living area organizing ideas

Living areas present a special set of organizational challenges.

These rooms are generally highly visible, so you want it to be company-ready, yet family-friendly at the same time. These living area organizing tips can help.

Living Area Organizing to Encourage Actual 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 storage baskets like this $14 collapsable handled bin in aqua for an inexpensive, portable way to organize items being used in living areas.


Choose living room furniture with storage, such as you find in ottomans and benches. Also look into furniture with extensive built-in storage, such as armoires, hutches, bookshelves, and storage benches as well as coffee tables or end tables with baskets, shelves, or drawers.

Choose furniture with built-in storage such 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 can be tucked neatly out of sight in living areas in a lidded, retangular storage ottoman like this $35 faux-leather model. Otherwise, group toys buy type (LEGOs, coloring, drawing) in easy-carry toy chest baskets or plastic containers. Allow little ones to pull out only one container at a time.

For 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.










› Easy Living Area Organizing Ideas