Today, we’re going to go over 10 unnecessary items that you can declutter to create a more organized and minimal room immediately.
I like to chunk things down into doable tasks, and because I have the tendency to flit around from one thing to another, it helps me to have lists like this to follow. And it’s always a bonus when I can declutter and see immediate results.
Creating a minimal living room starts with decluttering these 10 items:
I no longer have magazine subscriptions. But I used to! And I was tempted to buy one a couple of months ago; it caught my eye at the grocery store – and then I saw the price! It was $15 for a magazine, which is why people get subscriptions; it makes it much more affordable.
Anyway, I digress… those old magazines that are sitting there waiting to be read are taking up valuable space. Donate them to your local library or recycle them to free up some room.
#2 Coffee table
I love having a place to put my feet up. But at least for me, the coffee table was a clutter magnet. People walked through the house and set everything on the coffee table.
And they take up a lot of visual space. Do you really need that bulky coffee table? Consider swapping it out for a smaller and more functional option, like a nest of tables or ottomans that also provide extra seating.
Or get rid of it altogether to create an open feel, which is what a minimal living room should feel like.
#3 Throw pillows.
I know they add a pop of color and can make a room feel cozier with texture, but removing a few will create a cleaner and tidier look.
If you use them, keep the ones you use.
But if you find that the only time you touch them is to remove them so you can sit or pick them up off the floor, your living room will be easier to maintain without them.
#4 Throw blankets
The same thing applies.
If we’re aiming for “easy to maintain,” then we need to streamline our homes by removing all the extra stuff.
Throw blankets look pretty and cozy draped over the sofa, but from my experience, most of the time I touched the throw blankets was to rearrange the “drape.”
#5 Knick-knacks, trinkets and tchotchkes
All those random knick-knacks contribute to visual clutter. I understand that these are typically difficult to declutter- items from trips, from children, interesting and cute things. What helped me most in clearing these things out was seeing the dust build up. I don’t want to spend much time dusting, but it’s noticeable if you don’t dust. So, I had to think about which pieces I enjoy enough that I am willing to dust them every week. I decided that I would be willing to dust around a handful of things, but no more than that. That meant that I had to let go of some interesting little items.
This is the main thing to remember if you want a minimal living room: You don’t have to get rid of ALL of them – just limit it to only the absolute favorites.
#6 Electronics and cords
Remove old gadgets and reorganize your cables with cable management solutions. Most of us have a random box of charging cables and old electronics. I know there are jokes out there about needing to charge the old Nokia phones, but if you haven’t used it in the last year, why keep it?
I will add a disclaimer here – when I got rid of that box of cables, I did get rid of a cable that went from an external hard drive to the computer, and I had to buy another one for $4. But I don’t regret doing that. I got rid of a big, annoying mess of tangled cords. It was worth the $4 not to have to deal with that big mess of cables.
I asked our local thrift store, and they were happy to take them, but e-recycling places are also good places to drop off electronics and supplies.
#7 Wall Decor
As a general guide, remember that less is more, so choose a few statement pieces that truly enhance your living room’s aesthetic.
After growing up with Home Interior Parties – the pictures, shelves, sconces, and fake foliage, I had an idea in my mind of what a home should look like.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Think through the spaces that you enjoy the most – what is the aesthetic of your favorite coffee shop or cafe?
If you like looking at groupings on the wall – lean into it. But keep in mind your goal for your home – if you want something that is easy to dust, set limits for yourself. The less you have, the easier it is to keep clean.
One of the easiest ways to visually open up a space is to remove bigger pieces of furniture.
I used to think we needed certain sets – a sofa, a love seat, a coffee table, and end tables – but that’s not necessary at all. Reduce it to just the items you need and use regularly.
Removing extra furniture means the room will be easier to vacuum, and there will be fewer surfaces to collect hotspots.
#9 DVDs and CDs
I think of all my friends that have digitized their collections and said goodbye to the physical clutter… But the upcoming generation has even less – they pay for whatever streaming service they are currently using and don’t stress about keeping ones they aren’t using “just in case” they decide to.
We can learn from them!
Because digital content is so widely available, we don’t need to hold onto movies and music for the rest of our lives.
Yes, we paid for it.
But looking at my stack of CDs that I NEVER listened to, what is the likelihood of me feeling like I should purchase them again? Well, it’s extremely low. And since I have YouTube Premium, I’ve been able to find anything I ever wanted to “re-listen” to.
I got some CD wallets and recycled the original cases for our favorite movies that we rewatch regularly, but I set some pretty strict boundaries for what I kept.
#10 children’s toys
Create a designated storage area and encourage your kids only to keep their favorites. If your kids are grown, be even pickier!
My older boys asked me to keep their legos. I was fine with that – and the younger kids also ended up playing with them.
When the older boys moved out, they took their one box of memory items – the rest we have gotten rid of.
I didn’t save things for my grandkids because time is NOT kind to toys. They might seem ok when we box them up, but after sitting for 10 years, and looking at them with “fresh eyes,” we can see that they were not worth saving and typically end up in the trash.
So, if at all possible, let the items go to kids who can use them now so they can finish off their lives being played with instead of in a box in the garage.