One-Minute Chores and Quick Household Tasks

One-Minute Chores

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Many of us struggle to set aside a half-hour or more daily to clean our homes, and who wants to give up their entire Saturday to do it?

So, here’s some good news: doing one-minute chores throughout the day is an excellent way to get housework done.

Quick Tasks In the Bathroom

Do these chores in one minute while you’re waiting for the tub to fill, for your hair straightener to heat, or while your facial mask does its thing.

  • Change the towels
  • Clean the mirror
  • Wipe sinks and fixtures
  • Tidy the vanity
  • Wipe the toilet tank
  • Scrub the toilet bowl

Speedy chores In the Entryway

Try these one-minute chores when you’re waiting for the kids to get ready for school or you’re on the phone.

  • Shake out your Welcome Mat
  • Clean away cobwebs
  • Sweep the front step
  • Polish the door’s knobs
  • Pick up shoes near the front door
  • Sweep
  • Go through coat pockets for trash
  • Straighten your door wreath

One-Minute Garage Chores

Use a spare minute to do these chores as you’re waiting for the kids to get in or out of the car.

  • Get the trash out of your car
  • Clean your car’s cupholders
  • Dust your car’s console
  • Wipe smudges off the door to the house
  • Sweep steps leading into the house

Quick Touchups In the Kitchen

Use an extra minute for chores while your coffee maker is brewing or you’re waiting on dinner.

  • Change the kitchen towels
  • Rinse the kitchen sink
  • Toss the junk mail
  • Wipe fingerprints off an appliance front
  • Clean the window over the kitchen sink
  • Empty one rack of the dishwasher
  • Run ice cubes in the garbage disposal to clean it
  • Run hot vinegar down the drain to remove gunk
  • Wipe the kitchen table
  • Wash your coffee pot
  • Wipe the front of kitchen cupboards
  • Microwave your wet kitchen sponge to sanitize it
  • Wipe up spills in the refrigerator

Quick Laundry room Cleanup

Do a one-minute chore or two when you’re waiting for the washing machine to finish.

  • Treat a clothing stain
  • Wipe the top of your washer and dryer
  • Clean lint from the dryer screen
  • Wipe spills off of detergent bottles
  • Dust lint off of shelves

Commercial-Length Living Room Chores

During commercials is a great time to do a few one-minute chores.

  • Dust the coffee table
  • Straighten magazines
  • Straighten sofa pillows
  • Dust your entertainment center
  • Wipe TV remotes with a disinfecting cloth
  • Pick up toys
  • Fold throw blankets
  • Dust lampshades
  • Fluff throw cushions

Quick Home Office Cleaning

There are plenty of chances to do some one-minute chores when you’re on hold or waiting for someone to join a Zoom call.

  • Dust your computer monitor and keyboard
  • Empty the paper shredder
  • Dust a bookshelf
  • Toss ink pens that have dried up
  • Dust your desk
  • Straighten paperwork into neat piles
  • Tidy a drawer

One-Minute Chores In Any Room

Need to find some more spare time to do one-minute chores? Squeeze them in when you’re ready to go, but no one else in the family is, or you need to hit that step count for the day.

  • Empty a trash can
  • Wash your pet’s food and water bowls
  • Water a plant
  • Wipe down a room’s light switches
  • Dust a room’s picture frames
  • Take magazines or newspapers to the recycling bin
  • Dust the horizontal surfaces in a room
  • Dust a window blind
  • Straighten paper clutter into neat stacks
  • Scoop the cats’ litter box

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  1. That should be a 4 star rating. Damn touchscreen. BTW, the bathroom mirror takes way longer than a minute, but I am short and the mirror is pretty big

    1. Callie,

      Being short has its advantages. It’s definitely taught me how to improvise. I’ve got a couple of windows over my kitchen sink that sit about three feet from where I stand to do the dishes at the farthest point. I suffered a brain injury in the Marines a few years back which really screwed with my balance, so I’m a little weary of climbing on the sink to get to the windows.

      Being a guy (read: house husband) I did the guy version of retail therapy (I went to AutoZone) and found a tool used to help clean the inside of one’s windshield that happens to work perfectly for helping me clean those pesky kitchen windows. I’m sure it will help you too! Let me know if that helps.

      Semper Fi.

    2. Excellent idea. I am not short but I am old…:) I am going to Auto Zone (or similar) on my next shopping day.

  2. Hanley1972 says:

    Does the hot vinegar down a drain really work?

    Do you follow it with a hot water flush or is the vinegar meant to sit a while?

    1. Katie Berry says:

      It works! I’ve busted up a few nasty grease-based clogs with it in my kitchen. Let it sit about 10 minutes and follow with hot, almost boiling water for best results.

    2.  Thanks!  I can hear a drain calling.

    3. Hanley1972 says:

      What a terrific tip this is.

      Tonight a have a perfectly clean kitchen drain. 

      I wonder if this would work to keep other household drains clean, or is it just meant for kitchen debris..hmm.

    4. Katie Berry says:

      I’m glad it worked for you! It works in most drains. The acidity in the vinegar will help cut through hair clogs in a bathtub drain, for instance. They’re often caused by a buildup of soap or shampoo that turns stray hairs into a nasty mess. Since the vinegar dissolves that soap, the hairs usually swoosh away. The hot water rinse helps that along, and removes any additional conditioner/soap/shampoo mess in the drain.

      It’s actually a really good practice to do this monthly, just to keep your drains running clear. I have a nasty-smelling one in our basement wet bar where food debris builds up in the trap and starts reeking. Every couple of weeks I flush the trap using this method to keep the sink at bay. (Telling my family to stop rinsing dishes in the wet bar sink hasn’t worked, unfortunately.)

    5. When you heat the vinegar in the microwave, you can immediately clean the microwave when you take the vinegar out. The microwave walls will be moist and disinfected and easy to clean.

  3. Love this list!  Pinning!

  4. Jean | says:

    Katie, tell me, you consulted my husband for this post, right? Really, sounds like something Mr Delightful is always saying, “Do a few little things; they add up. Do nothing, and it can’t add up.” Cute, huh? PS He couldn’t have had anything to do with the car chores; he does not keep his car very tidy!

    1. Katie Berry says:

      LOL, Jean. Isn’t it cute how they sit on the sofa dispensing advice about how we can fit more work into our days?

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