Picture your dream home. I bet it’s not filled with clutter. (tweet that)
Uncluttered spaces are life-giving. They promote calm, peace, freedom.
But sometimes, uncluttered spaces are difficult to realize. For any number of reasons, homes fill up with more and more things. Existing clutter attracts more clutter. And as a result, imagining decluttered spaces in our home becomes more and more difficult.
Minimizing all the clutter in our house over the course of one weekend is not reasonable for most people. However, taking a few small steps in the right direction is possible for everyone.
Here are seven 5-minute decluttering projects you can accomplish today:
1. Clean out your car/vehicle. Too often our vehicles fill up with unnecessary things: old CDs, sunglasses, Happy Meal toys, receipts, coins, empty water bottles, paper trash. Grab two bags: one for garbage and one for items to relocate. Fill them quickly with everything in your car that doesn’t need to be there. You’ll be surprised how quickly you can empty your vehicle of unneeded clutter.
2. Clear off the top of your bedroom dresser. Bedrooms should promote rest, relaxation, and intimacy—not upheaval and unrest. With focused attention, it will take you less than five minutes to clear off the top of your dresser. And it will change the entire mood in your bedroom.
3. Clean out a bathroom medicine chest. If empty containers, expired products, and dozens of items no longer used are cluttering up your medicine chest (and probably the cupboards under your sink), take a few minutes and remove everything that can go. Then, dispose of it wisely.
4. Return toys to the toy room or bedroom where they belong. If you have young children (or even older ones), you know that toys routinely get strewn around the house. Grab a few minutes with your child this evening before bed and make sure all the toys get taken back to the room or space they belong. If this task seems overwhelming, consider some of the benefits of owning fewer toys. But in the meantime, do your best to teach your children the importance of returning items when finished using them.
5. Declutter your plates or cups cupboard. Many modern homes are filled with duplicate items. One of the places this can be easily noticed is in our kitchen cupboards. Realistically, how many cups, mugs, bowls, and plates does your family need? Have you slowly accumulated an entire cupboard full of them? Maybe. Reach in the back, grab those that are never used, and minimize them forever from your life and valuable kitchen space.
6. Tackle a junk drawer. Some junk drawers may take longer than five minutes, I admit. If you’ve got the extra time, declutter it completely. However, for a strict five-minute task, set a timer on your watch and see how much of the junk you can remove from the drawer. You may be surprised how much you can remove in that time frame—and how quickly you can accomplish something when you put your mind to it.
7. Sort through a pile of mail or paper. Junk mail piling up on your kitchen counter? Is there a stack of paper files on your home office desk? First, look for piles of paper in places they don’t belong (kitchen counters, dining room tables, coffee tables) and tackle those piles first. You’ll get through them quickly and easily. If you’re feeling motivated, move on to tackle a larger pile—sometimes taking the first step is the hardest.
I realize, of course, everyone’s living arrangement looks a little bit different than others. Specifically, for you, one of the projects listed above may take longer than five minutes. But for the most part, they can be completed quickly. And whether you accomplish one or all seven, you’ll be thankful you did. They might not solve all your clutter issues, but they’ll definitely get you moving in the right direction.
Happy decluttering. You’ll love owning less!