Family room decluttering habits to adopt – 5 tips to steal from pro organizers

Conquer clutter and make it easier to maintain a stylish and functional family room with these five habits

Family room decluttering
(Image credit: Future)

Family rooms are seriously hardworking, and they're also prone to clutter. This is because the design of the space, and the storage solutions, have to keep pace with the everyday demands of the entire household. 

As a more informal living room, the family room doubles up as a space for play and a relaxed lounge area to unwind in come evening. Regular decluttering will go a long way in maintaining a space that's visually pleasing and functional for everyone.

Here, we've listed the family room decluttering habits to steal from professional organizers – if you want a streamlined space to gather together.

Family room decluttering habits

The family room takes on a myriad of guises: entertaining spaces, multi-media hubs, and some, also double up as dining rooms and at-home offices, so it is important they stay tidy and clutter-free.

These are the very best decluttering tips to make your space feel neat, tidy, and organized, but still cozy, smart, and stylish.

1. Dedicate a space for remote controls

TV room with bookcase built around a central TV on a cream wall

(Image credit: Future)

'Get a decorative box or basket to corral all the remote controls, making them easy to find,' suggests decluttering expert Judy Granlee-Gates. Make sure you choose aesthetically pleasing baskets, available at The Citizenry, which will bring shape, pattern, and texture, all while concealing remote controls and any other cables and tech that have a habit of overtaking our living rooms (or simply end up shoved in a junk drawer).

2. Have a daily check in

Modern living room with TV hidden by art and wood shelving unit

(Image credit: Sophie Ashby / Philip Durrant)

Jamie Hord from Horderly says it's all about consistency. He argues that a five-minute cleaning blitz each evening will keep your family room's clutter under control. 'If the living room is where you like to relax at night, check in with it before sitting down,' he begins. 'It's going to be hard to relax when you're surrounded by clutter.'

Put any toys away – if you're struggling to contain toys, take inspiration from our list of toy storage ideas. Jamie encourages you to do this with the kids before they go to bed. Once the toys are out of the way, Jamie suggests creating a more adult atmosphere by fluffing and neatening pillows and blankets and tidying up anything else on the coffee table.

Jamie Hord professional organizer
Jamie Hord

Jamie is the co-founder of Horderly, a professional organizing company that brings order to countless homes and offices, from the most cluttered New York City apartments to some of the largest homes nationwide. The team's goal is to make their clients’ lives clutter-free, streamlined, and more functional.

3. Choose multifunctional storage

Pink walls, blue bench cushions, white and pink checked armchair

(Image credit: James Merrell)

Decluttering expert and author of Bigger Living Smaller Space, Judy Granlee-Gates makes the point that you can't have a tidy family room without hard-working furniture. 'Toys, books, and more can clutter up your family room quickly. Storage furniture helps solve this,' she says. 

'Coffee tables or storage ottomans give you lots of space to put things where they belong,' she says. Alternatively, a bouclé storage bench, at Crate & Barrel will look stylish and is incredibly practical, providing extra seating space and somewhere to hide things away when play time's over.

If the layout of your family room allows, use a deep storage ottoman, at Crate & Barrel which functions as seating, a footrest when snuggling on the couch to watch a movie, or as a coffee table with the addition of a tray. This kind of item really earns its place because there's plenty of space inside.

4. Clear the decks regularly

All white basement living room, gray sunken sofa, central staircase, dark wood flooring with pink and blue rug, black coffee table, glass panels, cabinets and shelves with books, black bar stools

(Image credit: Simon Brown)

'In your family room, prioritize surfaces by keeping them clear of clutter,' says Olivia Parks, a professional organizer from New Orleans. 'You'd be surprised how put-together your home will look if your counters are clutter-free!'

'Consider using storage baskets and containers to organize items like toys, books, and remote controls, and create a designated spot for electronics to prevent tangled cords and chargers,' she adds.

5. Involve the kids in clearing away

Modern living room with wood wall paneling and TV

(Image credit: Paul Raeside / Future)

Everyone needs to be involved in family room decluttering, and the storage solutions you choose can make this easier. Storage furniture such as a Kallax unit at IKEA filled with baskets means toys and other items are stored out of sight. 'Use bins in all the cubbies or leave some for books or larger toys,' suggests Judy Granlee-Gates. 'The nice part is the kids can pull the bin out and play then load it all back up.'

Her top tip for parents of small children is to label them with both the word and an image so they know what goes in the bin even before they can read.

How do you declutter a family room fast?

Rushing through the process won't give you the best results, but a little and often approach will mean decluttering never takes all day. Regular audits and clear-outs will reduce the number of toys and other items that accumulate in the family room. Decluttering toys isn't always easy, but making it into a game or 'who can tidy away the toys fastest' will make the most of children's competitive spirit.

Millie Hurst
Section Editor

Millie Hurst is a freelance lifestyle writer with over six years of experience in digital journalism. Having previously worked as Solved Section Editor at Homes & Gardens and Senior SEO Editor at News UK in London and New York, Millie has written for an array of homes brands including Livingetc and Real Homes and was formerly Senior Content Editor at Ideal Home. She has written and edited countless features on home organization, decluttering and interior design and always hopes to inspire readers with new ways to enjoy their homes. She lives in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, and loves to weave nature-inspired decor and nods to time spent in Italy into her own home.