This genius 15-minute decluttering trick helps me tidy my home fast

Spending a mere 10-15 minutes each day on this simple task can truly transform your space.

Split image header showing three minimal clutter free spaces
(Image credit: Future / Getty Images / Marie Flanigan Interiors/Photography Julie Soefer)

No matter how tidy you or your family members are, daily life naturally creates a bit of chaos, particularly if you have children (or a messy partner).

I, for one, can certainly relate to this. That's why I've been test-running various decluttering tips for the past month to see if I can get on top of my daily – and weekly – tidying routine. 

Needless to say, after I discovered this 15-minute decluttering trick and applied it to my home, I haven't looked back. So, I wanted to share this simple home organization hack to help you conquer your untidy living spaces.   

The 15-minute decluttering trick 

Before you keep reading, this decluttering hack comes with a disclaimer: this might just be the most straightforward tidying technique you've ever encountered. Honestly, it's so simple it almost feels like cheating your chores. Here's how I do it: 

1. Select a basket or container

A minimal clutter-free laundry closet with laundry baskets and storage baskets on tidy shelves

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The first step in this simple process is to get your hands on a storage basket or container. This will be your go-to for gathering daily messes, so ensure it's easy to carry around your home. 

I like to use a basket with handles for this task but feel free to use anything handy - an old laundry basket will do the job nicely. The most important thing to remember is that portability is key, so avoid heavy or bulky containers.

2. Set a 15-minute timer

Set aside 15 minutes each day to establish a designated decluttering time. You may wish to do this during your lunch break or when you first get through the door (before you get cozy and don't want to tackle chores). Personally, I like to do this as I'm winding down for the day, as part of my closing shift routine.

This is where your chosen container comes in. Set your phone timer to 15 minutes and walk through your house with the container. Collect any items that appear out of place – think remote controls, children’s toys, odd socks, or discarded jumpers. The key is to keep moving and not dwell on organizing just yet. Once your timer goes off, don't be tempted to keep going - that's the beauty of this trick. You'd be surprised how much clutter you can gather in this time. 

I first read about this method on Curblyand it's not dissimilar to the FOCUSED15 method of decluttering. Many experts swear by 15-minute cleaning and organizing sessions because they prevent you from feeling overwhelmed by the task at hand. 

3. Find a place for everything

White living room with darker accents

(Image credit: Studio McGee)

What you do with your gathered clutter is down to you. Personally, I like to find places for all my collected items that same evening. Usually, I just walk back through the house with my basket and pop each item in the correct place (sometimes that's a drawer, sometimes that's a bin, often it's the laundry basket).

You may prefer to do your pick-ups in the evening and leave the items to be sorted the following morning. That way, you can unwind in a clutter-free environment and redistribute everything to its proper place after a good night's sleep. 

Alternatively, if you want to take decluttering to the next level, you could do this entire process before you start work for the day – whatever suits you best. 

If you're anything like me, this 15-minute trick will help you power through your daily tidying tasks. However, you may prefer to declutter as you go, slowly integrating organizational tasks into your daily routine. There's also the snowball decluttering method for self-identified procrastinators or the Core-4 Method™️ for minimizing stress.

Gabriella Dyson
Head of Solved

Gabriella is Head of Solved at Homes & Gardens. She is a DIY enthusiast and a lover of all things interior design, often found antiquing or browsing the aisles of her local hardware store. 

She has a particular passion for historic buildings and is in the process of renovating a Victorian coachhouse in the British countryside. 

For much of the past decade, Gabriella has worked as a freelance writer, crafting copy for national publications and renowned homeware brands. Most recently, she worked on Homebuilding & Renovating Magazine, focusing on case studies for the magazine and website, as well as writing features about issues surrounding historic and listed building projects.