How to Make Your Home Better – When You Only Have 5 Minutes

Is there a specific chore around the house that you DREAD even though it only takes a minute or two?

Often after dinner, I’ll put my dishes in the sink instead of straight in the dishwasher – even though it takes 30 seconds. Or I’ll leave the laundry in the dryer for DAYS because I hate to fold it – even though I timed myself folding my last load and it took me less than 5-7 minutes from start to finish.

In both cases, taking the 5 minutes or less to make things right leaves me with things I love – a clean sink, a completely finished task – but I tend to overhype what it takes to get there ?

So I’ve been challenging myself to bite off just small tasks at a time around the house. While we use my Home, Clean Home system to check off most of these items, I can take 5 minutes here and there to make sure we’re staying on top of the list or just get things back in order.

Whether you find yourself with a few extra minutes before your next task, need specific tasks to delegate to your kids as a part of a chore system, or are feeling overwhelmed with where to start and just need some small wins – these 20 “bite-size” ideas are perfect!

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1. Clean your garbage disposal.

If you have one of these, you know that it will turn on you if you don’t take care of it! The odor can be no joke. Some of my favorite ways to keep ours clean & happy is (1) running it with ice cubes to sharpen the blades, (2) adding cleaning vinegar & baking soda, letting it sit, then washing it down with boiling water, or (3) using frozen, diced oranges & lemons as “fresheners”!

2. Spot clean & disinfect your fridge. 

This doesn’t have to be a deep clean! Take a disinfectant wipe, or just a rag with some cleaning vinegar, and hit the high points. The condiment shelves can get dirty quickly, or you may want to clean the shelves you use most.

3. Disinfect your dish tools & wipe down your sink.

I like to put cleaning vinegar in a measuring cup, dilute it a bit, then let my dish brush*, any scrubbing tools*, etc. soak for a few hours! It takes just a few more seconds to wipe down your sink, around the faucet, and any surfaces behind.

4. Wipe down doorknobs and light switches.

5. Sharpen knives.

6. Clean your microwave.

Microwaving 1 cup of cleaning vinegar in a microwave-safe measuring cup* loosens up any residue, and just a quick wipe will do the trick!

7. Clean your range hood filter.

Check out my instructions here, along with other monthly cleaning tips!

8. Wipe down kitchen backsplash.

9. Flip your furniture cushions.

Bonus points if you have time to vacuum any collections underneath ?

10. Have blankets your family uses all the time?

Throw one in the laundry.

11. Change your HVAC filter.

This typically should be changed every 3 months.

12. Clean your shower curtains.

I feel like we are always getting pink mildew build-up, so I regularly clean our curtains! Instead of buying a replacement, you can often (1) dilute some bleach in a large container, and let the end of the curtain soak for a while before rinsing or (2) take it down and run it through the washer with just some cleaning vinegar! We recently switched to this type of shower curtain*, while makes it easier to go the first route.

13. Take a trash bag out to your car.

Clean out any items that shouldn’t be there! (Alright, I know this isn’t technically your home but it’s still important.)

14. If your clothes hamper has a fabric liner, throw it in with your next load of laundry.

15. Clean out your medicine cabinets and add any expiring items to your grocery list.

17. Check windows & doors for air leaks, or tighten any loose screws around the house (handles, knobs, etc.)

18. Test your smoke detectors* and replace any batteries needed.

19. Test your water heater’s pressure relief valve and or/ your water shutoff valve.

20. Wipe down the outside of your kitchen trash can*.

This can get gross pretty quickly and is one place I often overlook!

Keep this list, or an abbreviated version, on hand for when you need it!

quick ways to clean your home

Are there things you would add – specific to your type of home, your kids, pets, etc.?

You can also check out my FULL list of household cleaning, maintenance, and decluttering items here.

What else can I do?

If you are working to streamline your cleaning routines and save time around your house, definitely check out my daily & weekly routines workbook.

It’s a free excerpt from my personalized home cleaning system, Home, Clean Home and I would love for you to benefit from this fresh approach.

Other resources:

► Generate your own custom cleaning schedule

► 7 Solutions to Make Overwhelming Housework Manageable

► “No one helps me clean the house!” — 12 Sanity-Saving Solutions

► Professionally-developed DIY homemade cleaning recipes

► How to Stick to A Cleaning Schedule: Solutions to 3 Major Obstacles

PS – don’t miss my free, full “resource directory” here.

Some resources are my own, and some are from other creators. ALL of them will help you overcome what is holding you back from enjoying peace of mind and a home you love.

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