You’ve lived in your home for a while. You’ve started to accumulate possessions and they threaten to overwhelm you. But don’t stress. All you need is the five-minute declutter.

Don’t confuse decluttering with minimalism

This mix-up can make decluttering seem like a massive task — one that will never get done. It’s not about reducing your home to basic functionality; you can still be into maximalist decor if that’s your thing. It’s about curating. Focus on those things that please you and best showcase your home’s character; get rid of things that detract from it. Whatever your style, maximalist or minimalist, it’s about organising your things in a manageable way. Everything has a place.

Set the timer for five minutes… and go!

This is a lesson on how to declutter fast. Even the busiest person can devote a few minutes a day to managing a mess. Set a timer for five minutes and go for it. You can tackle a whole room or just a clutter hotspot. Sort through the mail that’s been sitting on the table for weeks, or scale down that shelf of recipe books to just the handful that you use. Each day, do the same in another part of the house and revisit rooms that you’ve done previously. Fresh eyes will highlight more things that can leave your life or belong better elsewhere. The trick is to stick to five minutes at a time.

No-clutter zones

You’ve gone through the decluttering process. Now don’t undo your hard work. Introduce a ‘no-clutter zone’. To start, this could be the table by the front door, usually a jumble of keys, letters and coins. Give keys a special hook, put coins in a decorative jar and deal with mail straight away; put it in the recycling bin, an ‘action required’ folder or file it away. The ‘no go’ zone can then extend through the whole hallway and include the stairs if you have them (the annoying default shelving unit for things waiting to go upstairs). Slowly and steadily, extend the ‘zone’ and soon the whole house will be ‘dumping ground’ free, stress-free.

Fight decluttering fear

Your mind can be your worst enemy when extreme decluttering. Will I need it in the future? What will Aunty Jean say if it’s not there?  Stop the inner voice by quickly putting the item in a box under the stairs or in a wardrobe. Psychologically, it’s easier to be ruthless when you know you can always retrieve it. Chances are you’ll soon forget what you put in the box, proving you never needed it or never liked it enough in the first place.


If you’re putting your home on the market and you’ve done a major declutter already, this is where you can take those five minutes to keep it under control. Visualising is incredibly powerful and helps put you in your buyers’ shoes. What would they notice doesn’t belong there? How do I feel about this room? Visualise the room at its best and use the five-minute declutter method to get you there.

Looking for help selling your home or renting your investment property? Our team at Belle Property Balmain support homeowners across Balmain, Balmain East, Birchgrove, Rozelle and Lilyfield. Feel free to get in touch for a no-obligation discussion or property appraisal.

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