The One Minute Rule for Decluttering

One Minute Rule for decluttering

I don’t have much time … do you?

The biggest problem in organizing and decluttering is the lack of time. People call me a slacker and tell me that I’m just lazy. But, frankly, sometimes there isn’t enough time. The pressures of work, commuting, chores, family, friends, etc. leave you tired at the end of the day. And, the weekends are filled with socializing, laundry, grocery shopping, etc. leaving no time for that much needed cleaning session. It’s a fact of life!

So what can you do to stay on top of things and prevent your house from looking like a scene from a doomsday movie? Well, it turns out that there is a simple and highly efficient tool (magic wand, really) that will help you do just that – keep a tidy and organized home. It is so simple that you might think that I am fooling you – but please, just bear with me. Without further ado, I present you with the “One Minute Rule”.

If a task takes one minute or less to complete, then do it immediately.

Is that it? Nothing else? No tricks and hidden rules? No, no, and no. That’s all there is to this “magic wand”? The true power of the “One minute rule” is hidden behind its apparent simplicity. All it says is this – if you have a task in front of you and it can be done in one minute or less, then just do it!

It is easy to understand the power of the One Minute Rule if we apply it to an everyday practical scenario.

You’ve got mail … a lot of it!

After a long day’s work, you drive home, walk up to the mailbox, pick up your mail, walk into your home, and ……yes, drop all the mail on the nearest table and move on to things you think are more important. This is pretty much what I used to do and I empathize if you do the same thing – come on, the last thing you want to do after an entire day’s worth of hard work is to sort through mail. The problem with this is … well, where do I begin? You forgot important mail (letters, bills, coupons, etc.), the mail piles up, and one fine day you decide to sort through it, your blood pressure shoots up when you realize you now have a late-payment penalty.. and the cycle never ends.

Let’s apply the One Minute Rule

Let’s go back a couple of scenes. You pick up your mail, walk into the house, andddddd….. you apply the “One Minute Rule” and not drop the mail on a table. So, all you have to do is sit down for a minute, and quickly (I mean it) sort through the mail. It will take you less than a minute to pick out all the junk mail (magazines, offers, coupons, pamphlets) and throw it into the trash. The remaining should go into a dedicated “mail bin” which serves as a receptacle and a reminder that there is mail to be sorted.

What you just did is kill two birds with one stone (though, as a life-long vegetarian, I hate killing animals). But, for the sake or argument, you,

  1. trashed/recycled useless junk mail (clutter)
  2. and your subconscious mind subtly recorded a few things as you quickly scanned through your mail (important bills, letters, etc). These memories will stay active and send you a subtle reminder every now and then (psst .. winters coming up and we don’t want to freeze, so please pay the electric company)!

Don’t stop now!

This is just one example of how the “One Minute Rule” can be used to organize your house. The One Minute Rule will begin to impact every aspect of your life. Let’s think about a few more ways that you can apply it.

  1. if you find some clothes on the floor, don’t act as though you didn’t see them. Apply the One Minute Rule — pick up the clothes and take a quick decision — either fold and store them or chuck them into the laundry basket. Done!
  2. see a light bulb that is not working? Don’t use a flashlight — just replace the bulb. It takes only one minute!
  3. do you see trash on the floor (fallen receipt, paper, potato chips)? Pick it up and throw it! Takes only one minute!
  4. the list is endless!

In the long run …

You know the saying “Rome wasn’t built in a day” and you can take it for granted that your house isn’t going to look clean in one day either. However, if you start small using the One Minute Rule, then trust me on this one — you will not need to set aside an entire weekend to clean your house. You’ll be cleaning and organizing as you walk through your house without even noticing it. In a few months, all it will take is a couple of hours of dedicated cleaning, and your house will look amazing. All thanks to the deliberate and conscious use of the “One Minute Rule”.

Until next time – stay happy, practice the One Minute Rule, and do me one favor? Click the share button and spread the idea to all your friends. Do it now … ’cause clicking “Share” takes one minute or less 😉

So how did you implement the “One Minute Rule” in your life? I am curious — please let me know in the comments section.

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