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350+ Categories You Can Declutter in 15 Minutes or Less

Grab your free printable checklist of 350+ categories in your home that you can declutter in 15 minutes or less! Start making the very most of the margins in your day!

Free Printable Decluttering Checklist to Declutter Your House and Eliminate Overwhelm

The Decluttering Problem

This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.

When I talk to people about decluttering and organizing, I feel like I hear the same phrase over and over again:

“I would love to be more organized, but I don’t have enough time!”

Girl, I hear you! With jobs and kids and school and church and hobbies and volunteering and sports and alllllllllll of the other commitments that we have on our plate, life gets busy fast.

Mother and Son Decluttering in Home Office

But there is one giant misconception about decluttering and organizing that I want to make sure I clear up right now.

Everyone thinks that you have to clear a big, long chunk of time out of your schedule in order to get organized. But that’s just not true.

Can it be done in a big, long chunk? Sure! But the problem is that we rarely have a lengthy, uninterrupted amount of time free. So we tell ourselves that there is no way we can possibly be organized.

Related: How to Declutter When You Have Trouble Letting Go of Things

The Solution

Over the past year or two, I have been really working on making the most of my “margins.”

Wait, remind me what a margin is again…

I’m so glad you asked! Margins are those little bits of time we have throughout our day, usually when we’re waiting for something.

Maybe we’re waiting for our kids to get their shoes on. Or for the dryer to finish so we can fold the laundry.

Maybe we’re waiting for the oven to preheat. Or for our spouse to get home from work so we can leave for a family activity.

Maybe we’re waiting for an email response we need. Or for our favorite show to come on TV.

All of these short waiting periods create bits of margin in our days.

If you’re like me, my automatic reaction in these little periods of margin is to pick up my phone and scroll through Instagram or play a quick game. (I’m addicted to Threes! Anyone else?!)

However, all of those short little bits of time can really add up! So rather than fill them with mindless scrolling, I have been trying to fill them more intentionally. One of the ways I do that is by using my margins to declutter.

Putting Away Clothes in a Bedroom Dresser with a Pink Comforter on the Bed

Now, it sounds really easy to say, “Less Instagram! More decluttering! Great!”

But the problem is, even when we are able to train ourselves to recognize these short periods of margin, there often seem to be SO many possibilities of how to use it! We feel overwhelmed, give up, and just return to our default mode of playing on our phone.

The Ultimate ” Declutter in 15 Minutes ” Checklist

Enter, the ultimate ” declutter in 15 minutes ” checklist! [Fanfare sounds! 🙂 ]

Checklist of 15-Minute Decluttering Tasks on a desk with other items

I recently went through room by room and tried to break down the decluttering tasks into the smallest pieces I could so that they would be bite-sized enough to tackle in those margins of our day.

I then compiled allllllllllll of the different categories into one helpful checklist. So anytime you find yourself with a bit of downtime, you can just consult the list, choose a task, and get moving!

How to Use the Free Decluttering Checklist

Once you download the checklist, you will see that the clutter is listed in each room. While there are a ton of things to go through in your kitchen, start with one drawer or cabinet at a time.

You can always work in small increments while you are waiting on your kids or simply just have a few minutes to spare. If want to be more intentional about decluttering, set a timer for 15 minutes. Start in one place on the checklist and put all of your focus there. You will be in shock at what you can go through in such a short amount of time!

If you prefer pen and paper and checking things off, you can print the list and keep it in a central area of your home where you can consult it easily.

If having it on your phone would be easier, simply save it to your phone or take screenshots of each page. Then you can pull it up on your phone and know what to tackle next!

top view of the quick declutter checklist on a desk next to office supplies

Click here to download your free printable 15-Minute Decluttering Tasks checklist!

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A Little Caveat

Though I tried to break down each area of the checklist as thoroughly as possible, there are still a few areas– such as paperwork and items in storage spaces like the basement and garage– that will probably take multiple 15 minute sessions.

Because everyone has a different collection of items in their home, it’s hard to make a checklist that is truly “one size fits all.” But I gave it my best shot! I also left three blank spots in each section of the list so you could add items that you own that I may not have thought of.

It will take a little bit of “retraining your brain” to move toward making the most of your margins rather than just defaulting to mindless phone time. But I have been shocked at how much more I accomplish in my days simply by taking advantage of those short periods of downtime. It really has been a game changer for me!

For More In-Depth Decluttering

You might be inspired to do a full on, whole house declutter after seeing what you can easily do in 15 minutes. Here are some resources that can help with that:

Quick Decluttering Methods: Frequently Asked Questions

While this checklist is meant to be completed in 15 minute increments, you could totally use it for a full cleaning day! Go through each category and check off the list.

If you are having trouble deciding what to keep and what to throw away, don’t get discouraged! This post has some helpful strategies for decluttering when you have trouble letting go of things.

Start small. Instead of looking at the big picture, focus on one area. Start by decluttering the “no brainer items”– things that you know are meaningless, are never used, or are no longer needed. You can separate your unwanted items into piles – trash, donate, and sell.

This post has more ideas for how to declutter and organize when you feel overwhelmed.

Organize. The first step in fast decluttering is getting rid of what we don’t need. We can always come back and do a more thorough organization in the future.

Do everything at once. As I mentioned earlier, start small. The clutter didn’t pile up in a day, so there’s no way to go through it all in a day either.

Focus on what you are not keeping. This is a big one for those who tend to want to keep everything. Instead, think about how much space you will have when the project is finished. Focus on what you are keeping and how new each room is going to feel when you are done.

If this decluttering strategy will be helpful for you, be sure to pin the image below so you can reference this post later!

And see all 65+ free printables that we offer on the blog in our Free Printables Library!

Thanks so much for following along! Have a wonderful day!

abby's signature signoff

This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.

8 Comments

  1. at home with Ashley says:

    You’re definitely right – I totally wait for big chunks of time to get my organizing projects done! This is such a great way to look at it! As a mom I’m always trying to fit things in where I can, but putting in organization is genius. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Abby Lawson says:

      So glad it was helpful for you, Ashley! It’s certainly been a game changer for me! Have an awesome week! <3

      ~Abby =)

  2. Julie Briones says:

    Awesome list, Abby! You are the queen of organizing, and these ‘breakdowns’ are perfect! Thank you!

    1. Abby Lawson says:

      Aw, so happy it was helpful for you, sweet friend! Hope you have a blessed week! <3

      ~Abby =)

  3. Great list! This is on my end of summer to do list before the school year gets going!

    1. Abby Lawson says:

      So glad it will be helpful for you, Daphna! Happy decluttering! 🙂

      ~Abby =)

  4. Amanda Polson says:

    Yikes….honestly I could use a good decluttering in MOST of these areas! ?. Thanks for putting this whole list together! It’s super helpful!

    1. Abby Lawson says:

      So glad it will be helpful, Amanda! Have a wonderful weekend!

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