Does your living room feel cramped and cluttered? Does it have “too much” going on? If so, let’s see if we can organize your living room by creating some flow and making it more functional for you and your family.
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Note: Many people use their living rooms differently. Some use it as just a sitting room for special guests while others practically live in it.
I’ve tried to cover the most common aspects of living rooms. If I’ve missed anything please enter them in the comments below and I’ll try to update this post to include your suggestions.
Plan Your Living Room
With pen and paper in hand, go around your living room and write down any spots that are constantly cluttered. What is causing the clutter?
Then, make a list of your stuff in categories. For example, is your living room also where everyone watches tv? Do you have a play area for a little one? How about a pet? Do you keep and/or show off collections here? Is this also your gaming room (think video consoles or board games)?
Once you are done reviewing your living room, go ahead and start taking measurements. Begin with the room’s dimensions. Then take measurements of any furniture you plan on keeping in this room.
Living Room Floor Plan
Using your measurements, create a floor plan. I suggest doing so on graph paper.
Then make some cutouts of the furniture pieces you intend to keep. I use colorful post-its and post-it markers for the cutouts so that I can move items around on my graph until I get everything where I want it.
Now, use your floor plan to ensure your room has a good flow. Move and play around with different arrangements.
If you want to add an item that you don’t have, like a rug or chair, go ahead and make a cutout and see if it fits into your room without disrupting the flow.
As you play around with your setup, try to set specific zones in this room. For example, if you have to have a place for your child to play with toys, set a zone just for this specific area.
You can create zones for entertainment, pets, music, and even crafts.
Now, it is time to make a shopping list of anything you need that will help keep it organized such as baskets and bins.
If your living room has a lot of “stuff” consider getting multifunctional furniture. Examples are storage ottomans, a double-shelved coffee table, and even a vintage trunk that can have a dual purpose. It can be used as extra seating and store your throws and pillows in it.
If you have family members who tend to leave their stuff in this room, consider buying a basket for each person. Then if they leave something that doesn’t belong there, put it in their basket.
Let them know that they are responsible for emptying their basket every night. After a while, hopefully, they will learn to keep their things in the proper place.
If you keep your tv, video consoles, and audio equipment in the living room, chances are you have cables just dangling everywhere. Consider hiding them in the wall. There are kits you can buy to help you do this and keep your home code compliant.
Living Room Organization
Go ahead and begin purging the living room of anything that is not going to be kept there anymore. So, if your child is starting to outgrow that play area, then perhaps it’s time to move their toys to their room.
Consider getting rid of any furniture pieces that don’t fit right or block the flow of the room.
Now, let’s talk about things you should try to eliminate from your living room or at least keep to the bare minimum. Keep shoes, keys, and mail out of this room. These items are better placed near the entryway of the home.
If you have a special collection, display these sparingly. A couple of Hummels on the mantlepiece is okay, a couple hundred, not so much. Your collection should enhance and match the look of the room and not take over it.
Flow and Organization
Start arranging your furniture according to the floor plan you created. Begin putting items in the ‘zone’ that it is intended for. Below are some suggestions for the things you keep in this room.
- Remotes: If you have a few of these, consider getting a universal remote.
- Magazines: Decide on an amount to keep at one time. As one comes in, another is removed.
- Books: Click here to read my post for some book organization tips.
- Video games: Ottomans are great for storing these items. Plus they can serve as seating for your gamer.
- DVDs and CDs: There are lots of ‘tower’ organizers that take advantage of vertical space.
- Framed Photos: If you have lots of these around, consider retiring some photos and putting them into an album or photo box
- Blankets and throws: You can drape these on the backs of chairs/sofas. Use ottoman storage or a tall basket to hold more.
- Play area with toys: If your space allows, consider placing this area behind a sofa.
Helpful Living Room Tips
There are lots of free apps that can help with putting your living room together such as Houzz and Hutch. Each enables you to get the style and look you want. Give them a try if you need help with the decor of your living room.
- Use the largest rug size for your living room so that most of your furniture sits on it. This helps anchor your pieces. Click here for a guide to help you.
- Raise curtain rods high to make the room look bigger. Click here to learn more about curtain placement.
- Before hanging framed pictures, create cutouts of the same size for each frame. Then lay cutouts on the floor and move them around to create an arrangement you like. Click here to see different arrangements you can try.
Ok, let’s get started on organizing your living room and make it a welcome place for your family and visitors.
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So, how do you organize your living room? Is there something you have trouble organizing? Let us know by commenting below.
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