Organizing the Living Room to Create a Space You Love
We’ve been talking about decluttering and organizing the living room to create a space you love to spend time in, whether you’re entertaining friends or on your own. The whole point of a living room, of course, is that we spend a lot of time living in them. That means at the end of the day, we’re in the living room working on hobbies and projects. Or we may be relaxing and reading, or spending time with friends and family. Organizing the living room won’t keep you from enjoying the activities you do there. It will make it less stressful and more enjoyable. Consider these ideas to make the most of your living room:
If you have space in another room, even if you have to replace something that is less functional, use a long project table to hold everything that needs to be organized or stored “when I get to it”. As a rule, store something you intend to keep immediately upon handling it. Know where things go and put them where they go. Don’t set them down with the intent to store or file them later. However, if there are things that simply can’t be filed or stored immediately in their final destination, place them on our project table. Have a scheduled time to tackle them later. Framed differently, if you are going to create clutter, confine it to one predetermined place that is out of sight for everyone else.
Use furniture that can double as storage space. Some couches, sofas and ottomans include a pull-out storage option. Some coffee and end tables have lower shelving that can hold baskets or plastic containers. Small filing cabinets can be used under tables or in place of the bookshelf-end-tables used to create the type of desk described above. Remember: Space beneath something else is unused space that keeps other open spaces from accumulating items and spreading into walkways and visual sightlines.
Most people purchase large furniture items to showcase collections and use walls only for framed pictures. Plates, travel memorabilia, glass or crystal or ceramic figurines also can be placed inside wire baskets or clear containers and displayed on walls. This makes a striking, unique image and removes furniture from otherwise cluttered floors. The idea is not to clutter the walls, but fuller walls almost always are better than cluttered floors. Using walls more than doubles the space available in the living room.
One decorating note that is important to understand — too many contrasting colors in any room tends to make that room look cluttered. This issue of contrasting colors is most noticeable in smaller rooms, so it is less applicable in most living rooms. As a general rule, darker colors work better in larger spaces like your living room. This is one reason containers are a good organizational tool. Not only do they limit traditional clutter, but they also contain and minimize the color clash that can occur without them. It is also why we suggest using decorating containers with softer, darker tones (like the suggestions to use burlap to cover metal buckets and employing woven baskets). Place lighter items with different coloring in those containers.
The idea behind organizing isn’t to get rid of everything; it’s to make you love walking in every room, every time.