Do it now, not later – Have you ever heard of the one minute rule? I think organizing guru Peter Walsh coined it. The rule is that if you can do it in one minute or less then, you should do it immediately. Here are twenty 60 second tasks that you can do around your home to make a big impact. Do it now!
1.Make your bed – super simple and it makes a big impact. The bed is the biggest piece of real estate in your bedroom, if it messy then your room has permission to be messy. If the bed is neat and tidy then the room will rise to meet it.
2.Take out the trash – don’t let trash pile up in your home. Take it out to the garage if there is a weekly pick up or straight out to the dumpster if your live near one. Trash is a big deal.
3. Empty your car when you get home- take out everything your started with – coffee mug, keys, sunglasses, purse and of course all of your purchases. (unless you are trying to hide them from your husband and sneak them in later…I get you). Resetting your car is an easy way to keep it clean and ready for the next trip.
4.Clean off counter tops – take off the clutter and wipe them down. This may have to be done a couple of times a day. Make breakfast? Put the cereal away, put the dishes in the dishwasher and give the counters a quick wipe. Make dinner? Put the dishes in the dishwasher, put the spices away and give the counters a quick wipe. Here’s a quick tip – the less you have on your counter tops, the easier they are to clean. So, if you only use the rice cooker once a month it doesn’t deserve valuable real estate on your counters.
5. Never leave a room empty handed – dirty dishes to the dishwasher, items that belong another room go there . Always take something with you. My tip here is “think like a tidy person”. Don’t waste a trip.
6. Wash the sink - here’s an easy recipe for keeping your sink sparkling clean after you do the dishes. Sprinkle baking soda, drizzle dish soap and scrub. Then rise with water. Your sink will smell fresh and sparkle. And be ready for tomorrow’s dishes.
7. Throw out expired food – Take a quick scan of the fridge and see if anything is passed its prime. Think soggy vegetables and old left overs. You’ll keep your fridge smelling clean and of course free up space.
8. Tidy up the bathroom counter – after you are done getting ready, put things away. This of course is easier if you places for them in drawers or counter top organizers. So think about what you might need to make this space tidy. Can you achieve a clean sweep and have clean bathroom counter?
9. Reset your living room when you go to bed – no matter the time of year, I always seem to have a blanket on me to watch TV at night. When I go to bed at the end of the night, always take a minute and reset the pillows, fold and put away the blanket and put the remote back in its place. It’s a simple step to reset the living room for use the next day – so I don’t wake up to a mess that I left myself.
10. Break down boxes – take them to recycling or just outside to the garage. This is an easy step that frees up so much space.
11. One touch rule – this is a good one. Touch something once. Bring it to its place. Don’t bring it to a holding station that you have to deal with later. This is especially important with mail and paper. Touch once – throw away one!
12. Create a drop zone – keys, bags, sunglasses - put them in the same place every day so you know where they are. My husband has a basket by the back door for all his stuff. I always hang my purse on the same hook in the mudroom. Create an area for things to go and they will never be lost.
13. Clean as you cook - Do a pan or a dish as you cook. This of course is much easier if you have a dishwasher…or a sous chef helping you. Wipe down cutting boards and soak pans while you eat so it makes them easier to clean later.
14.Reset your workspace at the end of the workday – studies show that you are more productive with a clean workspace so tidy up at the end of the day and give your future self a gift. Also, organizing and cleaning off your desk at the end of the day signals the end of the work so it’s a great transition time.
15.Decant your pantry items – right as you get home from grocery shopping put cereal into canisters, wash berries and put into glass jars, take snacks out of the cardboard boxes. Decanting not only looks good but helps you see how much you have.
16. Put away your coat, shoes and purse – every time when you get home. Establish a routine and a place for all your gear.
17. Deal with your mail when it comes in - I have a bin in my garage where I throw out the junk mail before I even get in the house. Then in my mud room, I sort the mail into slots for each family member. It never hits the kitchen counter. I’ve worked with clients who have let their mail pile up and they have missed important bills and correspondence. Take 60 seconds and sort it.
18. Wipe your table after you eat – no crumbs!
19. List out your bigger tasks – not everything can be done in 60 seconds but your still need to do them. So, start a list
20. Designate a spot for miscellaneous items – the book you’re reading, the remote…. Think about sensible and intuitive places that you’d look for them – and place them there. Everything has a home!
I hope you found something useful in this list. Please leave a comment and let me know which one (or 20) you'll be doing.