean 1 Bathroom
Grab your cleaning supplies and do a complete bathroom cleaning.
7. Dust Your House
Get your feather duster and carefully dust your house. Take a few extra minutes to be sure you dust well. No “go around” jobs as my mom would call it, that meant you had to lift up everything when you dusted you couldn’t just “go around” each item.
8. Do a 15-Minute Pick-Up and Return
When you have 15-minutes, take a laundry basket (or similar sized basket) and walk through you home quickly picking up items (shoes, toys, books, magazines, TV remotes, etc….) that are out of place. Put them in your basket. As you walk through each room, return the misplaced items to the correct place.
If you have two story house, you can do one floor at a time. You might find it help to include a small basket at the top of the stairs or foot of stairs for items that need to be returned up or down stairs. Make it a house rule to empty the basket if you go up or down the stairs.
9. Change the Sheets on One Bed
Pull all the sheets off one bed and replace them with clean, fresh smelling sheets. Don’t you love the smell of clean sheets?
10. Sort, File or Toss the Mail
I usually 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 you need to act on (i.e. pay a bill) and which ones you need to file or throw out.
11. Read Your Email & Clean Out Your Inbox
Email gets out of control quickly. If you have 15 minutes, quickly review your email. Delete it if you don’t need it, respond or file it for later.
You could also take 15 minutes and unsubscribe from all the emails and newsletters you no longer read or that clutter your inbox. When my email becomes overwhelming, I go through a start unsubscribing.
12. Vacuum Your House
You may not be able to vacuum your whole house in 15 minutes, but you can do areas that need a second vacuuming in the week. For example, I vacuum the whole house on Wednesday, but many times the high traffic areas that everyone walks through will need a quick second vacuum before the next week. Grab your vacuum and do a quick tidy up.
You could also vacuum between the couch cushions or around the baseboards to get the crumbs you don’t usually get.
13. Straighten Your Living Room or TV Room
My children always leave the blankets on the couch, the pillows scattered in the TV area. Take a few minutes and put everything back in the right place, and fold the blankets. Don’t forget to find the TV remotes and put them in their “place” so the next time someone wants to watch TV the remotes are easily found.
14. Organize Books and Magazines
I love to read. I have books I am reading everywhere. When I am not reading, I put my books in set places so they are not left all over the house and so I can find them when I am ready to read again.
I also receive many magazine subscriptions. Magazines pile up quickly. They get left on the kitchen counter, on the table in the living where someone was reading one, and so many other places.
Take 15 minutes and organize all your books in one place so you can find them when you want to read and get all your magazines back to one place (like a basket or magazine holder) to read later. Toss the old magazines you have already read or know you will not read (they just create clutter).
15. Prep Dinner or Write a Weekly Meal Plan
Prepping dinner in advance will save you time later when you day is busier with kids and homework. I love 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 could also make a meal plan for the week. Look through your pantry and freezer and plan your meals based on the food you already have. Or as you plan your meals make a list of grocery items you will need. Tip: shopping only once a week will save you time and money.
If You are Tired or Stressed …
Some days are long and very busy or our children are extra cranky. On these days, if you have an extra 15 minutes, sit down and take a 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 can I do right now that will save you time later. Or if you are tired and stressed, give yourself a rest.
Your Turn …
What homemaking chores do you like to do when you just have an extra 15 minutes?