How to "Reset" Your Living Room, and Start Again With a Less-Cluttered Space

Tired of your current living room set up? Desperate to clear clutter? We consulted the experts who told us how to complete a reset properly

a living room with storage and blue patterned chairs
(Image credit: Sarah Millet. Design: Melinda Kelson O'Connor Architecture)

Everyone's interior style and taste naturally evolves and changes over time depending on what the current trends are. Families might grow or what we require from our homes will change because of how we want to feel when we’re in them. 

A busy family home can easily become cluttered with items not being given dedicated places to store them in, or the room becomes boiled down to a functional living space as opposed to a room that inspires you.

We spoke to the experts to get their advice on how to organize a living room when you don't know where to start by "resetting" your space, and what the best foundations are for a stylish and practical space.

1. Rethink furniture

a dark blue minimalist living room

(Image credit: Tim Lenz. Design: Crystal Sinclair)

Living room furniture is one of the key elements of any design. However, have you considered the best configuration for your room that makes the most out of the space that you have? 

Professional organizer Ben Soreff from H2H Organizing says ‘one of the main goals of a living room is to create an open and bright feeling with flow. I suggest removing excess furniture from the living room, most people have too many infrequently used chairs. If you have lived in your space for a long time, you have probably accumulated furniture from relatives. Not to mention the furniture you bought with you from your first apartment’. 

Taking this into account, it’s probably wise to do a furniture audit and consider what exactly gets used and what doesn’t. Doing this will immediately open up the space and make it feel less cluttered. Ben also goes on to say ‘since donating or getting rid of furniture can present a logistical challenge, most people skip it. When you take into account small end tables, desks, and floor lamps there is usually an excess. Most living rooms don't get frequent use, so they tend to be areas where people shove excess furniture’. Avoid this from happening by doing a regular audit and cleanse of your living room furniture so it doesn’t pile on top of you.

2. Clear surfaces

a living room with storage and blue patterned chairs

(Image credit: Sarah Millet. Design: Melinda Kelson O'Connor Architecture)

Open surfaces such as shelves and mantelpieces can quickly turn into clutter collectors. These should be key places where we consciously display some of our most prized possessions, however this often isn’t the case. Ben suggests ‘removing as much as possible from the mantelpiece to leave it feeling clean and fresh and inserting decor throughout a bookcase so it is not wall-to-wall books’. 

A bookcase, shelves or bespoke storage can easily look too busy, ultimately these are fantastic areas in the home to store books and other practical items, however you can easily make them feel more stylish by adding a few decorative pieces into the mix. For example, a vase full of flowers, a designer candle or an art print in a bespoke frame can really elevate these spaces.

3. Schedule a weekly reset

a living room with bookshelves

(Image credit: Anna Design)

It’s often the most boring answers that are the most effective. But, once you’ve decided on a ‘living room reset’ and you’ve come up with a design and look that you love, set a weekly reminder to declutter your living space so stuff doesn’t start to build up again. It's one of the most important steps in how to declutter a room and keep it that way.

Shara Kay, founder of SK Organizing, says ‘keep your living room clutter-free and ready for entertaining by having a quick ‘reset’ routine to follow, ideally at the same time on the same day each week (or more often if needed!) so that it becomes a habit. Take a lap around the room—we like to start at the entryway and move clockwise. Toss any trash (like finished periodicals) and remove items that belong in other rooms (like drinking glasses and mugs to the kitchen, or errant socks to the laundry hamper)’.

4. Consider bespoke storage

a living room with built in storAGE

(Image credit: Life Created. Design: Living With Lolo)

Decided to embark on a complete living room renovation? Then, you may want to consider incorporating bespoke living room storage into your design. Naturally, this will be a bigger investment but it will help you use every inch of your living space, avoiding unnecessary clutter to build up. 

Anna Vasiltsova, head designer and founder of Anna Design says 'a great starting point for a living room reset is to consider built-in storage. If you’re planning a renovation or customizing your living room, consider built-in storage solutions. These can include custom cabinets, window seats with hidden storage, or even integrated shelving. Remember, an organized living room doesn’t mean sacrificing style. Built-in storage is a practical solution that you can maintain a clutter-free space while still expressing your design preferences’.

Becca Cullum-Green
Freelance writer

Becca Cullum-Green is a freelance interiors content creator and stylist. She fell in love with interiors when she landed her first job as an editorial assistant at a leading UK homes magazine fresh out of university. You can find her renovating her 19th-century cottage in the Suffolk countryside, consciously trying not to paint every wall with Farrow and Ball’s ‘Pitch Black’. Her signature style is a mix of modern design with traditional characteristics. She has previously worked for House Beautiful, Grand Designs, Good Housekeeping, Red, Good Homes and more.