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The Organizette!, Issue #49 -- The Rules of 5
November 05, 2012

Welcome to the Newsletter. I hope you enjoy getting the newsletter and that it helps to keep you on track with your organizing goals. Remember, you can get a lot done in only 10 minutes of decluttering and organizing!

Table of Contents

-Did you know?
-Monthly Mission – Holiday Planning
-Check Out These Pages! – Relevant pages and new site additions
-The Rules of 5


I can’t believe we’re nearing the end of another year, and with all the holiday festivities and planning, these last two months will fly by quickly. Check out the monthly mission for November to get started. I have printed out the holiday checklists myself and have some ideas on paper already.

Did you know…

“We don’t need to increase our goods nearly as much as we need to scale down our wants. Not wanting something is as good as possessing it.” - Donald Horban

The Monthly Mission – Holiday Planning

It’s time to get ready for the upcoming holidays. To follow along with the monthly mission for November, click here.

Check Out These Pages!

Here are some pertinent pages on the website you may have missed along with any new pages.

Checklists Library - Looking for some checklists to help get ready for the holidays, to plan a party or to pack for a family trip? Find what you need here.

Before and After Photos - If you enjoy seeing before and after photos of organizing projects, you can find them all right here.

Living Room Storage Make-over - See how we recently re-organized our living room (play room) with a new Ikea wall unit that's great for storing lots of stuff.

The Family Wall Calendar - How to efficiently use a large family wall calendar to keep track of everyone's appointments and activities.

Home Filing System - Keep all your paperwork in order so you can find what you need at a moments notice, and learn what to keep and what to toss.

Garage Makeover - before and after photos of my personal garage makeover. See how we tackled the problems and ended up with a functional garage.

Streamline Your Morning Routine - Ideas to help you get out the door in the morning and be on time for work or school.

Bathroom Drawer Make Over - How to organize a bathroom drawer, an example with before and after photos.

Stop Clutter - Quick simple tips on how to stop the clutter from coming into your home in the first place.

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The Rules of 5

Once again I come back to the idea that cleaning up after ourselves is one of the biggest ways to prevent clutter in our homes. Simply putting things away when we’re done. However, it seems to be super hard for some of us, most especially if you’re a 6 year old girl with a super dramatic personality. Oh, the horror of having to clean up after ourselves!

The idea of cleaning our rooms, or cleaning the kitchen, or catching up on the laundry can be daunting tasks. But, if we can break them down into something much much smaller, we have a better chance of getting them done. Enter the Rules of 5.

Which sounds easier… “clean up your room” or “put 5 things away”? My daughter much prefers putting 5 things away. When I tell her to clean her room, she gets upset and whines with such amazing drama. But when I tell her to just put 5 things away, she brightens up a bit and says “OK”. To her, that’s not that much, and she knows she can do it pretty quick. What she doesn’t realize is that 5 things can make a difference, or at least a good start. So go ahead, and put 5 things away. (If the items are garbage, throw them away).

Which sounds easier… “clean the living room” or “clean the living room for 5 minutes”? Of course, the answer is to only have to clean for 5 minutes! Ah, but again, you’d be surprised how much you will actually get done in 5 minutes. So go ahead and set a timer for 5 minutes and tackle a corner of a room or part of a flat surface like a counter or a desk.

Stay focused. Get it done. Then go do something else for a bit. Then come back again for another session to complete another Rule of 5. Now, what if the whole household participates. 4 people in a family multiplied by 5 items means 20 things will be picked up and put away! Or it will come to 20 minutes of cleaning time. Make it a team effort. Make it a game.

It’s the end of the weekend here and we had a lot of tidying up to do after the busy week prior. We used the Rules of 5 with the kids with some good success. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 things put away! The only complaint was that since things had gotten so out of control in the first place, we had to revisit that rule several times. However, there was definitely improvement in my daughter’s room and the rest of the house without to much drama.

Until next time, happy organizing!

Tracy Greene

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