How to Declutter the Living Room

Declutter the living room easily with this step-by-step guide, plus get tips on decluttering the most common items you’ll find in the living room!

how to declutter the living room

The living room is one of the hardest areas to deal with since everybody uses it for different purposes.

It is the place where the family hangs out, relax, unwind after eating, play, and entertain guests. With so many activities taking place in it, every surface seems to have something on them and this makes the living room look messy.

While it may be challenging, it is not impossible to have the neat and organized living room that you have always envisioned it to be.

Here, we give you the steps on how to start. And once you go from step one to the next, you will feel more encouraged to see the job through!

How to Declutter the Living Room: A Step-by-Step Guide

1. Plan it.

The first thing you should do is plan it. Announce to your family that you will declutter the living room on a specific date. They should check out any item they have in the living room so that you do not throw away anything they deem important.

2. Clear all flat surface.

Scan the living room for all the flat surfaces. This step alone will make you realize how much stuff needs to be removed and organized.

3. Get rid of trash.

Grab a trash bag and get rid of the visible garbage in the living room.

It does not really take a genius to figure out at first glance which is garbage.

4. Group your items into categories.

Set the garbage bag aside first (you will be needing it later).

Now sort all the remaining items in your living room. You can sort like items together, then those that belong somewhere else together, etc.

Make sure to cover all the hidden clutter too. Take out the items in your cabinets and drawers, check what gets stuck under the cushions of the couch, etc.

5. Clean up.

With all your items out, take this chance to do some serious cleaning in the living room. Do some dusting, wiping, vacuuming – the works.

6. Keep, Resell, Donate, Recycle, Trash

Now that your items are in groups, tackle one group at a time. Check the condition of each item and decide whether you want to keep it, throw it away, sell it, or donate it.

Items that you should keep are items that you do use in the living room all the time. For instance, the remote controls and cords you need for all the media and entertainment gadgets and appliances.

If you have items that you barely use but are still in good condition, you can consider re-selling them as secondhand items and make some extra cash.

For items that can still be used but are not in selling condition, consider donating them.

And for items that are damaged and way beyond repair, throw them out! Put these in the trash bag.

Items like outdated brochures, newspapers, and magazines may be recycled. Gather them together and drop them off at the nearest recycling center near you. Or recycle them yourself if you have the time for it!

If you are unsure whether to retain an item or not, keep a “maybe” box. Store this out of the way. If you have not retrieved these items in six months (or one year if that’s what you need), it is safe to say that the items in your “maybe” box are not really a necessity.

7. Organize.

Focus on the items that you decided to keep and think of how you would like to set them up and organize them. After decluttering, you will have more space to implement an organizing system that the whole family can follow!

There you have it! Now you have successfully decluttered your living room!

Living room decluttering tips

Now I understand that it may not be that easy to decide which items to keep and throw away – especially for those who are decluttering for the first time. So here, I gathered some decluttering tips that could help you sort some items out as you do your living room declutter.

Books

declutter the living room - books

Most homes do not have their own libraries so bookshelves often end up in the living room. Take a look at the books you have accumulated and ask yourself – are you ever going to read them again?

Perhaps there are some books that you never got to finish because they were hard to read, or books that were not good enough to be read all over again. Consider donating or reselling these books to make space for additional storage.

Read our related articles for more help on this:

Throw pillows

Cushions and throw pillows make your living room comfy. These also add color and personality to the room.

However, too much of this can make the living room look cluttered and stuffy. When people come in to use the living room, some throw pillows end up on the floor.

declutter the living room - throw pillows

So, how much is too much?

The general rule is that you should only get five pillows for large sofas and three pillows for smaller ones.

Blankets

Blankets have a way of accumulating in the living room – especially when you are living in a cold area. Now there’s nothing wrong with huddling in a blanket while watching a movie as long as you fold and clean up afterward.

So instead of letting everyone grab their own blankets and end up cluttering the living room with multiple blankets strewn all over the couch, just get one huge blanket that can cover everyone. You then have less clutter to worry about!

Electronics

The living room hosts a couple of electronic appliances. Check each one and see whether it’s still working or already outdated, or if you have a newer model that can cater to multiple entertainment options.

Picture frames

picture frames
Image from Oh Me Oh My

Are you the type who fills all surfaces with picture frames of the family? This can look so messy or cluttered too. And let’s be honest! It adds a lot to the cleaning and dusting that you have to do.

Consider getting frames of similar designs and hang your pictures on the wall instead. This will give you more surface space for other important things and will help you clean up easily.

CDs or DVDs

cds and dvds

Back when streaming was non-existent, families collected DVDs and CDs of their favorite movies and music. Although media files in this form have the best sound quality, they also take up a lot of space.

So, if you no longer have a DVD or CD player, or you no longer use them at all, just donate them to people who would love to use them like those in nursing homes.

Toys

toys

Kids normally bring their toys to the living room and this often leads to clutter.

Have a storage for your kids’ toys in the living room. It can be a simple basket – just to have a place to collect the toys. Then, instruct your kids to pick up their toys after playing and put these in the storage.

If you need more help on organizing your kids’ toys, then check out these related posts:

Souvenirs or decors

There is a point in our life where we accumulate a lot of trinkets and these all end up being displayed in the living room. Some are souvenirs from out-of-town trips, some gifts from friends or family, others figurines and decors that you were attracted to before.

souvenirs

These may show a lot about your taste or your lifestyle that’s why you like it in the first place. But accumulating too much turns these into clutter. It’s especially true when you have a mixture of this and that and everything does not really go well with the interior design of your living room.

Take a good look at each of your souvenirs now and decide if you truly like them. If not, well, get rid of it already!

Consider going minimalist.

This is a thought when you have a small area to work with. Having fewer items around will make your space look wider and bigger than what it really is.

You do not have to get rid of everything to be a minimalist. Of course you will still own stuff. But these things are truly those that have value in your life, and most of the time, these are multifunctional.

minimalist living room
Image from Residence Style

You may also lessen the clutter by adding more storage so that everything looks neat and tidy.

Declutter the living room regularly.

The living room is a versatile room and a high-traffic area. But ultimately – it is the room where everyone gathers to hang out, be entertained, and relax. It should be a safe haven for you and your family and not a clutter central where all you can see are mixtures of items.

Decluttering your living room is a good move to make it more functional and organized. Make sure to not do this just once.

The key to maintaining the new state of your living room is to do a declutter session regularly so that you do not accumulate more things.

Once you make decluttering a habit, you will find that it is possible to have a clean and tidy living room that everyone would love to stay in!

If you need more help in decluttering your home, then check out our Decluttering Binder!

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Declutter the living room with this simple guide and enjoy a clutter-free space with your family!

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