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Give five minutes, receive five in return

I’m obsessed about organising. Wait, let me rephrase that. I am obsessed about the idea of being more organised. So as an attempt to be more organised, I subscribe to the Get Organized Now newsletter. These tips were published in the latest newsletter. Thought I would share them with you:

5 Minutes of Organizing
Equals Five Minutes of Fun

Are you having a hard time getting motivated to start organizing? Feel like it’s too large of a task? Are you having a hard time staying motivated once you start? You’re not alone. Get yourself started 10 minutes at a time with these 5-minute task/5-minute reward combinations.

1. Task: Take out the trash. Take a large trash bag around to all the rooms in your house and empty the garbage cans into it. Also take along extra bags to replace those you take out of the garbage cans. Make sure the full bag(s) are taken outside so they’re ready for trash pickup.

Treat: 5 minutes on Twitter. When you pass your computer, turn it on so it’s ready for you to hop on the Internet when you’re finished taking out the trash. You can spend your time writing your own tweet or reading what others have to say.

2. Task: Fold and put away one load of laundry. Whether you put away everyone’s laundry for them or just put it in a designated area for them to put away themselves is up to you. Just make sure it gets folded and put where it needs to be.

Treat: Catch up on Facebook. Turn your computer on right after you fold the laundry so it has time to boot up while you’re running from room to room putting everything away.

3. Task: Reply to as many emails as you can. Since you may not get to all of them in 5 minutes make sure you start with the most urgent ones first.

Treat: Browse Ebay or Craigslist. Make sure you watch your time so you don’t get too caught up in the website.

4. Task: Go through 5 file folders. Weed out any unnecessary papers. Shred anything with personal information on it and toss the rest. Keep any papers that are still pertinent.

Treat: Enjoy lemonade in the yard.

5. Task: Sort through your mail. Toss all ads and catalogs that you don’t plan on looking through. Shred all the ‘you can’t be turned down’ credit card offers to protect yourself from identity theft. Now you should only be left with about one quarter of the pile. Sort these into piles like bills, correspondences, charitable organizations, etc. With your remaining time, read through a pile or two.

Treat: Call a friend. Remember to keep your conversation brief. You only have 5 minutes.

6. Task: Weed out your junk drawer. Go through your junk drawer and get rid of anything you no longer need. Toss all but one strip of twist ties. Get rid of any stray pieces of paper that you no longer need. Make sure everything is neatly in its place. If things tend to slide around, consider placing a piece of skid-proof rubberized drawer liner on the bottom of the drawer to keep everything in its place.

Treat: Meditate or pray.

7. Task: Clear off the coffee table. Take everything that does not belong on the coffee table and put it away. Don’t just make a new pile somewhere else. Sort through it and find a proper home for it all.

Treat: Read an article from your favorite magazine or newspaper.

8. Task: Empty the dishwasher. Put away clean dishes and if there are any dirty dishes waiting in the sink, get those in the dishwasher so they’re ready for the next cycle.

Treat: Make yourself a fruit smoothie. Enjoy your smoothie in the yard, but don’t forget to put your dirty dishes in the dishwasher when you’re finished.

9. Task: Clean the toilet. No one enjoys doing it, but it has to be done. Spend some time wiping down the outside of the toilet as well as brushing the inside of the bowl.

Treat: Stretch to recharge. After washing up, make sure to stretch out your legs, arms, and back to release some of the tension and re-energize you.

10. Task: Shake out the doormats. Take your doormats outside and shake the dust and dirt out of them. Be sure to stay away from open windows so the dust and dirt doesn’t end up back in the house. If you want to take things one step farther, you can toss lightweight rugs into the washing machine for a deeper cleaning.

Treat: Try out some yoga poses. If you’re not sure what to do, check out some of Tara Stiles videos on You Tube. She has a number of 5-minute workouts.

11: Task: Clean out your medicine cabinet. Check the dates on all medications (both over the counter and prescriptions). Anything that is beyond its expiration date should be discarded. Any prescriptions that have not expired but are no longer used should be discarded as well. Never discard of medication by pouring it down the drain because it can contaminate the drinking water supply. Instead remove them from the original container and throw them in the garbage. Liquid medications should be mixed with dirt in a plastic bag and then thrown away.

Treat: Take a walk around the block.

12. Task: Delete any unnecessary emails. Get rid of any emails that you won’t have to refer back to again. This includes forwards, personal emails that you’ve already responded to, and any other ‘junk mail.’

Treat: Leave a comment of your favorite blog. Not in the mood to write? Catch up on what others have to say.

13. Task: Make a chore chart. Keep everyone in the family on track and lighten your load a little by delegating tasks to each family member over the age of 2. Make sure the jobs you give everyone are age appropriate. Have everyone either check off or erase each task as it is completed.

Treat: Read a book to a child.

14. Task: Clean out your purse, wallet, or briefcase. Throw away any garbage. Put receipts in a receipt or tax folder. Spare change can go in your change jar. Any business cards that you may have received should be filed away with your other contacts. Sorting like items into snack sized plastic bags will help make things easier in the future.

Treat: Go for a bike ride around the block.

15. Task: Inspect your pillows. Go through all the bedrooms and linen storage. Discard any pillows that are yellowed or otherwise in poor condition and add new ones to your shopping list. Fluff any remaining pillows that are in good condition.

Treat: Put your feet up and just relax with a bottle of water.



Suziemclean is a Piscean who can't swim. She is 40 and married to a wonderful (younger) man who makes her laugh, and finds her corny sense of humour "endearing". She lives with her husband, family and cat in Shah Alam.

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