One-Minute Chores

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Cleaning doesn’t always mean setting aside an entire day.  Even one-minute chores can make a big difference!

Many of us struggle to set aside a half-hour or more daily to clean our homes, and who really 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.

So, grab the printable checklist at the end and post it on your refrigerator to use. Or hand the list of one-minute chores to your kids anytime they complain about being bored.

One-Minute Chores to Do Around the House

One Minute Chores - Gold stopwatch on white background

Quick Chores Can Make a BIG Difference

A minute doesn’t seem like that much time when you’re doing something fun. But think of all those minutes when you’re waiting for everyone to get ready for school.

What about the time spent watching commercials on TV. Now, add in the time you’re on the phone and get put on hold. Or when you’re waiting for the coffee to finish brewing.

Turn those waiting times into working times, and you’ll be surprised at how much cleaner your house looks.

In the Bathroom

Find the free time when… waiting for the tub to fill or drain. While your hair straightener heats. As your facial mask does its thing. While watching the kids play in the bath.

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

In the Entryway

Find the free time when… waiting for the kids to get ready for school. While you’re on the phone. Waiting for a visitor. While the dog does his business.

  • 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 the entryway
  • Go through coat pockets for trash
  • Straighten your door wreath

In the Garage

Find the free time when… waiting for the kids to get in the car. While the car warms up in the morning. Waiting for the kids to get out of the car. While watching the kids play in front of the house.

  • 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

In the Kitchen

Find free time when… the kids are doing homework. You’re waiting for the coffee maker. Dinner is in the oven. You’re on the phone.

  • 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

In the Laundry room

Find the free time when… you’re waiting for the washing machine to finish. You’re on the phone. You just started the dryer.

  • 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

In the Living Room

Find the free time when… there’s a commercial on. You’re not really into the show that’s playing. The kids are getting ready for bed. You’re waiting for your show to start.

  • 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

In the Home Office

Find the free time when… you’re on hold. A friend is taking their time responding to a text. You’re searching for a word or idea.

  • 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

In Any Room

Find the free time when… the school bus is due any minute. You’re ready to go, but no one else in the family is. You’re on the phone. You’ve been sitting too long.

  • 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

Printable List of One Minute Chores

Click the image below to open a .pdf for printing or to save it to your device.

One Minute Chores Printable List

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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. Katie Berry says:

      I’m short, too, and I despise doing mirrors because of that. But since I buff away spots during my daily routine (like you do, right? riiiiight???) it’s usually pretty quick to do them now. 😉 In fact, if I’ve kept the water spots buffed away, all that’s left to do is go over it with a duster to get rid of anything that’s settled on the glass. 

    2. HI. I would like for you set picture and where start to clean. some of them dont have picture that I can clean start to finish. I hope you dont mind to set up the picture each checklist. like one minutes to do those different. some of them already have picture from start to finish..

    3. 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.

    4. 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. Katie Berry says:

      Oh no, it’s definitely not supposed to talk! 😉

    4. 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.

    5. 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.)

    6. You are hilarious! I love reading all of this!
      With your weekly chore list-do you have a schedule of what days to do what chores? I have your everyday list, but your weekly one is daunting….
      Can you just TELL me what days to do what so I don’t have to think about it!

    7. Katie Berry says:

      I really don’t have a day-by-day schedule, since I tend to first clean the rooms that need it the most then get to the others as I have time. But if it helps:

      Monday: Clean kitchen, do some laundry
      Tuesday: Clean bathrooms, plan menus
      Wednesday: Clean living room, go to grocery store
      Thursday: Kitchen touch-up, clean front step and home office, file papers
      Friday: Clean family room, do more laundry
      Saturday: Run errands, finish laundry
      Sunday: R-E-L-A-X.

    8. 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!

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Thanks! I’ll be following it up with another list of 1-minute chores in the next few days, so be sure to visit again!

  4. Katie,

    Would it be possible to get these one minute chores in a printable, too? That would be super helpful! Thanks.

  5. 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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