Ever feel like your house is such a mess, it’s impossible to clean and you don’t even know where to start? We’ve all been there, but one woman has created a way to make it feel manageable. KC Davis, a licensed professional therapist and author of “How to Keep House While Drowning,” says you only really have five types of messes to deal with in your home: trash, dishes, laundry, things that have a place, and things that don’t have a place.”
Davis has come up with the “five things method” to help us tackle the mess. The idea is that by sorting things into groups before cleaning, it’s less overwhelming and easier to do. “You can see progress really quickly going this way,” she explains. “And the pleasure center of your brain responds to seeing all that progress, and then that progress becomes motivation.”
So how does it work? Take a deep breath and get ready to lighten your mental load:
- First, tackle the first three types of messes: trash, dishes and laundry - Put the trash in a trash bag and leave it by the door, then put the dishes in the sink, and next, put the laundry in a basket and leave it by the washer. You don’t deal with the messes yet, but you do see progress since you’re not getting bogged down in the details.
- Second, address things that have a place - Separate the clutter and everything else into two piles: things that you already have a storage plan for, and things that don’t. But don’t put anything away yet.
- Once the messes are contained, it’s time to deal with them - Go in the same order: trash, dishes, laundry and things that have a place, followed by things that don’t. Assign bins, baskets or containers to things that belong to family members and slowly sort and separate everything, creating a permanent home for things that don’t have one. You don’t have to do it all in one sitting, you can leave that type of mess to deal with in a few days, or try to find homes for three items each time you tidy.
- The idea is that you won’t feel so overwhelmed by the amount of stuff you need to tidy and clean when you think of it being just five types of messes.