How to Declutter Your Home & the 10 Minute Tidy

I like to walk through our home with fresh eyes periodically to see what I like and what I want to switch up. I’ve made a few mental notes and it all seems to get back to de-cluttering and keeping a relatively neutral color palette (color has a huge influence on people’s moods, especially children who are still growing and developing mentally - more on that in this awesome podcast episode where Apartment Therapy founder, Maxwell Ryan, discusses color theory in Waldorf schools).

Getting rid of clutter and visual stress instantly makes any room feel like it has had a makeover. I remember when I was a kid, my Mom would have my sister and I help her do a quick “10 Minute Tidy” around the house. This included sweeping/vacuuming, loading the dish washer, putting extra pairs of shoes away in the closet, folding throw blankets and putting them in their storage basket, etc. Seriously, it only took 10 minutes to make the house feel put together, presentable and comfortable. 

Sometimes, decluttering means clearing off a nightstand except for essentials like a lamp and a clock. Or, it could mean getting some things off the floors and out of the corners of the room (you know when people just push all the mess and clutter to the walls of the room). It could even mean getting rid of some things that you just don't need/use/want anymore.


Today, I try to keep up the good practice of a good old fashioned 10 Minute Tidy and it really does help to bring visual peace to your home. Kind of like taking a deep breath to clear your head. I have found that the best way to keep a room looking decluttered and tidy is to make sure that everything has a "home" or some place that it belongs when not in use: I prefer storage baskets.

I have listed several storage baskets under the Shop tab on the blog that are all great options for containing loose items and help you declutter your home. Here are a few of my favorites that you can shop directly when you click on the image:

In addition to the practice of tidying up, here are a couple other things that you can do to refresh and de-clutter your home. If you don’t have time to do everything at one time, maybe start with one room at a time or even a corner of one room at a time.

  1. Roll up extra blankets and stuff them in a large basket next to the couch 
  2. Remove small appliances from kitchen countertops
  3. Donate or recycle old magazines - your living room is not the dentist office lobby
  4. Clear off the fridge from old papers and magnets
  5. Store beauty products in a plastic bin or basket under the sink - this goes for cleaning products, too
  6. Have a small basket on your entry table to contain car keys, sunglasses, coins, chapstick, etc.
  7. Keep your fireplace mantle decor to a minimum
  8. Fluff throw pillows - don’t forget the karate chop
  9. Keep pet toys (or kid toys) in storage baskets
  10. Keep track of tv remotes by keeping them in a small basket on the coffee table

What are some of your own tips and tricks to keeping your home tidy and decluttered? 


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Emily WardComment