A few years ago there was a trend that was sweeping the nation. The 5-second rule made popular by Mel Robbins. What the 5-second rule does is stop your brain from thinking. Well, it stops it from over-thining. People have changed their lives, habits and made the world around them a better place because of the 5-second rule. Well, funny thing, this 5-second rule can also come in handy when you’re in serious need of wardrobe decluttering motivation! In fact, it might be the absolute best way to declutter your closet once and for all. Let me break it down for you.
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Basic 5 second rule rundown
Our brains are out to get us. For real.
Rumor has it that since way back in the caveman days our brains have been working to keep us safe from potential danger.
That means whenever we are about to undertake something new, or that makes us a little nervous our brains go, “WHOA, there buddy! This doesn’t seem safe!” and then proceeds to take us through a series of thoughts as to why we need to avoid this new adventure.
How the 5-second rule applies
What the 5-second rule does to this inevitable brain malfunction of ours is stop it dead in its tracks.
You see, if we do something potentially scary in less than 5 seconds we don’t give our brains time to think. We can literally stop the process of panic.
How great, right!?
Now what about when we really want to rid our lives of clutter but we can’t seem to find decluttering motivation? Even worse, what about when our brain starts telling us lies like, “You might need this someday!!”?
That’s when we bust out that 5-second rule and kick our decluttering motivation into full gear!
Applying the 5 second rule to decluttering
Before you start going through your closet and just start chucking clothes all over the place, it’s important to have a few basic rules to help you get started. Five rules to be exact.
- Know where you are going to start
- Set a goal
- Get boxes prepped
- Get motivated
- Start 5 second decluttering!
I’ll walk you through all of these little motivation boosters one by one so you can make sure you’re decluttering the right way and having a good time while you do it!
Know where you’re going to start
Before you just dive in, get an idea of where you want to start.
Do you have clothes in storage that you need to sort through? An extra closet that hasn’t seen the light of day in years?
Make a top priority for where you want to start decluttering your clothes then stick to that spot until you have finished.
Sometimes we so easily let ourselves get pulled in different directions when we’re in the process of cleaning house or decluttering and then we never actually accomplish anything.
Set a goal
Once you’ve decided what areas you want to work in, set a goal for what you want to accomplish where you are.
The 5-second rule started as a way to help you achieve your goals and improve your life. This applies when it comes to your closet too! Setting a goal for what you want to accomplish in each area helps give you something to reach for.
What are some goals for decluttering clothes?
So what kind of goals can you set when it comes to decluttering your clothing? Here are some examples of personal goals I have set:
- Own only 33 items of daily clothing
- Get rid of all clothes that don’t fit
- Clear out anything that doesn’t spark joy
- Discard anything that hasn’t been worn in 1 year
- Empty the entire closet
Depending on your closet space and how many clothes you have to work through, your goals might look different than mine. These are just some ideas to help get you started.
Get boxes prepped
When you start 5-second decluttering, you gotta have somewhere to easily toss your clothing items, am I right? Whenever I start going through my things, I keep 3 basic boxes on hand:
My one tip for you when it comes to having boxes prepared is to know yourself.
If you think having a sell box is going to make you more likely to re-think your decisions while you are waiting for your items to sell, then don‘t even mess around with it.
You could easily donate your clothing to a charity or shelter so you know they are being put to good use.
Why the boxes?
Having boxes laid out helps keep things organized and makes the decluttering process much quicker. It also prevents you from having to pick up an item again.
You can simply scoop up the box and sort the clothing accordingly.
Where can you sell your clothes?
Poshmark makes it super simple to snap a photo of your clothing and share and their commissions are very minimal.
Get yourself motivated for this. Often times people feel so crippled by clutter that it’s hard to get motivated.
So watch some Marie Kondo, or better yet, turn on some great tunes!
I also think music is a great motivator for 5-second rule decluttering because it helps you get out of your own head even more so you are less likely to start over-thinking things.
Whatever you have to do to get yourself psyched up. Do it. Make a day out of it. It might be hard to get started, but I promise, after you have set goals and gotten started, you are going to love how freeing clearing out clutter can be.
Start 5 second rule decluttering
Ok, so how do you start implementing the 5-second rule for decluttering? It’s pretty simple really…
Don’t let any item of clothing touch your hands for longer than 5 seconds!
This should be almost like hot potato decluttering.
As soon as an item hits your hands decide what bin to toss it into. Don’t hang onto it! You know as well as I do that if you hang onto that piece of clothing you’ll start to rationalize all the reasons why you should keep it.
Don’t let your brain trick you.
Grab an item, pick a bin.
Not only is this a highly effective way to really know what clothing items you want in your life, it’s also the fastest way to burn through this whole decluttering process.
The quicker you can go, the more you can accomplish and the longer your motivation is going to keep chugging on!
What to do when you’re done
Ok, so you made it. You hit your goal. You decluttered all. the. things.
- Move to another area
- Set another goal
- Ditch those boxes!
If you still have some steam left and your motivation is going strong, then I say, keep on going! However, if you are feeling satisfied enough from hitting your goal, then clear out your boxes and give yourself a high five!
Where else can you use the 5 second rule?
The 5-second rule can apply to declutter all areas of your house and life. You can apply it to kitchen decluttering, garage cleaning, storage unit ditching. Literally any area of your life where you need to make decisions, you can apply this amazing little rule.
Here are some of the top ways Mel recommends using the 5-second rule:
- Getting out of bed in the morning
- Making it to the gym
- Choosing healthy foods
- Getting dressed
- Making your bed
Basically, any area of your life where you know your life will be better if you do this thing BUT, you might hesitate or argue with yourself.
Grab your copy of The Five Second Rule and start giving it a try!