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Sonoma Family Life Magazine

Home Organization Tips in 5 minutes or Less

Apr 23, 2012 12:00AM

1) Recruit your kids and make it a game.

Set a kitchen timer for 5 minutes and challenge your kids to accomplish ONE of the following before the bell rings:

  • See if they can put ALL their own toys in bins and boxes (they might want to compete with each other to see who gets done first) OR
  • See if they can fill a grocery bag with toys and books to donate so other kids can enjoy them. OR
  • See if they can go through the public areas (living room, dining room, family room, kitchen) and put every single thing that belongs to them (clothes, toys, backpacks, schoolwork) into a tote and carry it to their room.

2) Make it a game for yourself.

Grab 2 empty containers  (bins, boxes and/or re-useable sturdy grocery bags)  and 2 garbage bags,  one large, one smaller.

  • The first container is to collect the things that belong somewhere else (another room, your car, to be taken to the office, etc.).
  • The second container is for things that can be donated (if it's cluttering your home, isn't it time to release it?).
  • The larger garbage bag is for trash. Add the second, smaller bag inside the larger trash bag to separate items to be recycled.

Set a timer (or your cell phone alarm) for 5 minutes, and do a 5 minute de-cluttering of the ONE most public area of your home. When the timer rings, deliver the contents of each container to where it belongs, and then put your feet up.


Kate S. Brown, CPO® Director, National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO)