While most of us would love to live in a mess-free home, it’s hard to find enough time to dedicate to decluttering the entire house. A better way might be to break the big job into small 15-minute-or-less decluttering tasks like the ones below.


Use bins and baskets to organise similar items. Label them so the system is clear to everyone. If you’re living in with other people, buy a pantry bin for each member of the home. This will not only keep the space looking neat and tidy but will also reduce the risk of people “mistaking” your food for their own.

Home office

Make your home office user-friendly by reorganising the space in a way that makes sense to you and your family. For example, store homework equipment in an area where your children can easily access them and things that are used less can be kept up high.

Julie Stuart, founder of online craft store and blog Clever Poppy, adopted this approach when she moved her home office into her open plan living and dining room.

“All of my stationery is stored in a basket on my desk. For those things you don’t need on a day to day basis, store them out of sight in a cupboard or wardrobe.”

Keep track of your mail and other paperwork that clogs up your desk by stacking it into three categories: bills, personal mail (e.g. wedding invitations) and then one for everything else. If you’re feeling particularly motivated, take the time to pay your bills now or just keep the piles stored neatly in a tray on your desk so it’s easier to tackle later on.

Keep on top of clutter throughout the week by identifying the biggest clutter culprit in the living room (e.g. kid’s toys, mail). Dedicate a few minutes every day, or every couple of days if you’re particularly time pressed, to dealing with that.


Pull all of your toiletries from the cabinet shelves and throw out anything that’s expired or unnecessary (do you really need four lipsticks in the same shade?) Follow this by giving the shelves a quick wipe-down and replace all of the remaining products, putting the items you use the most in easily accessible spots.


Take some time on a Sunday evening to pick out the clothes you plan on wearing for the rest of the week and hang them at the front of your wardrobe. This will minimise stress in the mornings and will stop you from tearing your closet apart (and making even more of a mess) to find a pair of piece of clothing.

Another way to ease the morning rush is to organise your clothing by grouping like with like (e.g. all business shirts together) and adding garment tags to keep them together.

Linen closet

A simple way to quickly get you linen closet in order – and to stop sheet sets getting lost in the pile – is by tucking a complete sheet set inside one of its pillowcases. If you have a little extra time, stack the sets according to size (single, queen, king).

Written by Natalia Didovich. Republished with permission of