Where do you pile the stuff ‘to sort out at a later date’?
The shed? garage? loft? spare room?
Well, guess what?
Today is that later date!

You will need:

  • Rubbish sacks
  • Empty boxes
  • Labels
  • Pen
  • Plenty of drinks
  • A kitchen timer


You are going to sort these things into:

a)  I honestly can’t live without this
b)  I really like this, but so will someone else so it’s going to go and do some good for charity
c)  This needs to go into the recycle bin/shredder/garbage bag

The smallest pile should be pile (a), and the things in pile (a) could be:

  • photos
  • a treasured item from your childhood or your child’s childhood


Pile (b) should be the largest, and could be:

  • clothes
  • books
  • shoes
  • bric-a-brac such as ornaments
  • household items such as curtains or kitchen utensils


Pile (c) should be sized between the above two, but as small as possible, and should be:

  • anything broken that is not a pile (a) thing
  • any paperwork over two years old that does not relate to a mortgage, loan or guarantee that is still in date

Set your kitchen timer for 50 minutes, and GO!!!

When the bell rings you can STOP.  Leave it all exactly where it is and take a 20 minute break. BUT: you must go right away from the sorting area.

As soon as the 20 minutes are up, it’s another 50 minutes of sorting.

When the bell rings at the end of this session, it’s time to stop for a food break of up to 45 minutes.


Then it’s the last 50 minutes which has to be:

  • Tidying away what you didn’t yet get to.
  • Labelling bags for charity shop, loft and garbage.
  • Shredding any confidential paperwork.

And that’s it for the day!

3×50 minutes sessions with breaks is the only way to tackle those problem areas – and it is MOST important you stick to the timings.

Let me know how you get on!

NB I have found this method works really well for getting kid’s bedrooms sorted too…..although they do tend to want to buy a few things at the charity shop, it’s a small price to pay (excuse the pun) for a day of tidying up..)