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Organizing Projects You Can Complete in Under 20 Minutes

Updated on September 10, 2017
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Sally Hayes is a business communications coach who teaches speaking and leadership skills to adults in the midst of a career change.

Looking for a smarter way to do things around the house? Tackle one small project a day and in a year you’'ll add 122 hours of productivity to your life. That’s three weeks worth of full-time work!

It will take less time than you think to get yourself organized.

Do you feel like time is fading away and there aren't enough hours in the day to get everything done? Here are some quick and easy tasks you can complete in under 20 minutes!
Do you feel like time is fading away and there aren't enough hours in the day to get everything done? Here are some quick and easy tasks you can complete in under 20 minutes!

Everyone is looking for a better, faster, smarter way to do things around the house. But there never seems to be enough time to get to all the little things that need our attention. Or is that just a myth that we’ve been taught to believe?

If you set aside 20 minutes per day to do one small project, in one year, you’d be adding an extra 121 hours of productivity to your life: that’s more than three weeks worth of full-time work!

To get started, here are seven small projects that should take no longer than 20 minutes to complete. Many of these tasks are easily overlooked on a day-to-day basis until, that is, the day you are inconvenienced, or worse, put in harm’s way, because you neglected to tend to these 20-minute tasks.

1. Get personal. Hand-write a note to your Mom, Grandmother, Uncle or any other elder in your life. Put a stamp on it and mail it. Even if you don’t think you have anything useful to say, people love getting handwritten letters and notes in the mail. Now do the same for a small child in your life: your own child, a grandchild or niece or nephew. Kids love getting mail addressed to them. You will feel good, and your recipients will feel good too. I can almost guarantee it.

2. Guard against credit fraud. Order your credit report from a legitimate credit reporting agency, not from a pop-up site on the internet. In Canada and the United States, you can order your credit report for free from Equifax. If you aren’t sure how to read your credit score when your report arrives, visit the agency's website for a glossary of term, tutorials or even live help-line.

3. Roll up the savings. Dump out that glass jar of small change that has been sitting on your dresser forever and start rolling your pennies and loose change. Set the rolls aside in a sturdy bag and deposit them in the bank next time you run errands. You can deposit the cash into a savings account, your child’s bank account or even a foreign currency account.

4. Organize your pin board. Take down stale-dated articles, notices, coupons and other flotsam and jetsam, so that the space above your desk is neat and tidy. Remove those business cards, expense receipts and invoices that you tacked up months ago and file them properly.

Quick Tricks and Tips for Decluttering

  • If it is broken and you can't get it repaired toss it. Take all broken electronics to a proper recycling facility.
  • Remember that letting go of sentimental items doesn't mean that you are forgetting the person who gave you the item. The love and friendship you shared with that person is much stronger than any object, no matter how cherished it is.
  • Put items that you are not sure you should get rid of yet in a box or closet in your basement with a Use By Date note posted on the outside. If you haven't thought about or unpacked that item by the expiry date then that's a sign you probably don't need the item anyway.

Decluttering your pin board and sorting through out-dated messages and clippings is an easy and satisfying organizing project you can finish in 20 minutes.
Decluttering your pin board and sorting through out-dated messages and clippings is an easy and satisfying organizing project you can finish in 20 minutes. | Source

5. Sound the alarms! Your smoke alarms, that is. Test all the alarms in your home and replace the batteries as needed. While you are at it, check the expiry dates on any household fire extinguishers you own. If the extinguisher has expired, purchase new extinguishers on your next trip to the store and then dispose of the old ones responsibly, as per the container’s label.

6. Check your Zombie Apocalypse Kit. Ok, so maybe you won’t ever need an emergency kit to fight off Zombies, but you should have a well-equipped supply cabinet of food, bottled water, first aid supplies and other essential items in case of natural disasters or major emergencies. Check the expiry dates on canned and non-perishable food items, bottled water, medications, batteries and other energy sources. Make a list of items that need to be replaced and take it with you on your next big shopping trip.

7. Sort through your office supplies. Do you have a desk drawer full of pens that don't work and markers that have run dry? Then toss them out! The same goes for stubby pencils with no erasers, dried up white our and crusty glue bottles. Once you have sorted through your supplies, If you find out that you have multiple items in that are still in good condition, (i.e.; felt pens, erasers, rulers, etc) consider passing those along as art supplies to your kids or give them to any high school or colleges students you know.

Color coding your files and office supplies is stylish way to stay organized.
Color coding your files and office supplies is stylish way to stay organized.

8. Keep all your online accounts secure. Even though your accounts may not have been compromised, it’s always a good idea to change your computer passwords on a regular basis. Take some time to renew your passwords for greater online safety and security. While you are doing that, back up your files and run a full virus scan on your computer.

These are just a few examples of important things you can get done by setting aside an extra 20 minutes in your day. The possibilities are endless. (Take 20 minutes and write down all the things you could get done in 20 minutes.)You might not be able to do a 20-minute task each day, but if you find yourself idle, bored or facing writer’s block, you’ll have a handy list of things that you can start working on.

What are some other important household projects that you could get done in 20 minutes or less?

An Inspiring Video Montage of Neat and Tidy Living Spaces

What organizing task do you dread doing the most?

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Are you ready to start de-cluttering your closet?
Are you ready to start de-cluttering your closet?

© 2012 Sally Hayes

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  • savingkathy profile image

    Kathy Sima 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

    Great hub! I like your idea of taking 20 minutes a day to tackle simple tasks, and can see how it could certainly make me feel more productive and organized. I'm going to make a list right now for 20 minute projects I'm going to tackle this week. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • easylearningweb profile image

    Amelia Griggs 5 years ago

    Hey, great hub...I love saving time, and these are great little to do's and they accomplish a lot in a little time! Good job. :-)

  • landscapeartist profile image

    Roberta McIlroy 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

    awesome ideas! Thank you for sharing them

  • mary615 profile image

    Mary Hyatt 5 years ago from Florida

    Good ideas here! Thanks.