5 Things People With Clutter-Free Living Rooms Always Have in Them

Dreaming about an organized living room but not sure how to recreate this at home? We ask the experts

a modern white living room with a sideboard
(Image credit: Lance Gerber. Design: Joshua Smith Inc)

Having a stylish and clutter-free living room is easier said than done when you have a busy family home. Living rooms often become a dumping ground for clutter as this is where we spend most of our time. Yet, this is where we should be able to fully relax and unwind, which means we should make every effort for it not to become fussy and cluttered.

Some of us could only dream of having an organized living room that boasts a minimalist design. However, it could be much simpler to achieve than you think. Here’s what the experts say about how to organize a living room, and the things that any truly organized space will have in them.

1. Display Baskets

organizing hacks wicker baskets in built-in storage by Marie Flanigan

(Image credit: Marie Flanigan)

Living room storage doesn’t have to be solely practical, it can be stylish too. Don’t be led to believe that organization manifests itself into a neat pile of plastic boxes, you can take a more style led approach that will suit the rest of your home. 

Victoria Holly, Principal and Founder of Victoria Holly Interiors says ‘for an organized living room, consider display baskets to help hide away any clutter. When integrating storage and decor into a living room, I always like to place baskets on the bottom of a bookshelf or built-ins. The reason for this is baskets are visually heavier, and that way your decor doesn't feel top-heavy. I also like to do a line of baskets at the bottom of a bookshelf and then integrate smaller baskets throughout above’.

2. A sideboard

a modern white living room with a sideboard

(Image credit: Lance Gerber. Design: Joshua Smith Inc)

Rather than following a checklist for living room organization, bring your own sense of style and personality to it. Bulkier pieces of living room furniture such as sideboards and bookcases don’t have to be a ‘one size fits all’, they can be one-off pieces that are found in antique shops or that have been passed down from family members. 

Lauren Lerner, CEO and Founder of Living with Lolo explains that ’in the living rooms we design, we frequently integrate sideboards. This provides our clients with additional storage space while allowing us to showcase beautiful accessories on top. If a sideboard isn't suitable, our next choice is a console. When using a console, we prefer to include elegant baskets underneath for storage and adorn the top with stylish accessories’

3. Less is more

A living room with furniture turned in for a conversational space

(Image credit: Jonathan Hokklo. Design: Jessica Gersten Interiors)

Rather than a physical ‘thing’, one of the main concepts that people with organized living rooms have is a less is more attitude. This doesn’t have to mean that your living room has to have a minimalist aesthetic —maximalists can take this approach too as it’s more of a mindset rather than the actual quantity of items. 

To explain, everything in your home should have an intention behind it, especially in a busy living space like a lounge. Crystal Sinclair from Crystal Sinclair Designs shares a great tip, ‘instead of having a lot of small objects in a living room, try one large accessory paired with a small accessory. Playing with scale works extremely well and feels more designed’. It’s little hacks like this that can change the entire look and feel of a room.

4. Vertical storage

small white living room with open shelving by Living with Lolo

(Image credit: Living with Lolo/Life Created)

Use the height of your living room to its maximum potential by incorporating vertical storage. Anna Vasiltsova, Head Designer at Anna Design insists that ‘vertical and corner storage is essential for an organized and well-thought out living room’. Anna goes on to suggest that you ‘utilize vertical space by adding shelves, wall-mounted organizers or corner shelving units that will help maximize storage without taking up valuable floor space’.  

Lots of storage that sits on the floor will naturally make a room feel more busy and cluttered. Whereas, if your things are neatly organized on a built-in storage or on a shelf up high, it makes it feel intentional and less like clutter.

5. Cable storage

A living room with a fireplace

(Image credit: Joel Klassen. Design: Alykhan Velji Designs)

Visible cables are a professional organizer's bugbear! Due to our homes being connected at all times, it can be tricky to design a space that is totally free of cables. However, there are certain ways to hide cables that people with clutter-free living rooms use.

Anna explains that ‘tangled cables can create visual chaos and can make a perfectly tidy room feel incredibly untidy. Invest in a media in-wall box to hide all of your cables and use cord clips to keep those cords under control’.

Becca Cullum-Green
Freelance writer

Becca Cullum-Green is a freelance interiors content creator and stylist. She fell in love with interiors when she landed her first job as an editorial assistant at a leading UK homes magazine fresh out of university. You can find her renovating her 19th-century cottage in the Suffolk countryside, consciously trying not to paint every wall with Farrow and Ball’s ‘Pitch Black’. Her signature style is a mix of modern design with traditional characteristics. She has previously worked for House Beautiful, Grand Designs, Good Housekeeping, Red, Good Homes and more.