Containing clutter is a constant struggle. But the solutions don’t have to cost a lot. And the peace of mind that comes with an organized house? Priceless. So we present a series that shows you how to declutter your house, one room at a time, with budget in mind.
For the next installment, we tackle the living room.
Besides the kitchen, the living room is the most trafficked room in a home. Not only because we gather there, but also because we often pass through it en route to the kitchen or bedrooms. Any room that gets that much foot traffic tends to get messy!
To organize your living room, first do a clean sweep. Take stock of what’s there, and remove anything unnecessary. Think about recycling the hand-me-down chair, piled shoes, or toys gathering dust.
Start with the largest areas and bulkier items first. What appears unorganized? A messy bookshelf or open-shelf media cabinet can make the whole room look disorganized because it takes up a lot of space and holds a lot, especially if the TV is on it. (We also have a few tricks for hiding cords.)
Organize books by shape (like-height books grouped together), author, genre, or color. Because this bookshelf is a feature wall in this home, we chose to organize books by color for visual appeal.
Magazines and mail can be stored in a basket or bin, in a color that complements your existing decor. Placed near the corner of your sofa on the floor, magazines are accessible and ready to pick up, read through, and recycle when you’re done.
Kids and dogs tend to make a mess. Their toys can — and often do — wind up everywhere! Keep these items contained with a few buckets. Here, dog toys are tossed in two buckets: one for soft toys, the other for chew toys. Kids also will enjoy the options.
Bonus: You can train dogs and coax children to help clean up! Either bucket makes a fun dunking basket for practicing rim shots with the kids. Or get the dog to put back a toy for a treat.
Remote controls often wind up in seat cushions, under the sofa, or cluttering the coffee table. Place them in a decorative bowl in plain sight. That way they’re out in the open and within reach — and they become part of the décor.
Remember, the first way to organize your living room is to take stock of the items you use the most, as well as items you haven’t touched in a while. Remove items that no longer serve a purpose, and you’re on your way!