Looking for things to clean if you are limited on time? Here are 10 things to clean if you only have five minutes.

I’m not really a big fan of cleaning.

Don’t get me wrong.  I like it clean.

I like everything to be dust-free and put away and shiny and sparkling and in its place.

But the doing?  The dusting and vacuuming and wiping and mopping and swishing and washing?  That’s the part where cleaning and I part ways.

(total aside:  have you ever noticed that vacuum is a really hard word to spell?)

And besides—it’s summer.  Who has time for anything else besides reading books and eating corn on the cob?

So I’m giving cleaning five minutes.  That’s it.  That’s all I got.

And I put together a list for all of us—just in case you had five minutes, too.

Here are 10 things to clean if you only have five minutes.

1.  Clean table and chair legs

Hello, beautiful.  I’m looking at you and your cobwebs.

Set a timer.  Take five minutes and a microfiber cloth like this and swipe down as many chair and table legs as you can. All you need is water. Just get the microfiber cloth slightly damp and wipe the legs and outside and underneath the edge of the chair.

Sometimes I use a spare sock with a little furniture polish for this, too.

Here’s a simple way I clean my floors, too.

2.  Wipe down the refrigerator

This is mine.

Some people tell me they’ve never seen it on the blog. I think I try not to photograph it because it’s covered in smudges.

Here’s my best tip to get rid of those smudges.

A microfiber cloth like this.

Just slightly wet it and walk over to the fridge.

Set your five-minute timer and wipe down as much of the fridge as you can.  Open the doors.  Wipe down the sides.  Pull out the little tray where the ice maker is on the fridge door and discover an entire dirt colony you never knew even existed.

3.  Wipe down bathroom countertops

Don’t overthink this.

Just five-minute it.

It’s so much more satisfying if you use a cleaner that smells amazing. This is my go-to good-smelling cleaner.  I spray the cleaner onto the towel and then wipe.

It makes everything go a little faster.

4.  Wash extra serving platters and dishes

I eat off my dishes and I use them to decorate.

The regular dishes get washed, but all the other ones?  The ones that sit on my plate rack? They just collect dust.

Take five minutes, gather them up and run a dishwasher load of decorating dishes.

Now they are clean and shiny and ready to decorate again.

5.  Door knobs

Grab another microfiber cloth that’s slightly damp and set your five-minute timer.

Then walk through your house and swipe all around the knob.

Not just the handle—that gets used.

Instead? Wipe around the edges and in the grooves and polish up all the sides where dirt can hide.

6.  Clean out your silverware drawer

Have you ever opened your silverware drawer and averted your eyes?

Spoons and forks and bits of Cheerios all mixed up together.

Take five minutes and sort that mess out.

Take out the utensil holder.  Place the silverware where it goes and wipe underneath the organizer.

Now it’s ready for company.

7.  Wash out a trash can

Raise your hand if you’ve ever cleaned out your trash can.

It’s actually one of the most overlooked (and the stinkiest) place to clean in the house.

Take the can outside.  Spray the bottom of the trash can.

Let it soak for a couple of minutes (you only have five to work with).

Then take a hose and rinse it out.

8.  Clean the ceiling fan

This ceiling fan cleaner is GOLD. It has a detachable microfiber head (are you noticing a trend here?)

It has an extension pole with it, too.

You can see it here.

Make sure your fan is off.  Set your timer and slide the brush over each of the blades.

You may want to put a drop cloth below the fan to catch the dust.

9.  Deep clean your sink

Set your timer for five minutes and give every minute to your sink.

Wipe down the handles.

Clean the grooves on the outside.

Take your sponge holder and clean every bit of it off.

Then give it one final wipe-down with a dry towel to make it shine.

10.  Change your sheets

You are probably on a regular sheet-changing schedule.

Just between us? I usually forget all about the sheets.

Set aside a day of the week and five minutes and then switch everything out.

Here are all my favorite bedding sources.

That’s it.

Wasn’t it easy?

It only took five minutes.

And now you can smile when you open your silverware drawer or look up at your ceiling fan or walk by your refrigerator or reach for a door knob.

Now you can enjoy summer because your house is clean….

….five minutes at a time.

PS  Here’s one more for the road.

This is my best tip to fix those sagging couch cushions.

PPS  If you have any other ideas for five-minute cleaning—-let’s start a list in the comments. 🙂

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  1. Image for Ella Ella

    Instead of standing and watching the microwave for 3 minutes when nuking my lunch, I do exactly what you are explaining, I grab my cloth and do a quick 3-minute cleanup on something in the kitchen, either the sinks, the refrigerator, the dishwasher a fresh new tablecloth, sweep the floor or water the plants. My 3-minute microwave lunches are productive. Thanks for the great article!

  2. Image for Kathy Menold Kathy Menold

    Love these 5 min cleaning tips. With this heatwave thats all I can do before returning to the couch, my latest Kristian Hannah book and a tall icy glass of peach tea. The perfect summer activity level. I think for dinner we will have homemade vanilla milkshakes. 😋

  3. Image for Lori H Lori H

    Where did you find the Rascal Flats artwork that has the lyrics to the song on it? That song,...I hope you Dance is a favorite of mine and I'd love to have one. Cleaning is not fun, I agree. Small chunks of time is best for me. I do a whirlwind of a job in one area then move on for the day. It all gets done eventually, especially when snow comes around again. Summer is too short.

  4. Image for Jo Jo

    I enjoy all your posts, but this was extraordinarily fun! I purchased the cleaner and look forward to its arrival! Your ideas inspired me to make a list of my own and begin thinking in smaller increments of time. Thank you, Brilliant One!!

  5. Image for Donna R. Boyd Donna R. Boyd

    I was never good at staying on a schedule and changing my sheets once a week on a certain day of the week but I do great at changing sheets on the 10th, 20th, and 30th of the month! i might miss it by a day depending on what's going on but it's works for me and that's a win!

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