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Monday, January 2, 2023

The 5 Up, 5 Down Rule for Housekeeping

The 5 Up, 5 Down Rule for Housekeeping

Upstairs, downstairs. Room to room. 

Do you find yourself moving about your house and cleaning and organizing, yet it never really feels like you have a handle on things? There's always a mess and it never seems to get any better?

That was definitely me until I began implementing my Rules of 5. Today, I'm going to talk about my 5 Up, 5 Down rule.

My home is a two story townhouse, so the 5 Up and 5 Down refer to when I go from downstairs to upstairs and vice versa. 

This rule is so simple, but over time it has big impact! 

In essence, anytime you go from downstairs to upstairs, you have to spend five minutes cleaning or doing a tidying task before you can go back downstairs. If you are upstairs and head downstairs, you have to spend five minutes tidying or cleaning something before you can go back upstairs.

That's it! Super simple, right? It might seem so simple as to be ineffective, but I've noticed that these micro cleaning and tidying tasks add up over time and help keep things in check.

If you live in a single story home, you could change the rule so that it's five minutes in family spaces and five minutes in private spaces. For example, if you're in the kitchen, living room, or dining areas and go to a bedroom or bathroom, you have to spend five minutes tidying in the bedroom or bathroom before going back out to the public spaces of the house. If you are your bedroom or bathroom and go to a more public/family space of the home, you have to do five minutes of cleaning or tidying in the public/family spaces before returning to the more private spaces. 

I don't have a garage or shed, but I do have two patios. I also apply this rule to those spaces and make it a 5 In, 5 Out rule -- if I'm inside and go outside, I have to do five minutes of cleaning or tidying on the patios before I come back in. If I'm outside and go inside, I have to do five minutes of indoor cleaning and tidying before going back to the patios.

My five minute tasks over the past few months have included:
  • folding towels
  • folding shirts or pants or undergarments
  • wiping down the bathroom counter and sink
  • wiping down the kitchen counters
  • cleaning the stove top
  • wiping down cabinet doors
  • sweeping
  • going through the area for trash or recycling
  • de-cluttering a drawer
  • and a lot more!
Do you think this rule could help you in your housekeeping goals? What are some of the tasks you can do in five minutes? 


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