Taking a Minute to Straighten the Bathroom Counter (Like, an Actual, Literal, for-real Minute)

one min bathroom counter at

“I need to let the plumber into my master bathroom.”

Little strikes terror into the heart of a slob like those words. Even a vastly-improved slob. A vastly-improved slob whose bathroom had returned to slobbiness while she wrote a book about how to not be such a slob.

Anyway, this is the before pic of my bathroom counter:

one min bathroom counter before at

Yowser. Obviously, I hadn’t been doing that “Check the Bathrooms for Clutter” thing.

Because I figured an emergency-bathroom-cleaning was good material for a slob-blogging post, I took a photo of the time on my phone before I started. 8:09.

I slid things that go in the drawer into the drawer. I threw trash in the trashcan eighteen inches away. I hooked the hangers onto my closet doorknob without even taking a step. I moved the iron to the cabinet where it goes (directly under the counter where it was sitting).

At 8:10, it looked like this:

one min bathroom counter after at

Seriously. In case you can’t see the phone, here’s a closer pic:

one min bathroom counter one minute at

One minute. ONE minute.

Don’t worry. I’m properly horrified at myself for not doing this sooner. Or daily. When it takes less than one minute, and which allows me to actually clean the bathroom when it needs an emergency cleaning instead of just straightening it and hoping the plumber forgets to wear his glasses.


And by 8:23, I had also straightened Hubby’s sink, cleaned the shower, and straightened the out-in-the-middle-of-the-floor-chair-which-we-pile-up-with-good-intentions so Mr. Plumber’s first impression would be less horrific.

One Minute Bathroom chair before after at

These are the moments when I really want to show people the before pictures so they can know I really did do something before they showed up.

But I also want them to think this is my “I HAVEn’t cleaned!” bathroom.

What can you do in one minute in your home?

One Minute Bathroom Counter pin at


--Nony get-how-to-manage-your-home-without-losing-your-mind-wherever-books-are-sold


  1. 1

    I need to spend a minute cleaning up my kitchen table. Most of what is sitting there just needs to be taken somewhere else, and it’s attracting more stuff!

    What are the 2 chairs in the bathroom used for? It’s just really unusual to me to see any chairs in a bathroom unless there is a vanity in there so noticing 2 in your after picture made me wonder!

  2. 2

    Just found your podcast and I’m loving it! Any idea why episode numbers 17 – 85 won’t download from iTunes? Yeah…I’m one of those people that has to listen from #1.

    • 3

      I see them in my feed in iTunes. Are you subscribed? I think I’ve heard that not everything shows for people who aren’t subscribers. Let me know if that isn’t it, and I’ll keep looking into it.

      • 4

        Thanks for getting back to me! They were showing in iTunes the other day, but they weren’t downloading. It’s all better now and I have many hours of you to listen to now. I laugh every time “past you” speaks directly to the task “present me” is working on at times.
        Again, I’m really enjoying the podcast and thank you for everything you are doing for all of us out here in decluttering-land.

  3. 5

    Wow. That really hits home with me!

  4. 6

    At first I thought the stool/chair/steps was a high chair! And I thought, hmm, their kids are too big for a high chair, why is it in the bathroom??
    I can clear off a few surfaces in a minute. But most take many, many more minutes than 1!!

  5. 7

    Woohoo, I’m all caught up in real time! . Have so enjoyed/found helpful/found poignant reading your whole blog “like a novel”. Same goes for “Giving God the worst of me”. My three older children are at v similar ages & stages to yours, and reading about how you’ve celebrated and decluttered at different phases has been so helpful. Also, I just want to give a big “shout out” to God for the marvellous way he’s provided for you and your family through this blog – emotionally, creatively, spiritually and materially. And, of course, physically in your home! Wow!


  6. 8
    Jennifer says:

    About two months ago I realized that for four years my bathroom counter was always, literally, covered so there was about four square inches of space left in a nook or cranny of where I had not set something down I took six hours cleaning out the bathroom closet which has tons of space, throwing away the four containers of calcium tablets, several herbal concoction, travel containers that amassed roughly to a cubic foot. I agree that once you have a basket for everything it only takes one minute. It makes my really happy.

    What I totally don’t understand is why I can do that in my upstairs guest bathroom but in now way shape or form can I get my kitchen table clean when I walk away from it!

    I wonder if there is anyone who reads this blog who can do that. If so, tell me how you do it! Keep up the good work Dana!

  7. 9

    I’m trying to do that too – instead of glancing over a pile, making myself handle it if it’s going to take less than a minute to do – like make the bed, or put dishes away, etc. Luckily our bathroom counter isn’t very big so it’s not too hard to declutter and clean – well under 5 minutes!

  8. 10

    My favorite timing rule is the 5-second rule; when I see stuff out of place, if it would take me 5 seconds or less to put it away, then I do it right then. (And yes–I count out loud. ‘Cause that’s me…) If it’ll take longer than 5 seconds to put away, I get to decide whether to put it away right then, or wait until later.

    It’s seriously AMAZING how much different the counter looks after I’ve put away all the “5-second” stuff.

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