5 a Day Rule ~ an Easy Way to Declutter (Guest Post)

Thanks to Moms Ideas for today’s guest post:

I have a little trick that I try to do most days. Some of my friends & family have called it a little neurotic (what did you expect? I am neurotic!), some have said it’s a great idea that they have adopted themselves. Then there are my kids who see me coming & hide their treasures!I don’t have a clever name for it, so we will call it the “5 a day rule”. It’s very easy, especially at the beginning, and I find it is an immensely helpful weapon in the war on clutter.

Every day, as I go about my daily duties, I try to find 5 things to go in my donate box, the yard sale box, or the trash. Yep, it’s that simple. It may be an outgrown piece of clothing that I find while doing laundry, one of those little toys that come with a kid’s meal at a fast food restaurant, a broken toy, a trinket that I no longer love or use or a book or magazine that I no longer want to spend valuable time to read.

I am constantly trying to reduce the clutter that tries to take over my house. This isn’t a cure all solution to that, but it is something that has become a daily habit that I have no doubt helps!

Some days this is harder than others and I don’t always reach my goal, but that’s ok. It creates a consciousness for me so I am always examining what ‘stuff’ is valuable enough to earn valuable real estate in my home, and in my life. Aside from the obvious benefit of reducing the amount of stuff I have to find a home for and clean, I think the thought process is by far the most valuable trait developed by this system. It causes me to really question what is important to me in terms of accumulation. It doesn’t just affect what I bring home from the store; it affects what I bring home period. That can mean saying no to a commitment of time or energy, saying no to a recurring financial commitment, or saying no to an emotional/mental commitment. Pretty heavy stuff, right?

If I have a day where I can’t find 5 things, I will ask my girls if they have anything they no longer want/use. I will ask my husband. If we don’t have 5 things, that is fine! Maybe that means that we have less clutter to choose from? I love this habit because it doesn’t require me to devote several hours to this task; it is just part of my daily routine. I am one of those people that is not good at making decisions and have to mull them over before I act. So trying to ‘declutter’ or organize a closet or drawer in one session is very hard. This habit allows me to make those decisions in stride.

Try it! Start with 1 or 2 items as your goal. Involve your family. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. It will start to flow naturally. It isn’t meant to be painful, but allow your comfort level to be stretched a little! Good Luck and feel free to share your victory with me!

www.momsideas.com is a blog dedicated to sharing tips to help women live a simpler life by saving time, money, the earth & their sanity! The author is a wife, SAHM to 3 beautiful girls and living with a disability. These are just some of the roles she is trying to master. With 2 daughters thriving with Aspergers and living with a disability herself, making life simpler is not just a hobby, it is a necessity! She enjoys sharing all of those words of wisdom learned from other moms and herself, to create a life of simple and joyful living for her family.

Photo Credit: shelterpop.com

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