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  • MIchele A. Aeck BS MS PhD

Practice A Worry Free “5 Things Method” When You’re Overwhelmed by Mess…

Updated: Mar 10, 2023

broken bottle at the sea shore

The Takeaway:

Every mess contains these five things that can be more easily tackled one by one.

Focus on only five things while cleaning such as:

  • Trash

  • Laundry

  • Dishes

  • Things that have a place

  • Things that don’t have a place

The “5 Things” method comes from KC Davis, author of How to Keep House While Drowning . She advises individuals on how to clean without becoming overwhelmed while discussing mental health issues and sharing household hacks.

Any mess can be broken down by those five categories, once you start sorting things by those classifications, you’ll feel less overwhelmed, no matter how much you have to tackle.

First, go around collecting trash, then dispose of it. Next, move around the space again, this time collecting only clothes and shoes and placing them in a basket (While actively ignoring everything else). Then, put all your dishes in the sink—but don’t worry about doing them yet. Reassess the remaining items in the area. Everything with a space should be put away now. Then pile up anything that does not have a designated place. Once the space is clear, you can decide where the stuff in the final pile should go.

You can break this process down over the course of days, too, if you feel like it’s too much to handle at once.

Watch the method in action here:

“Being untidy isn’t a moral failing” and there are several reasons, from ADHD to having kids and to believing that you may not have your home as clean as you think you should. Breaking the tasks down into just five categories and sticking to each until it’s done is a simple, effective way to make your space more livable. Once it’s livable, you can go back through and give it a more thorough cleaning.

That’s it, mess that is worry free…


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