It’s Week Two of the Clear the Clutter Challenge and this week, we’re focusing on how to declutter your living room, entry and linen closets. If you followed along last week, I shared six tips for decluttering the kitchen, pantry and dining room. I’m really excited about tackling the linen closet this week in particular, because I just started watching Tidying Up with Marie Kondo and I’m loving her tips for clearing through the clutter.
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Declutter Your Living Room
In our home, the living room is the spot where we spend a lot of time, so I like to keep things organized and simple. When the girls were younger, we kept some toys in the living room, but it just got to the point toys were strewn all over the floor, so we’ve moved it all to their rooms and the playroom upstairs. Now it’s a pretty easy room to keep clean since we don’t have every corner crammed with stuff! Here are my favorite tips to help declutter your living room:
- Go through magazines and throw away or donate ones you’ve read. I used to have a bad habit of keeping magazines, and never re-read them, so I’ve learned to just trash them once we’ve read through them.
- If you subscribe to cooking magazines and want to keep a recipe, cut the recipe out and store in a binder with sheet protectors or glue the recipe into a notebook for easy reference.
- Take all of your DVDs/Blu-Rays out and decide which ones to keep and which to donate or sell. We have a lot of movies we purchased on sale and have never watched, so I’ve been clearing those out.
- Baskets are your friend. We had several throw blankets and they were tossed on the sofa, but it looked messy, so I found a cute round basket at HomeGoods and neatly rolled extra throws to store in the basket. Bonus: it also hides the wifi equipment plugged in behind the armchair!
- If you have kids, this one is for you! Take all the cushions off your sofa and you’ll probably find a combination of small toys and remnants of snacks hiding beneath. Put the toys away and then run the vacuum directly on the sofa to get rid of the dirt and crumbs. Also, check beneath the sofa and coffee table – my kids toys seem to go missing there pretty often.
- Have bookshelves or drawers? It’s a good idea to take everything out and sort into piles for keeping, throwing away and donating. Put things back strategically and avoid stuffing drawers full so you can find things when needed.
Declutter Your Linen Closet
Our linen closet is in the master bathroom and we typically store all towels and sheets in there. If we have guests, we’ll move some towels to the guest bathroom temporarily, but it’s just easier to keep everything in one central location otherwise. I’ll admit that I’m not the tidiest when it comes to folding laundry, so the linen closet definitely needed some love. We also had some old linens from our previous home that didn’t work in this house, so they had just been sitting on the shelf collecting dust. Here’s how I tackled the mess:
- First, I took everything out of the closet. It made it easier to visualize how I wanted to put things back. This is also a good time to get rid of worn-out or faded towels.
- I went through old curtains/drapes and put them in the donate pile. We had several rooms in our old house that had a different number of windows than our new house, so we no longer had enough matching drapes to hang in any rooms here. No need to hang on to these!
- I also found a shower curtain we had used in our old master bath, but since we have a glass shower now, we no longer have a need for the shower curtain. I decided to donate it, since it was in great condition and realistically, I’m not planning to use it again.
- I folded every single washcloth, hand towel and bath towel using the KonMari Method. I had been rolling my towels, which looked pretty when done neatly, but let’s be real – most of the time I was speedily rolling and putting these away so it wasn’t exactly beautiful! The KonMari Method is super simple and makes everything look crisp and easy to find. Definitely check out Marie Kondo’s tips if you haven’t already!
- We also folded our extra bedsheets using Marie Kondo’s method. I have had the worst time trying to fold a fitted sheet, but her tips made it easy to fold it and not look like a jumbled mess! If you have old sheets or ones you never use, it’s probably time to throw those out!
- The only other thing I left in the linen closet was the clothes steamer. My husband usually steams his shirts and pants for work in the bathroom, so it made sense to keep this stored for easy access in the closet.
- We actually don’t have an excessive amount of linens, but if I had more, I would invest in storage baskets to sort and organize them by type or by which bathroom they belong in.
Declutter Your Entryway
We actually don’t have a mudroom (it’s on my next house wishlist!), but our walk-in pantry has a nice countertop and hooks to hang coats and bags. Since we don’t have a designated spot to drop everything, shoes and outerwear go in each person’s room/closet. In our pantry, we just keep the girls’ backpacks and my husband keeps his coats for easy access on his way out the door. Here are a few tips for decluttering your entryway, no matter what your set-up is like:
- Remove everything you have hanging – coats, bags, scarves, etc. Decide what can be taken back to the proper closet or bedroom – things that don’t get worn daily.
- If you keep shoes in your entryway, consider investing in storage bins/baskets that can keep them off the floor and out of sight when not being worn.
- Sometimes mail and school papers can overtake this area, so take some time to go through and throw things away that aren’t needed. If anything needs action taken, mark it in your planner or calendar to stay on track.
- Get the clutter off the entry table or counter by adding a key rack or shelf to hold keys, wallets, work badges, etc.
- If you have the space for it, consider adding a bench with storage to hold bags, shoes, etc.
Make sure to check out my co-hosts tips as well!
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