Easy 30-Second Chores

30 Tasks That Each Take Less Than a Minute

Woman doing dishes at kitchen sink
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Even if you only have a half a minute to spare, you can accomplish these important chores. With a busy, over-scheduled life we seldom have extra time to take care of anything. These quick, easy chores will only take a moment of your time.

  1. Empty the trash in the bathroom. The small trash cans in our homes can sometimes be overlooked until they are overflowing. Make this chore easier and more quickly accomplished by storing extra liners in the bottom of the trash can. It will only take a moment to wrap up the used liner and open up the new one.
  2. Dust the TV screen. The television screen seems to always need a good dusting. Try a used dryer sheet to help keep dust from resettling.
  3. Change the vacuum cleaner bag or empty the dirt bin. Whether your vacuum cleaner is a bagless or bagged a vacuum full of dirt puts more wear and tear on your machine. Take a moment and double-check your bag or bin. Remembering to perform regular vacuum cleaner maintenance is essential to keeping your machine running well.
  4. Clean a mirror. Try using vinegar and newspaper to clean your mirror. The vinegar will help the mirror dry streak-free. A newspaper will leave less fuzzy residue than paper towels.
  5. Clean an applianceTake a moment and wipe down the outside of your dishwasher, refrigerator, oven, washing machine, or dryer. Don't forget about the outward appearance of the machines you depend on. Wipe up spots and spills quickly, and your appliances will only need an occasional thorough wipe down.
  6. Change the towels in a bathroom or in the kitchen. Prevent cross-contamination of germs and bacteria by frequently changing hand towels and kitchen towels.
  7. Test your smoke alarm. Smoke alarms should be tested monthly and batteries should be replaced at least annually. Try testing the battery on the same day of the month to help you remember. Similarly, you might replace the batteries yearly on a memorable date. Many people replace batteries when they change their clocks for Daylight Savings Time.
  8. Dust air vents. The vents and wall around the vents attract dust. Take a few moments to wipe down the vents in a room or two.
  9. Change the battery in a clock. It may seem like a little thing until you need to know the time.
  10. Sprinkle baking soda into your trash can. Occasionally sprinkling baking soda in your garbage will help prevent trash odors from overtaking your home.
  11. Toss junk mail, catalogs, or magazines. If stacks and piles of papers, magazines, and catalogs litter your home, try taking a few moments to throw out some junk paper. Get extra tips for reducing piles of paper in your home.
  12. Treat a stain. It only takes a few moments to remove many common stains. Try this list for stain removal.
  13. Dust or water plants. Keep plants healthy by remembering to dust and water plants regularly.
  14. Wipe down a countertop. The newest disinfectant wipes make it easy to quickly wipe down a countertop to prevent germs from spreading or food from sticking to your surfaces.
  15. Wipe down the forgotten areas. Wipe down doorknobs, handles, switch plates, remote controls, and telephones. These often-used items rarely get remembered when its time to clean. Take a few moments to quickly wipe them down.
  16. Clean out the fridge. Thirty seconds may not be time enough to do a thorough cleaning, but it is enough time to pour out the expired milk hidden at the back, or throw away the mysterious foil-wrapped package lurking in the deli drawer.
  17. Replace the box of baking soda in your fridge or freezer. Using baking soda in the refrigerator is a great way to reduce odors, but the box of baking soda does need to be changed.
  18. Clean the lint filter of your dryer. Lint not only keeps your dryer from running efficiently, but it can also pose a fire hazard. Take a few moments and double-check your dryer's lint trap.
  19. Sweep the entryways of your home. Most of the dirt that ends up on our carpets and floors, gets tracked into our homes by unsuspecting guests. Sweeping the entryways helps keep more of it outside.
  20. Clean out the cupholders and cubby holes of your car. Don't forget to maintain the interior of your home on wheels. Clean out the hidden places where trash gets stowed.
  21. Throw away empty cleaning containers. Wherever you keep your cleaning supplies, you're bound to have a few that should be tossed. Make more space for the things you really use by throwing out old or empty cleaning bottles.
  22. Sort through prescription medication. Throw away expired and unused prescriptions. Not only will you help free up space for other items, but you'll also reduce the risk of poison or accidental indigestion.
  23. Prevent or help drain clogs with baking soda, vinegar, and hot water. Baking soda and vinegar can be a great help to freshen and unclog drains. It only takes a moment to prevent major headaches.
  24. Shake out your entry and exit floor mats. It's best to have two doormats for each entrance of your house. One mat should be placed inside while the one with the bulk of the work to do goes outside. Remember to regularly shake out and clean these rugs to prevent dirt and debris from ending up in your home.
  25. Toss trash and clutter from one small area. Try cleaning out your junk drawer. Taking a few moments to clean trash and clutter out of one small area will give you the motivation to accomplish even more challenging projects.
  26. Dust down a ceiling fan. Grab a duster and wipe off the blades of a ceiling fan. You'll prevent dust from building up, and keep the fan in good condition for use.
  27. Wipe down the blindsYou can use a used dryer sheet or microfiber dust cloth. Wipe across the blinds to keep them dust-free.
  28. File today's mail. We can get overwhelmed with the amount of mail we receive, but after you toss out the junk, take a moment to put away mail that needs to be kept.
  29. Vacuum tops of doors and windowsills. Take a half a minute to vacuum a windowsill or the top of a door. Dust often collects in these areas but may go unnoticed during routine cleaning.
  30. Make a plan. If you have time for nothing else, take a few seconds to write out a plan of things that need to be done. When you find yourself with a few more moments to spare, you'll be ready to go.