One of the things that has changed my house and my mind about clutter more than any other thing is what I’m calling “microsorting.”

In my previous life (like five years ago), when I was waiting in a drive through at Starbucks, or waiting for my oatmeal in the microwave to finish heating, I would jump on my phone and check Facebook. Now, I microsort.

Microsorts are not our typical 15 minute Clutter Free sessions. These aren’t even five minutes. These are the seconds where I’m waiting for something to heat up, power up, and finish up.

As an example, when I’m waiting for my coffee to brew in the morning (I set it the night before, but I’m almost always up before my alarm) I straighten up the coffee area, or refill the ground coffee container, replace coffee flavoring container that is running low (I love sugar-free coconut).

What I love about microsorts is that these are little patches of time that come up all day long. In those tiny pockets of time, you can accomplish so much. The other thing I love? This helps you prepare for the next day, or the next time you are cooking, or the next time you’ll be in that area. Tomorrow, when I get my coffee, the ground coffee container will be full, I’ll have my flavorings, and the area will be clean and tidy and greet me well in the morning. It is my best way to be kind to my future self.

So here are 50 ways to microsort throughout your day:

Waiting in the Kitchen

Whether you’re waiting to take something out of the oven or for those last 30 seconds on the microwave, or maybe it’s waiting for your slowpoke kids to finally finish eating, there are tons of things to do with that extra 30 seconds:

  1. Unload part of the dishwasher
  2. Sort your silverware drawer
  3. Look at dates of food on a shelf in the fridge
  4. Look at dates of food on a shelf in the pantry
  5. Sort through your utensil drawer
  6. Take out the trash
  7. Take out the recycling
  8. Wipe off a counter
  9. Scrub out your sink
  10. Wipe down an appliance
  11. Put water in the coffee pot for tomorrow
  12. Refill a canister (with flour, sugar, etc.)
  13. Start a shopping list for the next time you go to the store
  14. Restock dog/cat food

Waiting in the Living Room

Maybe you’re watching real, live TV with (gasp) commercials. Here is what you can do in the living room while you wait:

  1. Fold blankets or quilts in that room
  2. Sort through remotes
  3. Fluff pillows on the couch
  4. Sort mail
  5. Get rid of 5 magazines
  6. Declutter a shelf on a book case – donate five books
  7. Sort DVDs – donate five that your family never watches
  8. Hang up any coats that have been discarded in this room
  9. Get rid of any cords that you don’t use anymore

Waiting for People

I seemed to spend much of my kids’ elementary school years standing by the front door yelling, “Come on!!! Let’s GOOOOOO…” Why not multitask with the yelling and get some things done?

  1. Clean off your entry table
  2. Clean off some apps on your phone you never use
  3. Sweep your front porch
  4. Restock dog bags (for cleanups during walks)

Waiting in Your Car

We seem to wait in our cars for all kinds of reasons:

For the kids to get out of practice
For the tank to get filled up
For Starbucks to finish your order
For Walmart to bring out your groceries (that you so cleverly ordered ahead…):

  1. Clean out trash in your front seat
  2. Create a bag for things that need to be taken into the house
  3. Go through receipts in your wallet and pitch what you don’t need
  4. Buy a six pack of water and keep it in your trunk for emergencies
  5. Sort through your glove box
  6. Throw away five things in your trunk

Waiting in Your Bathroom

Kids taking a bath. (Obviously, depending on the age of the little ones and their ability to sit upright) or waiting for the shower to warm up:

  1. Get rid of five empty bottles
  2. Sort through part of a drawer
  3. Check expired meds
  4. Inventory shampoos and conditioners
  5. Get rid of five products you don’t use anymore

Waiting in Your Bedroom

Waiting for your spouse to come to bed or waiting for him to get ready to go:

  1. Sort your bedside table
  2. Sort your underwear drawer – pitch anything you wouldn’t want to be seen at the doctor’s in
  3. Get rid of one pair of PJs that don’t make you feel awesome
  4. Pull 5 things from your closet that you don’t wear to donate to charity

Waiting in Your Laundry Area

I hate ironing, so I spend a lot of time waiting for the dryer to beep so that I can grab the shirts like a ninja so that I don’t have to set up the ironing board:

  1. Match two pairs of socks
  2. Wipe down the top of the washer and dryer
  3. Inventory what you need to replenish in that area

Waiting in Your Office

Waiting for a friend to type out a huge Facebook message, waiting for a video to download or even just an app:

  1. File or recycle five pieces of paper
  2. Test out five pens to see if they have ink – pitch the ones that don’t
  3. Return one email
  4. Update your to-do list
  5. Inventory office supplies

Those little bits of time can add up – make them add up to a clutter free home.

What are some of the ways that you use pockets of time?

Want to get Clutter Free? Join us in our Facebook Group Clutter Free Academy

kathilipp

Kathi Lipp is the author of 17 books including Overwhelmed, Clutter Free, The Get Yourself Organized Project, The Husband Project, Happy Habits for Every Couple, and I Need Some Help Here – Hope for When Your Kids Don’t Go According to Plan. She is the host of Clutter Free Academy the Podcast! with Kathi Lipp and speaks at conferences across the US. Kathi is published with Revell Publishers and Harvest House Publishers.

She and her husband Roger are the parents of four young adults in San Jose, CA. When she’s not dating her husband or hanging out with her puggle Jake, Kathi is speaking at retreats, conferences and women’s events across the US.

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