5 Minute Chores

At the end of October last year, I shared with you one of my favorite organizational hacks: the one minute rule.

Essentially, the one minute rule suggests that whenever you come upon a task that you can complete in under one minute, you should do it without hesitation. Don’t pause to consider, and don’t tell yourself you’ll do it later. Instead, take a few seconds and accomplish the task right then and there.

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The beauty of this practice is it’s ability to quickly reduce clutter, and in turn, decrease stress. Because as Gretchen Rubin reminds us, outer order contributes to inner calm.

Outer order contributes to inner calm. -Gretchen Rubin #organize #declutter #chores Click To Tweet

Now, something that always surprises me about the one minute rule is how much I am able to accomplish in just 60 seconds. In fact, after following this practice for several months, I grew curious about what else I could complete in a relatively short amount of time – say, 5 minutes.

And if you know me well, you won’t be surprised to read that I started timing myself around the house to answer that very question.

You see, in my mind, things like changing the bedding, ironing my clothes, or putting away laundry (three things I absolutely despise) felt like they took for-ev-er. (Shout out to any Sandlot Fans reading!)

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But it turns out… they only took 4:37, 4:26, and 4:56 respectively. That’s it!

Of course, this revelation fueled my curiosity further as I tried to figure out what other 5 minute chores I could discover. And it turns out, that list is quite long!

Empty the dishwasher: 4:31. Vacuum the area rug in the dining room: 1:23. Straighten up my office: 4:57. Heck, I even scheduled routine plumbing maintenance for our A/C in 3:26. 

As I continued racing myself to see how fast I could complete these tasks, I discovered another surprising benefit as well; I feel a (perhaps unreasonable) sense of accomplishment each time I beat the clock. And this is especially true for the items on my todo list that have been sitting there for days (or weeks…)

Take that, todo list!

I know many of you love the one minute rule as much as I do, so I wanted to share my newest fascination with 5 minute chores as well.

Because if you’re like me, and you’re convinced you simply “don’t have time” for your list of nagging tasks, it might be time to reconsider. Start timing those chores, and race against the clock. I think you’ll be surprised about everything you accomplish. (Not to mention the burst of cardio you get in the process; double bonus!)

So are you wondering what 5 minute chores you can accomplish? Here’s a peak at 15 tasks that you can complete in 5 minutes or less. And if you’re especially hooked, be sure to download my complete list of 60 5 minute chores here!

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5 Minute Chores

  1. Unload the dishwasher.
  2. Clean out and disinfect your sink.
  3. Clean out expired food/leftovers from refrigerator.
  4. Empty all trash bins.
  5. Use a hand duster to clean cobwebs from corners, air vents, etc.
  6. Vacuum (upholstered) or wipe down (leather) couch.
  7. Dust ceiling fans.
  8. Vacuum the stairs.
  9. Change the bedding.
  10. Organize one dresser drawer. Get rid of items you no longer wear, and refold the items you’re keeping.
  11. Put away one load of laundry.
  12. Fold the towels in your linen closet.
  13. Clean out your medicine cabinet.
  14. Sweep and swiffer your bathroom floor.
  15. Organize your shoe rack.

Are you eager to keep going? Great! Then download my entire list of 60 5 minute chores here!

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Question:

Do you have any 5 minute chores to add to the list? What is your least-favorite chore to do around the house? Are there any tasks you enjoy (or don’t mind) doing? Let me know below!

36 thoughts on “5 Minute Chores”

    1. HA! I hear you, Laura. But hopefully knowing they’re only 5 minutes helps us power through 😉

  1. Hey Paula!
    I love that put together this list of 5 minute chores! Cleaning is not my favorite thing to do. Lol and having a quick list of important things I can do in just 5 minutes is really helpful! Thanks!

    1. Thanks! Cleaning is definitely not my favorite thing either – ha! Thank goodness for 5 minutes chores, huh? 😉

  2. This is so true! The most daunting chores only take five minutes! I love using the timer method! I do this with paper clutter I don’t want to put away! It helps to know I can stop when the timer goes off!

  3. It’s so true that so many tasks take a short period of time. Problem is that there are so many, and sometimes, finding even five minutes is a challenge! Definitely something I need to work on : ).

    1. Yes, I hear that. But all we can do is our best, right? 🙂 I always tell myself – a few minutes are better than no minutes 🙂

  4. I love the idea of accomplishing anything that takes 60 seconds right away. I can’t tell you how many chores I put off that would only take me 60 seconds to do. And then working up the energy to tackle so many built- up tasks feels overwhelming!

    1. Yes! All the little things add up so quickly. But when we can tackle them 60 seconds at a time, it’s so much more manageable 🙂

    1. Yes, it describes me so well, too. It’s amazing how much of a difference it makes, isn’t it?

  5. This is awesome! I could add feeding the cats or cleaning the dreaded litterbox… cleaning is not my strong suit so I do try to give myself a certain amount of time to clean them take a break. It tends to help me out and I love this list!

  6. I can definitely relate; I hate ironing and putting away laundry! I also don’t care for unloading the dishwasher. I’ve never timed tasks before, but I have realized that getting the things I dread out of the way first is very helpful in the area of productivity. And living out of the clean laundry bin gets old quick!

    1. Yes! It’s so funny. I used to always live out of my clean laundry bin (now it’s just sometimes 😉 ) – and it took WAY longer for me to find my clothes each morning than it did for me to simply take 5 minutes and put them away. Go figure 🙂

      1. LOL I know exactly what you mean; I still get caught from time to time as well :D. Sometimes when you hate a task so much it can be hard to see the benefits of just getting it done already.

    1. Thank you! When I only have to work for 5 minutes, I have an easier time getting motivated 😉

  7. Love this! I am a super busy with 3 jobs and a husband so doing house work tends to be set on the back burner (pun intended;) so doing a 5 minute chore list, which doubles as cardio…that’s incredibly do-able!

  8. I love Gretchen Rubin and the One Minute Rule! I do weekly 5 minute cleanings in each room of the house. I’m always surprised how much I can actually get done in the 5 minutes! I think we always build things up to take longer than they actually do!

    1. Isn’t it incredible all that we can accomplish in such a short amount of time? I completely agree – we seem to build up the “awfulness” in our heads, when in reality, it takes 3 minutes and we’re done! Ha.

  9. I can’t say that I’ve ever timed chores…except with the kids. I give them a task, set the timer and they hurry to get their task finished before the alarm goes off. It just keeps them focused. I guess I should try it myself and see just what I can do in 5 minutes.

    1. I love that you’ve used it as a motivator for your kids; what a great way to make chores fun 🙂

  10. Awesome list! I’ve been using the Pomodoro technique of 25 minutes work (i.e. creating my A to Z Challenge post on the computer) and 5 minutes totally different. Sometime I can’t think of what to do during the five minutes beside make another cup of coffee. Now I have no excuse. 🙂

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