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Ask Lela: What’s A 5 Minute Declutter?

Ask Lela Burris

I know I need to get my butt in gear and get organized, but I feel like I’m running on empty all the time. I barely have time to even get a shower at night, so I feel lost and hopeless when it comes to finding time to get my house and myself in general organized. Where can I start when I have no clue where to begin and no time to make any of it happen?

-Darlene from Ontario

5 Minute Declutter

It’s time I let you in on my little secret, Darlene. It’s called the 5 Minute Declutter and I’ve been doing it for three years now. And oh, my, gosh, girl, it works like a freakin’ charm. I totally feel ya on being short on time, and also on having no clue where to start when it comes to organization. So instead of working up some big elaborate master plan that will take weeks and weeks to tackle, let’s start small.

How It Works

I actually have a reminder on my phone to alert me to do my 5 Minute Declutter session. It’s pretty self-explanatory, but here’s the premise. I decide on something to declutter that doesn’t require me to make a big mess or provide an end result. It’s more like maintenance. Then I set a timer for 5 minutes and go to town on it. I don’t answer text messages, I don’t respond to “Moooooommmmm!” I just focus that short five minutes on the task at hand. When the timer goes off, I stop.

The Math To Prove It

I know it sounds like 5 minutes is practically nothing, and it won’t get anything done at all. But over the course of a month, 5 minutes is actually two and a half hours. I bet you’ve never had 2.5 hours of free time to focus on organization, huh? Multiply that by 12 months of the year and you’ve knocked out 30 full hours of clutter-bashing!

Need some ideas to get started? Here’s a list of 50 things you can declutter in 5 minutes or less. All grouped together in a handy-dandy PDF you can download or screenshot to refer back to anytime you’d like. Just pop your email address below and I’ll send it straight to you.

Try it for 2 weeks to build the habit.

You aren’t doing a full organization job here, you’re just taking some time to delete old stuff, throw trash away, put things where they belong, add items to a donation box, or just clean up that spilled spot of who-knows-what that’s been inside the silverware drawer for the last six months.

how to organize your whole house quickly

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This is part of my evening routine, and if you don’t have one of those yet, I highly encourage you to start one. It sounds like you’re a super busy woman, and the biggest thing you can benefit from is a little downtime and structure. Check out this post to learn how to build your own relaxing evening routine to make your days a little more bearable.


Have A Question Of Your Own?

Need decorating advice? Stumped on storage solutions? No idea how to organize that awkward cabinet in the corner of your kitchen? Stop waiting for the golden answer to appear at your doorstep. You can send your questions here and if chosen, you’ll be featured in an upcoming Ask Lela segment. Free advice straight from a pro. What more could you want? 🙂

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