Living room, front room – whatever you call it, chances are you spend a lot of time sitting there. Even if you’re the only person at home, it may be full of things you don’t really use. Here’s how to declutter your living room.

If your living room is a problem area, it’s easy to make a little cleaning magic happen with a good game plan. Sometimes, knowing where to look and exactly what you’re looking for can help.

To start, grab a laundry basket or similar sized container to pick up anything that’s looking out of place. Then, set yourself a timer on your phone for 20 minutes. It’s time to do a sweep of your living room.

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Step 1 – Start with the basics

Have a quick look around the living room for anything that’s obviously rubbish. Throw it away or recycle it, where possible. A good approach is to start at one side of the room and work your way to your right, or left, but deal with items as you come across them.

Step 2 – Time to declutter

Now you’ve done your initial rubbish check, look over the room again, but this time look for items which you know are clutter and don’t belong in the living room.

Where to look

  • Under and around your couch
  • On and under the coffee table
  • Your side tables
  • Drawers and cubbies
  • Your bookcases
  • The entertainment unit

What should you be looking for?

  • In-progress projects or hobbies
  • Random objects and decor
  • Electronics
  • DVDs out of their cases
  • Toys
  • Books and magazines
  • Drinking glasses and mugs
  • Shoes, handbags and accessories where they don’t belong.

Time up? Now’s your chance to stop tidying and find the proper home for everything in that basket you used.

Remember, the ‘rightful home’ may not necessarily still be your home – don’t be afraid to consider sending items to your local secondhand store or into the bin if it’s waste.

Step 3 – The final review

We’re almost there. It’s time to look at what’s left in your room. Does it all still fit comfortably where it is? Could you rearrange things to make the room less cramped? Now is a good opportunity to make some hard decisions on what’s remaining in your space.

Depending on how cluttered your space is, this task may take a few 20-minute sessions. But the more often you can streamline the items you have at home, the easier your next 20-minute sweep will be.

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