Do you have a room or area in your home that scares you? I mean, the very thought of someone outside your family seeing it truly gives you the heebie jeebies? It could be a basement, craft room, walk-in closet, a child’s bedroom, your bedroom, whatever. You know it needs to be decluttered, cleaned and organized but it just seems overwhelming. Welcome to The FlyLady 5 Minute Room Rescue!
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5 Minute Room Rescue: Step-by-Step
1. Why spaces become dumping grounds
There are many reasons for messy areas in our home – a lack of daily routines, delayed decisions, items without a proper home, etc. Mail stacked on the kitchen counter. Unfolded laundry in a laundry basket or on the sofa. Piles of papers on the desk or dining room table. A bunch of shoes by the front door.
When it comes to a room or large closet that has become a total disaster, I find it’s often because that area has become a dumping ground. It’s usually a space with a door that guests don’t need to see. When we aren’t sure what to do with an item, or we need to do a quick tidy up, it gets tossed in that room or closet. We promise ourselves we’ll put it away properly later, but later doesn’t come. And more items get added to the mess until the thought of dealing with it makes you want to open a bottle of wine and find a good series to binge watch on Netflix.
But there is hope with the 5 Minute Room Rescue.
2. How to do a 5 minute “Room Rescue”
It’s really quite simple. Every day you spend 5 minutes working in the worst room or closet in your home. That’s right…just 5 minutes a day. Here’s how you do it:
-Start by taking a “before” photo so you can look at it occasionally and note your progress.
-Get a trash receptacle of some sort and a box for items to donate.
-Set a timer for 5 minutes.
-Start with the obvious trash. Throw it away.
-If you see something you know belongs somewhere else AND you know exactly where that is, set it next to the donate box.
-Look for items to go in the donate box and place them there.
-Work fast, focusing on items that don’t require much thought. Deal with the harder stuff later.
-When the timer goes off throw away the trash, put the donate box in your car or arrange for pickup, and put away any items you set out to go elsewhere.
And that’s it. Each day you repeat the process until the space contains ONLY what truly belongs there.
3. Maintaining your space
We’ve all had the experience of cleaning and decluttering a space only to have it become a mess all over again. That’s why it’s important to consider ways to maintain it. First, organize everything in your newly decluttered space. Use containers to keep like items together. Label them if that helps you or family members remember where to put things.
Next, make the space attractive. We are far less likely to clutter up a room or storage area that looks pretty. You don’t have to go buy fancy organizers or completely redecorate your bedroom (unless you have the funds and want to). Just use what you have or try some DIY projects. There are countless ideas on YouTube or Pinterest.
Finally, create systems and daily routines to keep the area clean and organized. Oh, and take an “after” photo! Maybe even print the before and after pictures then put them someplace in the room where you’ll see them each day. This can be a great way to remind yourself that you never want to let that space get out of control again.
For more detailed help plus a free decluttering workbook:
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