Nothing is worse than coming home to a messy apartment after a long day, but finding the time to clean in the morning can be equally daunting. That’s why we put together a list of micro decluttering tasks that can easily be incorporated into your morning routine. Read ahead for seven super small ways to organize your space in the AM, so you can start the day off productively (and come home to a tidier place when it’s over).
1. Clean out the fridge while your coffee brews
If you’re anything like me (i.e. useless until you drink a cup of coffee in the morning), then chances are you stand around your kitchen desperately waiting for your coffee to brew. Instead of being totally ineffective before your morning cuppa, consider using those foggy few minutes to toss out some old leftovers and expired stuff in your fridge while you’re on standby.
2. Take some trash out with you when you leave
Whether it’s yesterday’s junk mail or a bag full of expired food, taking the trash out with you when you leave is a quick and simple way to tidy up your home—and keep it smelling fresh—without doing any extra work in the morning.
3. Pare down your closet while you get dressed
Too much of a good thing can be wonderful, unless you’re dealing with a ton of clothes and little-to-no closet space. Before you put off your yearly closet clean-out for spring, try this challenge every day for a week or more: As you get dressed in the morning, remove one article of clothing you don’t wear from your closet.
4. Slim down your medicine cabinet in the morning
Just like the closet tip above, you can make a commitment to a clutter-free bathroom while you get ready every morning. During your regular routine, every day for a week (or longer!), find one thing you can toss or recycle—like an expired product, ratty towel, or empty bottle.
5. Get your dirty laundry together before a shower
Looking for something proactive to do while your shower warms up in the morning? Use this sliver of time as an opportunity to get your next load of laundry ready, including the undies you’re about to drop, before you hop in the shower.
6. Clear off your coffee table before it’s phone time
If you prefer to pause for a moment to check your email or enjoy your morning coffee, don’t forget to declutter your coffee table while you’re at it. It only takes a hot second to throw out yesterday’s newspaper and put your remote controls away, but your whole apartment will appear neater if you do.
7. Make your bed as soon as you wake up
While it’s not technically removing any clutter, making your bed in the morning is a surefire way to minimize unsightly visual distractions when you get home. Take a moment to make your bed look nice in the AM, and you’ll have a much better time sliding into it in the evening.