Decluttering Cure

Get a Less-Cluttered Living Room in Just 20 Minutes

updated May 3, 2019
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(Image credit: Hannah Puechmarin)
(Image credit: Kath Nash)

Twenty minutes doesn’t feel like a lot of time. It’s easy, mentally, to dedicate such a small chunk of your day (like while you’re cooking dinner or waiting for a show to start) to do something around the house. But 20 minutes is actually a surprisingly big period of time, and you can get a lot done if you stay focused. It’s even enough time to declutter your living room.

Your living room might be near-spotless already, in which case you probably only need a few minutes to tidy up. But even if your messy living room is a big problem area for you, 20 minutes is plenty enough time to see an improvement.

(Image credit: Heather Keeling)

Today’s Assignment:

Do a 20-minute decluttering sweep of your living room.

Set a timer for 20 minutes, and head into your living room with a laundry basket (or something else to collect clutter with). While the timer is counting down, venture around and collect as much clutter as you can into your basket.

You’re looking for anything that’s out of place—including stuff that needs to be trashed or maybe it’s just time to pass them on to a new home.

Where to Look:

  • on (and under) the coffee table
  • under and around the sofa
  • consoles and sofa tables
  • side tables
  • cubbies/drawers
  • bookcases
  • entertainment center

What to look for:

  • trash
  • drinking glasses and mugs
  • random objects and decor
  • toys
  • books/magazines
  • CDs/DVDs
  • electronics
  • shoes, handbags and accessories where they don’t belong
  • in-progress work, hobbies or projects

Gather it all up in your basket. When the timer stops, you can stop too. Empty your laundry basket by returning things to their rightful place, or by discarding anything you don’t want into your “sell” and “donate” boxes from day one.

And don’t forget:

Clear three things from your monster zone.

All month long, we invite you to share your progress here in the comments and on Instagram with the #septembersweep hashtag!

Check out all the assignments so far on the September Sweep 2018 Main Page.

(Image credit: Kath Nash)

Download the printable PDF calendar:
September Sweep 2018