My Mom’s “50-50” Decorating Rule Is the Most Ingenious Decluttering Hack

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Photos and crystals and vases and boxes — these are a few of my mom’s least favorite things. That is, when there are too many of them lying around. In terms of decorating, my mom has always believed that less is more

Despite her minimalist leanings, though, she never encouraged me to get rid of things I truly loved as a kid. Instead, she introduced me to her “50-50” decorating hack. The approach? Compile all the decorative items you own, then put half out on display and store the rest away. As the seasons change or you’re in the mood for something different, you can swap out some (or all) of your current decor for pieces in storage. 

I still use my mom’s “50-50” decorating and decluttering trick to keep my home feeling fresh and organized. I have a box full of backup decor items on a closet shelf and pull it down whenever I feel like my space needs an update. In fact, to pull off this simple trick, you only need a container or basket big enough to fit your leftover decor — Amazon and Walmart both carry a variety of options in all sizes and price points. If you live in a small space or you’re short on extra closet room, you can even buy underbed storage or multiple compact bins to tuck away in any unused spots. 

This design strategy does more than just keep your home from seeming overly cluttered; it also allows you to hang on to items that might feel outdated or outside your personal style — especially sentimental pieces — in case you’re not ready to part with them or want to style them later. Plus, it allows you to “shop” items you already own, rather than buying new ones when you get a redecorating itch. 

But what I love most about this method is that you don’t have to choose between minimalism and maximalism, or commit to a specific home decor style — you can have your tchotchkes and enjoy them, too!