Uncluttered Professional Organizing Blog

Take 5 and Organize

Five minutes. It doesn’t seem like much time and yet those five minutes could be standing between you and a clutter-free space.

I speak from personal experience because even professional organizers can walk past a pile of magazines on the end table for weeks before deciding to do something about it. My five-minute fix turned out to be a quick search on Amazon for a foldable magazine rack. It arrived in two days. It took no time at all to set up and relocate the magazines. It’s a simple solution that could have been done weeks earlier if I had taken the time to do it.

Overcoming the “I Don’t Have Time” Mentality

It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking, “I don’t have time to do that right now.” My professional experience has taught me that, more often than not, the tasks you’re putting off can be tackled in less time than you think. The first five minutes might not be enough but the five minutes after that could lead to a breakthrough, or at least enough momentum to get unstuck.

The “Take 5” Approach to Decluttering

The key to a “Take 5” approach is troubleshooting just one thing, like a stack of magazines, because looking at your entire house can be overwhelming.

I suggest walking into a room and taking inventory of everything you see. Is there anything that bugs you? Something that makes you frown or maybe even creates anxiety? Look for items on end tables, unorganized shelves, piles of paperwork or maybe jackets in a hallway closet. Focus for five minutes on the one thing that catches your eye. Set a timer and give it your full attention. Add five minutes as needed to complete the task.

The first five minutes might not be enough but the five minutes after that could lead to a breakthrough, or at least enough momentum to get unstuck.

The goal is to create a series of little wins that help you declutter, and as a result de-stress, in just a few minutes.

Redirect the voice in your head saying you don’t have enough time and look at what you can do in five minutes. You’ll be surprised at just how effective a Take 5 break becomes and how much more organized your space is as a result.

Ready to Get Started?

I can help you declutter and organize your home. Send an email to me at linda@unclutterednw.com and let me know what’s on your mind.

Linda Deppa

Linda Deppa has seen more clutter than you could make in your lifetime - and found a place for all of it.

As a Certified Professional Organizer, Linda has helped hundreds of clients experience the joy that comes from reclaiming their space, and the relief of bringing their shoulders down from their ears when they realize they no longer feel stressed walking into a cluttered home or office.

Linda’s success in working with clients goes beyond her ability to organize their possessions. Her own life experiences, including a life-altering car accident, gives her a deep desire to help each of her client’s live life to the fullest. What starts as an organizing project with Linda often leads to mindset shifts that impact other areas of their lives.

Linda is a member of the National Associate of Productivity and Organizing Professionals and current President, past Vice President, Treasurer and Membership Director of the Seattle-based NAPO chapter.

A skilled presenter and motivational speaker, consider hiring Linda to speak at your next conference or event. Contact Linda via email: linda@unclutterednw.com


  • It’s true! We so often think things are going to take longer than they do. Or we stop seeing our own clutter when we walk by it. But sometimes all we need is a little focus. If we start, and realize it really is a big project, the next 5 minutes can be spent adding it to your to-do list, breaking the project down into smaller steps, and scheduling time to do them. Thanks, Linda!

  • I usually set a 15 minute timer for those scary areas I’ve been avoiding. This 5 minute one helped me get a container of bags (and I do love my bags) off the closet floor and onto new hooks on the closet wall where I can see them and use them and yes, donate a few. And now I’m motivated to take another 5 minutes for the shoes in that closet! Thank you Linda!

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