The Southern Nest Blog

My Rule of Five

My Rule of Five

Organization has become the hardest thing for me to manage after becoming a mother.  I was always an organized person.  I found an organized room calmed me.  Then I had B and it all hit the fan.  I find food wrappers in the car, shoes in the bathtub, and random scribbles of marker everywhere.  My Tupperware used to be stored with the appropriate lid.  Now, it serves as a toy for Gigi while I am cooking and it is likely later tossed (by a frazzled me) into the incorrect drawer.  Between the two children, it has become a game of just trying to keep up.  Sadly, the time I used to have reserved for hours of straightening and organizing is just…gone.

I look at spaces like this and just long for this kind of orderly state.


The other day, I realized something.  If I perhaps tackled the task of organizing this new “chaos of tornado-children” one tiny baby step at a time…this could possibly work.  And so began my new “Rule of Five.”  Every day, I have to get rid of five things from SOMEWHERE.  Anywhere.  It just has to be five.  And…it’s working.

Sometimes it happens within the few minutes I steal while I am waiting for the kids’ lunch to cook.  Sometimes it is when everyone has gone to bed.  It can be as large as a few toys that need to go or as small as takeout packets of ketchup.  One thing I have noticed though, is that it never stops at five.  I always go on and find a few more things, and I am convinced it is because the task of organizing seems so much less overwhelming.  I am up to two carloads of donations that have gone to Goodwill and I don’t think I have even scratched the surface.

The other day, I decided to toss a few old spices.  I was poking around the thousands of McCormicks cans and seeing the duplicates, the semi-full bottles…and then this happened.


Something came over me and I decided I was tired of longing for organized, labeled spice jars and I just went ahead and did it.  And it felt so good.  (Sometimes I open my spice drawer now and just look at it.)

I am determined to get this chaos under control.  Five steps at a time.




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