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I’ve been talking about and thinking about decluttering methods.
I want to tell you about a decluttering method called the pomodoro -technique

This technique asks you to set a timer for 25 minutes and then get to work. The idea is that you focus on one task for that length of time. When the times goes off, you take a 5-minute break. Get something to drink, stretch, do whatever you want for 5 minutes to refresh yourself.

Then set the timer for another 25 minutes. If you haven’t completed the original task, go back to it and pick up where you left off. If you have finished it, then begin another task. You can keep doing this, working for 25 minutes and then taking a break for as long as you want to. Or, you can do only one 25 minute session and be done for the day.

I love this method of decluttering because you can generally accomplish more than you thought possible when you give your complete attention to the task at hand.

Last time I posted a blog I told you about some areas in my house which could use some attention.
I mentioned a chest of drawers in my family room as well as the desk in my kitchen. I decided to declutter the chest of drawers first using the pomodoro-technique.

As you can see, the only thing on top of the chest is a television. That is staying.
I sorted the drawers one drawer at a time and only put back the items which belonged together and which I wanted to keep.

The top three drawers are small and go across the chest. They hold scotch tape, gift tags, a few pens, scissors, tissue paper and small gift bags.

The first large drawer holds ribbon.

The next drawer holds all non-Christmas wrapping paper and large gift bags.

The bottom drawer holds Christmas wrapping paper. It took me about 20 minutes.
I used the remaining 5 minutes to recycle any odds and ends of paper that were too small or crumpled to keep. I put some gifts that had not been given onto a shelf in the closet in the family room. I’ll know to look at them when I need a gift for someone.

I was finished with the chest of drawers about one minute before the timer rang.
I didn’t have another project that I wanted to tackle so I took myself out into the garden as my reward for finishing this task.
Is there an area in your home that needs attention?

Try the pomodoro-technique. It may work for you!



  • Seana Turner says:

    This technique is so helpful! Knowing that I will have a break can be quite helpful in getting me to start something. It helps me with someone that requires focus. I can’t hold great focus forever, but I can do it for 20 or 25 minutes. I think this approach silences that vague anxieties that we feel when we are overwhelmed.

  • I love this idea of using a time boundary for organizing activities. The added bonus with the Pomodoro-technique is that 5-minute break time. So many people get anxious about organizing or decluttering. But using small time blocks with a distinct beginning and end is a great way to work around that issue. It makes the time doable and stoppable. And hopefully more fun!

  • Sheri Steed says:

    I love working in short, focused bursts of time like this. It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you focus, and you feel so satisfied when you are finished! I also think the break at the end is almost as important as the focused effort. It provides a reward and also helps you refresh yourself for the next task. Great post.

  • I’ve heard of this method for work but didn’t think about trying it when an organizing process. Great idea.