Five-Minute Minimalism

Have you read about minimizing, thought about it, dreamed about it, but just haven't gotten started yet?

Or maybe you did get a start – last year some time.  You did a first pass through your wardrobe, pared down the kids' toys, got rid of your chipped dishes and glassware, and donated a few dusty knickknacks to the Goodwill.  But then you stalled.  Decluttering can be a huge job, and you just lost steam.

You can start again – it only takes five minutes.

I know you have five minutes.  Five minutes is a commercial break.  You can scramble eggs or make a cup of tea in five minutes.  Forget scrolling through social media and take five minutes to get back into decluttering.

The payoff will be bigger than you think.

minimalist living room

31 five-minute decluttering tasks

1.  Declutter the contents of your purse.

2.  Clear off your dresser or nightstand.

3.  Declutter your underwear or sock drawer.

4.  Remove five items from your wardrobe.

5.  Clear off the bathroom counter.

6.  Declutter the contents of the medicine cabinet.

7.  Clear the area under the bathroom sink.

8.  Declutter the shower keeping only what you use every day.

naked table
9.  Clear off the dining table or coffee table.

10.  Recycle all magazines, newspapers, and catalogs.

11.  Remove five books from your bookshelf.

12.  Remove five DVD's, Blu-ray discs, game cartridges, or board games.

13.  Go around the house and remove five knickknacks.

14.  Clear off the top of your desk.

15.  Pare down your digital desktop, or organize items into folders.

16.  Remove unused or rarely used smartphone apps.

17.  Sort through a pile of mail.

18.  Clear off the top of the refrigerator.

19.  Clear off the refrigerator door.

20.  Remove five things from your kitchen counters.

21.  Pare down your food storage containers (start with items that are chipped, warped, stained, or missing lids).

22.  Clear out expired or unused foods from the refrigerator and/or pantry.

23.  Fill a box with excess water bottles, mugs, promotional glasses and the like.

24.  Declutter old or unused coats and umbrellas from the coat closet.

25.  Remove excess towels and sheets from the linen closet.

doll house
26.  Box up the tools and supplies for a long-neglected hobby.

27.  Fill a box with outgrown children's clothes; toss any that are stained or torn beyond repair.

28.  Remove five toys from your child's stash, and all of the freebies (party favors, Happy Meal toys, etc.)

29.  Clear out one junk drawer.

30.  Declutter the inside of your car.

31.  Empty the trash and take bags/boxes of donations out to your car for drop-off as soon as possible.

Choose just one of these activities to get started, but don't stop there.  You could work through the list over the course of a month, or keep doing one activity over and over until you feel you've reached the right balance for you and your family.

Before you know it, you'll be on your way to living with less stuff and more space, time, and freedom.

Want more encouragement and strategies for living a simpler life?  Look for my book, Uncluttered: How Minimalism Can Help You Thrive, available on Amazon.*

Uncluttered is a comprehensive handbook – not a one-size-fits-all approach, but a creative, encouraging, multi-faceted guide to help you:

  • remove the stuff that's bogging you down
  • uncover a cleaner, more spacious home that welcomes and supports you
  • escape the consumer treadmill
  • overcome bad habits and practice better ones
  • highlight your favorite things and memories
  • find time for what you care about
  • discover a sense of freedom and accomplishment

You can be happier with less, and Uncluttered will show you how.

* This blog is reader-supported.  If you make a purchase through my links, I may earn a small commission.

Updated January 2024


  1. I would love to purchase your book, but I will not do so with Amazon. Never have, never will. I don’t want one company to control all goods, which is the way they’re headed.

    So, is there another way for me to buy the book?? Thanks

    1. I understand your feelings about Amazon. However, they make it possible for me to publish and earn money for my books without a huge up-front fee. That's why I've gone with them.

      I do have a possible work-around for you, but you would need to email me personally so we can communicate about it. My email is


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