Inside: How much can you actually get done in 10 minutes? This month we’re going to take on the 10 minute timer decluttering challenge and find out!
Every home has that drawer.
You know the one.
Packed to the brim with who knows what.
It’s the only place in the house to find a pen, a rubber band, maybe a random tool or some paper clips?
It’s called a “junk drawer” for a reason, right?
But it can be frustrating to open a drawer looking for something basic and not even be able to find it.
And this is just a drawer.
What about the areas we turn to most throughout the day as stay at home moms?
A linen closet, the fridge, or the playroom bookshelf?
In my Ultimate Stay at Home Mom Course we chat about how being a stay at home mom is a job (actually many jobs).
Through that lens, your home is like your office.
And if your office is constantly upside down, it makes it difficult to be productive and to do your job.
I think we’re often under the impression that tackling a decluttering project needs to take hours, or days.
And for some parts of the house?
I know I’m not going to be able to do an entire closet cleanout in 10 minutes.
Not going to happen.
As a stay at home mom with little ones it’s unrealistic to tell myself I’ll dedicate an hour to decluttering the playroom.
But the junk drawer? Or under the bathroom sink?
Those are small projects we can realistically tackle in about 10 minutes.
If we’re being honest with ourselves, we could easily waste 10 minutes (or more) scrolling on our phones or picking up toys that are just going to get played with again later.
The beauty of the 10 Minute Timer Challenge is that we’re putting in a small amount of time to declutter a space that will likely stay clean and organized for a lot longer than the kitchen sink or the playroom.
You could spend an hour cleaning the kitchen and it will be dirty again in 5 minutes, right? 🙂
But if you spend 10 minutes cleaning out and organizing the junk drawer, that could last for weeks or even months with simple upkeep.
It’s incredible how much easier it is to go through daily life with kids when your home is functional.
This doesn’t have to be a dramatic overhaul.
Let’s take it 10 minutes at a time.
How do you declutter your home when you are overwhelmed?
Isn’t this the million dollar question?
The overwhelm can be seen as a direct result of the clutter.
And as a mom home with kids, the little things add up.
The mental load of all the clutter in our homes weighs on us significantly.
That being said, as moms, our primary jobs throughout the day (feeding, taking care of kids, school pickups, playing, cleaning up daily messes, etc.) often supersede any additional projects such as decluttering.
We all have the same amount of hours in the day and most routine daily tasks take up most of our waking hours.
This leads us to the question of “where and when to start?”
Stay at Home Mom Decluttering Home Checklist
First let’s start with a list of the areas in your home that would be the most helpful to your daily routine.
If you have a preschooler to get ready every morning and your front hall closet is disorganized – start there!
We recently did the 10 Minute Timer Challenge in my Instagram stories and these were the areas we focused on:
Believe me when I say that by only spending 10 minutes in each of these areas you’ll see (and feel) a vast improvement in your home.
- Consider a time in your daily routine when you can reasonably set a timer for 10 minutes to declutter whatever space you’re working on that day (maybe during naptime, while the kids are watching TV or after bedtime – or include them if that works!)
- Try to do one space a day – remember, it’s only 10 minutes!
- I wouldn’t try to do something crazy like reorganizing the entire pantry in 10 minutes, but maybe one shelf of the pantry? That could work.
This post may contain affiliate links. You can read our full disclosure policy, here.
10 Minute Timer Challenge: Decluttering for Stay at Home Moms
Here’s the secret to a productive decluttering session that you may or may not want to hear: the first step is to take everything out.
And I mean everything.
There’s no way to completely declutter and reorganize a drawer or closet while everything is still in it.
This is where being 100% realistic with yourself about what you can get done in 10 minutes comes into play.
I’m not going to empty out my entire pantry right before the end of naptime and expect to get it done.
If 10 minutes is what we’re working with, we need to narrow our focus.
- But trust me on this: you’ll want to take *everything* out, wipe down shelves or vacuum it out – whatever’s needed.
- This is my favorite mini hand vacuum – perfect for small spaces like inside the freezer, cleaning crumbs out of car seats or any hard to reach spot.
- Once everything is emptied and wiped down, add in any organizers you’re using (like a drawer organizer, etc.).
Here is where the actual decluttering part comes into play:
Now that everything is out and you have a clear view of how much stuff was shoved into the front hall closet or how many old art supplies were clogging up the art caddy, it’s time to get rid of things – my favorite part!
This is my basic method for decluttering:
- Recycle: things that can be recycled like paper and some plastics
- Trash: anything that can’t be recycled and is not in good condition to donate
- Donate: have a big bag nearby that you can load up with donations
While decluttering a space you will inevitably come across things ready to be donated.
My general rule of thumb is to only donate something if it’s in good enough condition to keep, but it’s just not needed anymore.
If a toy is broken, a book is missing pages, or clothes have holes, throw them out or recycle them if you’re able to.
Before You Get Started:
Since we’re working with limited time here, let’s set ourselves up for success!
Before emptying out a drawer or shelf, or whatever you’re working on that day, grab 3 boxes or bags to keep nearby.
Amazon boxes or paper bags work great.
This way you can easily separate trash, recycling, and donations as you go.
Front Hall Closet
Kids Activity Supplies
Playroom Toys or Books
Under Bathroom Sink
Kids Bedroom Toys
Papers & Artwork
One final thought on decluttering:
It can be hard to get rid of things.
No doubt about it.
From items that were gifts to sentimental things, plus everyday items were not sure if we’ll need again, it makes decluttering a complex process.
That being said, I’ve found that by limiting myself to 10 minutes, I’m forced to make quick decisions.
“Do we really need this?”
“When is the last time I actually used this?
If you’re unsure where to start when decluttering each space, start with things that are broken, missing pieces, worn out, duplicates, ripped/torn or with holes, etc. (unless it is sentimental and worth keeping).
What to Read Next:
- My Nightly Home Reset Routine
- Simple Home Management for Busy Moms
- How to Organize & Store Preschool Activity Supplies
- My Daily Laundry Routine for our Family of 5
- Easy Morning Routine for Stay at Home Moms