Is this social media craze your decluttering secret weapon?

Style editor and resident decluttering expert Anna Morley shares her top tip for powering through a declutter. Will this social media inspired trend work for you?

pantry organization
(Image credit: The Container Store)

If you are finding it hard to let go of stuff and get organized, we have a great motivational tip and it comes from our favorite interior inspo source (aside from Real Homes of course) – social media.

Anyone who needs to find the best ways to declutter, take note. The trick to finally clearing that drawer, organizing that closet or spare room has probably been right in front of your eyes, several times a day. Three words. Tap. To. Tidy.

If you don't know what that means, the TikTok and Instagram phenomenon involves taking a before and after image and either piecing together in a video or on stories (so that you tap to see the tidy 'after' image). 

One of our favorite decluttering gurus Stacey Solomon titled her book on organization – Tap to Tidy – after it, as the trend sparked such strong responses from her followers.

In fact, 'cleanfluencers' do it all the time to create engaging content for their fans, but many find it is a great tool for their own tidying motivation, whether they share to the 'Gram, or just keep for their own sense of achievement. 

How can 'Tap to Tidy' motivate you to declutter

This simple trick is something our style editor – and self-professed decluttering obsessive Anna Morley – has been doing for years.

Anna says, 'Take a before and after picture. Make sure you document how the space looks before you touch anything.'

It is something most of us wouldn't think to do as the very reason we are tidying is that the subject matter is not that aesthetically pleasing, but as Anna continues: 'This will serve as extra incentive to make big improvements and once cleaning has finished it will feel like a huge win when you compare the two images and see your accomplishments.'

Many then go on to share their achievements online, motivated by the likes of doing so, but we think the biggest reward is seeing your own hard work. It encourages you to repeat the experience because you can see the benefits and how far you have come.

Anna Morley before and after garage organization pic

(Image credit: Future)

And it is something Anna finds very effective, as her own garage storage overhaul (above) on the weekend goes to show.

'Seeing how far I've come gives me a huge sense of satisfaction. I send my family the photos to, whether they like it or not,' Anna remarks. 

We think the before serves as a good reminder not to let it get that way again, too. So next time you have a declutter, don't forget to tap to tidy.

Lindsey Davis
Editor in Chief, Homes Ecommerce

Lindsey is Editor of and Editor in Chief for Home Ecommerce at Future. She is here to give you aspirational, yet attainable ideas for your home and works with her team to help you get the best buys, too. She has written about homes and interiors for the best part of a decade for brands including Homes & Gardens, Ideal Home and Gardeningetc and isn't afraid to take the inspiration she finds at work into her own space – a Victorian terrace which she has been (slowly) remodelling for the last eight years. She is happiest sipping a cup of tea with a cat on her lap (if only she had a cat).