If you have five minutes, you have the ability to take back your home from the clutter that threatens to take it over. Just five minutes a day—or whenever you can spare it—will help you feel better about the space you live in, giving you more room to breathe and stretch and fewer things to work around and constantly move from place to place. Here are 10 easy ways to declutter your home in under 5 minutes:

1. Clear One Counter

Your eventual goal is to clear all flat surfaces of your home so they are free of clutter. You don’t have to remove appliances or décor, necessarily, but try to keep it to the essentials. Repeat as necessary with other counters, such as the kitchen table, the coffee table, your end tables, etc. As long-term fixes, consider investing in a letter holder if mail takes up too much space on your countertop, hang up photo frames instead of propping them on your tables and find a cute container to hold odds and ends.

2. Hope Floats, but Objects Shouldn’t

Do you have one or ten objects that just seem to float from place to place with no designated spot to call their own? Take a moment and think through where these things should go. Common “floaters” are the broom, backpacks, lunch boxes, car keys and incoming mail. Adding hooks can help solve the problem. Not only will this help you avoid a pile of keys, bags and coats on the ground, but you’ll never scramble around in the morning looking for them again.

3. Enforce a Waiting Period

Even if you decluttered your entire house, there will always be the tendency to want to fill it back up again. Thwart any additional purchases (as best you can) by adding them to a list with the date you decided you wanted it. Wait 30 days, and then see if it has earned its way into your home.

4. Fight Clutter Osmosis

Along the same lines as #3, once you de-clutter one room, it has a tendency to suck the clutter in from other rooms. Refuse to let it. Since a decluttered room is 1,000 times easier to clean (okay, I’m estimating), make sure you do it as often as possible to keep your progress going in the right direction. This means tossing dirty clothes in the basket each night instead of leaving them on the floor, throwing away wrappers instead of leaving them on the counter and sweeping up messes as soon as they happen.

5. Take “Action”

To help organize the constant stream of paperwork coming in, make an “Action” folder for all items coming in that need your attention (bills, permission slips, RSVPs, etc). Keep this folder in the same place. This way, you can take five minutes out of your day and tackle a few items at a time, knowing you aren’t forgetting something.

6. Pitch Outdated Medicines

Outdated medications aren’t just cluttering your cabinets, but can also be less effective and harmful for your health. Don’t just throw them down the sink or in the trash. Read what the FDA recommends for proper medicine disposal.

7. Strip Down to Your Drawers

Literally. Take one drawer in your house at a time and empty it completely, putting only the things that deserve to be there back in. It’s one thing to have a junk drawer. It’s another to have every single drawer in your house filled with nonsense.

8. Bring on the Bins

One of the top decluttering tips is the Toss-Donate-Keep concept. Set up reusable shopping bags, laundry baskets, boxes or other bins and begin to sort your wayward trinkets, clutter and clothes into these three categories. And be honest with yourself. You don’t have to go full Marie Kondo and ask yourself if each object brings you joy, but your stuff shouldn’t stick around if it’s just collecting dust.

9. Make It Eventful

Make a recurring appointment on your calendar to take five minutes and run through the house, getting rid of anything that has expired, doesn’t belong or could be donated. Call it “Mad Dash Monday” or “Throw It Out Thursday” or whatever you want. Just as long as you set a time limit and commit to it.

10. Get It on Camera

Sometimes we just can’t see the clutter on our shelves, tables and counters because we’ve just gotten so used to it. Get a different perspective by taking a picture of the room and look at it critically. If you wouldn’t post the pic on Facebook because it looks so messy, then you know you need to declutter your life. See what sticks out the most in the photo and tackle it first.

Decluttering can help make your home feel more like a sanctuary. That said, once you have your home organized and tidy, you may still want a hand giving it a good scrub. That’s where The Maids fits in. We’re here to give your home a top to bottom shine, so your abode feels immaculate. Call us at 1-800-THE-MAIDS today for a free price quote. We’ve been doing this for nearly 40 years, and are more than ready to give your home a spotless clean.

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