5 Easy Changes That Make Your Living Room More Low Maintenance

If keeping up with a tidy, clean living room is keeping you up at night, make these simple switches that will make it easier to reset every day

a living room with a red painted fireplacw
(Image credit: Natalie Papier - Home Ec)

Whether you live in a house or an apartment there’s one space everyone has in common: a living room. Your living room is one of those spaces in the house where you can prop open a good book, watch your favorite television show, or have a chat with friends.

That said, it can quickly become difficult to maintain between the constant need to clean, organize, and style. That said, we’ve tapped interior designers for simple tips and tricks on how you can change your living room to make it lower maintenance so you don’t have to spend all of your time keeping it in pristine condition.

1. Minimize accessories

a minimalist living room

(Image credit: Jennifer Stephan Interiors)

Think of the different throw pillows, blankets, decorative vases, trays, and sculptures you might have in your living room. Although they might look visually appealing, it can be a hassle to maintain everything and keep it clean and tidy. Cutting back may be the secret for how to organize a living room more easily.

'Define the pieces in the room that speak to you and weed out the rest that may be adding to the clutter,' says Natalie Papier, interior designer and star of Magnolia Network show Artfully Designed. 'Keeping decorative items to just special pieces and ridding yourself of excess helps not only keep your space neat but also always the eye to focus on the more meaningful or artistic pieces incorporated.'

2. Use larger pillow inserts

a living room with a grey sofa

(Image credit: Lisa Staton Design)

If you have couch pillows, then you probably spend a decent amount of time fluffing them to make them look more relaxing and inviting. Jennifer Stephan, interior designer and founder of Jennifer Stephan Interiors, recommends using larger pillow inserts in an effort to make your living room easier to maintain. 

'If you have an 18"x18" pillow cushion, then use a 20"x20" insert,' says Jennifer. 'This will fill the cover sufficiently so you aren't always fluffing pillows to make them seem fuller.'

This simple trick will not only save you time, but also provide you with the opportunity to change the aesthetic of your living room sofa in seconds. 

3. Opt for pet and kid-friendly upholstery

a blue sofa with a storage trolley in front

(Image credit: CORT)

Kids and pets also spend time in the living room which means there’s a higher likelihood of accidental messes, spills, and hairs left behind. Help minimize time spent cleaning by opting for high-quality fabrics and upholstery that can easily be maintained.

'Leather is both stylish and practical, as it can be easily wiped down to remove spills and stains,' says Darrell Gardner, director of product development at furniture brand CORT. 'It's a timeless material that adds sophistication to any space, making it a worthwhile investment for a low-maintenance home.'

Other kid and pet-friendly fabrics include microfiber and crypton which are usually waterproof, stain resistant, and claw-proof.

4. Add smart storage solutions

A neutral living room with large wall art

(Image credit: Andrea West Design)

Although a coffee table is a suitable place to hold a few magazines and coasters, it should not be the go-to for storage in a living room. Not only can it be an eyesore if it's overcrowded, but also needs to be constantly cleaned and maintained. With that in mind, Darrell recommends adding smarter solutions for living room storage

'Opt for furniture with built-in storage or invest in multifunctional pieces like ottomans with hidden compartments,' says Darrell. 'Utilizing vertical space with wall-mounted shelves and bookshelves also helps keep surfaces clear and reduces the need for constant tidying.'

Lots of furniture these days has built-in storage elements so you’ll want to keep an eye on that while shopping.

5. Implement smart home features

a living room with a red painted fireplace

(Image credit: Natalie Papier - Home Ec)

At the end of the night, you usually have to turn the lights off, close the blinds, power down the television, and  turn off the ceiling fans, etc. While it may not seem too time consuming at first, it’ll add up after days, weeks, and months. An easy way to make your living room lower maintenance is to add more smart home features. While you might have an Amazon Alexa or Google Home to play music or tell you the weather, you can buy one that can help with daily tasks too. 

'Make your home a smart home with the ease of automated blinds and timers for your lights so you never have to think about turning on lights or closing your drapes at the end of a busy day,' says Andrea West, interior designer and founder of Andrea West Design. Smart curtains are also an option too.

These are just a few tips to get you started on your journey towards making your living room easier to maintain. 

Casey Clark

Casey Clark is a freelance writer from New York City who covers beauty, home, and lifestyle. She has been a writer for nearly four years and has been featured in The Spruce, Better Homes & Gardens, Oprah Daily, and more. She's constantly working to debunk myths, test trends, and review the hottest products.