Between making meals, writing my newsletter, and the seemingly never-ending mountain of laundry that resides in my laundry room, it’s not often that I find myself free time during the day. But on those rare occasions when I do find myself with 5 minutes to spare, I try to make the most of it.
Even the small efforts to try and knock tasks off of my to-do list can make a huge difference in how much I can get done during the day. And that way, I have more time in the evenings to spend however I want to spend it!
This approach has opened my eyes to just how many cleaning tasks you have to choose from even if you only have 5 minutes to spare. So I thought I’d share some of those here with you today, so that the next time you find yourself with a few minutes to spare, you can check one of these off your to-do list.
Tackling cleaning tasks in your spare moments makes them feel a lot more painless, and you’ll be buying yourself time that you can spend later on doing activities you actually enjoy. Trust me, your future self will thank you!
9 Cleaning Tasks You Can Do In Just 5 Minutes
1. Scrub Your Sink
This dish soap and baking soda paste is my go-to cleaning for scrubbing out my kitchen sink. You don’t even have to mix it up ahead of time—just sprinkle baking soda in your wet sink, add a squirt of dish soap, and scrub with a brush or sponge. Your sink will be sparkling in no time.
2. Touch Up The Walls
If you have a few minutes to spare, use it to wipe down any extra grimy parts of walls and doors in one area of the house. For this task, it would be hard to pick a more effective cleaning tool than a damp Magic Eraser, which will make short work of dirty fingerprints, greasy smudges, and scruff marks.
3. Clean A Small Appliance
If cleaning every single appliance you have in your kitchen seems like a daunting task, that’s because it is! Tackling them one at a time makes the job much more manageable, and can help ensure they get cleaned more regularly. Your microwave, air fryer, toaster, Instant Pot, or coffee maker are all great candidates for a quick 5-minute cleanup.
4. Wipe Down Cabinets
In just a few minutes, you can wipe down the fronts and handles of your your kitchen cabinets, which are typically excluded from everyday kitchen cleaning routines. Spritz them lightly with an all-purpose cleaner, let it sit for a minute, and then wipe them down with a clean cloth.
If your kitchen is large or if you’ve neglected this task for a long time, do focus on the upper cabinets and leave the lower ones for another time.
5. Wipe Down Your Condiments
One super-fast task that makes a big impact in my own kitchen is to wipe down the olive oil, vinegars, salt cellar, and pepper grinder I keep next to my stove. It’s always a shock to see just how much grime they collect over time from their spot in the “stove splash zone.”
For this task, I typically use a diluted vinegar solution (1 part vinegar to 2 parts water) and a microfiber cloth, which together make short work of messes and leave things shiny and clean. Reserve the condiment bottles in your fridge to tackle the next time you have 5 minutes to kill.
6. Tackle The Mail Pile
I like to keep an “inbox” in the kitchen area to collect all the incoming mail, and I try to go through the contents at least once a week. When going through your mail pile (or tray, or whatever you keep your mail in), separate it into stacks of stuff to recycle, stuff to keep, and stuff that needs to be dealt with (like bills that need paying or letters that need responses).
You probably won’t have enough time to actually deal with the stuff that needs to be dealt with, but it can always wait for the next 5 minutes you can find.
7. Clean Out The Car
Head out to the car with a damp microfiber cloth and two grocery bags (or tote bags, or any bag you have lying around). Collect all the trash in your car in one of the bags, and collect anything that belongs in the house in the other one.
Once you’ve collected the trash and things that need to go inside, use the damp cloth to quickly wipe down the dashboard, steering wheel, and center console. You’ll be shocked at what a difference 5 minutes of cleanup can make in the overall state of your car! (And you can make it even easier to clean up in the future using these hacks.)
8. Vacuum The Entryway
You won’t have time to vacuum your whole house in 5 minutes, but you can certainly tackle one spot that sees a lot of foot traffic: your entryway. A few passes with your vacuum will suck up all the dirt, dust, and allergens that collect at the front of your home, preventing it from getting tracked further inside and leaving it clean enough to make a good first impression on surprise visitors.
9. Tidy The Laundry Room
Get all the detergents put away, clean the lint trap in your dryer, wipe up any drips and spills on your machine or the floors, and make sure the dirty clothes are all sorted into the correct hampers. Easy!
Do you have any cleaning or tidying up tasks you try to knock out when you have a moment to spare?