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Sunday, January 8, 2023

The Rule of 5 Items for Easy Housekeeping

 
The Rule of 5 Items for Easy Housekeeping

If you saw my post, The 5 Up, 5 Down Rule for Housekeeping, you'll know that I love simple, easy, and fast housekeeping rules to help keep my home under control. I love easy and fast wins that add up over time, but I hate housekeeping. By creating a series of rules for myself that revolve around five minutes or five items and repeating these rules over and over throughout the day, housekeeping has become much more manageable for me.

Today's housekeeping rule is The Rule of 5 Items. This rule can be applied in many areas of your home and housekeeping routine, even if you are super busy.

In essence, the goal is to take care of five items at a time. 

If you have a sink full of dishes and can't fathom washing them all at once, focus on washing just five -- five plates, five cups, five cooking tools, five random dishes. For this particular situation, I classify five utensils (forks, knives, and spoons) as one item -- so, I might wash four plates and then five forks. I classify cooking utensils (spatulas, wooden spoons, carving knives, and so on) such that three of these make up one item -- so, I might was a bowl, two cups, a plate, and then two spatulas and a wooden spoon.

If I have piles of laundry to fold and put away, I focus on folding only five pieces at a time. I will fold five pairs of pants or five shirts. I'll put five dresses on hangers. I classify socks and underwear in groups of ten, however. After I've fold five items (or ten pieces of undies and/or socks), I put them away before folding the next five. 

If I am de-cluttering, I will look for five items to purge all at once. Or, I will go through my home and find five items that aren't where they belong and I will put them away before moving on to anything else.

The key here is to repeat these rules several times throughout the day.

For example, right now our dishwasher is broken and we don't particularly enjoy washing dishes, so they tend to pile up in the sink. If I wash five dishes first thing in the morning -- while I wait for my coffee to be ready -- then another five when I take a work break (I work from home) at mid-morning, five more at lunch, and so on, by the end of the day, most of our dishes are washed. If my kiddo does the same, then by the end of the day all of the dishes are washed. 

If I am feeling really motivated, I'll take care of five items and immediately take care of another five. For me, this is particularly easy when I'm folding laundry. If I fold and put away five items immediately, it is much easier to fold and put away the next five as I see the pile shrinking as I go. I find it hard to fold the entire mountain of laundry first and then put it all away all at once -- the pile never shrinks, it just gets tidier. Shrinking the pile is key to my motivation!

Stay tuned for our next Rules of 5 post!




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