The 60 Second Rule – An Eye For Detail Professional Organization
An Eye For Detail Professional Organization

The 60 Second Rule


If it takes less than one minute … do it immediately!

That should just be the end of my story! But seriously, have you ever been rushing and think “I don’t have time for that?” How many “I don’t have time”s pile up into the mess you now don’t want to look at and definitely don’t want to tackle? Have you ever timed some of the menial tasks you are skipping? I have! I proved to myself most of the little things that were causing clutter in my home could have been dealt with in less than one minute. Am I a professional organizer? Yes! I had the systems in place where things SHOULD go. But I didn’t always bring them there either. Now I can boast I live in a clutter-free home. A guest could stop over any day and I have nothing to apologize for. With this one simple rule I turned my home from “please excuse the mess” to “come on in. What can I pour you?”

Did you know that making your bed every morning takes less than 1 minute: even mine with 8 pillows, 3 throw pillows, and 4 blankets? I know because I timed it and it takes me approximately 46 seconds to make my elaborate bed. And then I start the day with cleaning the last thing I used! I discovered because I dedicated myself to making my bed as a daily habit and found myself not wanting to do it one morning. I decided to time it. When I realized it took under 1 minute each morning, my favorite mantra was born. “If it takes less than 1 minute, do it immediately.”

Once I realized how important this was, I decided to share it with the world. I created an Instagram post with my newest discovery. Within a few days I reached over 70,000 people, 2187 loves, 346 people saved the post and I was viral. Well, I was viral for a girl with under 1000 followers.

It was so popular and bookmarked so many times because it is simple.

Why put a dish in the sink when you can clean it or place it in the dishwasher immediately; less than 20 seconds? Why throw my dress on the floor instead of put it on the hanger; less than 10 seconds? Why let the spill on the counter dry when you can wipe it up; less than 15 seconds? Why pile up mail for weeks on end when you can look at it and rid yourself of junk; less than 45 seconds? If it is in your hands it is nearly as easy to do it the right way than the wrong way!

I can hear you thinking, “what about those tasks that take more than 60 seconds because of ‘travel time’?” Taking your shoes to the closet or the dishes for your TV snack to the kitchen would take less than 60 seconds if you were going that way, but you just aren’t tight now. Now I would like to introduce you to two more of my favorite habits to compliment the 60 Second Rule: Don’t Leave the Room Empty-handed and Block Your Path With Your Next Task.

Let’s remember those shoes you kicked off because your hands were full and you just needed to sit down. Of course you did. I do it too. But, if you throw them off in the corner and forget about them, they stay there unless you wear them tomorrow. (Tomorrow’s shoes may stay. I give you permission!) Take those shoes, put them on the stairs or in the direction they need to go, and block your path so you can’t forget them. Then, the next time you walk in that direction, you pick them up and take them with you. Or the next time you get up for a bathroom break and see the plate you just ate your snack on, take it with you. And good news, taking care of the plate or shoes NOW takes less than 60 seconds!

Can I guarantee a clutter free home by following the 60 Second Rule? Perhaps not. I can not solve all your problems with these 3 simple rules to start. You may have some changes and cleaning to make for these habits to get you to the “always open” home you crave. But maybe you can get you a jump start on not feeling so overwhelmed by creating new habits today! I can guarantee that starting these habits can keep it from getting worse. Now call me when you’re ready to create the systems to make it easy things as opposed to put them away!