To begin, look around the room and see what is obviously trash and throw it away (or recycle where appropriate). I suggest a systematic approach starting in one corner and working to your right, or to your left, whichever you choose, but just slowly moving through the room dealing with items as you come across them.
Next, look through the room again, systematically again, but look for items which you know are clutter and do not want in your home anymore. Don't overthink it, we're just dealing with really obvious stuff now. Place these items in your clutter donation container or otherwise get rid of them.
Both of those passes through should have been relatively quick, and now look again and see what items are in this room that you want to keep, but don't belong in that room but somewhere else in the house. This can include things that just need to be tidied up, like your child's shoes they left in there, or things that have started to take up permanent residence in the living room but you realize are just in the way and should be elsewhere instead.
Take the time to remove these things from the room and place them where they go.
Finally, you've got to look at what is left in the room. Does it all fit, or does the space feel cramped still? If there is still too much stuff for the space available now is when you'll have to make some harder decisions. What stays and what goes?
I suggest reading this week's challenge article about organizing the living room (linked to above) to think about what zones or activities you want to have occur in your living room before you do this step. It will give you clarity for how you want to use the space, and that will help you make better decisions about the objects left in the room.
Depending on how cluttered your living room is, this may take you quite a few 15 minute sessions. But that is why we've really devoted a whole week to this room (and the family room)!
What If You Don't Have A Living Room?
I combined the organizational challenge of the family and living rooms together because many people don't have both rooms (although if you do, you'll just need to devote some time to both rooms). In addition, some people have instead what they call a "den." There's probably even more names for this type of room.
Whatever you call it, the place in your home that you and your family gather together to hang out, watch TV, read, relax, and/or to entertain guests, is the area we're focused on right now for decluttering!
Below I've shown you one reader's transformed living room to get you inspired to tackle your own.
After Photos When Family & Living Rooms Decluttered
Lots of people have worked on this mission and sent in their photos of what they've accomplished. Here's some more to show you.
The photos above were sent in by a reader, Julie. She said, "Just finished decluttering my living room!!"
It looks great Julie! Congrats on your hard work!
In addition, here's a photo from a reader, Janice, who also worked on this mission. She said, "I did some decluttering/rearranging in the living room. The plant stand that I've never liked went to the curb and was gone in an hour. In its place is my grandma's sewing machine, which has been hidden behind a new chair. Exercise equipment is now upstairs (to be decluttered/organized later). Two plants are gone. Shoe bin is tucked where the exercise stuff used to be. And I finally ditched an ugly cheap fake Tiffany lamp that someone gave me years ago, and also a burgundy lamp that never was my style in the first place."
Inspiration To Help You Get Rid Of Living Room Clutter
So now you know how to declutter your living room, but you still need the motivation to get it done.
Well, here's some inspiring photos from a reader, Magic, who worked on hers and just look at the transformation.
She explained, "Put your house on the market like I recently did. LOL! It was a real motivator to finally get my home in order. We almost don't want to move."
Obviously decluttering this room didn't just take 15 minutes for Magic, but that's OK! All those 15 minute sessions really do add up as you can see from the dramatic difference of the before and after.
And don't you owe it to yourself to live in a clutter free environment? Like she said, after they got out all the clutter it made the house feel so much better they almost didn't want to move! Your home can look like that too. It really can, with just 15 minutes at a time!
Are You Ready To Declutter Your Home?
I hope seeing these pictures and ideas has inspired you to declutter your living room.
When you begin to declutter the feeling you get is contagious, so if you're loving the results you're getting I would encourage you to keep going.
Just pick and choose the ones you want to do, that will make a big impact in your home. But if you want someone else to tell you the order you can also grab the 15 minute daily decluttering mission calendars and follow along as we all get our homes clutter free together!
One thing you'll find is that even after clearing the clutter from your family room, living room or den, that clutter and mess will re-accumulate, as people live in this space. To keep the area looking nice, combine this decluttering mission with a good daily tidy up routine in this room, to keep it looking good from now on.
You can find out more about this daily routine here: