15-Minute Organizing Projects

Organizing doesn’t have to be incredibly time-consuming or daunting.

Here are a few quick projects that can get you motivated.

  1. Create A Calendar
  • Find a calendar that fits your needs and style: wall calendar, day planner, custom spreadsheet, etc.
  • Fill in non-negotiable obligations.
  • Create an area to document tasks to get done during the month.
  • Categorize tasks by A/B/C priority.
  • Schedule tasks around non-negotiable obligations.
  • Check/update calendar on a daily basis.


  1. Clean Out A Drawer (pick a drawer, any drawer)
  • Take everything out.
  • Sort items by purpose (do they even belong there?).
  • Throw away anything that isn’t functional; donate items that are functional that you don’t use.
  • Thoroughly clean the drawer.
  • Containerize like items together as much as possible.


  1. Clean One Refrigerator Shelf (or pantry shelf, medicine cabinet shelf . . . you get the idea)
  • Take everything out (seeing a trend?)
  • Check expiration dates; throw out anything past expiration date.
  • Categorize items by function: condiments, snacks, salad dressings, etc.
  • Thoroughly clean the shelf.
  • Containerize like items together as much as possible.


  1. Create A Mail Station


  1. Clean Out Your Purse/Wallet/Briefcase
  • Take everything out (there it is again!)
  • Vacuum/wipe out the inside; wipe the outside down with appropriate cleaning agent (vinyl can tolerate antiseptic wipes, leather cleaner, etc.).
  • Reorganize by function: sunglasses/reading glasses in one section; small cosmetic bag in another; wallet in another. If the purse/briefcase doesn’t have sections, consider investing in an organizer.
  • Scan front/back of important cards/documents in case the purse/wallet/briefcase is lost or stolen.


  1. Clean Out Car Interior
  • Remove all the garbage.
  • Wipe down surfaces with a duster or soft rag. Use mild detergent where appropriate and safe for surfaces.
  • Clean windows and vacuum seats.
  • Create a place for a small garbage can/bag.
  • Containerize like items: one container for reusable shopping bags; others for emergency kits (see below), etc.


  1. Create Emergency Kits: 2-Part Project

Part 1:

  • Check for dealer-supplied items already stored in the vehicle/home.
  • Find appropriately sized containers for the available space.
  • Gather the following supplies for the “Everyday Situations” kit: paper towels, granola bars, water, blanket, coat, gloves, flashlight/batteries, etc.
  • Gather the following supplies for “Emergency Situations” kit: first aid kit, flat tire repair kit, flares, jumper cables, etc.
  • Make a list of needed supplies and containers.

Part 2:

  • Acquire needed supplies and containers.
  • Add them to the kit.
  • Create a list of items in each kit and check semi-annually for expiration dates. Replace anything used or out of date.


  1. Create a Meal Plan
  • Check refrigerator to see what needs to be used within the near future.
  • Create a meal plan for the week.
  • Plan at least one day for leftovers.
  • Post meal plan for the entire family to see.
  • Create a weekly master shopping list.


  1. Clean Out The Linen Closet
  • Take everything out (Darn! There it is again!)
  • Sort by function: sheets, towels, etc.
  • Secondary sort by sheet/towel size.
  • If possible, designate shelves by function; label sheets and towels by size if possible.
  • Donate any items no longer used to a local charity. (Note: your veterinary office may want some of your cast-off towels.)


  1. Create A Household “To Do” List
  • Make a list of tasks you perform on a regular basis.
  • Consult with others in the home who perform regular maintenance and include their items on the list also.
  • Separate tasks by frequency: weekly, monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, etc.
  • Create a spreadsheet or other document capturing regular tasks.
  • Designate responsibility across appropriate household members.
  • Review list weekly.


Even small projects can have a large impact.


Cindy Jobs, COC, ACC

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Institute for Challenging Disorganization

Level I Certificates earned in Chronic Disorganization; ADD; Client Administration; Time Management; Mental Health; and Hoarding.

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