How to use the Five Things method to tidy your home

Man surrounded by messy house
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Are you feeling overwhelmed by the mess in your home? Don’t feel bad — even Marie Kondo’s house gets messy. But if you are looking for a fast and straightforward way to get past overwhelm freeze and get things done, the Five Things method could help.

This method, developed by KC Davis, author of “How to Keep House While Drowning,” licensed professional therapist and TikTok influencer, is a simple yet effective way to tackle clutter and reduce stress.

The Five Things method breaks down the mess into five categories: trash, laundry, dishes, things that have a place and things that don’t have a place. This makes it easier to focus on one task at a time and get organized quickly.

Messy bedroom
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Start by doing the bare minimum in each category. First, put all the trash into a bag and leave it near the door. Next, load the laundry into a basket (or baskets) and place it near the laundry room. Then move on to dishes. Just make sure all of the dirty ones are in the sink. After that, look for items that belong somewhere else in your home and put them in a single pile or container. Finally, take a look at any items left over. These are things that don’t have a place yet; place them into a final pile or container.

Once you’ve sorted everything into its respective category, it’s time to start tackling each pile one at a time. Start by taking out the trash. Next, start a load of laundry. Then, load the dishwasher (or hand-wash the dishes) and put the clean ones away.

Woman loads clothes into a dryer
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For items that have a place, put them where they belong. Lastly, take care of any items left over. Find homes for them around your house or donate them.

By breaking down the mess into manageable chunks using the Five Things method, you can make quick work of even the most overwhelming messes. Plus it will help keep your home tidy and organized going forward so you won’t feel overwhelmed again anytime soon.

Cleaning & Organization, Home, Life Hacks, Tips & Advice

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About the Author
Tricia Goss
Tricia Goss is a Texas-based writer and editor with nearly two decades of experience. She is passionate about helping readers improve their skills, gain knowledge and attain more happiness in life. When she’s not working, Tricia enjoys traveling with her husband and their dog, especially to visit their five grandchildren.

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