People with a mental illness diagnosis have problems with housekeeping, a least that has been my experience both with myself and with CMI (chronically mentally ill) that I have met. (Unless someone has OCD)

One way to get a handle on the clutter and the mess is to follow the 30 second rule of the Organizer Lady.

So, I just came into the house. The 30 second rule says that I

  • Put my keys away
  • Hang up the dog’s leash
  • take care of the mail, don’t throw it on the table
The following is an email I received from the Organizer Lady a couple days ago:

1. New Message of the Day – 30 Second Habit Rule Explained

Sometimes when I mention that if something takes 30 seconds or less to do that we should determine not to put it off, people object. “If I start doing everything that takes thirty seconds, I will work myself to a nub.” And that is true. If our house is a mess we have many, many little jobs that could be done in 30 seconds. Too many to make it impractical to do them all.

So let’s limit how we apply it. The thirty second rule needs to be applied in two ways only.

The first place we should apply it is with what happens in the future. Don’t go back to try to catch up with everything. FROM NOW ON hang up your jacket immediately when you take it off. Take the coffee cup from the living room to the kitchen. Put up the mayonnaise and throw away the used tea bag. Return the tool to its home. And the like.

The second place we should apply the thirty second rule is with those that are high priority needs. There are probably a few important little jobs that have been neglected for a long time and would only take thirty seconds to get them out of the way. The non priority tasks can be cared for as you go about your organizing plan or routine.

So the idea is this: Apply the 30 second rule beginning now into the future and to priority jobs that need attention now.

Now, I need to leave the house, but I want a little snack first. This means that:

  • Anything I get out I the refrigerator will be put back in
  • Any trash will go straight to the garbage or recycle bin
  • Any dirty dish will go straight to the sink, I don’t have a dishwasher.

What do you think? Is the 30 second rule a good rule?

I have such problem with putting of small tasks like junk mail and little things. What are your worst habits for making clutter?

Happy getting a handle on clutter so that you can de-clutter your mind,