The 5-Minute Home Makeover

posted by Andrea | 04/20/2017
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5 minute home makeover

I realize many of you might be thinking the title of this post is a joke… but I’m serious.

Yes, I know you can’t literally “make-over” your entire home in 5-minutes — but you CAN make-over one drawer, one shelf, one cubbie, or one small section of your house in 5 minutes.

It might not be perfectly organized or magazine-worthy… but it WILL be better than when you started.

Progress, not perfection… right?

A while back, I shared how to declutter any closet in 5 simple steps. And after publishing that post, I started thinking more and more about how I apply step #1 to almost every single space in my home on a very regular basis (often daily).

If you didn’t read that post, Step #1 is to “Do a Super-Fast Once-Over of the Space” — basically, just glancing through the closet (or the cabinet, drawer, purse, cubbie, etc.) and making a few instant decisions to purge items you are 100% positive you no longer need, use, wear, want, or love.

These are no-brainer things like the trash in the bottom of your purse, the ripped up rags in your cleaning cabinet, the shirt that is WAY too small and you keep forgetting to put it in the donation pile, the kitchen spatula that completely melted the last time you accidentally left it in the pan a little too long, etc. etc.

Set your timer for 5 minutes (for real, set a timer) and work in one small area for the entire 5 minutes — ONLY pulling out the items that require quick, no-brainer decisions. If you hesitate on an item for even a few seconds, just decide to keep it for now, and move on.

The point of this 5-minute exercise is to get better at making those quick decisions, to learn to be constantly on the lookout for items to purge, and to feel the satisfaction and motivation that accompany doing something tangible to create a more organized space.

In my own personal experience, I’m always surprised how much I can do in 5 minutes of super-focused time. I also find it amazing how much more motivated I feel to move onto something else after I do one thing to physically simplify and organize my home — maybe another 5 minute purge, washing the dishes, sitting down to do blog work, folding laundry, etc.

It might sound crazy, but it works!

I guarantee that if you consistently (at least once per day) take 5 minutes of time to better a space in your home, you will notice a difference sooner than you think. Plus, you’ll be developing a VERY good habit of “doing it now” versus waiting until later.

What could you do in 5 minutes?

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17 comments

  1. Flossie @SuperMomHacks

    04/23/2017

    This is fabulous, Andrea! I love the idea of just 5 minutes – makes me think of a book that made the rounds while I was in school (something about writing a major thesis in just 15 min a day) – so often, it’s too easy to get intimidated into not starting a project because of the time involved (esp. cleaning), but it’s amazing how even 5 min. of picking up, decluttering, whatever really CAN make an impact! Thanks for the inspiring post!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Yes, you’re right! There are so many things you can accomplish in just 5-minute chunks of time!!

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  2. Amy O.

    04/20/2017

    I so needed to read this today, Andrea! We are having our home appraised tomorrow – and I had a super-busy day and am leaving town early in the morning. In my limited amount of time, using this method, I was able to make everything look presentable. Yes it was the “stash and dash” method but that was all I had time for today! As a bonus, I now feel much more “in control” and ready to tackle the deep organizing and cleaning that is needed when I get back.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    oh wow — well good for you for doing what you could in the time you had! And good luck selling your home (if that’s what you’re intending to do after having it appraised!)

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  3. Mara Yager

    04/20/2017

    Thanks for the inspiration! 🙂

    [Reply]

  4. Francie

    04/20/2017

    Awesome article, Andrea! http://www.supersimpleways.com

    [Reply]

  5. Jo

    04/20/2017

    Love this!

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  6. Erin S.

    04/21/2015

    Thank you for another great motivator for my morning!

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  7. sheila

    04/20/2015

    AAAAH thanks for kicking me in the butt I have so many areas of my house that need to be organized…I just need to start.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    haha — you’re welcome 🙂

    [Reply]

  8. Evie

    04/20/2015

    Your post is sooo good! For years I’ve had the habit of just standing still for a second here or there in the house and saying to myself, “What can I make better?” In two seconds I have the answer, and with five minutes of hyperfocus, I’ve done the dastardly deed and feel so good about it! Yeah!!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Love this — I also try to improve every space in my home before I leave that space. So if I’m leaving a room, I’ll always try to quickly pick up one or two things before I leave.

    [Reply]

  9. Siobhan

    04/20/2015

    So funny, I’ve been using this since that post! it really does work..this post is a perfect reminder though especially after a hectic weekend to get my home back in order. Thank you 🙂

    [Reply]

  10. lydia @ frugaldebtfreelife

    04/20/2015

    This is great. It is so easy to get completely overwhelmed. Just take it five minutes at a time.

    [Reply]

  11. Julia K

    04/20/2015

    I am almost ashamed to say it but our bedroom has become somewhat of a dumping ground. I so desperately need to get it in order but keep procrastinating as I find it difficult to get large chunks of time to work on it. One day last week I decided that every day – before I leave the bedroom, I will spend a couple of minutes just working on one section (say the top of my dresser), the pile of stuff on the floor in front of the freestanding wardrobe. I have been amazed at what I have achieved by taking these little teeny blocks of time. Sure I have a long way to go – but I am seeing some progress.

    [Reply]

    Julie SH Reply:

    Dear Julia K,

    That is so awesome! Every little bit helps, and then you inspire yourself to do a little something more! Thanks Andrea for a great post! So true! And it IS definitely a skill, my kids are practicing more and more-and me, too. Once we cultivate the mindset that we can do it, tasks that seem daunting (a large mess of Pokemon cards for example!) might just take three minutes to pick up. The pride of being able to keep things nice really kicks in.

    Over Spring break my kids and I spent 13 hours over six days working on their toy room organizing and purging. They made all decisions, and I helped with focus and was pushing it along. Now a few weeks later it still looks so great. Yesterday my kids walked to the store by themselves to buy a gift for a teacher (for teacher appreciation week), and they came home with a decorative pillow for their “reading nook” that they created in their toy room. They spent their own money and are so proud of their special place. Before our clean-up the area that became the “reading nook” was a corner of the toy room piled high with lego tubs and I don’t think that corner had been disturbed for a year. Way too many Legos is another story… Because of purging other stuff all the Legos fit nicely in the closet and voila we had room for a cute little reading area. Thanks for all the posts Andrea!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yay for progress! I love your idea… and yes, every little bit helps. It’s certainly better than just letting more and more and more pile up! Plus, you’re developing a great habit!

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