Just Five Minutes: The Shift Your Bum Method

Housework for when you simply can’t be bothered.


A few years ago, I suffered with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, or CFS. For almost a year, I was completely exhausted. At my best, I managed to get out of the house for a while if other people were on hand to help with the children. At my worst, changing a nappy left me needing a lie down and I crawled to the toilet. Slowly, the house got worse and worse until I could barely stand to look at it. Feeling ill all the time is bad enough, but being in a messy, disorganised house just made me want to bury my head even further.


Slowly but surely, I managed to find some coping mechanisms that made my life easier. Most of them I still use in my daily life, despite being symptom free for just over 5 years. This was the first thing I changed in my steps to try and manage chronic illness with three young children and almost no help.


a woman asleep on a sofa in a dark room
Photo by Benjamin Combs on Unsplash


Getting things done when you really don’t feel like it


We don’t always get the help we need around the home. Sometimes it’s a case of not having anyone to delegate to, others it’s because the people around you aren’t pulling their weight. Having experienced both of those scenarios, I can safely say it’s often best to focus on what you can do yourself.


The shift your bum method is there for the times when you seriously aren’t feeling it. You’re knackered, you’re not sure what that stain is on your top and it feels like you are wading through treacle just to get through the day. Taking baby steps throughout the day can help your space feel more welcoming.


watering some plants on a hot, sunny day
Photo by Irene Dávila on Unsplash


Take at least five minutes every waking hour to do something productive


For me, this almost always means housework, so this is what I’m focusing on here. That said, this could relate to almost any part of your life! Quite often, you only need to get past that first five minutes before you find the motivation and energy you need to do more.


If you watch live TV, use adverts as a guide: every time an advert break starts, spend that time doing something on your list.


a green rubber plant against a solid white background
Photo by Igor Son on Unsplash


Break larger tasks into smaller, five-minute chunks


If a job would normally take longer than five minutes, such as tidying the living room or doing a large load of washing up, think of the steps you take to do the whole task and break it down. Tidy the floor first, then go by each surface.


11 housework tasks that take around five minutes


  1. Empty the bins
  2. Tidy the floor space in one room
  3. Put clean dishes away
  4. Load the washing machine
  5. Clean a toilet
  6. Vaccuum or sweep one room
  7. Organise a shelf
  8. Fold one clean, dry of clothes
  9. Do a small load of washing up
  10. Put one load of clothes out to dry
  11. Wipe down a nearby surface


What five minute tasks would you add? Let me know in the comments!


a green rubber plant with a text overlay "the shift your bum method"

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *