Having spent much more time at home than usual in 2020, many of us are viewing our spaces through a new lens and have utilized our plan-free weekends to tackle major organization projects.
While it’s always satisfying to sort through an overstuffed garage or storage closet, the streamlining process certainly doesn’t stop there. The following smaller areas and stations are just as important to monitor as well, and best of all, they can easily be tackled in 15 minutes or less.
Have a half-hour between video calls? Pick two spaces below and get to it.
Your Cleaning Supply Stash
If you live in a small space, you likely stash all of your cleaning supplies under the kitchen sink, and things can get crowded in there pretty fast. That said, you might be surprised at what’s been hiding way back behind your box of trash bags (valuable Clorox wipes, perhaps?) as well as what’s near-empty or expired and can be tossed.
Because my under-sink storage is pretty small, I like to store all of my spray bottles and extras (Barkeeper’s Friend, GooGone, and the like) in a storage tub so that I can see everything at once. I’m also limited to keeping only what can fit in this bin, which means that there isn’t room for products that no longer serve me.
While you likely don’t give much thought to this part of your home since it’s certainly not on display, you’ll be amazed at how much lighter you’ll feel after you parse through your collection. Plus, you’ll know exactly what you need to repurchase and won’t accumulate duplicate bottles of Windex.
Your Makeup and Skincare Collection
Most of us have witnessed our makeup routine change drastically over the course of 2020, but we don’t blame you for holding onto your favorite products—sometimes, a little eyeliner is exactly the mood booster you need.
Even if you’re rocking the au natural look more often than not, you’ll still want to sort through your makeup bag for empties, products that are nearing their expiration, or those that no longer serve you. After you toss the excess and keep just your go-tos on hand, getting glam will feel a bit more breezy.
If you have some extra time, consider going through your medicine cabinet, too. Make sure you’re stocked up on your daily faves, but don’t forget to replenish things like bandaids, razors, and feminine products—you’ll thank yourself later.
Your Nightstand Drawer
It doesn’t matter if you have the best of intentions on move-in day—over time, the inside of your nightstand will likely turn into a junk drawer of sorts. Take a few minutes to clear it out and part with or put away anything that may be out of place. Then, dedicate the space to just the essentials, such as your favorite CBD oil, an eye mask, a lip balm or two, and that extra phone charger or set of earphones.
Repeat the cleanout process every few months, as crumpled receipts and loose coins will likely make their way back eventually.
Your Jewelry Box
It’s always helpful to go through your accessory collection, and while most of us aren’t putting on a full outfit and dashing out the door each morning, you’ll feel better knowing that your baubles are organized and accessible just in case.
Take a few minutes to detangle necklaces, place rings back in their appropriate holders, and trash anything broken. Donate or consign pieces that are in good condition but no longer appeal to you—odds are, someone else will love them. Use the extra space to store all of your quarantine-inspired friendship bracelets.
We’ve saved perhaps the most challenging spot for last. Cleaning out the fridge is never a fun time, but it’s extra essential these days, as many of us are eating nearly every meal at home. Even the most hesitant cooks have been spending more time in the kitchen and are more stocked than usual as a result.
Take 10 or 15 minutes and examine each shelf and drawer at a time, checking for moldy fruit, condiments that have gone bad, and other items that belong in the trash, such as that pasta sauce you opened last month or leftovers that have remained untouched for a week.
To prevent food waste in the future, freeze anything you don’t plan on consuming within the span of a few days, whether that’s half a loaf of banana bread or individual portions of lasagna. Meal prep pays off, literally.