In this post: I’m showing you how to declutter the top 10 clutter hotspots in your home in 15 minutes or less!
There are just some areas in our homes that seem to gather clutter faster than others. I like to call these “clutter hotspots.”
Thankfully, they can be decluttered fairly quickly, with a little bit of focused attention.
The 10 Clutter Hotspots You Can Clean-Up in 15 Minutes or Less
Skim through this list and see which areas need the most help in your home, then set a timer for 15 minutes and tackle them one at a time.
1. Front of the Fridge
The fridge can so easily become a chaotic, cluttered mess. Between notes and kids’ artwork, shopping lists, and random bits of paper, it’s one of the flat surfaces in a home that can easily become messy. Thankfully, it’s also easy to tidy up in just a few minutes.
- First, take a quick look for anything that’s out of date – expired coupons, receipts you no longer need, the grocery list you already shopped. Toss or recycle those items.
- Then go through and remove any notes you don’t need.
- If the kids’ artwork is taking over, grab a file folder and put all but one piece (per kid) in the folder and file it.
- Finally, straighten up anything that HAS to stay.
Voila, a much more calm-looking space!
2. Laundry Room Cabinets
When we had laundry room cabinets, they became the place we stuffed all the things. Light bulbs, batteries, detergent, dish soap, even random things we didn’t know what else to do with. It was sort of out of sight, out of mind.
Only I KNEW the cabinets were a mess inside. I could feel the mess.
When we redid the laundry room, we took out the cabinets in our laundry room and added open shelving with baskets for the smaller items. This makes it easier to keep things tidy for me.
But if you have cabinets and want to keep them, then now is the time to pull everything out, toss anything old, leaking, or expired. And then put things back in an orderly fashion. But only the things that belong in the space.
3. Medicine Cabinet
I recently cleaned out all the medicines in our house. I was kind of surprised to find a few expired ones. In some cases, they can still be used, they’ll just be less effective (or so I’ve been told). But otherwise, they should be disposed of properly.
When you’re cleaning out the medicine cabinet, it’s a good time to make note of any meds you may need and regularly keep on hand like antacids and OTC pain killers. Then add them to your shopping list.
And of course, if you have little ones, make sure you store everything safely out of their reach, or behind locked doors.
When we’re running around to activities, snacking in the car, our minivan gets messy, FAST! For the purposes of this 15-minute blitz exercise, you just want to freshen it up.
- Gather all the garbage into one grocery bag, and any recycling (like water bottles) into another for easy transport to their proper bins in the house or garage.
- Give the mats a quick shake outside.
- Collect books and toys and return them to the house.
- Dust the dashboard (we keep a Swiffer duster in the van and do this periodically while waiting to pick up the kids).
- Use baby wipes to clean up any sticky spots.
Easy-peasy. While it’s not a deep clean, it’s a good enough job to make you feel better about the space in your vehicle.
5. Desk Top Surface
The top of our desks can get messy rather quickly with piles of paper, cords, sticky notes, and all that goes with running a business and/or a household.
- To clean it up fast, quickly grab any garbage or recycling that needs dealing with.
- Then file anything obvious in the filing cabinet and
- Return any books or other bits and pieces to their proper homes.
- Finally, straighten any piles or things that need to remain on the desktop.
6. One Small Closet
Whether your one small closet is a linen closet, front hall closet, or even a guest room closet, it’s a wonderful place to begin to gain some confidence in your decluttering. The trick is to choose a small closet that doesn’t have a lot of sentimental things in it (sentimental things can be harder to part with, and may slow you down at this point).
- Simply remove everything in the closet and begin to sort like with like. So, if it’s a linen closet, put the sheet sets together, the face cloths with the other face cloths, bath towels with bath towels, etc.
- Then donate any duplicates you don’t need, and toss or create a few cleaning rags from the worn items.
- Then put everything you’re keeping back in nice neat piles.
Even if you only tackle one or two of these clutter hotspots, you’ll be making progress in your home.
7. Expired Food
Rather than a whole kitchen or even an entire pantry reorganization, the aim of this task is to make it easier to find the food items you actually use.
Expired food items take up room and are consumed by accident, possibly making you or your family ill.
For this task, just go through your pantry and fridge and toss everything that’s passed its best before date.
Don’t feel bad! Even the most organized momma can have expired foods tucked into shelves without realizing it!
8. Junk Drawer
Personally, I try not to call this drawer in our home the junk drawer because it implies that anything can be thrown into it. It most often gets called “the third drawer down” because it’s literally the third drawer from the top (we aren’t too fancy here!).
Anyway, a while back I cleaned out this drawer and kept only things in it that were needed – matches and lighters, a small toolkit, scissors, chip clips, thumbtacks, etc. BUT I bought cheap little drawer organizers at the dollar store and each category of item got its own space. Now when I go in the drawer for something it makes me smile because it’s so tidy.
9. Entryway Table
The entryway table is one of the hottest hotspots for clutter. Typically it’s where keys, mail, bags, flyers, and all sorts of stuff get dropped.
Today, just clear off the top of it:
- File what needs filing, return any books or toys to their home, recycle the fliers.
- Then grab a little dish for keys and coins and put it on the table.
- Clear one spot for mail coming in – add a tray for it if that helps.
And then each day, make sure that everyone knows that it’s not a dumping ground.
10. Hair and Make-Up Products
Hair and makeup products tend to accumulate easily. Especially, at our house with two teenage girls and myself! Thankfully, these things aren’t usually sentimental and can be sorted and tidied rather quickly.
- Tackle one at a time, hair products, and then makeup.
- Toss any empty containers and extra lids (I seem to collect a lot of these because I keep them just in case, and then before you know it I have like 7 hair spray lids and 5 dry shampoo lids).
- Throw any gunked up, useless old product away. The same goes for broken clips and elastics.
- Then pull out all your makeup and do the same.
- Finally, put everything you’re keeping back in the drawers or cupboards neatly.