Do you use a “down time” list? I used one often when I worked in the corporate world. It was a list of things I could work on when I finished my usual responsibilities. Now, several years later, I use a similar list, though it usually has things that I can do in five minutes or less.
One of the challenges many people often face is finding the time to unclutter. Everyone’s busy and has full schedules as well as other things they’d rather be doing. To combat the dread you might be feeling when it’s time to get things in order or to stop the mad dash when you’re looking for something, create a list of things you can get done in just a few short minutes until they become regular habits. To help you get started, consider adding these 10 things that you can do in 300 seconds to your daily or weekly routine.
- Use hooks. Hooks take very little time to install and they can be used just as quickly. Instead of putting your clothes on a chair (or other flat surface), hang them on a hook.
- Purge your hanger stash. Hangers that are laying on the closet floor are not being put to good use. Remove them to free up your space and refuse them when they are offered to you at the store. Most dry cleaners have hanger recycling bins, so give your local dry cleaners a call to see if you can drop off your extras there.
- Delete unnecessary duplicates. Where can you check for multiples of the same thing? Your smart phone (contacts, apps), pantry, spice cabinet, and closet are great places to look for duplicates you can delete (or donate).
- Gather your stuff the night before. Put everything you need to have for the next day (keys, wallet, mobile phone, ID badge, glasses, etc.) all in one spot so that you can find them easily.
- Remove junk mail before it gets inside your house. When you remove junk mail before it gets inside your home or office, you can spend your time focusing on the important items. Keep a recycling bin and shredder near the main entryway of your home for easy junk-mail disposal.
- Take something with you. Whether you’re in your car or in your home, before you leave an area, take something that doesn’t belong with you and put it away.
- Organize your wallet. Take a look in your wallet and remove anything that you don’t need to frequently access.
- Unsubscribe from unwanted junk email. The beauty of unsubscribing is that it takes very little time to have your name removed from emailing lists. Simply click on the unsubscribe link at the bottom of the junk emails you no longer wish to receive.
- Say no to freebies. Unless that free item (like a gift you get when you make a purchase) is something that you or someone in your family uses regularly, it will likely end up cluttering your space. Of everything on this list, saying “no” to freebies is perhaps the quickest thing you can do.
- Keep a donation box in your home. A great place for a donation bag or box is inside your closet or laundry area for clothing that no longer fit or flatter you. Donation boxes can work well for other things, like toys, so pick a room, and take five minutes to select things you can give away.