You know that sense of deep satisfaction that you get after tackling a big organizational task, like cleaning out the garage or organizing the linen closet? Suddenly, everything in life feels a bit more tidy and manageable, even if it’s just in our imagination. As much as I love the feeling, those bigger jobs are usually relegated to a Sunday afternoon when I have time to spend a couple of hours. But I have found quite a few ways to inject a bit of this organizational happy into the work week: even when things are really busy, I can remind myself that, “Hey, it will only take a few minutes!”

Aside from the sense of calm these give me, the bonus side effect is that my life tends to stay pretty organized all the time since these have become habits that are in my regular rotation.

Click through for 20 organizational tasks that can be tackled in 5 minutes or less, and I’d love to hear about your quickies in the comments! Just call these the “cheap thrills” of organizing.

featured image by molly culver

photo by Molly Culver

1. Create tomorrow’s to-do list in order of priority.

photo by Kathryn Worsham

2. Delete any apps on your phone that you don’t use.

photo by Kristen Kilpatrick

3. Organize the pantry by tossing old items, and grouping like ingredients together.

photo by Steve Simko

4. Clean up your computer desktop by deleting unnecessary documents and filing everything else in folders.

photo by Nicole Ramsay 

5. Wipe down your makeup drawer and toss old products.

photo by Jenn Rose Smith

6. Throw away any trash in your car (including the trunk!) and bring in items that have accumulated over time.

photo by Kristen Kilpatrick

7. Return unanswered texts.

photo by Molly Culver

8. Organize your home office or desk by clearing clutter on the desktop. Recycle any paperwork that you no longer need.

photo by Teal Thomsen

9. Clean out the contents of your purse.

photo by Nicole Ramsay

10. Answer the one email that you’ve been putting off the most.

photo by Jenn Rose Smith

11. Sift through your closet for any items you need to donate.

photo by Molly Culver

12. Clean out the kitchen junk drawer.

photo by Kristen Kilpatrick

13. Delete recorded TV shows that you’re not going to watch (or have already seen.)

photo by Hannah Haston

14. Sort through the mail that’s piled up on your countertop.

photo by Kate Zimmerman Turpin

15. Clean out the fridge.

photo by Hannah Haston 

16. Recycle wire hangers and plastic bags that are still hanging out in your closet from the dry cleaner.

17. Delete photos you don’t need from your iPhone.

photography by Wynn Myers

18. Sort through your medicine cabinet and throw out old Rx bottles.

19. Clean your makeup brushes.

photo by Hannah Haston

20. Straighten up your drawers by matching socks and folding t-shirts into a nice stack. Suddenly, you’ll feel like the most organized person ever!

  1. 1
    Vanessa @ Living in Steil | June 23, 2016 at 8:36 am

    This is a great list! I feel like I’m always cleaning out my bags, cleaning up my home office, and going through photos on my phone to free up space. It doesn’t take a lot of time, but I feel like I accomplished something productive relatively quickly.

  2. 2
    Regine Karpel | June 23, 2016 at 8:56 am


  3. 3
    Sabrina Lütz | June 23, 2016 at 9:49 am

    That’s an super-duper cool list. But I think some of the named ones will take a little longer than 5 minutes.

    • Camille Styles | June 23, 2016 at 2:19 pm

      Thanks Sabrina! I’d love to hear which ones you feel would take longer… would be great to know how other people approach these tasks!

  4. 4
    Sara | alice & lois | June 25, 2016 at 4:17 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing our printable weekly to do list! Love the list!

  5. 5
    Inma | July 4, 2016 at 2:06 am

    I love this list! I have a couple of more quick tasks, like putting a load of laundry in the washing machine, unload the dishwasher or water the house plants or even change the bedding. I’m going to have a little list of these on my phone for those weeks when it’s crazy busy!

    Inma x

    • Camille Styles | July 4, 2016 at 7:03 am

      Oooh these are great ones, Inma! Adding them to my own list now!

  6. 6
    Mary | January 30, 2017 at 7:47 am

    Definitely will use this list for my go to place when organizing, thanks so much!

  7. 7
    Amanda Gene | June 27, 2019 at 4:10 pm

    This was a great post. A lot of these tips I already follow. I must admit that I need to go through my closet. 🙂

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