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15 Easy Ways To Make Your Living Room More Organized

living room

In addition to the kitchen and/or dining room, the living room is one the busiest hubs in the home. From family movie nights to craft projects and beyond, we all use our living rooms for a variety of purposes, so it’s no wonder why it often gets so cluttered.

If your living room could use some help in the organization department, then you’ve come to right place! Because today’s post is packed with simple and effective tips that can help you clear your living room of clutter and keep it looking clean and tidy.

So let’s jump right in!

15 Simple Living Room Organization Tips That Work

living room

1. Put Discs In A CD Wallet

If you have a sizable collection of DVDs, Blu-rays, video games, or CDs, then you already know how much valuable storage space all those cases can take up. But before you do anything else, you should go through your collection of discs of all varieties and see if there’s anything you don’t actually want or need anymore.

Then once you’ve decided what you’re going to keep, take all the discs out of their cases and put them in a CD/DVD wallet. Not only will they take up a fraction of the space this way, but it’ll be easier to peruse your collection to find what you’re looking for later on.

If you think you may want to sell some of those DVDs or video games down the line, you can always keep those cases, but you don’t have to keep them in your actual living room.

living room

2. Use A Battery Organizer

Between the remotes for the various components of your entertainment system, the remotes for fans and other small appliances, and video game controllers, there’s always something that needs a new set of batteries in the living room.

Keep your spare batteries organized and easy to find with a dedicated battery organizer. If you go through a lot of different kinds of batteries, this battery storage case has a foam insert with slots for pretty much every kind of battery you might need.

If you don’t need something quite so spacious or durable, this clear battery organizer box should do the trick nicely.

living room

3. Add A Coffee Table Tray

Adding a decorative tray to your coffee table is an easy way to make it look more organized and put together. It’s a great place to corral magazines, books, remotes, coasters, and other items you typically keep out on your coffee table.

living room

4. Use A Baking Sheet For Hidden Storage

If you tend to work on crafts or projects while hanging out in your living room, arrange your supplies on a baking sheet. When you’re done with your project for the day, just slide it under your couch to keep everything together in one place without cluttering up your coffee table.

living room

5. Make Your Own Decorative Storage Boxes

No need to spend an arm and a leg on decorative storage boxes for your living room—you can make your own using cardboard boxes you already have on hand. Learn how to make painted burlap storage boxes at A Piece Of Rainbow, or woven felt storage bins at Lily Ardor.

living room

6. Get Rid Of Old Magazines

Got a big stack of magazines gathering dust in your living room? Go through them all and set aside the magazines you don’t want or need anymore, then either recycle the rest or store them elsewhere to use for craft projects. (And don’t forget to cancel your subscriptions for any magazines you aren’t actually getting around to reading!)

living room

7. Clean Out Your Pet Toys

If you keep a basket or box of pet toys in the living room, go through it and get rid of anything that’s falling apart, unrecognizable, or so gross that you’re no longer willing to touch it. (Unless any of those items are your pet’s fave, in which case you may need to work with your pet directly to come up with a compromise everyone can live with.) ;-)

living room

8. Add A Wastebasket

Why don’t more people have a wastebasket or trash can in their living room? It’s 2021, and we ought to get real about the fact that there’s more than enough trash coming out of our living rooms to justify having a place a put it.

A living room wastebasket won’t just eliminate those trips to another room to throw trash away, but you’ll also eliminate those laps you make around the living room to gather trash that had no place to go.

living room

9. Set Up Cubbies For The Kids

If your family room is close to the front door, or if your kids or grandkids do homework there, you may want to set up a system like Jen at I Heart Organizing did. She has a cabinet where the kids can keep their backpacks, homework supplies, and school papers organized and put away neatly.

living room

10. Work With Your Clutter

Think about what really happens in your living room—are you constantly bringing in items from another room and then getting up to return them when you’re done? Try storing those things in your living room instead in a storage ottoman or some cute baskets

If you don’t have the space to add more storage to your living room, try a rolling storage cart that you can store elsewhere and bring into the area as needed.

living room

11. Never Leave The Room Empty-Handed

Instead of letting thing pile up in the living room, take care of misplaced items, trash, and clutter regularly by giving yourself the challenge to “never leave the room empty-handed.” There’s almost always going to be something you can take with you to help keep your living room tidy.

living room

12. Deal With Cord Clutter

When it comes to the tangled mess of cords behind our entertainment system, I used to take an “out of sight, out of mind approach to it. As long as I couldn’t see the cords, it didn’t matter if they were a tangled mess or not.

But after a few harrowing instances of needing to remove and untangle one device from all the others, I realized the error of my ways. So I set about using a combination of cord wraps and zip ties to tidy up those cords, and now I wish I had done it sooner!

living room

13. Organize And Update Book Cases

Having a lot of books on your bookcase isn’t a bad thing, but it’s full of books you don’t actually read or care about that much, you could probably be using that space in a better way. So go through your bookcases and set aside books you’ve never read and probably never will, old books from school you’ve never gotten rid of, etc.

After downsizing your collection, you might find that you don’t even need that bulky bookcase anymore. Consider getting a smaller bookcase that can accommodate your books while freeing up some extra space.

living room

14. Set Up A Clutter “Outbox”

If clutter tends to pile up fairly quickly in your living room, consider setting up a decluttering outbox where you can put items you’re not sure whether you should keep or not. While you should eventually make a decision about the fate of each item in your outbox, part of the beauty of having one is that you don’t have to make that decision right this second.

Related: The One Simple Tip That Will Make You Better At Decluttering

living room

15. Consider A Universal Remote

If each piece of your entertainment system has a different remote and it drives you crazy, consider investing in a universal remote to simplify your setup and preserve your sanity. You can program this one to control up to 4 separate audio and video components, which means 3 fewer remotes for you to keep track of.

Related: Overwhelmed By Clutter? This Is The Best Thing To Do First

Do you have any tips or tricks for keeping your living room organized?

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Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.
I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee


Homekeeping Tips

  • […] Use a tray or cookie sheet to quickly store magazines under your couch. […]

  • Dear Jilee,
    I really enjoy reading all of your posts and your inspiring stories. I have never posted a comment on any blog so far.

    Once I thought I knew all about how-to-organize my space in a small apartment, there’s a new trick:)
    I love the idea with the tray for remotes and a candle and those little things that need to stay there.

    Keep up the amazing work!
    Nai (from the small town in a smaller country in east Europe:)

  • Baskets & storage cubes are my go to in my family room. I also have magazine boxes that stand up that I covered in paper to match decor – when they get full it is time to recycle them.

    • I discard magazines when a new one arrives, unless it has a particular article that I wish to save, then I clip it out. I am a “thrower outer” and my husband is a “pack rat.” I sometimes discard some of what he has saved for years, but never views again. He never misses those items. Yes, I am “One Those “Nasty Women.”

  • My favorite tidiness tip is to make a quick trip around the room, picking up/straightening at end of evening. Makes the new day begin on a happier note! Also, I’m fortunate to have coffee table and end tables with drawers — great place to stash small projects in progress, articles for future reading, etc. Thanks for all the great tips this week.

  • […] and ideas we’ve shared with you this week. We started out in the Kitchen, moved to the Family Room, Bedroom, Bathroom, and left off in the Garage yesterday. Today we wrap up the week with the […]

  • Lots of great tips to apply to my space. The best thing I do is keep all our DVDs and CDs in a small 3 drawer dresser. Everything else needs work and organization.

  • We have a garbage can in every room in our home, two in the family room. I found that that is the only way that I have a chance of my family throwing things away.

  • Trash can hidden behind couch…basket with rolled up throws behind the chair. Basket in the middle of the coffee table to hold remotes (but I constantly have to purge the crap out of there). Behind and under are big themes for me.

  • Luckily, my family/living room is the least cluttered space I have…..we don’t have DVD’s, CD’s….and no children at home anymore…only Hubster, me and our cat……I recently added a pretty basket in my living room to hold old newspapers for my sister-in-law, who makes baskets & vases from newspapers…..to keep the basket from overflowing, once a week, I make sure she gets her papers…..

  • I’ve got 5 kids so my family room (who am I kidding, my whole house) is a giant disorganized mess. My husband it’s seriously anal about keeping all our movies and games in their cases with the paper sleeves that come on some and he keeps all the papers that came in the case along with the receipt for games in them too. We have a huge shelf with doors full of dvds but every time my kids pick one they pull them all out and throw them in the floor then just toss them back in however. Maybe I’ll put the kid movies in a cd case and just store the cases on the shelf to keep it organized.

  • […] focusing on organizing our homes…room by room. So far we’ve addressed the Kitchen, the Family Room, and the Bedroom. Things are about to get even more intimate as we head into the Bathroom. :-) We […]

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  • Cute baskets help and we also opted for drawers rather than open shelving in our entertainment center. It is the perfect spot for family games without having them visible. They are still close enough to be utilized often!

  • SHOES! I am constantly battling the kids with shoes everywhere, and lost shoes when it’s time to leave. I combat this with large basket near the front door, where all shoes go upon entering the house. Eventually the ones worn less often get moved to their respective closets, but everyday tennis shoes are never lost now.

  • We have two dogs that we love to death, but their beds and toys were everywhere! We just built a house, so we had the contractor put in a dog ‘room’ under the stairs. Now, their beds and toys have a very convenient place to be stored. :)

    My other favorite organizing trick is baskets in the pantry! They are a life saver.

  • My children’s bedrooms are upstairs, so inevitably we get clothes, books, etc that belong in their room left in the family room. We have a basket that I fill throughout the day with their items to go upstairs, then at bedtime they clean out the basket and take upstairs.

  • I too, am an organizer, altho right now, you could never tell. Everything from my walk in pantry in the kitchen is in my dining room since we are redoing that area in this 1902 house.
    As for our family room…..We built narrow shelves with decorative shelf brackets from Hobby Lobby to place our cd’s on in alphabetical order. The shelves are above our music center, which is an antique breakfront we found. The two drawers hold the hand held games, cards, dice, cd cleaners, extra plugs, batteries and etc. The cabinet below the drawers holds lp’s box games, puzzles, head phones, and etc. Keeps all nice and neat and out of sight.

    I have a plastic lined basket in the area for trash and have always had a trash basket in there.

    Our fur baby, a miniature schnauzer, has a toy basket by the book shelves. Books are organized on different shelves by reference books, novels, travel, hobbies, poetry, etc. Paperbacks , vcr tapes, dvd’s, and so on. I do need to go through the magazines again since the container for them is beginning to overflow…good sign that they need some attention again. My DH built a wooden box ( about the size of a cedar chest) and put it on round casters for all the pictures and photos of family and travels and photo albums. I fits perfectly under the windows and can be used for extra seating if needed. I have put a pad there so Maggie, the fur baby, can watch out the windows.

    I love your website. Great information and ideas and inspiration. Keep up the good work. Drue

  • I love my house but that is the biggest issue I have is storage space! The only closet I have is in the bedroom.
    I have a built in display case/shelf unit with glass doors in my family room. Most of the shelves I use to display my collectables and decor (which keeps them from getting dusty). However, I use the bottom shelf to tuck away the miscellaneous items. I order to keep these out of site, I chose a decorative fabric, hemmed it, and attached it to the shelf above with some velcro. Not only did it hide the misc stuff that doesn’t really have a place, but added a little pop of color into the room.

  • A couple of years ago I bought a folder to store all our DVDs. They are in (loose) alphabetical order and easy to find and it also meant I was able to clear out a whole free standing shelf from the room. xx

  • I have my bookcases organized by genre the in alphabetical order by author, then by copyright date (so series stay in order!)…can you tell I once studied to be a librarian?? I cannot control all the magazines my husband gets (like 15!!) and refuses to get rid of. I have resorted to putting them in boxes and storing them in the basement – thank heavens for a huge old farm house!!

  • I have several cubbies for all the kids toys and shoes! We also have hooks right by the front door where they hang their backpacks and jackets. Makes it so much easier to stay organized!

  • I have horrible organizing skills because we have a tiny house esp our family room. The best thing I do is have plastic tubs under our couch to keep stuff out of the way. Love these tips. I need all the help I can get!

  • I just picked up some end tables for my family room and they have a metal frame that curls the legs together at the bottom but no shelf, so I stacked my couch blankets down there for a perfect storage option. We also have our computer in the family room so we hung some cute shelves above the desk to store computer and video games and board games.

  • Give each of your kids a drawer or cupboard in the entertainment center for whatever project they’re working on. That way their rubber band bracelet stuff (or whatever they’re into at the moment) doesn’t have to be all over the couch!

  • My husband and I are on the verge of a huge household closet reorganization project. I’ve got vertical dividers to store extra art and framing supplies on closet shelves, and we are installing small shelves for paperbacks lining the top of the walls in my office.

  • We corral all of the doggie toys in a small basket that sits under our coffee table. Of course, it would be more useful if the dog would put them away herself.

  • I have a basket with a lid that I keep all of our blankets in that I store under the side table. It’s out of the way but easy to pull out when we need a blanket.

  • I use Baskets and bins on bookshelves for blankets, and large hurricane vases for school supplies like pencils or rulers.
    My favorite idea I saw on a blog, can’t remember which, was the personalized baskets by the foot of the stairs. The blogger called them crap baskets. Any stray toys, electronics etc, that we’re laying around went in the persons basket. The trick is to train your family members to bring their basket upstairs when they walk by!

  • As an administrative secretary my biggest pet peeves is cluttered paperwork, mail, weekly ads,coupons etc. I have a filing system where all the bills are separated and the bills that are not paid yet stay at the front until ready to file them. Coupons have their own filing system as well, and weekly ads vet changed out every week but instead of throwing away the old ones I have a drawer for them to use them to clean mirrors and windows. As long as there is a home for everything then everything should be in its home. By the way I love the idea of baking sheet under the couch. Thanks so much jillee and I hope I win the gift card, I could usesome help in my kitchen with all my cooking gadgets. Stay blessed

  • We have an entertainment center with a large TV on top that is a solid oak low dresser with 6 drawers and a middle double door shelves perfect for all our dvds and players, recorders, game boxes etc. A super way to organize a lot of STUFF !

  • I have LOTS of books, so aside from the ones on my decorative bookshelf, I store some in a vintage crate underneath the coffee table. I also keep my throw blankets in a handmade basket next to the couch!

  • I have a place for EVERYTHING!!!
    and more importantly I have a long skinny living room so I’ve split it up into two sections… 2/3s is the sitting area and the 1/3 that is behind the couch is the toy area…. all the kids’ toys are hidden in that area so that I don’t have to see them ALL the time :) that makes me a happy mommy!

  • We have two small drawers to catch magazines and remotes and a basket that contains a gaming system and the odd movie or game. Our movie/game collection is kept on shelves elsewhere (bedroom/basement).

    The biggest issue is what to do with shoes as the front door enters into this room.

  • My husband and I have recliners in our family room and we each have an armchair caddy in which we store pens, notepaper, remotes and backscratcher. I love your idea of using a cookie sheet to store items under the couch.

  • Such good tips– with such a high traffic room like the living room, every tip helps!

    My best pet-hair free tip is that we have a special blanket for our dog. She knows she can only get on furniture when her blanket is on it. No more dog hair on the couches!

  • I keep each each magazine subscription in its own magazine file box. My rule is that each subscription can only take up one file box. Once it is full old ones get thrown out to make room for new ones. This way I avoid getting cluttered with magazines that are years old. The magazine files are neatly displayed on the book shelf.

  • My husband made a very nice shelving unit, and it fits small items perfectly. The individual shelves also hold small cubbies, which I have in a diagonal pattern.

  • What great ideas! I have had a big basket to store are blankets in the winter. How quickly the room looks neater with the blankets off the couch and chair. Also our coffee table has shelves and 2 draws to put things in.

  • I have a old coffee table that I put against the entry wall and added a cushion to the top and storage baskets underneath. On the wall above it is a rack for coats,purses,keys ect.When we bought hubby’s new chair,the ottoman that came with it is huge and has storage inside it to hold a lot of stuff. I also made a remote holder that drapes over his chair arm so he can always find his remote.

  • I have a cubby shelf that is in our family room, so it can hold everyone’s things that accumulate in the living room. It keeps things from piling up on the floor or surfaces. I also do a “5 minute tidy” every day, where I walk thru the room and fold the blankets, put things back in the cubby shelf, pick up the trash, dishes, etc. It only takes a few minutes when you do it every day and it makes a huge difference in how your room looks.

  • For a long time the dog toys strewn about the floor were the biggest mess. I was constantly picking them up & putting them in a basket in a laundry room cabinet. That didn’t work because it was too many steps to get them away. So last year I designated a plastic basket (plastic so it could be washed) for the toys, I made a sign for the basket that say’s “A Dog’s Gotta Chew, What a Dog’s Gotta Chew”. Now it stays in the room next to her bed. With the basket in plain sight DH is gathers up her toys all the time now. As a bonus, it is also really cute to watch her go through her toy box.

  • I use almost all of these ideas except that I haven’t corralled all our CDs and DVDs yet. I agree with other commenters, that a little bit of picking up each night makes for a neater family room for all. I love, Love, LOVE the idea of adding a trash can to the family room. Our kitchen can isn’t far but for some reason the hubby and kids trash doesn’t seem to make it there.

  • Those are great ideas! We organized DVD’s into a wallet case as well and also down-sized our book collection. We are in an apartment, so keeping our space clean and uncluttered is of absolute importance! These are great ideas that I will keep in mind when we move into a house! Thanks!

  • I have a few galvanized metal storage bins I found at Walmart that I’ve designated for the random, but always needed stuff, a large basket for snugly blankets and a little chest of drawers, that I think was meant for jewelry to corral the remotes and a few other things that we use regularly.

  • I took all our kids’ puzzles out of their boxes and put them in zipper storage plastic baggies. They’ve done the puzzles so many times they don’t need the box (or if they do, I just cut out a picture of the puzzle and stick it in there). The puzzles then live in a decorated box near their toy area in the living room.

  • I use the white plastic containers that cake frosting comes in to corral pens, pencils, scissors, etc. For smaller items that might easily spill I keep the top on. Easily decorated with contact paper to match decor.

  • We don’t have a family room, so our living room serves the same purpose. Baskets are my go-to solution for throw blankets, toys, and library books.

    Our main door also opens into the living room, so I’m constantly irritated by the backpacks, diaper bags, and other paraphernalia that accumulates in the entry way. I am intrigued by the idea of storing bags in a buffet behind closed doors. Brilliant! Now to re-purpose the cabinet in my office and train my family to use it . . .

  • We use baskets for magazines, misc items, dog toys, etc. The kids are older so there’s much less kid stuff (when they were young I kept a large chest in the family room to catch it all.)

  • Love the cookie sheet idea for under the couch!! My favorite thing to do is repurpose old wood furniture into something totally new like an old desk into a new kitchen island!

  • I have 5 small children, and we seem to always have a pile of dirty laundry to take upstairs to the laundry room. From socks to sweaters, to the baby’s bibs. So now I keep a pretty hamper in the family room so I don’t have that constant pile on my stairs!

  • I gather all odds and ends left behind by my family in a basket that’s I leave in the downstairs closet and by the end of the week I have them go through it and put things away.

  • One of the best organizational things we ever did in our family room was to get rid of the coffee table altogether! It just collected so much STUFF no matter how I organized it with baskets, trays, etc. It was a terrible drop zone so I replaced it with an end table on one side of the couch that holds some books, a jar of pencils and pens, and the phone on top and a box of videos that we still watch occasionally underneath. Instead of the coffee table, in front of the couch we have two small storage ottomans that we can keep blankets, etc. in. (and we can put our feet on top!). Not having the coffee table works better for us.

  • I keep the front room picked up by never leaving empty-handed; dishes are not allowed to sit around the house. We have 2 large dogs and the tail wagging is dangerous for dishes left anywhere LOL

  • My girls are teenagers, so we don’t have a toy problem but we definitely have a book, homework, and stuff problem. We solved it by getting a simple new shelving unit and giving each girl their own shelf on which to put her stuff. They’re pretty good about it, because it helps to keep their stuff organized, and it’s pretty easy for me to throw their stuff on their shelf if I have to…,

  • My home is pretty small, and consequently I have to have my big ol’ computer desk in my living room. I moved that big desk to one end of the room and began searching yard and garage sales for two tall filing cabinets which I found. Now I have all my genealogy stuff in one place and right at hand. The desk has a hutch unit with several shelves and I use baskets to corral and store notebooks, extra office supplies, etc.

  • Although storing batteries in a plastic box is a good idea keep in mind that you shouldn’t let the terminals of stored batteries come in contact with each other.

  • I have baskets and pretty boxes to hide everything. If I don’t, then “clutter” happens overnight. If it’s on the table or floor, tuck it in a basket or box and the room immediately looks 100% better.
    I use the same idea for every room.
    Plus, when you’re looking for something, it makes it a lot easier to find.

  • I love baskets for everything and clear containers for inside cabinet storage. I think I’ll take your tip about cleaning out books and magazines, I could certainly downsize in that area.

  • Most of the clutter in our house is toys from my two kids. So we have a rule. They pick up all their toys after lunch and before bedtime.
    PS. I would love to see a post on tips for keeping a desk clean from the paper clutter! I keep lists of things I need to do, or stuff I don’t want to forget (like some cute thing my kid said). And they just keep cluttering up my desk. Also receipts that I haven’t put into the budget sheet yet. I wish I had a smart phone to keep all my notes on, but that isn’t an option right now. Thanks!

    • For paper clutter – try a notebook or a 3 ring binder. Instead of putting info on a small piece of paper, write it in the notebook. Staple or tape small pieces of paper, such as receipts onto a page in the notebook.

      With the 3 ring binder – use a 3 hole punch on a large used envelopes (opened at the short end) to create easily accessible storage for receipts, bills, etc. Cut an inch from the the top of the front of the envelope for ease of access & to provide space for labeling.

  • I live the idea of baskets under the coffee table for my husband’s clutter (he’s king of the coffee table). I have already utilized baskets for my own clutter by my chair, I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me to find some for him (duh moment). A trash can for the family room has been on my shopping list already – my craft “cuttings” get out of hand!

  • I have a lot of cabinets that keep our Game room Organized but use different types of plastic containers inside the cabinets to organize crafts, ribbons, cards, candles etc. I love your idea on the dvd’s! I need to do that because we have too many of those as well! I use some old citrus crates to keep games and electronic game controls organized and it looks decorative too!

    I fortunately have older girls now and their selection of toys is very small so keeping the family room organized is not as hard as it use to be!

    Thanks for the great tips!

  • Use a sofa table behind your sofa. If your sofa is close to wall just pull out and put a long but narrow table behind there. You’ll be able to just reach back for lots of goodies on the top if the table and be sure that your table has a bottom shelf for baskets to put lots of goodies you don’t use everyday. Like a basket with special toys for when your little ones are sick, extra afgans for slumber parties and a 3rd for the games you only use when you have a big crowd over. Very handy an supa useful.

  • LOVE the blanket ladder! I want one for our living room yesterday! Our daughter (4 yrs) has basic art supplies kept out for easy access. I did just have them setting on a lower shelf of a bookcase in plain sight which worked but always looked cluttered. I found 2 cute canvas gardening bags at Marshalls that fit perfectly on the bookshelf and “hide” her art supplies. Now when she wants to color or paint, we pull out the bags and move to the kitchen table. Not only does it make the bookcase look nice, it also makes transporting everything a one trip process.

  • My tip is to put board games, CDs, DVDs, etc. in the bottom cabinet of the armoire below the section where the t.v. is stored. Organized, yet out of sight!

    I love those storage ottomans. Awesome!

  • My daughter loves little polly pockets, tiny princesses, and mini animals…I keep them organized by giving each its own basket and keeping them separate from each other on a shelf.

  • Bookshelves are the answer in my family room. My husband built bookshelves the length of one wall, which accommodates all 653 vinyl albums we have, plus photo albums and books. Baskets hold magazines. But I could use some nice new pillows for the couch.

  • So many good ideas. We have so many dvd’s that I moved to a binder system years ago. My problem has only been, what do do when you have too many for any one binder. I even have the dvd’s separated by category (action, comedy, children, etc.). We currently have about 8 binders in a small cabinet and 5 dvd/cd boxes stacked on either side of the tv. (It’s difficult to give away anything but the Barbie movies, I will have to work on that.)
    I never thought about a tray in the “dead” space under my sofa. What a wonderful idea for keeping my hand piecing quilting items that I work on while watching tv.

  • We have 6 different remotes to operate the tv, DVD player, cable box, etc. that were spread out on every surface. I bought a small wicker basket to corral them all. It sits on the floor near the chair of “He who commands the remote,” within easy reach and looks very attractive. No more hunting for the right remote either!

  • You posted a lot of great ideas for keeping your family room/living room organized. The only suggestion I have instead of getting rid of so many items or throwing out, we all need to consider recycling not just using the trash can and giving to charity if the item is useable. We have become such a “throw away society”. Sorry for the soapbox. This is a great site and I look forward to it everyday!!

  • Because I have spent the last few months dealing with all of my mother’s things no one wanted after she passed and bringing my brother into my home, I’ve learned that the best way to control clutter is to edit, edit, edit! I myself have a tendency to keep everything so I’m still learning to be careful with what stays and what goes right back out the door.

  • To stay organized in our family room/office I use baskets to hold blankets, decorative boxes to hold extra office supplies (staples, post it notes, tape, batteries etc) I also keep our dvd’s in a binder in alphabetical order. I like to get wooden hinged boxes at antique stores or garage sales to hold things as well and they look great on a book case.

  • We have a big wicker chest that we keep underneath our living room window. It houses extra blankets and cat toys inside and a cat scratcher/lounger on the top so Kitty can look outside. No more cat toys and cat furniture cluttering up the living room floor!

  • My 86-year old mom actually makes baskets. She has her own Etsy shop–Granny’s Handmade Heirloom Baskets! Soooo, needless to say, my organizing uses lots of her homemade baskets….for knitting, magazines, floral arrangements, washcloths in the bathroom, etc; and I even have one for collecting asparagus and cut flowers in season and out of season, decorating my desk. Loving all your tips!

  • What a great idea with the cookie sheet under couch for on going projects! In the family room our baskets (on shelf under coffee table) hold board games for impromptu game nights with the kids. Easy clean up!

  • Ohh I spy the Harry Potter series! ;)
    It is my goal to start adding in baskets to keep the living room organized. I also like to have a blanket or two at the ready on the back of the couch – we live in the Upper Midwest. It gets pretty cold, guys.

  • I use an over the door hanging rack (the one that’s usually for clothes or towels) on my pantry door to hang pots and pans, strainers, colanders, hot pads– you name it, whatever can be hung, I hang it. It saves me gads of space and trouble because all of that clutter is hidden but easily accessible.

  • I was lucky to find end tables w drawers in them! This helps a ton w storing what would otherwise become clutter. I also, in the kitchen, downsize boxes and containers when they become half full by pouring the contents in smaller containers and trashing the bulkier original container.

  • Our living room is actually our family room (imagine living in your living-room?!?!) ;) We still have a great collection of video tapes which we keep in a good looking basket under great grandma’s tea cart. It is a wonderful combination of remembering our ancestor and her love of a good old movies on a video. We also have our dvds corralled in a basket along with cds and tapes in other baskets. Somethings are too good to just give away because there is new technology available!

  • It is amazing how a simple tip as never leave the room empty handed can save you a lot of time picking up things and getting overwhelmed by having to sort them out and place them where they belong. It seems so much easier and effortless. Thank you!

  • Our coffee table has a second “level” to it. The shelf near the bottom is very handy for keeping things contained. We have a basket and a pen cup (who can find one when you need one?) If we are having company, all of those items go into a nearby linen closet. We have an uncluttered look.

  • I have a cute rectangle-shaped basket on an end table by my husband’s chair to hold his knife, toothpicks, pen, gum, Chapstick, calculator, flashlight, glasses, & any other stuff that he can junk up that table with!

  • I keep our DVD’s in albums too. What a great space saver that was. Our magazines are in a magazine stand by the couch and I keep our dog toys in a basket that fits in our entertainment center.

  • We have a small basket for the multitude of remotes we have. Also, I keep a cute basket filled with diapers and wipes on the shelf of a side table as an easy, portable diaper changing station for the downstairs of our house.

  • I keep organized with baskets. I may be a bit basket-obsessed ;) but they’re such a convenient way to store odds and ends AND add some decor to a space. Plus, they’re easily found at places like TJ Maxx, Home Goods, and thrift stores for great prices!

  • Great idea on using a tray to corral wayward remotes. Between TVs, DVD players, Blu-ray players, and surround sound systems, we always have a bunch of these laying around…and never handy when you’re looking for one.

    We do have a small carryall by the TV that are supposed to house them, but they never seem to end up there and we’re always on the hunt for the missing remote. A tray is a great idea and will keep them handier, yet still be organized.

    And I had just such a tray staring me in the face without realizing it. Our storage ottoman’s lid is actually comprised of four separate trays hidden underneath the leather padding. You simply lift one out, flip it over, and it’s a tray table for the lap. Never thought of permanently flipping it over and using it to keep the remotes handy.

    But I’ve done it now! Thanks!


  • One word: Baskets! We have one for my daughter’s school papers, homework, etc. one for remotes and after reading this I’ll be getting a tray for magazines too!

  • Our coffee table and end tables have a single shelf underneath. I keep baskets on the shelves that I can sweep things into to tidy up in a hurry. When I have more time, I go through the baskets and put things away where they belong. Thanks for the opportunity to win!

  • I use a basket for all gaming controllers, chargers, and cord. A wooden crate stores our dog toys, empty ice cream buckets for markers, crayons, and pencils, and a tray on an end table by the bottom steps to put things that need to go upstairs so the next time I go up these items can be put away.

  • We put some simple cardboard boxes hidden under our entertainment system, one for our son, one for our daughter. When they are done playing, it’s easy and simple to throw toys into the cardboard box.

  • I keep a hope chest in our family room so blankets do not get scattered all over. With 3 kids and each wanting their own blanket it teaches them to not leave the blankets piled around. In our family room we also have a craft corner and I use an organization cube with cloth drawers to store similar supplies together. I have never been to a container store but I hear it’s amazing!

  • Baskets and pretty boxes! And then more of the same! These include step boxes at the bottom and the top of the stairs to bring things up and down, flat baskets for papers I don’t have a clue how to file or that need to be filed, baskets for current knitting and pretty boxes in a glass front cabinet for office supplies and certain craft supplies. Plastic boxes (Big) on the pantry shelves to hold the lids and storage containers. Very large covered baskets for to-be-ironed and to-be-mended (Sometimes forgotten for months!) etc….

    • When you grocery shop, put everything away ASAP.
      Don’t put unnecessary items in the living room.
      We keep magazines in the bathroom. OK, laugh, LOL, I know that you will.
      However, I call our bathroom my husband’s “reading room.” LOL.
      Fortunately, we have two bathrooms, one is in our basement family room that my husband built in the 1970s. Yes, we are older than dirt.
      I always use the family room bathroom with a stall shower, sink with a cabinet for storage of towels, wash cloths and BR tissue, commode, aka, toilet, magazines, tissues, and paper towels, waste basket and a tall container for bathroom tissue.
      We have a treadmill in the family room which I try to use every other day. I have a friend and former co-worker, who is ten years younger than I, and if every other day is good for her, it works for me. No “guilt” if I do not do it.
      I detest dusting, so if folks visit and do not like the dust and have the unmitigated gall to say something, which no one has, then I would happily hand them a dust cloth. LOL
      Most of your recipes are fabulous, Jillee, and I can adjust them for my Gluten Intolerant husband.
      You did mention that one of your young adult children was allergic to gluten, so, would you include some GF recipes. Thankfully, many grocery stores now carry GF products.
      Take care and thank you for your recipes and ideas, some I use, some I do not. You have something for everyone.

  • Having a bookshelf that is about the same height as the couch is a great thing if you have the right amount of room. Just place it behind the couch and put some cool bins for organizing on it to keep things tidy. It can also double as a coffee table!

  • A friend, Cathy, told me to swap my messy bookcase in the corner of the room for an armoire with doors. That worked! Big difference in the order of the room. Your blog is like having Cathy come over again and give me practical ideas.

  • I love to use baskets for organizing my family room! Eavh of my children has a different color basket for their belongings, so it is easy for them to be responsible for their own belongings, and to find their things when they want them.

  • We started using the small DVD wallets but switched to the notebook style DVD sleeves instead. Takes up less room, keeps them all together. You can buy just the sleeves and put them in a notebook or purchase a binder from Amazon.

  • Label your cords at the plug end so you know what you’re unplugging. Storing 9V batteries, whether good or dead in your recycling bin, put tape on the post to prevent a fire!!! I keep an inventory of my DVD’s, CD’s , games & books on an app so I don’t duplicate purchase any more!! I always have a list of what’s at home when I’m shopping, handy on my phone!! Our church has General Conference Worldwide every April & October. That’s when we change our smoke alarm batteries & our the water in our water barrels.

  • Each person has a basket at the front entry way. It is where your mail is placed, where you toss your keys and purse. You take your shoes off right below that and you always have your stuff available to you.

  • I have an ottoman that has storage inside it. i put files in it, since my computer is in the family room, and I don’t have an actual desk or room for a file cabinet. The ottoman also doubles as spare seating.

  • I love the baking sheet under the couch tip…I would have never thought of that. After getting our dog i realized quickly a basket for his toys was a necessity. He is a small Boston Terrier, so I have a basket small enough he can reach in and take out what he wants and then I just clean up later…sometimes he even puts them back himself! I also keep a trash wicker basket in my family room. I noticed I like to open mail right away, or when I’m reading magazines, the pesky little postcards fall out, and having my basket keeps the clutter down.

  • I’ve always subscribed to the idea to never leave a room empty-handed, but my biggest tip to having a clutter-free life is to HAVE LESS STUFF! I don’t do knick knacks and I am constantly purging.

  • Love your ideas– especially the cupboard for backpacks and school supplies! Our entryway leads right into our family room & those backpacks really need another place to go!

    We keep our dog toys in one drawer of our tv table, and we have baskets underneath for holding blankets and DVDs. The DVDs are in a big album & it really cuts down on the space we need to house them.

  • I love these ideas. In my family room we have converted amoire I found at thrift store into storage..I added shelves and works perfectly..not to mention when done we can just close the doors..

  • I created a craft area for my kids with small containers from the dollar section at Target. It has really helped with keeping those art supplies put away and still allows them to be creative with the family.

  • We keep the land-line cordless phone handset and television/home theater remotes in an old caddy meant to also store TV Guide and magazines (bought in the old days when we had cable, and then satellite TV. That means there is also lots of room for telephone message pads, Post-Its, and bookmarks. Those items and a pencil cup full of pens, pencils, stick erasers and emory boards come in handy every single day at our place. Thank you for the giveaway!

  • I love all of your ideas! Especially the tray on the coffee table, I will probably add that to hold our drink coasters and remotes.
    My favorite organizational tool in the living room is the baskets under the coffee table; my husband and I have an N64 game system and th8s is where we store all of the games and controllers for it…and two older remotes that I only ever need to use if I am reprogramming the tv or VCR (yes, we still have a VCR/DVD player. Long live VHS!).
    So excited to do more organizing! Keep up the great blog!

  • What great tips, thanks! When mail comes in the house, it’s immediately gone through on the counter right next to the garbage. Bills are filed in my bill basket, and other peoples mail is set at their place setting at the table to be dealt with at supper. Magazines are placed on a tray on the couch, just like you mentioned.

    Anything that comes into the family room is removed when finished that day. Blankets are folded and placed on the back of the couch, too. I have minimal decorations, but the ones that are there are neatly arranged and dusted weekly. Our Boxer has a toy box my hubby made, that sits between the end of his family room bed & the wall. We have taught him from very young that he puts his own toys away. So at the end of the day, we give him the command to put his toys away. :) We also take 2 seconds to glance around the room at the end of the night. Glasses are taken to the dishwasher, backpacks are placed in the hall closet, etc. A few minutes of light work at the end of each night makes for a neater family room!

  • Baskets at top of bookshelves that don’t reach the ceiling :-)

    Also, yes, found that corralling movies and music into albums REALLY helps reduce clutter and enables faster finding!

  • We use storage cubes to keep WII games and controllers in and still have a place to put your feet. Love the tray idea for magazines and remotes we have done this forever.

  • I stay organized by having baskets underneath my coffee table. One for books/magazines, one for toys. I also use a basket for game controllers under the entertainment system. A basket for dog toys works great as well!

    • I’m not savvy enough to even know how to send a comment to a site, so I’m replying to Kristi’s. My comment is about the danger of storing batteries where one can possibly make contact with another and cause a spontaneous combustion. My sister was carrying batteries loose in her purse, and her purse caught fire.

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