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
'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
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 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
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
'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
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.
Sign up to the Homes & Gardens newsletter
Decor Ideas. Project Inspiration. Expert Advice. Delivered to your inbox.
Millie Hurst is the Solved Section Editor at Homes & Gardens. She has six years of experience in digital journalism, having previously worked as Senior SEO Editor at News UK in London and New York. She then gained experience writing for women's magazines before joining Future PLC in January 2021. Millie has written for an array of homes brands including Livingetc and Real Homes and was formerly Senior Content Editor at Ideal Home before taking on the position of Section Editor with Homes & Gardens. 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.
Tommy Hilfiger's 'Pop Art meets Fashion' bedroom is a masterclass in using art as inspiration for interior design
Tommy Hilfiger's Miami Beach House takes its inspiration from pop artists like Andy Warhol to create a bold and colorful dream house. Experts love the look
By Sophie Edwards Published
Should I leave the heating on overnight in freezing weather?
The pros and cons of leaving the heating on overnight and the best way to keep your home warm during freezing weather – an expert guide
By Lola Houlton Published