Reclaim Your Home: Back-to-School House Decluttering Tips


clean kitchen
Image courtesy of Simplehuman

It’s been a summer full of sleepovers, barbecues, messy play and making memories. But as the kids head back to school it’s time to turn your attention to your home once again. From the living room to their bedrooms, let us show you how some quick and easy decluttering can completely transform your interior, making it feel less like an after-school club and more like home again. Leaving the house on time for the school run? Well that’s up to you…

The Entrance

tidy entrance hall
New Africa /
  • Avoid family traffic by keeping this space as clear as possible. Sure, that oversized vase may look great in the corner, but if it’s going to slow you all down on a Monday morning it’s best moved somewhere else.
  • It’s the entrance hall, not a wardrobe. Create an area for the family to their hang coats and backpacks as they enter so they don’t end up cluttering up the stairway.
  • Whether it’s your porch or the hallway, consider a shoe rack. Not only will it make the mornings run more smoothly (how many minutes have been wasted searching for their PE trainers?) it’ll stop anyone tripping over piles of school shoes as they leave in a rush.
  • A tidy tray/trinket tray/valet try, whatever you like to call it, invest in one. Knowing your keys will always be in the same place? Life changing.

The Living Room

neutral living room
  • It’s time to put the games consoles back where they belong: in their bedrooms. Pack up their games, put away the controllers. They’ve kept them quietly entertained for 6 weeks but now’s the time to reclaim your living room.
  • If children’s magazines have been cluttering up your coffee table all summer, recycle them or put them in their bedrooms.
  • Clear the space of clutter and treat yourself to a bunch of fresh flowers in your favourite vase, it’s a small addition that’ll make a big difference.

The Kitchen

scandi kitchen

In-between coffee mornings, breakfast play dates and making sleepover snacks for half the neighbourhood, your kitchen is a hub of activity in the summertime. And it shows. Give the heart of your home the attention it deserves once the kids head back to school with a few simple tips…

  • Take inventory of everything in your refrigerator. Are you ever going to eat that jar of pickle? Check dates and dispose of anything that’s passed its best, you’d be surprised how much you can accumulate in one summer.
  • Sure, their drawings are adorable. But is the refrigerator door the best place for them to live? One or two of your little one’s masterpieces can add a personal touch to your kitchen, but if they’re the main focus as you enter the space it’s time to put some in a memory box upstairs.
  • There’s no excuse for a junk drawer, if you haven’t used it in the last year you don’t need it.

The Bathroom

white bathroom
  • Organise their toiletries into clearly marked baskets and explain to them that everything has a ‘home’. A storage box for each family member will encourage them to keep their own little space organised.
  • Throw away any bath toys they’ve outgrown and keep the rest neatly stored away in a bathroom cabinet (nothing will ruin your at-home spa experience like a Spider Man doll staring at you).
  • Treat yourself to some brand new towels and your favourite toiletries, you’ve earned it.

The Bedrooms

girl's bedroom
Image courtesy of Bloomingville
Image courtesy of Bloomingville
  • Before they head back to school take inventory of their clothes & any they’ve grown out of donate to charity.
  • Once you’ve sorted through their wardrobes, organise their clothes by activity: school, play, sports & miscellaneous. It’ll make getting ready each morning that little bit easier.
  • Involve your child and talk about your plans to declutter their bedroom. Instead of asking them about the toys they don’t want, ask them to tell you about their favourites. You’ll quickly learn which items they love and which ones they’ve forgotten about. You can then discuss finding these pieces a new home by donating them to charity.