Where Would You Look OTHER Than There?

Where Would You Look OTHER Than There My first decluttering questions at

My first decluttering question is: If I was looking for this item, where would I look for it first?

Would. Not should.

No decisions need to be made. No analysis of the very best home for this particular thing.

The home is where I would look first.

The best thing about this question is that I can use it on my family members if it’s an item that belongs to someone other than me. I had to explain what I was looking for the first few times I asked them this question, but now they mostly know what I want in an answer.


Sometimes, they still get smart-alecky.

Like this jacket.

Clearing the Dining Room Table in Five Minutes Better at #5MinuteFriday

I’d cleared the table in five minutes, but then noticed the jacket. It’s Hubby’s, so I asked him, “Where would you look first for this jacket?”

His answer: Ummm. On that chair?

I made a face. I rolled my eyes.

I gave the look.

And I said, “Other than there.”

He sighed, and said he’d look for it in the coat closet.

So I took it to the coat closet.

This scenario is actually one that I get emails about frequently. “What if the place where I’d look first is a really bad place? A place out in the open where it obviously shouldn’t be?”

I get it.

Many times, pre-deslobification process, I assured random people that I needed my stuff to be “out where I could see it.” I called this my crazy-but-it-works-for-me organizational system.

Which would have been fine, except it wasn’t fine.

My house was actually a disaster. A total disaster.

The super important things I thought I needed to be able to “see” mixed in with totally unimportant things until I couldn’t see a thing because all I saw was an overwhelming mess.

And I just like my house so much better when there aren’t jackets hanging on the backs of chairs.

So I responded: Other than there.

Because that’s the truth. Even though I might look for something first in the place where I tend to throw it first, that doesn’t count if it’s a place where I’d never leave it when I’m cleaning up that space.

So maybe my question could have been to him: Where would you look first if you weren’t being sassy?

Actually, I think that WAS how I put it the second time.


Where Would You Look OTHER Than There Using my first decluttering question at pin




Clearing the Dining Room Table in Five Minutes #5MinuteFriday

5 Minute Friday Decluttering Clearing the Dining Room Table at #5MinuteFriday

I’m enjoying the motivation to see what I can do in five little ol’ minutes.

I recently tackled my dining room table.

My dining room dumping ground.

Which could have so so much worse.

This is often the spot I tackle while the family is doing a five minute pickup. It seems to be the spot with the most decisions to make, as opposed to simple pick-it-up-and-take-it-where-it-goes stuff we find throughout the rest of the house.

I took my before photo:

Clearing the Dining Room Table in Five Minutes Before Decluttering at #5MinuteFriday

I set my timer and got to work.

Most of the stuff on the table had come out of packages I’d opened but not actually dealt with yet. An order from ThredUp (<–referral link) and an order from Grove Collaborative.

Clearing the Dining Room Table in Five Minutes #5MinuteFriday trying on boot from ThredUp at

I even tried on the boot I hadn’t tried on when the order first came, and then took that boot to hang out with its mate in my closet (where I’d already taken the mate a few days before . . . ).

Trash was thrown away, and each individual item was taken to its home.

Did you catch that?? Each (like every single) item (no matter how urgent) was taken (all the way there) to its home (its established where-would-I-look-for-it-first spot). In five minutes. 

I had to clear this table. But in the interest of using this Five Minute Friday mental game I’ve been playing to help me embrace reality, I wanted to see how much I could get done, like, truly and totally finish, in five minutes.

After five minutes, it looked like this:

Clearing the Dining Room Table in Five Minutes Better at #5MinuteFriday

And then I looked at the picture and saw the jacket. So I moved that, the last bottle of handsoap, my phone, and the packet of papers I realized we didn’t need to keep and it looked like this:

Clearing the Dining Room Table in Five Minutes After Decluttering #5MinuteFriday at

In five minutes plus a few seconds. Really.

Go me!!

I’d love to hear about your five minute Friday tasks, or if you share pictures on social media, tag me @aslobcomesclean and use the hashtag #5minuteFriday so I can see it!!


5 Minute Friday Before and After Clearing the Dining Room Table Declutter with #5MinuteFriday at



120 Decluttering – Giving Up On Dreams Pt 1

podcast 120 Decluttering – Giving Up On Dreams Pt 1 at fb

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I’ll Declutter, But Do I Have to Give Up All My Dreams?

Containers and Limits

Finding Storage Space in My House


podcast 120 Decluttering – Giving Up On Dreams Pt 1 at pin




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