The very best living room organization hacks aren't rocket science – more important than flashy gadgets and clever storage solutions is really just taking account of the space you do have and how it's being utilized.
It's about reframing how you see your living room's footprint, no matter how limited it may be, and how some of your space's key furniture can do double duty as organizational tools.
We asked a few of our favorite organizing experts for their advice on how to organize a living room using what you've already got. Here's what they had to say.
Caroline Caron Dhaouadi, founder of Homefulness
Aditi is an experienced homes writer and editor. She has written hundreds of articles for various international titles helping readers make the best home design choices, and spends her days interviewing interiors industry experts to bring the latest ideas to her readers. For this piece she spoke to the top organization experts to understand how to keep the living room clutter free.
Living room organizational hacks to live by
'Before you decide to organize your space, you must think of the main purpose of the room,' says Laura Cattano, founder of Organizational Design. 'What are the main activities of this room? What kind of functions does it need to support; for instance, board games, arts and crafts, large parties, reading, entertaining, movie nights, etc?'
'This will help you determine the type of storage solutions you need for the space,' Lauras adds. Ideally, a mix of open and closed storage is ideal for a living room, along with some hidden units that make the room feel seamless and not crowded.
1. Use baskets in open storage
When designing living room storage, you often have to make a trade-off between open and closed styles. Closed storage can make your room feel smaller, and is more expensive, but also better hides away clutter.
For open storage, consider instead incorporating baskets and bins into the likes of open shelving as a way to create hidden storage simply and easily. 'Use decorative bins and boxes so you don't have to see everything you own which can make the space feel overwhelming; plus not everything is nice to look at all day,' says Laura.
It's a particularly good idea for a living room that has to deal with kid's toys, creating a space to quickly hide them away after playtime finishes.
2. Turn functional items into decor
Open shelving remains a hot trend for not just kitchens, but even living rooms. And it’s easy to understand why. These not only give a room a more expansive, opened-up vibe, but it also allows homeowners and their guests to more easily view and grab needed items or admire a wonderful collection of artworks or books.
These are also a good way to curb children's clutter - make a living room accent wall by placing their artwork, scribblings, trophies, and more for a fun decor opportunity. This will help keep the coffee tables and side tables clear of clutter. Place plants, candles, books, vases, family photographs and more here.
'To hide games, crafts, and/or TV equipment, go for open storage like a full floor-to-ceiling unit of floating shelves,' says Laura.
The biggest hack you can make with open storage? Find a way to make functional items you'd otherwise have to store as part of the design. In this small living room, for examle, guitars are treated as wall decor for a music-themed space.
3. Stash all the electronics into dedicated gadget drawers
Between mobile phones, laptops, remote controls, tablets, and the X-Box, keeping everything organized can be tricky. Plus the cords, chargers, and instruction manuals can add to the clutter further.
For a minimal, elegant living room, instead of shoving the manuals and batteries into the back of drawers and piling DVDs on the coffee table, place them in decorative storage containers instead. You can also consider bringing in a multi-device charging station to keep cords untangled and tucked out of the way.
'Losing the remote control can be a problem,' says Charlotte Sitton, founder of Organised by Charlotte. 'Why not buy a pocket which sits over the sofa so you can easily slot remote controls in without having to lose them all the time.'
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Aditi Sharma Maheshwari is an architecture and design journalist with over 10 years of experience. She's worked at some of the leading media houses in India such as Elle Decor, Houzz and Architectural Digest (Condé Nast). Till recently, she was a freelance writer for publications such as Architectural Digest US, House Beautiful, Stir World, Beautiful Homes India among others. In her spare time, she volunteers at animal shelters and other rescue organizations.
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