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living area organizing ideas

Living areas present a special set of organizational challenges.

These rooms are generally highly visible, so you want something that's company-ready, yet family-friendly at the same time.

These living area organizing tips can help you meet the following challenges:

  • How do you keep a living room presentable with minimal fuss?
  • How do you create family-friendly storage in living areas?
  • How to you make formal living rooms feel warm and welcoming?
  • How do you keep various types of surfaces clean with kids and pets all over them all the time?

living area organizing to encourage living inside.

Living rooms are usually set up for sitting, not living. 

You have your basic sofa, chair, end table, and coffee table. Note that none of these pieces of furniture usually has storage.

So, where do you put the remote? Magazines? Paperwork? Headsets? Computers? Games? You get the drift.

Most families just carry the stuff they need or are working on into the living room and leaving it there (of course!).

You - and your guests - will find abandoned items on the coffee table, beside the chair, and on the floor. This is precisely what you don't want.

Solution? Give the family a place to put their things so they can keep them where they use them.

That means you've got to get creative and figure out how to incorporate storage furniture and areas into the room. 

how to create more storage in your living room.

Here are some ways to create more storage, from least to most expensive:

  • Incorporate attractive baskets into your decor.
  • Choose living room storage furniture such as ottomans, benches, etc.
  • Choose furniture with built-in storage such as armoires, hutches, bookshelves, and storage benches as well as coffee tables or end tables with baskets, shelves, or drawers.
  • Invest in custom-designed storage furniture.
  • Buy or build wall units.

organize your living room into activity areas.

Now that you've arranged some storage, it's time to take living area organizing to the next level. Look at your room in terms of the activities you'll be doing there, write down what items you need for those activities, and then start planning where you'll put them. A few ideas:

  • Reading: Store books, newspapers, or magazines in baskets, on shelves under coffee tables or end tables, on bookshelves, or in attractive magazine racks.
  • TV: The problem is not so much where to put the TV as where to keep the remote and game consoles. If you watch TV or play games often, just leave them on a tabletop. If you try to limit your kids' viewing (or if you have a toddler who might dip the remote in the toilet), stash it out of sight. But always keep it in the same place.
  • Toys and games: Many wooden toy chests are attractive enough to grace your living room. (Make sure, however, that any chest you use for toys has supports that will hold the hinged lid open in any position. Many children have been injured by lids crashing down on their arms, heads, and hands.) Benches with storage underneath are another option, and they can neatly camouflage an entire battalion of G.I. Joes. Otherwise, group toys by type (LEGO's, coloring, drawing) in baskets or plastic containers. Allow little ones to pull out only one container at a time.
  • Napping: The only accessories you need here can be stored in plain sight - afghans and pillows.

Finally, add a personal place to stash stuff for each family member to help make living area organizing easier. That way, they can easily reach the game controllers, a book, or a game when they're ready to relax.

Ready to get started organizing your living room? Visit the Clean Organized Home Store for the ideas mentioned here and much more!

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About the Author

Tara Aronson

Tara Aronson is a native Californian. Having grown up in San Diego, she studied journalism and Spanish to pursue a career in newspaper writing. Tara, whose three children - Chris, Lyndsay, and Payne - are the light of her life, now lives and writes in Los Angeles. She also regularly appears on television news programs throughout the U.S.