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These kitchen jobs take around ten minutes. They can be done whilst waiting for something to cook, holding or chatting on the telephone, awaiting a delivery, listening to a song or the news, etc.

Some will have relevance and resonance for you, some won’t. It’s a menu, not a prescription to inspire similar jobs specific to your home. Let me know how you get on.   Lots of love, Caroline x

ten-minute kitchen jobs

  1. Find five items in your line of sight right now that belong in another room. Put them back where they belong.
  2. Take everything out of the cutlery drawer, lining it up in categories on the counter as you go. Clean the drawer. Clean the cutlery divider if you have one. Sort through everything on the counter then neatly return everything you want to keep. Dispose of unwanted items.
  3. Take everything out of the kitchen drawer (the one containing batteries, chargers, pens etc.). Sort it into categories on the counter. Clean the drawer. Maybe there’s some empty boxes or lidless tupperware you might use as drawer dividers to categorise the content you return to the drawer. Chargers and cables could go into individual, labelled bags. Dispose of unwanted items.
  4. Open the cupboard under the sink. Take everything out and sort it into categories. Dispose of anything you no longer need or use. Clean the cupboard and return everything, putting the items you use least at the back.
  5. Clean a window – get some more light in your home. Replace any spent lightbulbs.
  6. Wipe all the oil and vinegar bottles clean with warm soapy water. Clean the area where you keep them. Dispose of empties, return clean bottles to where they’re kept – try lining up the labels!
  7. Clean the outside of all the kitchen cupboards.
  8. Take everything off one shelf (eg. crockery/glasses). Put items on the counter/table in categories. Clean the shelf. Ask yourself if you still need everything you’ve laid out and dispose of everything you don’t. Return the items you want cleanly and neatly. Top tip: if you’re not sure about a particular item, label it with today’s date and a “if not used by X weeks/months, let go”.
  9. Descale the kettle/coffee machine and empty the toaster of crumbs. Clean the area they sit in. Use baby oil to shine up chrome items.
  10. Stretch or breathe in and out for as long as it takes the kettle to boil.

disposal ideas:

  • Charity shops like kitchen goods
  • NextDoor and Freecycle as well as local Facebook pages are possible places to advertise unwanted freebies to the local community
  • Electrical goods are welcomed by recycling centres (we used to call it the dump – they’re much better than they used to be)
  • Many streets have a culture of placing “please take” items on front garden walls for passers-by
  • Most supermarkets have containers to collect used batteries for recycling
kitchen shel with oils and vinegar lined up
ten-minute jobs

“Dear Caroline, I just wanted to write to say a massive and heartfelt “thank you” for all your hard work in helping me sort out my flat. As you know, I had such a sense of complete overwhelm regarding all the junk I had accumulated, especially since the death of my mother, I didn’t know where to start, and felt deeply ashamed of letting things, literally “get on top of me”. I couldn’t move for the piles of clothes, paper and general “stuff” that covered the floor entirely. It was deeply depressing and getting me down, yet I felt stuck and unable to tackle any of it on my own.”

– K, london N5


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