15+ Productive Things to Do in an Hour or Less

Only have an hour? Try these ultra-productive home to-dos that can be knocked out in 60 minutes or less.

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August 07, 2020

Life gets busy, and sometimes all we have is a single hour to ourselves. Whether you like spending your "me time" snoozing or knocking out your to-do list, it's totally up to you (and maybe your kids' sleep schedule). I’m equal parts sleep lover and productivity junkie, so it’s a toss-up for me. But to weigh my options, I’ve gathered more than 15 ultra-productive things I — and you — could do with that precious hour. Check out my list for inspiration.

Organize Your Kitchen

Communal Kitchen Design with Intuitive, Organized Storage

Intuitive, Organized Storage is Fundamental in Communal Kitchen Design

Being a communal space, ease of access and organized storage plays a big part in this design. Open shelving on either side of the vent-a-hood provides stylish storage of mugs and spices, while cabinets and shelves below add functional, stylish storage, putting kitchen necessities within a fingertip's reach.

Photo by: Colin Price Photography

Colin Price Photography

Meal prepping is hectic enough without throwing an unorganized kitchen in the mix. Dedicate one hour to organizing your kitchen to ensure cooking for the family runs smoothly.

Organize Kitchen Drawers

Clean Your Bakeware

Removing stickers from metal surfaces.

How to Remove Stickers and Adhesive from Metal Surfaces

Use coconut oil and baking soda to remove tough stickers from metal.

Photo by: Emily Fazio

Emily Fazio

Bakeware looking worse for wear? Mix 1/4 cup of baking soda with enough hydrogen peroxide to form a paste and scrub stained pans so they're ready for cookie season. Note: This method is not for coated or nonstick bakeware, as baking soda will remove the coating.

Try This Microwave Cleaning Hack

One too many frozen dinner mishaps can leave your microwave in rough shape. Wipe it all away in 15 minutes with this clever hack. Bonus: You have 45 minutes to tackle another task.

Organize Your Refrigerator

inside of a refrigerator

Keep the Fridge Organized Beauty

An organized refrigerator makes every thing accessible and says you money by not letting forgotten food go to waste.

Photo by: Andy Vinson of Loch & Key Productions

Andy Vinson of Loch & Key Productions

You can’t truly understand the beauty of an organized refrigerator until that organized refrigerator is yours. I’m telling you — it’s SO worth it.

Let’s Do It: Fridge Organization 101

Free-Up Countertop Space

$38.95

Simply decluttering can really relieve some stress. Free-up your kitchen countertops by storing your knives on the wall with this magnetic walnut knife holder.

Buy It

Clean a Major Appliance

When's the last time you cleaned your dishwasher, refrigerator or washing machine? Fix it in a snap with this helpful tutorial.

Clean Your Drains With a DIY Solution

Unclog Slow Drains

Unclog Slow Drains

Before you go the chemical route to clear a slow drain, try baking soda and vinegar! Shake a cup of baking soda into the drain, then heat up a cup of vinegar and pour it into the drain. After several minutes, flush with lots of hot water. Repeat as needed. *do not use on a clogged drain

Photo by: Flynnside Out Productions

Flynnside Out Productions

Don’t expose your guests to your drain issues (ew!). Spend your hour whipping those drains into shape with one of these DIY drain cleaners you can make at home.

Let's Do It: 5 DIY Drain Cleaners

Clean Kitchen + Bathroom Grout

$12.95

Cleaning grout will go so much faster when you have to scrub less. This tile joint brush features bristles that will scrub away grime from your backsplash, floor grout and more. Plus, the handle is comfortable for both righties or lefties.

Buy It

Repair Walls

$7.99 $7
13% Off!

Now you can patch up those nail holes in your wall with one easy tool. This small tube includes a spackle with primer, a putty knife on one end of the tube and a sanding pad on the other end. Just apply the spackle, smooth with the built-in putty knife, let dry and sand until flush with the wall. Then, it's ready for paint.

Buy It
$15.99

If you've been avoiding retouching your walls with paint because you don't want to deal with cleaning the paintbrush, this is the tool you need. The Paint Saint stores leftover paint in the container and features a built-in paintbrush to retouch any time you need. Plus, you never have to clean the paintbrush because the silicone gasket in the container's lid keeps oxygen out.

Buy It

Try These Easy Projects in a Weekend

5 Weekend Upgrades That Take an Hour or Less 01:04

Got an hour? Get your kitchen organized, bathroom tiles cleaned and patch your walls in no time with these handy products.

We share how to use handy tools to help you organize and upgrade your home.

Declutter Your Home

bookcase

Eliminate Clutter

Pretty boxes are a great way to corral clutter, from television remotes to stationary. Books with their spines turned away and their pages visible also lighten up your bookshelves.

Photo by: Red Arrow Industries

Red Arrow Industries

Ah, clutter — the enemy of the modern minimalist. Start ridding your home of unnecessary things with our helpful throw-it-out list.

Organize With Dollar Store Hacks

Organize all the things on the cheap with these genius dollar store hacks.

Deodorize Your Car or Home (With More Thrifty Hacks!)

Deal with those unpleasant smelly spots in your home or car using a budget-friendly, DIY solution.

Clean a Major Dust Collector in Your Home

Cut down the number of allergy-induced sneezes by cleaning a major dust collector in your home.

Make Your Own Household Cleaners

Photo by: Jason Kisner

Jason Kisner

These homemade cleaners are so quick and easy to make, you can whip ‘em up and clean with them all in one hour.

Clean Out Your Closet

Closet Hanging Pole

Closet Valet Pole

If you want a spot to hang dry cleaning or plan outfits, a valet pole is a handy addition to your closet. These pull-out poles usually install into a vertical panel in your closet system and come in a variety of colors and finishes. Photo courtesy of California Closets.

Photo by: John Granen

John Granen

This one-hour closet cleanse is for the focused and dedicated. I’m truly impressed by all you decisive people.

Or, Just Organize Your Closet

Creative Closet Door Detail

Barn Door Closet

A rustic barn door that slides along a top track offers a nice design detail for this space. Let your imagination be creative with door options that add character to your well-organized space. Photo courtesy of Rubbermaid.

If cleaning out your closet in an hour sounds daunting, consider a solid hour of organization. An organized closet will get you one step closer to that closet cleanse.

Let's Do This: Closet Organization 101

Try This Showerhead Cleaning Hack

Renew Shower Fixtures

Renew Shower Fixtures

Mineral deposits and calcium build up can cause your shower head to clog up and look spotty. Go the extra mile and submerge them in a plastic bag filled with warm white vinegar. Just be sure to fill the bag so that the fixture is completely submerged, then secure the bag with a zip tie or extra strong

Photo by: Flynnside Out Productions

Flynnside Out Productions

Hey, I don’t blame you if your showerhead’s a bit spotty. I consistently avoided cleaning mine until I found this genius hack. Simply submerge the entire showerhead into a zipper storage bag filled with warm, white vinegar. Secure the bag with rubber bands or a zip tie for about 30 minutes.

Organizing Mistakes to Avoid

See All Photos

Professional organizers share common organizing mistakes and how to solve them.

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