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Looking to do some spring cleaning but not sure where to start? Or are you feeling overwhelmed by all the chores you have to do? No worries! Why not try these 21 easy spring cleaning kitchen tasks you can do in 5 minutes or less on for size?
That’s right—5-minute spring cleaning chores. Who knew?
It’s pretty hard to argue over 5 minutes—especially when you get to brag to your friends how you managed to do some spring cleaning and exercised in the same day, all without breaking much of a sweat. Just don’t tell them it took 5 minutes. Who needs to know, right? Right. It’s like your a domestic superhero mixed with time-busting, if not slightly ill-dressed Flash Gordon yet not. #Winning #IWokeUpThisFab
In this post…
- How it Works
- What to Do
- What You’ll Need
- Tips to Get You Started
- 5-minute Spring Cleaning Tasks
- Conclusion (a.k.a. Shut up, Meg)
And if you like this challenge, head on over to our 2nd post for kitchen spring cleaning, 13 Quick Spring Cleaning Kitchen Tasks You Can Finish In 5 Minutes—Part 2! We’ve got even more 5-minute tasks coming for our Spring Cleaning Series soon. I know! Amazing, right? Right.
Excited? Ready to get things started? If not…well, suck it up buttercup. It’s five minutes.
Don’t forget that you can expand and contract each task/tip to see more information as well as learn helpful habits and tips for that specific task. Or contract the section if you want to speed through.
How Does It Work?
The main point is to clean for at least 5 minutes, even if you don’t feel like it. While you don’t need to use a timer, we recommend it. You can use your phone, microwave, oven, or another method to keep track.
The main secret to cleaning quickly, besides practice makes perfect, is to hustle. The second is to not get distracted. Use your time wisely, whether it’s 5 minutes or a power hour, to really focus on the task, or tasks, at hand. Third secret is to have a fairly good idea of what you plan to do before you do it. Fourth: make the most of it, but we’ll get to that in the Tips section.
Why Time Yourself as You Clean?
Timing yourself is a great way to motivate yourself to clean and do so promptly. This is because most people tend to move more slowly than they realize or may lose focus, which causes things to take far long or seem more tedious than they need to.
Timing also helps you to avoid overthinking the task before you can talk yourself out of it. Yet, at the same time, there’s less pressure even while you’re still holding yourself accountable. If you don’t finish, no big deal. Try again later or the next day. And feel free to do more than one 5-minute task if that’s what you feel like doing.
There are no rules unless you want them. I love to do 5 minutes here and there, whether it’s 5 minutes working on my fridge or drawers, before moving onto cleaning the microwave. Best of all, it challenges you and turns it into a bit of a game, which tends to make it fun. So it’s also great for people who are competitive or who like gaming.
We also list a few of our favorite products based on hands-on experience, as well as other popular items within the cleaning community. But feel free to use whatever works for you!
What to Do:
- Pick one out of the 21 kitchen-themed spring cleaning chores on the list to do in about 5 minutes.
- Prep if necessary.
- Set a timer for five minutes…and we’re off!
- Clean without stopping.
- Move as quickly as you can and try to finish.
- Allow enough time to clean up or opt to go 5 minutes longer.
- If you want to set the time for 10, 15, or even up to 30 minutes, feel free. Just avoid going too long since we’re breaking things down into manageable timeframes.
What You’ll Need:
- Cleaning products based on the tasks you plan to do.
- A timer.
- Things to help you prep, such as a trash can.
Tips to Get You Started
Tip #1: Make it entertaining!
If you plan to do several 5-minute sessions in a row, consider making it fun by incorporating things you enjoy and can do simultaneously. Just make sure whatever you choose doesn’t leave you feeling inclined to stop and watch or listen to whatever the entertainment is.
It could be music, Podcasts, YouTube videos, or audiobooks. You can even use songs, videos, or programs like Audible’s timer feature to time your sessions.
Tip #2: Pay Attention to How Long Things Take for Future Reference.
The cool part about working along to a timer or keep track is that you really get a feel for how long things really take, rather than how long we often build them up for in our heads. This is more so for those who don’t like cleaning and tend to procrastinate. Or even if you find yourself stalling on specific tasks.
Tip #3: Don’t Be Afraid to Stack Spring Cleaning Chores or Tasks.
If you find yourself finishing things sooner or don’t mind doing several sessions at once, consider stacking related chores. For instance, before you clean the sink, try to clean the garbage disposal. If you’re going to run the dishwasher, why not toss those grates, microwave parts, or filters in there too? Get creative and have fun with it.
5-Minute Spring Cleaning Tasks
Do these in whatever order works best for you, though try to consider how some chores may affect other areas. For example, if you clean the upper cabinets before working on anything below them, you’ll avoid messing up whatever work you do underneath them.
You can expand or contract the blue tabs to shrink or expand the information and tips regarding each task for a more customizable reading experience. Just click on them or the white arrow to the right.
Note: Some of these tasks may also take longer than 5 minutes. This may depend on the size of your kitchen, the number of cabinets, windows, how much clutter there is, and many other factors. Just do what you feel comfortable with. If need be, do the rest when you have time or increase the amount of time to 10 or 15 minutes.
1. Declutter a countertop, if not your entire counter space.
If there’s one thing that can slow down someone’s cleaning efforts, it’s having too much clutter to move, work around, or clean. And that’s before we even actually start to clean the room as initially planned.
Set a 5-minute timer to declutter even just one counter, or one section of a counter, removing items that you don’t need or that don’t bring you joy when you see them in the room.
This includes appliances and kitchen tools that you could put away. If you have a small kitchen or finish early, clear another counter area during the remaining time.
- Your kitchen will naturally look better, cleaner, and feel more inviting and comfortable to be in.
- You’ll have less to clean up for last-minute or even pre-planned visits.
- You and other members of your household will detect messes more easily, thanks to fewer distractions. Plus, when the counters are clean and clear, even the messiest folks will be less likely to leave obvious messes behind. This one was huge for my household.
- There’s less work involved when cleaning your counters due to less mess, making the task faster, easier, and a lot less tedious to do.
- You’ll have fewer visual distractions, helping you to focus better, spot what needs your attention and feel more at ease.
- With less clutter, you’ll be less visually overstimulated and, therefore, a lot less stressed, even on a subconscious level.
- Less visual competition means your favorite knickknacks will be showcased more than usual.
- You’ll likely get more of a mood boost when you enter the space, feeling more accomplished and further helping to fuel your day.
- The kitchen will be much easier to maintain.
- When items aren’t left out to gather dust every single day, that means less for you to clean later.
If possible, try removing appliances that you don’t regularly use several days out of the week. Try to store them in a drawer or cabinet, where they’re still easy to access yet still out of sight and out of mind.
For instance, if you drink tea or coffee every day, then leave those items out. But, unless you use things like the toaster every day, consider putting it away until you need it. It will also keep dust from collecting inside the toaster, which sounds a bit more appetizing anyway.
If you leave spices out, consider storing them away, such as by using a space-saving organizer or inexpensive storage bin. If you have a lot of spices to stash away, consider reducing things down to what you truly use. Spices also tend to expire far sooner than many people expect. You can also check out our hands-on product review on the YouCopia SpiceStack Adjustable Organizer for some inspiration.
2. Clean the backsplash.
This one’s pretty self-explanatory and easy to do. Scrub your backsplash with warm water and a degreasing soap—especially if you haven’t clean your backsplash in quite a while. Wipe clean when done, and feel free to use your favorite cleaning method otherwise.
If you are reasonably consistent or don’t do a lot of frying or cooking, you should be able to get away with a microfiber cloth that’s a little bit damp and some warm water.
Issues with dirty grout? If so, you can still use the 5-minute Method or work in increments of 10 minutes if it’s easier for you. Simply work one section at a time.
We love using Mrs. Meyer’s Lemon Verbena Baking Soda Cream Cleaner, which is essentially a pre-mixed baking soda paste that somewhat looks and acts like Soft Scrub, only with fewer chemicals to worry about.
We also like using the Rubbermaid Reveal Power Scrubber when necessary and then wipe the surface clean. They both do a great job when it comes to speeding things up. Plus, you’re getting the added benefit of a fresh and clean-smelling kitchen by the time you’re finished.
3. Clean vents.
Cleaning your vents can be a messy job if not done often enough. Not doing it frequently enough may affect how efficient your heating and cooling system is. It might also affect the air you breathe and cause more dust for you to clean up elsewhere. We always recommend cleaning them several times a year, if not giving them a good, quick swipe at least once a month as you dust.
Spend 5 minutes or less dusting and cleaning your air conditioning or heating vents. If the vents haven’t been cleaned in a long time or have accumulated a lot of dust, you may need to get at them with a cloth, some Q-Tips, or the vacuum cleaner. Severe cases may require a screwdriver to remove it from the wall altogether for proper cleaning.
If you don’t have many vents or finish in less than 5minutes, consider stacking the task by getting other vents within your home done within the remaining minutes left. This can include the bathroom exhaust fan grills.
Consider long, extendable dusters and vacuums to get the job done and to prevent you from having to climb a step ladder or stool. It’ll save you time and eliminate any extra steps or excuses to cause you to procrastinate.
Try to dust your vents regularly, making it a part of your dusting routine each week, or even just once a month. It will keep you from having to detail clean them later on and without making a considerable mess at the same time.
It also looks a lot tidier and can be better for your environment and overall health. Don’t forget to switch out your AC and heating filter every 2-3 months as well, depending on the type you use and how often you run your system.
4. Dust walls and ceiling.
Although this is entirely optional, it can be beneficial to dust your walls and ceilings at least once a year, if not more. More so in the kitchen, where we prepare our food.
And if you plan to clean or wash your walls later, this is a significant step to consider doing first so that you can avoid the dreaded wet lint stage and can better remove loose debris and dirt.
Clean your walls and ceiling using anything from a broom with a piece of cloth attached to it, down to something as simple as a long-handled duster, the Swiffer 360, a dry microfiber mop, or even a floor dust mop.
Get creative! Believe it or not, floor tools can often work pretty great for dusting your walls. I love using a clean, dry floor dust mop for dusting our walls, like my go-to Floor and Wall Duster by E-Cloth, which does the ceiling well.
You could also try something like the Swiffer 360 Duster, which is easily one of my favorite cleaning tools, works great on walls, baseboards, and pretty much everything else. I know some folks who attach microfiber cloths to their Oxo Tub & Tile Scrubber.
Try to dust your walls at least once, if not twice, a year to keep your walls looking and smelling fresh, clean, and grime-free.
If you have a big kitchen or feel that the job will take longer than 5 minutes, break it up by doing one wall or part at a time. You can always tackle the next 5-minute part later in the day, once you have more time or energy, or the following day.
5. Dust cabinet fronts and baseboards.
I try to dust at least once a week these days, especially since we have white cabinets and leave our windows open a lot more than we used to. It’s mainly so I can avoid a lot of mess later on, and because it only an extra minute.
I love that it’s quick, easy, and saves me from scrubbing or doing heavy detail cleaning later. I just wipe them clean every so often with a lightly damp E-cloth.
Dust the outside of your cabinetry, including on top of the upper cabinets when possible. Always try to get those baseboards too. It should only take a minute or two, depending on the size of your kitchen and if you hustle. Then you’re all set!
Make sure to use a dusting tool that attracts dust and debris well since it can save you time. It also tends to be more efficient and far less messy.
Typical dust-busting dusters include Swiffer products, such as the Swiffer 360, microfiber products, and dusting cloths.
I love the Swiffer 360 due to the way it speeds up the dusting process by preventing dust from going everywhere or getting left behind. I also can speed up the process while avoiding the need to move everything on the shelves during my quick weekly dusting, saving the more detailed work for later.
Don’t forget to dust underneath your upper cabinets, including any under-the-cabinet lights.
Consider adding this super-quick task to your weekly or monthly routine to reduce how often you have to scrub or detail clean your cabinet and drawer fronts, as well as to reduce grease buildup and odors. The longer dust sits, the more likely time and the humidity in the air will cause it to stick more to surfaces.
6. Clean floormats and rugs.
Spend five minutes or less shaking out, vacuuming, hosing down, or tossing any rugs or doormats you might have in the area in the washer if safe to do so.
Save time later on, or use up those spare minutes during your 5-minute Challenge, by getting all doormats or machine-washable rugs on the same floor of your home done at the same time. Particularly if the cleaning methods are similar and while you’re motivated.
7. Clean the microwave, inside and out.
While most people hate cleaning the microwave, it’s also one of those things super-quick and easy if you do it consistently.
How easy? How about a quick swipe of a barely-damp microfiber cloth once a day, or even weekly (worst case) for maintenance cleaning? Then giving it a good sanitizing cleaning every now and then for less than 5 minutes once a month using soap and water, if desired or necessary?
But, for now, we’re just starting with an easy 5-minute job.
For this 5-minute spring-cleaning mission, if you have a lot of cake-on mess, you may wish to prep the unit before setting your 5-minute timer. To do this, use a bowlful of water—or, better yet, lemon water—in your microwave and set the timer for one minute. You can also try to use a damp sponge.
This helps to steam and soften the microwave. Carefully remove the bowl or sponge once cool enough and scrub with soap and water, rinse clean when finished. You can also throw the turn-ring and microwave plate on and soak it in the sink with soapy water, or toss it in the dishwasher right before running.
Steaming the microwave by nuking a bowlful of water before cleaning your microwave is a great way to soften stuck-on messes.
Always try to use food-safe cleaners when cleaning the microwave. Good ole soap and water, if not a microfiber cloth with plain water, works just as well too.
If it helps, toss the removable parts of the microwave inside the dishwasher before running it. It almost feels like cheating or a shortcut, in a way, but it also primes you to clean the microwave while the other parts are already getting washed.
Helpful Habit #1
Try wiping the inside of your microwave whenever you know it’s been used or if you witness the dreaded splatter of doom. We promise: it actually saves a lot of time and effort to get to the mess when it’s fresh rather than later, once it’s solidified—or petrified, for all you professional stragglers—and becomes one with the microwave.
Helpful Habit #2
Try keeping a clean microfiber cloth nearby and lightly damp nearby (i.e., at the kitchen sink) for such instances. It’s a great lazy person’s best friend since there are no extra steps necessary since you just use water.
8. Spring Clean the toaster or toaster oven.
This might be one of the easiest and fastest tasks in the kitchen—especially if you have a slotted toaster—and yet it’s one of those things many forget to do. How about shaking things up, including that lovely toaster of yours?
Mission (Slotted/Popup Toasters)
Unplug the toaster and give it a good shake over the ye olde trashcan. And when you think you’re done, keep at it a little while longer. Some people use a thin brush to get stuck bits out, but please do so with caution or check with the manufacturer.
Check the bottom of the unit for pull-out crumb trays and clean in warm, soapy water before drying. While your crumb tray dries, give the outside of the unit a good wipe down with a lightly damp rag or microfiber cloth. Don’t forget the cord. Wipe dry.
Mission (Toaster Oven)
Toaster ovens often have similar cleaning steps as the one above, but recommend cleaning it as the manufacturer recommends as some may vary. So make sure to research before starting, particularly if you have stainless steel.
Helpful Habit #1
Try adding the task of cleaning your toaster out once a month, or at least every quarter. If it’s something you think you might forget, use one of your devices or reminder apps to give you that gentle reminder.
Helpful Habit #2
Keep your kitchen looking sparkly by adding it to your weekly appliance wipedown. This is where you quickly clean and/or polish appliances once per week as a 5-minute maintenance chore.
Did You Know?
Did you know that cleaning your toaster helps reduce residual household odors and helps prevent the risk of a kitchen fire? Oh, and it helps your toast, bagels, and Toaster Strudels taste better. #Incentives
9. Clean the garbage disposal.
While this is a fairly straightforward mission, there are various ways to clean a garbage disposal, and it’s often a topic of hot debate because of it. It’s also something we hope to cover soon.
Some people prefer to use lemon peels, eggshells, rock salt, or a garbage disposal cleaning brush. Others may prefer the more straightforward method of using a garbage disposal cleaning tab.
A lot depends on the situation, the unit in question, whether or not there are any foul odors or clogs, or if you put food down it or not. Therefore, we recommend doing some research or following the manufacturer’s instructions.
Do as thorough of a cleaning of your garbage disposal as possible based on the type of unit you have to eliminate common household odors and to ensure that it’s functioning as it should be.
Consider using a garbage disposal brush every now and then to get at food more thoroughly than what store-bought tabs and homemade solutions can achieve on their own.
Commonly-Used Products Might Include:
10. Clean the dishwasher.
It’s essential to make sure that you do regular maintenance cleanings on your dishwasher to keep it running well, even if it’s just using a store-bought cleaning tab each month or so.
However, sometimes our dishwashers may need a more in-depth cleaning for slightly more heavy-duty tasks, such as clearing and cleaning any filters and making sure gaskets and sprayers are cleaned too.
Luckily, many things can be done in a few minutes or broken up into smaller projects for most dishwashing units. Or you can skip the deep cleaning for now and toss a good dishwasher-cleaning product in for the meantime and work on the more significant tasks later.
Give your dishwasher a proper cleaning, focusing on cleaning the gaskets, filter(s) and ensuring that the sprayers and racks are free of any debris or calcification. You can also opt to use a dishwasher cleaner or whatever dishwasher cleaning method works best for you.
Make sure to perform a light cleaning every month or two for the best results and keep deep cleaning down to a minimum. This can be done manually or by hand, or the more popular way of using dishwasher cleaning tabs. Some individuals also prefer to place a cup of vinegar and water in the top rack to decalcify and deodorize their units.
For more on deep cleaning dishwashers, check out our post on How To Deep Clean a Dishwasher: A Step-By-Step Tutorial (opens in new tab). We also have a post on how often you should clean your dishwasher (new tab), where we discuss tips on how to clean your unit regularly and how often that should be.
11. Scrub and polish the kitchen sink.
Scrubbing the sink is definitely something that should be done regularly, but it tends to be another one of those chores some avoid or do minimally.
Regardless if you do it regularly or not, deep-cleaning it for Spring is a great way to get rid of all the holiday grime and stains, if you haven’t done this already, and to reset for the rest of the year.
Detail clean your kitchen sink, including the garbage disposal if you haven’t already. This is an excellent time to decalcify and scrub the faucets, sprayers, and trim as needed. And you may even wish to fix issues of mold or stains in the caulking if there’s time or during a different cleaning session.
Some of Our Favorite Products
- Rubbermaid Reveal Power Scrubber
- Barkeeper’s Friend
- Mrs. Meyer’s Vinegar Gel
- Mrs. Meyer’s Baking Soda Cream
- Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Surface Scrub
- Bon Ami
- Mr. Clean’s Magic Eraser
- A garbage disposal cleaning brush
Try to clean your dishwasher and garbage disposal beforehand since these can sometimes kick up gunk while cleaning.
We love to use white grout repair pens in a pinch and if we can’t get stains out or immediately remove and repair any caulking. However, in cases of mildew, we recommend treating it first and waiting a few days, if not repairing it as soon as you’re able to.
Try using the power of vinegar or even a citrus-type juice, such as lemon juice, to cut through hard mineral deposits for around faucets or sprayers. Soaking the area may be necessary, when safe to do so, for really bad buildup.
Because I tend to be lazy, I love to use Mrs. Meyers Vinegar Gel Cleaner instead, which actually doesn’t smell much like vinegar at all and adheres to the spot you put, saving you from having to soak. It works great in the kitchen as well as in our bathrooms. Unfortunately, it can be a little hard to find in brick-and-mortar stores sometimes—at least in our area.
Try to get ahead of the work by lightly cleaning and drying your sink each night before bed. That means avoiding leaving dishes in the sink, which is another excellent and helpful habit to get into, such as during a nighttime cleaning routine.
12. Clean window treatments.
Wash or have any curtains or valences dry cleaned or dust and wipe clean any shutters, blinds, and shades (when applicable).
If your curtains don’t need any cleaning, shaking them outside or steaming them in the dryer can help to freshen them up and remove any dust or debris.
Always dust your blinds before washing to avoid wet lint or dirt, which can cause more mess to clean up.
Microfiber cloths or window-cleaning tools are excellent for quickly cleaning blinds and shutters.
Regularly dusting your blinds, shutters, or shades can help prevent having to clean them as much, even if gone over with a duster quickly while they’re in the closed position on more often than not. This is where 360-degree styled dusters also come in handy, as they can easily clean any slats above or below, helping you to save steps.
13. Clean the inter-side of windows, including tracks.
Give the interior-side of your windows a quick clean, including the window track. Unless you haven’t cleaned your window in over a decade or so, cleaning the inside can make for quick, 5-minute work on most days!
If you have a lot of windows in the kitchen, do a few in a row, one at a time, or save it for another 5-minute session later. The choice is up to you.
If you feel up to it, you can also wipe down your screens with an older microfiber cloth if they’re not too dirty; otherwise, save it for when you do the exterior of your home. However, the best method is to hose them off whenever possible in situations where there’s a lot of dirt buildup.
Give microfiber window cleaning cloth kits a try the next time you do your windows. They’re quick and easy to use, and you only need to use warm water and wring them out well for a lint- and residue-free experience. Look for ones with a good quality weave, and that comes with a polishing cloth, such as E-cloth’s Window-Cleaning Kit.
Try adding cleaning your interior windows and track to your monthly or season/quarterly cleaning lists. It not only keeps your windows looking clean year-round, but it only takes a minute or less to do a window. You can even add it to your weekly list and keep it on a room rotation, doing one room per week if it helps.
14. Clean the stovetop.
Cleaning the stovetop is another chore that should be done often as maintenance cleaning, and it only takes a minute or so to get done, depending on the mess involved. However, a more in-depth cleaning is also needed from time to time.
Take off the grates, knobs, and burner caps from your stove and give the stovetop a good, thorough cleaning. Soak the knobs and burner caps in warm soapy water or in the dishwasher when safe to do so, and rinse clean and allow to dry before replacing.
Grates can be scrubbed clean with soap and water, which some do might carefully do at the sink or by tossing them in the dishwasher. Always check with the manufacturer’s instructions on how to best clean your stove and see what parts are dishwasher-safe.
Some Popular Stove-Cleaning Product Choices in the Cleaning Community:
- Weiman Glass Cooktop Cleaner Kit
- Cerama Bryte Best Value Kit: Ceramic Cooktop Cleaner
- Krud Kutter 305373 Kitchen Degreaser All-Purpose Cleaner
- SKrAPr Surface Cleaner Tool
- E-Cloth Range & Stovetop Microfiber Cleaning Cloth
- Method Stainless Steel Cleaner
This is an excellent stackable task that you can do while pulling out the stove to clean around it. You’ll also be able to clean along the sides easier and without having to whip out the toothpicks to get between tight or hard-to-reach areas.
Try using a good degreasing product while cleaning stovetops if you happen to cook at the stove a lot.
Dusting the stovetop before cleaning can help reduce lint issues, especially if you haven’t cleaned it for a while. I love using either reusable dusting cloths for this or those Swiffer Sweep Dry Mop Cloths if I happen to have some lying around.
Cleaning the stove can feel like a burden when we lack the right tools for the kind of stovetop we happen to be dealing with. Make sure to research what tools work best for your type of stove surface, such as glass vs. ceramic.
15. Pull out and clean around the oven.
This task is a surprisingly quick and easy one unless you’ve gone many, many years without cleaning around your stove and while living with young children and pets.
I procrastinated on this particular chore quite a bit but soon learned that it took less than 5 minutes. And a few tricks helped make it easier to get done.
Nowadays, I do it once every quarter or season, just because it’s so easy to do. I love having better peace of mind, knowing something nasty isn’t lurking beneath the spot where I do most of my cooking.
Plus, it’s so much easier to spend five minutes at it, feeling good about the clean space, than waiting for ages and having more work to do and a potentially nastier mess to deal with.
Carefully pull out your oven far enough so that you have enough space to clean around it and get behind to vacuum/sweep and mop behind it. Enlist some help if it’s too heavy for you to do on your own, and consider having something underneath if you’re concerned about damaging your floor, such as felt feed, cardboard, or similar.
If possible, consider placing felt pads under your oven’s feet. This makes pulling it out super-quick and easy, even if you have to do it by yourself. However, you may need help or an extra pair of hands to get the feet on initially.
Try cleaning around and underneath regularly to make the job easier to avoid potential issues with ants, spiders, rodents, roaches, and odors.
Make sure to dust and clean around the oven, walls, cabinetry, flooring, and baseboards. Always dust before getting any surfaces wet.
Prep your space before starting by ensuring you have a mop, vacuum, broom, duster or dusting, a soap sponge or other cleaning product (if necessary), and a cleaning cloth nearby. We prefer a damp microfiber cloth to wipe down the sides of the cabinets, walls, and oven.
Check out our post on how to repurpose felt furniture feet and rubber bumpers around the home (new tab) for more information and other tricks using pads around your home.
16. Clean cabinet and drawer exterior surfaces.
A simple task that can be done all at once and rather quickly, or broken down by section, even for 5 minutes at a time. This is also something you can easily keep up as you wait for food to cook, coffee to brew, or that pot of water to finally start to boil.
Using a lightly damp cloth or microfiber cloth (on sealed surfaces only), clean the exterior of your cabinetry, including cabinet doors, baseboards, knobs, pulls, etc.
If possible, try to work your way in one direction, such as in a clockwise, going from top to bottom. This cleaning method will help you stay on track and move more efficiently, especially when you do it more often.
Unless you have any grease build-up, avoid using any cleaning products or soap, as this can create a dirt and dust-attracting residue. It’s also a lot faster to use water only if safe to do so on your cabinets.
If you decide to use water only, make sure to wring out your cloth well. And then maybe a few times extra. Too much water can attract dirt, cause damage to cabinet/wood surfaces, and hinder the performance of microfiber cloths while in use. If you prefer or need to use something like Pledge or Endust due to unsealed wood or delicate cabinetry, feel free.
Always check to see what type of treatment or cleaning will work best for your kind of cabinetry before starting, particularly if it’s untreated wood.
Helpful Habit #1
Cleaning your cabinets can go by quickly when you stay on top of it. Try adding it once a month to keep them looking, smelling, and feeling great and help keep your cooking environment sanitary.
It may sound like a lot, but it takes just minutes and keeps your home smelling, looking, and feeling great year-round. If you have young children or folks with messy hands, consider cleaning them at least twice a month, if not weekly. Eventually, the task gets easier and faster the more you do it. I look now look forward to doing ours while listening to audiobooks.
Helpful Habit #2
Dust your cabinet surfaces before cleaning them to avoid wet lint issues as you clean.
17. De-mark walls.
I try to do this in every room at least once, if not twice, a year. Getting rid of those scuffs and marks on the walls, which we even subconsciously tend to notice, is a great way to keep a space looking fresh, new, and clean. It also helps to keep your paint looking new, which is ideal whether you rent or own your home.
Setting a specific time to really inspect your walls and then working on de-marking, even if at a separate time, is usually easier than trying to de-mark as you see spots. You can mark areas with painter’s tape if you feel the need to too. Not to mention, seeing those blue or green pieces of tape on the wall can be a great motivator for getting to the actual demarking if you happen to procrastinate. However, do what works best for you.
Using a paint-friendly de-marking tool, such as a white microfiber cloth or Magic Eraser, carefully remove any scuffs from the walls. It’s always good to go easy on the pressure, not overdoing it, and to test the paint in an inconspicuous location before doing it elsewhere.
If you plan to use a product like a Magic Eraser or a knockoff of it, make sure to wipe the surface and floor clean when you’re done, using a lightly damp cloth or paper towel. This is due to the foam material rubbing off and onto the surface while in use since the material may not be all too healthy for pets or children.
If you have a lot of wall space to cover or a large kitchen, feel free to set the timer for 5 minutes, or whatever time is desired, to work in smaller, more manageable chunks.
In the event the scuff marks aren’t removed after a few passes with the cloth or Magic Eraser, you may wish to do a paint touch-up by lightly feathering over it instead. Otherwise, too much scrubbing with the Magic Eraser may remove too much paint, making the problem worse.
Be careful if you have rounded wall corners, as they may have only a thin layer of plaster covering the metal or other material beneath and may chip easily.
18. Declutter, clean, and organize one drawer, cabinet, or shelf.
One of the things that this former-procrastinator has grown to appreciate is breaking down bigger jobs, like cleaning inside kitchen cabinets, into bite-sized pieces. For me, that might mean cleaning just one shelf or an entire cabinet, given my mood for the day.
However, for some folks, setting a timer can work just as well, if not better. I sometimes like to do a few drawers or shelves at a time, often when I don’t feel like doing anything at all. This is typically earlier in the morning, so I can get it out of the way and feel like I’ve accomplished something. While I might find it easy to protest against doing an entire cabinet, if not the whole kitchen in one day, it’s hard to argue a couple of drawers.
Set a timer for 5 minutes to declutter, wipe clean, and re-organize items on a pre-determined number of shelves, drawers, or cabinets within the designated 5-minute timeframe.
Note: Because the pantry may require more work than other spots, it’s probably a good time to count this separately and we’ll include it in Part 2. However, if you feel like including it in this part, feel free!
Figure out your game plan by visually scanning to guesstimate how much you think you can get done and how much you plan to do. Don’t forget to allow enough time to put things away before you finish. Unless you feel you could continue until done or want to go for another 5 minutes. Or feel free to increase the timer up to 10 or 15 minutes.
Prep your space by making sure you have a spot to put items you take out and a trashcan/recycling bin or bag nearby for when you need it. Always have a lightly damp cleaning cloth nearby. And it may not hurt to have a handheld vacuum or small broom and dustbin nearby for large debris as well.
Keep a donation box nearby if you plan to donate items, or at least have one set up to take everything before you’re done for the day.
Keep a warm, slightly damp cleaning rag or microfiber cloth close by to save you time and steps. We recommend using a good-quality microfiber to avoid having to do a “rinse” pass, such as when using a soapy sponge.
Don’t forget to clean the hinges when cleaning the inside of your cabinets.
Try using a vacuum or Swiffer duster or dusting pad to cleanup excessive loose debris.
Helpful Habit #1
Instead of cleaning out your cabinets once a year, we recommend doing it at least twice a year for an easier clean-up and a more efficient decluttering and organizing process. The more you stick to it, aiming for at least twice a year, the faster it will get each year and as you declutter.
I used to love splitting up by floor as well, doing one floor’s cabinet interiors in the fall and the downstairs the following Spring.
Helpful Habit #2
Consider cleaning, decluttering, and tidying up high-traffic spots at least every quarter, if not monthly.
High-traffic locations often include the pantry, the junk drawer, the silverware drawer, the utensil drawers, coffee and tea areas, and the spice and/or baking goods area(s). After all, it should only take about 5-10 minutes, depending on the location to work with.
Helpful Habit #3
Consider investing in inexpensive bins to store small yet messy items, like pantry goods, baking goods, etc., or using organizers whenever possible. Not only will it help contain clutter and spills, but you’ll be able to pull items out a lot faster, and your household will keep things better organized as well when items have a home that makes sense.
19. Clean and polish appliances.
Cleaning and/or polishing the appliances is often not done by many households as often as it should. Fortunately, you can get a surprising amount of it done in minutes. And whatever is left afterward can be done later on for another 5 minutes.
Set a timer for 5 minutes to clean and/or polish the front and sides of your appliances. We typically do the stovetop separately since it has many parts to deal with, but do whatever works for you.
If the surface of an appliance is filthy, try cleaning it with soap and water or a related cleaning product for the kind of surface you might be dealing with.
For chem-free cleanings, using warm water and some good quality microfiber cloths work great for cleaning the exterior surfaces of kitchen appliances, regardless if it’s your toaster, fridge, oven, or dishwasher.
We love to use the E-Cloth general purpose cloths kit with a little bit of water, making sure to wring them out well beforehand. We then follow up with their polishing cloths before the surface has a chance to dry, always going in the grain direction. These work great for newer appliances with fingerprint-proof finishes.
For appliances with stainless steel that show smear marks, make sure to go in the direction of the grain and that you’re using products designed for cleaning stainless steel. One popular product that we also had some success with is Weiman Stainless Steel Cleaner and Microfiber Cloth kit. However, there are plenty of other options on the market.
Helpful Habit #1
Consider polishing your appliances at least once a week to keep your kitchen looking sparkly-new and to sanitize your kitchen space further.
Helpful Habit #2
Having guests over? Did you know that polishing your appliances can stand out to people visually and make your kitchen look even cleaner? If you want to “wow” folks, try giving appliance surfaces a quickie polish before they drop by.
This also made a massive difference in my mother being able to sell her home within quickly and for more than asking, so it’s great for when selling your home too.
20. Clean the trash and recycling bins.
While this should be done at least once every quarter, if not once a month, now is a great time to make sure those trash and recycling bins are clean for Spring.
Give your trash and/or recycling bins a good cleaning, helping to keep them clean and further eliminating kitchen odors.
21. Clean a few refrigerator shelves.
Cleaning the fridge is a task most people dislike doing. But you can easily break things down, shelf-by-shelf, so that it fits into your schedule or whatever mood you’re in for the day.
Clean the refrigerator shelves by doing one at a time, going from top to bottom, for 5 minutes set to the timer.
You can break the task down further by doing your first 5 minutes or day working at it just decluttering. Then follow up with cleaning the shelves the next time you go at it.
It may be more efficient to work on decluttering first and then focus on cleaning the fridge. Organizing tends to take a little more time, so doing it separately may make things easier for you if you plan to do it within a set timeframe and have a lot to work with.
As mentioned beforehand, and as with most types of cleaning, it’s more efficient to work your way from the top of whatever you’re cleaning and work your way down. This way, whatever crumbs or debris are knocked off will fall onto uncleaned surfaces instead of areas that have already been cleaned.
Make sure to allow yourself enough time to clean up things like any recycling or dishes you pull from the refrigerator when you set your timer or get started with your 5-minute timer. And always make sure to wash any dishes or recycling soon after; otherwise, stuff may be harder to clean later.
Think about using bins and refrigerator organizers. They not only help to contain spills and messes, but they can make pulling items out and putting them back in a whole lot faster when it comes time to clean the fridge.
- Consider making it a habit to clean out your fridge and wiping the main shelves down quickly at least once a week. You don’t need to take items off the shelf. Try shuffling things around and wipe out crumbs or spills with a lightly damp cloth.
- You can also opt to connect habits by making sure to empty any expired foods, old leftovers, and items that need to be washed for recycling the night before trash day. You can also do a quick clean on the fridge before you go grocery shipping and while the fridge is still relatively empty.
The benefit of cleaning is that you can easily make time for it by breaking things down into segments that fit your schedule. After all, a good cleaning schedule–even in the face of spring cleaning projects–should work around you, not the other way. Starting with these 21 easy spring cleaning kitchen tasks you can do in 5 minutes or less is a great place to start.
And if you don’t get a task or project done in 5 minutes, that’s okay! Or if you feel you want to keep going, then definitely go for it. Just make sure that it’s something you want to do rather than feel you have or need to do.
As long as you keep at it, you’ll eventually get there, and the more you do it–whether once or twice a year, or even more often–the quicker and more efficient you’ll get it all done.
Check Part 2 of our spring cleaning kitchen challenge and as we cover 13 other 5-minute spring cleaning chores you can do around the home. And if you’re looking for even more spring cleaning ideas, check out these related posts.
- 13 Quick Spring Cleaning Kitchen Tasks You Can Finish In 5 Minutes Or Less—Part 2
- 10 Things You Might Be Forgetting To Clean At Home
- 17 Clever Ways to Make Cleaning Your Shower Easier (with pictures)
- Top 10 Helpful Tricks for Using Dawn Dish Soap
- 21 Easy Ways on How to Keep Your Kitchen Clean As You Cook