Take 5 minutes to declutter these key spots in your home

medicine cabinet
CC BY 2.0 Sarah Nichols

There's no need to tackle an entire house. Start small and see the difference.

An entire house can feel overwhelming when it comes to decluttering. It's hard to know where to start; but as Joshua Becker points out on his 'Becoming Minimalist' blog, sometimes it's best to start with a "minimalist" approach to decluttering -- just a little bit at a time. You don't need to tackle an entire room to make a difference, à la Marie Kondo; just confront a specific spot in your home and work to declutter it.

"Minimizing all the clutter in our house over the course of one weekend is not reasonable for most people. However, taking a few small steps in the right direction is possible for everyone."

Becker gives suggestions for seven five-minute decluttering projects that you can accomplish right away -- and feel great about afterwards. I've included some of them in the list below and added a few of my own. (Read the original article here.)

1. Medicine cabinet or vanity drawer: Bathrooms tend to be rooms where bottles of mysterious substances enter at a far greater rate than they leave! Old medicine and health products, cosmetics, skin care items, hair accessories, etc. tend to accumulate. Clear these out and dispose of them safely. (While you're at it, brush up on your skills for going zero-waste in the bathroom.)

2. Vehicle: Personal vehicles are magnets for junk, which creates an unpleasant feeling of oppression whenever you get inside. Take a bag out to the car and do a purge of all the stray toys, papers, tissues, and coffee mugs.

3. Junk drawer: We've all got that one awful drawer that we dread opening because it's so full of random crap -- and yet we can't imagine throwing it all away because there are treasures to be found at the right time. Take five minutes to sort through it and see if you can get rid of half the stuff in there, at least.

4. Paper stack: Is it mail, old newspapers or magazines, or the dreaded handouts from your kid's school? Regardless of where it comes from, paper has a tendency to proliferate in every household, spreading over countertops, desks, and tables. Do a ruthless purge, and try to do this regularly in order to stay on top of it.

5. Refrigerator: Few tasks are as satisfying as having a tidy fridge. Do a quick five-minute scan of what's in there, figure out what needs to be used up in tonight's dinner, and toss questionable looking leftovers. Keeping tabs on one's fridge contents can go a long way toward reducing food waste.

6. Email inbox: Five minutes of deleting gets rid of a lot of emails, especially if you do it every day. Put on your favorite five-minute song and go hard until it stops.

7. Dresser top: Becker believes that "bedrooms should promote rest, relaxation, and intimacy — not upheaval and unrest." By clearing the top of your dresser and eliminating clutter from view, you can foster a sense of calm in the bedroom.

What are your go-to spots for quick decluttering?

Take 5 minutes to declutter these key spots in your home
There's no need to tackle an entire house. Start small and see the difference.

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