The ‘5 second rule’ will help you declutter your house in record time

Now we’re spending more time at home, many of us our looking around our homes realising we need a good decluttering session. But getting rid of stuff can be a laborious and overwhelming task, meaning we put it off again and again until it never gets dealt with at all.

5 second rule decluttering
Getty Images

The backs of cupboards get stuffed with things we don’t use anymore, junk accumulates in the corners of rooms and, just like Ariel, we’ve got gadgets and gizmos a-plenty and whosits and whatsits galore. All of this can literally clutter your headspace, too – which is especially unideal when lots of us are trying to work from home at the moment.

Getty Images

So, with more free time on our hands than we’ve ever had before, why not dedicate the weekend to decluttering your house and getting back to a more streamlined way of living?

There are many benefits to doing so – one thing’s for sure is the sense of achievement you’ll get for having finally completed a task you’ve been putting off forever. Once done, it will make tidying up so much easier and quicker, plus the actual act of throwing things out can be quite mindful and therapeutic – it’s both cleansing for the mind as well as the physical space.

Getty Images

But still, how do you decide what to keep and what to chuck? One decluttering hack in particular might be the best way to start. Called the Five Second Rule, the idea is simple – pick up an object and if you can’t remember when you last used it within five seconds then you have to get rid of it.

Now, you can obviously make allowances for sentimental items, but it will make trimming down on certain household items much easier. The same can even be done for your wardrobe, although we personally like the hanger method for clothes – facing all your hangers the wrong way and when you wear it you put it back the right way. In six months time you’ll be undeniably confronted with what you do and don’t wear.

5 second rule
Imperfectly Perfect Living/Pinterest

The Five Second Rule has been doing the rounds on Pinterest recently, which originally came from the Imperfectly Perfect Living blog. The infographic also includes other handy tips for decluttering, such as:

  • Make three piles: keep, donate and sell. Every item has to be put in one of these boxes. Even more importantly, once the boxes are full get rid of the donate and sell boxes – don’t let them sit in the house for months.
  • Ask yourself if the item brings you joy – this is one of the biggest beliefs of tidying guru Marie Kondo, author of The Life Changing Magic of Tidying.
  • If you have more than one of something, ask yourself why? Do you really need three of the same thing?
  • Set a time limit for how long you will spend on one area eg. your wardrobe – this will ensure you don’t spend too long dithering over certain items, making it a less painful process overall.

Now there’s officially no more good reasons left to put off decluttering. You’ll thank us later.