One of the most commonly used rooms in any household is the living room. It’s in this room that families gather for just about every activity. It’s a room that can quickly become cluttered with blankets, backpacks, books, and other daily essentials that get strewn about. I’m sharing some easy ways to declutter your living room and help bring a measure of peace to your family’s gathering spot.
Of course, the kitchen is the one room where most clutter happens. That’s because the kitchen is where family meals are made. But, we use our living rooms (or family rooms) for family game nights, movie nights, to do school work, read books, and spend time together.
Figuring out ways to keep this active room decluttered can feel stressful. This is especially true in homes with little children because they have so many toys and other items that can clutter the floors, tables, and couch.
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How to Start to Declutter Your Living Room
When starting out, determine what is creating the most clutter. Is it blankets, books, games, backpacks, shoes? Whatever is causing the most clutter is where you should focus first.
Often, what you’ll find are items that belong in other rooms. It might be kids’ shoes, backpacks, or dishes that were carried in from the kitchen. You will want to come up with a system that gets those items back where they belong on a daily basis. Perhaps, you set aside 10 minutes each evening before the kids’ bathtime to have everyone pick up their items and take them to their room, while you move the dishes to the sink and fold and put away blankets. Having a daily routine goes a long way in keeping your living room straightened and decluttered.
Organizing Your Living Room
Organize Into Groups
Looking at all the stuff in your living room, organize all the things that cause clutter into groups. Once you have everything into groups of like things, then you can focus on each type of item and figure out how to create a home for each of them.
First put away anything that already has a home. Return clothing to bedrooms, or the laundry room. Take dishes to the kitchen sink. Put books on their shelves. Then focus on anything that needs a home.
Have a Home for Everything
Clutter happens when the things we own do not have a place where they belong. This means, those items get left out and float around from place to place. Or it could be that they do have a home but no one is putting things back where it’s supposed to be.
To solve the issue with things piling up, make decisions where everything goes. Have a home for everything you keep in your home. And, even more importantly, make sure each family member knows where these items are supposed to be and start training them to put back things that are used when they’re done using them.
Organize with Baskets, Bins, and Boxes
It might seem too obvious but baskets, bins, and boxes are wonderful for keeping things organized. In a busy room like your living room, you might want to use pretty baskets, or modern fabric bins to keep the look in line with your household decor. This way when items are put away they become part of your home’s look and you’ll still be able to easily access them when you need them.
These clutter catchers can hold anything you want. Use a small basket as a place for all your remote controls. Use decorative bins for keeping kids’ toys in the corner. Pretty bins or baskets with lids on top are especially good for keeping clutter out of sight when not in use.
Kids, especially small ones, will need to be trained to put away their things when they are done playing with them. Creating a regular routine helps them to get into the habit of putting things back where they belong. Try not to get frustrated having to repeat yourself. Because children learn best through repetition. And, don’t forget a clean-up song can help make putting away more fun.
Create a Charging Station
Electronics can create clutter quickly when each family member has their own tablets, phones, cords, and laptops.
By organizing a centrally located charging station your family will know when they are finished using an item, they return their tech gear to the station to be charged. Plus, that means cords will be organized and out of the way, and tangled cords become a thing of the past.
A good location for a charging station might be a console table in the living room or foyer. This is a great option for kids who share electronic devices. Or, you can create one in each person’s bedroom for their own personal devices.
A charging dock makes for a perfect solution for your new charging station. You simply plug in the cords and then devices can be slid into the slots and plugged in. These docks keep the devices looking organized and your console table won’t look cluttered but will look purposeful. Make sure your console or side table is in a place near an outlet and you’re good to go!
Keep Cords Together
Cords can quickly become a nuisance! And, with the amount of electronics most of us own, they can seem like they’re everywhere. You can make a big difference in how organized your living room looks is by keeping your cords from becoming a tangled mess.
Since we talked about organizing devices using a charging station several of your cords will naturally end up there. But, we often have other types of cords that we need quick access to. The simplest solution is to use a paper towel or toilet paper tubes. You can roll the cords loosely and slide them into the tube. If your charging station console or side table has a drawer you can then set these rolls into the drawer and they’ll all be conveniently together in one place. Then, when you need to use one of the cors, just pull the end of the cord out far enough to use them.
Another option is a pretty cord keeper travel case. You place the cords inside the provided slots, zip the cover closed, and store it in a drawer, bin, or basket. It keeps the cords organized, out of sight, and handy for whenever you need to use them.
Use Wall Hooks
Wall hooks are a great way to organize anywhere in your home, especially a small home. In the living room, they can be decorative, or connected to a shelf. Wall hooks are a good solution for backpacks, purses, and even coats.
It is a vertical storage solution that utilizes space that’s not on your floor or furniture. These hooks don’t have to just be utilitarian! There are some beautiful wall hook solutions that can use to create a decorative feature in your space.
Create a Family Game Area
In most homes, the living room functions more like a family room. It’s where we gather for various family activities like playing games. If you’re living room serves as your game room for family game night, then having a space to store all of your games, and also a place to play them is important.
Use a small (or large depending on the number of games you have) storage cabinet with drawers and doors for keeping games out of sight when not in use. Another option is to use a rolling cart with drawers. This way, whether you want to play in the living room or dining room you can roll your games to wherever you need them. And, they’ll have a home that looks nice in your living space.
Manage Shoes and Coats
It’s fairly obvious that shoes and coats being dropped on couches and floors can be a huge eyesore that clearly makes your living room feel cluttered. When you start training your family to use the hooks mentioned above for hanging their coats you’ll quickly clear the clutter from your family space.
When it comes to shoes it might be that you need to get a shoe rack that you keep near the entry door. This gives your kids a place to put their shoes as soon as they take them off. One way to manage this is with an all-in-one shoe and coat rack solution that also can serve as a decorative piece of furniture.
Keeping Your Living Room Decluttered
Once you have everything in the living room organized, you will want to keep it that way. This might sound difficult but the easiest way is the simplest tip that I can give you: spend a few minutes each day straightening your space. Taking 10 to 15 minutes each evening to tidy up will go a long way in helping you keep your living room organized. Too tired at night? Try doing a quick tidy first thing in the morning.
If you are married with kids you aren’t the only one who needs to be cleaning up. To keep your living room organized enlist the help of your family members. A little help goes a long way in reducing the stress associated with clutter in the home.
Put Away What You Pick Up
This may seem obvious, but it’s often overlooked. If you find something out of place, pick it up and put it away. If you use it, put it away, if you play with it, put it away. Gently teach, through repetition, this idea to your kids and before long your whole family will have the habit of putting away what you pick up. Which means your home will stay clutter-free.
Organizing can be an overwhelming task when you don’t know where to start. When there is so much stuff and few places to put it all it can feel like an insurmountable task. These decluttering ideas can help you get started, work through the process and find a workable solution for everything that you need to manage. When you do, you’ll find your home to be a peaceable place that your family can enjoy.