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What Is the Five Pile Method for Organizing?

Woman organizing clothes into piles

There are plenty of benefits to being more organized and getting rid of clutter. But, actually doing it can often feel overwhelming even when you have the best intentions. Thankfully, the five-pile method for organizing could help you break down your decluttering dilemma and put everything in its proper place.

The five-pile method isn’t so much a cleaning hack as it is a simple, effective technique.

If you’re willing to start dividing up your belongings, it could be the perfect method for all of your organizing needs.

The file-pile method of organization requires you to divide your belongings into five separate piles:

  1. Keep
  2. Give away
  3. Sell
  4. Throw away
  5. Maybe

If you’re trying to tackle a cluttered room, this method makes it easy to determine what you’ll get rid of without question. Some things might not be worth selling or giving to anyone else, but some of your belongings could make a few bucks if you sell them online or hold a garage sale.

Amazon Basics Cloth Drawer Storage Organizer Boxes, Set of 6, Gray

A great way to keep your clothes organized and decluttered.

The “maybe” pile is for things you’re not quite ready to get rid of yet, but you might in the future. As long as you don’t keep everything in this pile, you should have an easy time determining what you want to hang onto and what’s just taking up space.

A good rule of thumb is to use the file-pile method in every room periodically. When you do, your “in-between” decluttering sessions won’t feel as overwhelming. You might also be surprised by how much you’re willing to get rid of, and how much “stuff” you’ve accumulated over the years!

There are countless cleaning methods out there, and it’s important to find the organization hack that works for you, but consider giving this one a try if you typically have a hard time getting started.

Stacey Koziel Stacey Koziel
Stacey Koziel is a news writer at LifeSavvy. She's worked as a freelance writer for over ten years, focusing on family and lifestyle content. She also has a background in marketing and social media, and is always eager to talk (and write!) about the latest TikTok trends. Read Full Bio »
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