7 hacks minimalists depend on to keep their homes tidy

These seven tricks for keeping your home tidy are loved by minimalists – and for good reason

A white bookshelf with backwards books and small decor pieces
(Image credit: Getty Images)

If you find yourself frequently frustrated by the state of your home and feel the need to clean up almost constantly, you may need to rethink the systems you have in place to keep it neat and tidy.

One group of people has the art of preventing clutter down to a T – minimalists – and there is a lot we can learn from their refined lifestyles. 

Read on to discover the decluttering strategies minimalists swear by and the seven hacks they depend on to keep their homes tidy and free from everyday clutter. 

Minimalist home hacks

You don't have to encourage minimalism at home for these tidying hacks to work for your family. The art lies in using these strategies to contain your belongings so they don't get in the way and force you to declutter them.  

1. Make a home for everything

dorm closet ideas

(Image credit: Meredith Goforth - House of Prim)

'The most obvious way to keep your home in order is to create a home for everything and get rid of anything you can't house easily in your space,' begins Courtney Finley, professional organizer and designer at Organized Designs.

'It is vital in home organizing to designate a place for everything in an area that makes sense,' she says, such as keeping all keys by the front door, all shoes in the entryway or in your closet, and so on. When an area starts to overflow, it is time to consider decluttering and keeping only what you use and need, getting rid of duplicates to maintain a tidy, functional space.  

Courtney Finley
Courtney Finley

Courtney Finley is an Organizer and Interior Designer and has a BFA in Interior Design. Her organizing and interior design business helps working professionals get organized and design their home or office.

2. Contain, contain, contain

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(Image credit: Future PLC)

'Similarly, it is important to contain these areas to ensure that you don't overspend and categories do not overflow to start cluttering up the rest of your home,' Courtney continues. Using baskets and bins in the entryway for shoes, bags, and seasonal items will stop you from storing them in hallways or over the backs of chairs, for instance. 

A great minimalist hack when using containers is to stick to something like the boundary method for organizing, ensuring that your categories never overflow the boundaries of the container you have designated for them.  

3. Remember that the floor is not storage

Modern beige entryway painted in Pale Oak

(Image credit: TK Design)

'One of the biggest pitfalls of organizing a home is using the floor to store things,' says Gabriella Dyson, Solved section editor for Homes & Gardens. Of course, you can have large baskets and bins on the floor, but you should avoid leaving single items loose such as shoes in entryways or folded clothes on the base of a closet.

‘This is a quick way for cluttered areas to get out of control. Ensure everything is contained, hung up, or stored in storage units to avoid clutter making a trail all over your home.’ 

Gabriella Dyson
Gabriella Dyson

Gabriella Dyson is Head of Solved at Homes & Gardens, editing and writing practical advice for homeowners in the process of cleaning, decluttering, or attempting home improvements and DIY projects. Gabriella previously worked on Homebuilding.com, writing features about issues surrounding historic and listed building projects.

4. Make a home for clean and dirty items

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(Image credit: Anbôise)

One of the most common causes of clutter in bathrooms and bedrooms is laundry – particularly clothes and towels that are used but not quite dirty enough to be washed yet. Designating areas for clean, dirty, and half-used items is a must if you want to avoid doom piles and repeatedly decluttering the bedroom clothes chair, says Sarah Parisi, professional declutterer and owner at The Clutter Curator. It also helps to create a laundry routine to stay on top of laundry baskets before they overflow: 

‘Laundry tends to be a big pain point for our clients. Depending on how many loads of laundry you do a week will dictate the frequency. If you need to do one to three loads of laundry, then once or twice a week is plenty. If you are doing four to six loads of laundry, it will need to be a daily event,' explains Sarah.

‘I also suggest having a hamper on each floor versus in each room,’ she continues. ‘This way, you know when you have a full load of laundry to do, and you can stay on top of it. If you have kids, get them involved. They can fold and put their items away.'

Sarah Parisi
Sarah Parisi

Sarah Parisi is the owner and founder of The Clutter Curator. Informed by her background in interior design, project management, and certified life coach she has an innate skillset to make the act of de-cluttering approachable and attainable.

5. Use the one-touch rule

mud room with screened closet and storage buckets

(Image credit: Chad Mellon at Studio Mellon / Styling Kara Perlis)

If you have ever used or heard the phrase ‘don’t put it down, put it away’, then you are halfway to succeeding with one of the best minimalist hacks to keep a tidy home – the one-touch rule

This simple home tidying tip encourages you to put everyday items back in your homes so they are not left on sides and counters to create visual clutter. Adhering to this rule will save you a lot of time tidying up in the long run and can even help you avoid feeling overwhelmed. 

6. Enlist your family for help

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(Image credit: Future)

'One of the best ways minimalists keep their homes tidy is by encouraging family to declutter and tidy up with them, but this has more benefits than helping you with your chores,' says Megan McGovernCEO of SORT By Megan: 

‘Teaching children and other family members the importance of cleanliness and involving them in age-appropriate tasks instills a sense of responsibility and teamwork,’ she explains. It is a win-win. 

Megan McGovern
Megan McGovern

Megan has always loved to organize. She developed SORT, and organizing method founded on the principals of Simple, Organized, Repeatable, and Tidy. 

7. Do a weekly reset

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(Image credit: The White Company)

If you have been on social media over the last few months you will be familiar with the minimalist ritual of closing shift routines and Sunday resets. For Sarah Parisi, professional declutterer, this is one of the best ways to truly keep your home neat and tidy without feeling overwhelmed. 

‘We find resetting your home is so important and the key to a consistently organized home. The reason for a weekly reset is to relocate items that belong in other rooms, to declutter consistently, and to remember what you have, and if you need to replenish your stock. 

‘As you implement a weekly reset, you will be able to tidy your home in less than 30 minutes a week! No longer will you need to commit weekends and nights to get your home in order.’


'It is not just everyday items and belongings that need addressing for a tidy home,' reminds Megan McGovern, professional organizer. 'Organizing your cleaning supplies so that they are easily accessible means you can clean your home more efficiently and in less time.' She recommends keeping multi-purpose cleaners and microfiber cloths on hand to clean different surfaces efficiently. 

Chiana Dickson
Writer

Chiana has been at Homes & Gardens for a year, having started her journey in interior journalism as part of the graduate program. She spends most of her time producing content for the Solved section of the website, helping readers get the most out of their homes through clever decluttering, cleaning, and tidying tips – many of which she tests and reviews herself in her home in Lancaster to ensure they will consistently deliver for her readers and dabbles in the latest design trends. She also has a first-class degree in Literature from Lancaster University.