The 15 minute declutter can transform any room in your home – and that's where you should always start

The 15-minute declutter method is taking over the Internet – here's how to do it right, according to decluttering experts

15 minute declutter
(Image credit: Ikea)

The 15-minute declutter method is taking the world of tidying up by storm. While Marie Kondo tidying up tips have revolutionized the way we approach decluttering, the tidying up guru would most likely approve of the new method that doesn't just tell you how to say goodbye to things you no longer need – it limits the time you have to do it.  

The beauty of the 15-minute method is that it works for any room in the house and can be done daily, all you need is a timer. In fact, tidying experts recommend decluttering for 15 minutes a day, five days a week, for best results. 

White bedroom with Tyssedal wardrobe by Ikea

(Image credit: Ikea)

Yvonne Pratt, of Stone Gable blog, advises 'if you have 15 minutes in your day you can start to declutter. This is not an overnight, bring in the forklift and dig out decluttering. It’s gentler and kinder and actually works much better in the long run!'

However, she also says that while the 15-minute method is gentle on you, the declutterer, it won't be on your unwanted stuff – you have to 'be ruthless' when sifting through your things. This is the only way this method can work at all – you simply don't have time to think too much about this or that item. 

Where to start when doing a 15 minute declutter

Shoe storage idea on the back of a wardrobe door

(Image credit: Ikea/Chris Court)

One thing is certain: trying to do a quick declutter of your cherished sentimental items will be tough, so make is easy instead – by tackling your closet before anything else. As decluttering expert Suzanne Roynon says (as part of a Love Your Home collaboration with Homebase), 'If you’re itching to get going and ready to power through, tackle the wardrobe first!  It’s an easy win because there will be clothes which you either don’t feel good wearing or remind you of sad or uncomfortable situations.'

Learning how to declutter your wardrobe is easy 'because they are personal to you it’s easy to let them go and build up your decluttering muscle to deal with other parts of the home.' And don't forget to look at some clothes storage ideas if your closet needs complete reorganizing. 

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(Image credit: Ikea)

If you think you might procrastinate with even this simple decluttering task, set yourself a deadline (the next time you have time off work or a public holiday, for example). As Ontario-based professional organizer Kathleen puts it, 'urgency can be a great motivator. Striving towards a due date can help you stay focused.'

We're off to do some decluttering right now – that closet definitely could do with some fast and ruthless tidying. Simply set the timer for 15 minutes, and go! No excuses.

Anna Cottrell
Anna Cottrell

Anna is Consumer Editor across Future's home brands. She moved to the world of interiors from academic research in the field of English Literature and photography. She is the author of London Writing of the 1930s and has a passion for contemporary home decor and gardening.