Looking around your home or office, it may seem like you need a ton of time to clear the clutter. However, just starting or de-cluttering a small area can provide big pay-off. Perhaps you’ll get motivated to do more, or maybe you’ll be satisfied knowing that you accomplished something for the day (I know I’ve had days where just checking one thing off my list is a huge accomplishment). Small organizing projects don’t require a lot of time or resources and can usually be completed in 15 minutes or less.

Bathroom Drawer or Cabinet

  • Get rid of expired products and medications
  • Check your make-up to see if it needs replacing
  • Wipe down shelves and inside drawers
  • Make a list of items that need to be replenished or replaced
  • Put items back keeping like items together

Your Car

  • Get out all the trash
  • Coral the random sports gear and exercise wear (balls, socks, sweat towels, etc.)
  • Sort the contents of the glove compartment to “keep” and “trash”. Get rid of what you don’t want or need.
  • Do a quick vacuum of the trunk and interior with a hand vac
  • Wipe down the center console and dashboard
  • Items recommended keeping in your car – emergency kit, bin for re-usable shopping bags, pen and paper in glove compartment

Mail Pile (This may not be a small organizing project for some, and instead needs to be done over time.)

  • Corral the pile from wherever the last few days or weeks of mail have been dumped (start with current stuff, the old stuff requires more time)
  • Recycle junk mail and create a shred bag for sensitive items you don’t need (Your name and address on a piece of mail does not mean it’s sensitive. Account numbers and personal information are more likely candidates for shredding.)
  • Reduce junk mail with PaperKarma
  • Record dates, times and relevant information of meeting and events in your calendar then toss the paper
  • Items that require action should be noted on a task list or in your calendar. If you need the paper to complete the action, put it in an “action support” folder and place in your family command center or on your desk.
  • If you don’t already have one, establish an “inbox” for each member of your family, so your pile will be less likely to return in the future. Mail comes in, junk gets recycled, and the rest goes in the inbox of who’s responsible for it.

Meal Plan

  • Make a list of your favorite easy to make recipes or search pinterest for ideas
  • Create a calendar of rotating meals
  • Place recipes in a physical binder (time consuming) or scan or clip them into a virtual “recipes” notebook in Evernote
  • Sign up for a meal or grocery delivery service to make things easier


  • Get rid of expired food
  • Vacuum and/or wipe down shelves
  • Group items by type (snack, canned goods, breakfast, baking, etc.)
  • Use bins or clear containers to hold lose items (e.g. snack bars) and keep like items together
  • Label containers and shelves with blue tape and a sharpie or a label maker
  • Make a list of items that need to be replenished or replaced

You may not solve all your clutter problems in 15 minutes, but small organizing projects, when done over time, can have big results!