Your living room is one of the busiest rooms in your house—and one of the hardest to keep tidy. From messy cords and cables to stacks of books and magazines and the always-lost remote controls, it can be a struggle to keep your space in order. Whether you’ve got a small apartment or you want to tidy up your formal living room, we’ve curated 40 of the best living room organization ideas to transform your space into a clutter-free zone.
Read below for living room storage solutions, like baskets, bins and decorative catch-all trays, to ideas on how to cut the clutter and maximize every inch of your space.
1. Extra Large Woven Baskets
Woven baskets are both stylish and extremely functional. They can fit seamlessly into any style from traditional to modern and are perfect for keeping your things contained. Put one by the front door to neatly stash shoes. Keep one next to the fireplace for wood. A big woven basket next to the sofa is a perfect place to store your extra throw blankets and pillows.
2. Bins And Cubes
Baskets, bins and cubes are not just for storage—they can also serve as an attractive addition to your home’s decor. If your style is more laid back, look for wicker and natural fabrics. If you’ve designed with the modern farmhouse look, look for wire baskets or galvanized metal bins. Use them to store your items in plain sight, making them easily accessible and simple to pack away.
3. Label It
It’s always easier to keep things in their place—or put them back—if they have a specific spot where they belong. Give everything a place by labeling your storage bins, baskets and boxes. There are many attractive and creative ways to add a label—that don’t involve an old-school label maker! Choose from vinyl script, chalkboard or dry erase labels, wooden or metal hangtags, bookplates, fabric labels and more. When it comes to labeling, the possibilities are endless.
4. Ottoman Toy Box
If you have children, you’re well aware that their toys and trinkets tend to take over the living room. Keep the kids’ clutter out of sight but close at hand by stashing them inside a storage ottoman. Match it to your home’s decor and they’ll have a living room toy box that doubles as an attractive seat or footrest.
5. Create A Play Zone
Families spend most of their time in the living room—for lounging, playing games and watching TV. But if the kid’s stuff is taking over your living room and the ottoman toy box trick doesn’t work, why not incorporate a designated play zone in the room to contain their clutter? Carve out a corner of your space and create a kid-friendly place for them to play. Add toy storage, low seating—like bean bags or floor pillows—and a table for board games.
6. Hanging Baskets
When it comes to home decor, baskets can be statement pieces in their own right. From wire to wicker, fabric to fiber, you can find a beautiful basket that will work with any design style. They’re also incredibly useful for storing anything from firewood to extra blankets to magazines. To make use of unused vertical space and free up the floor, try hanging baskets from the ceiling or up the wall.
7. Climb The Ladder
Blanket ladders are both functional and stylish—perfect for storing extra blankets and throws in your living room, especially when you’re short on closet space. If you’re handy, they are an easy and popular DIY project. Prop a ladder against the wall near your sofa or a side chair to keep your throws within reach for when you’re in the mood to cozy up.
8. In Control
Tired of always searching through the couch cushions for your remote control? As is the case with everything else in your living room, you should give your remotes a designated spot. A decorative tray on your coffee table, a remote control caddy or simply a side table with a drawer; there are a number of creative ways to keep your remotes within reach. They’ll always be there when you need them.
9. Bar Cart
These days, a bar cart doesn’t have to be limited to liquor. It’s an extremely versatile piece of furniture that can add style and storage to your living room. Near your entryway, use a bar cart to store extra shoes, a basket for mittens and scarves, and a tray to catch your keys. If you’ve got a green thumb, a bar cart is perfect for your indoor garden. Next to the sofa, it can serve as a side table, holding a lamp, books, remote controls and a basket of throws. And of course, it can be your classic home bar!
10. Under Furniture Storage
If you’re decorating a small living room, you’ll want to make the most out of every inch of available floor space—and that includes the room under your furniture. Look for low storage bins and baskets that can slide beneath your sofa. Consider placing a large woven basket under an end table or beneath the breakfast bar and using it to keep your board games, magazines or extra blankets neat and tidy.
11. Paint And Stack Containers
A pile of old wicker suitcases and picnic baskets may not give your room the feel you’re looking for, but you can give those old baskets a chic makeover with just a coat of paint. Spray them any color—like white and robin’s egg blue if you like shabby chic or black for a more modern style. Stack them and add caster wheels to the bottom and you’ll have beautiful, one-of-a-kind rolling storage perfect for magazines, books and art supplies.
12. Control Your Cords
Keep your living room clutter-free by hiding and disguising unsightly power cords and cables that can make a room look messy. Organize all the cords behind your TV by gathering them together with zip-ties. Use wall-mounted power strips to keep cords off the floor. Run your cables under a rug or hide them in a cord keeper to keep them out of sight.
13. Dresser In The Living Room
Dressers don’t have to be contained to just a bedroom anymore. In the living room, a vintage wide dresser makes a fabulous television stand. Remove the top drawers and you’ll have a perfect place to keep the cable box and DVR. Store your movies and video games in the drawers. If your entryway leads straight into your living room, a dresser by the door can serve as a catch-all for keys and purses. Or, use one to visually separate the areas of your open-concept living space.
14. Shelf It
When floor space is limited, maximize your wall space by hanging floating shelves and cabinets. Hang as many shelves as you need to neatly display your books, knick-knacks and family photos. If you want to hide your items away, put them behind closed doors in a cabinet. Hang shelves in a corner to make use of this often unused space.
15. Behind The Sofa
Whether your living room layout leaves the back of your sofa against a wall or if it’s facing an open space, a narrow console table tucked behind the sofa is an attractive design element that can go a long way in providing much-needed storage space. Not only does it provide a useful place to put a reading lamp or display photos, a vase of flowers and knick-knacks, but you can make use of the space underneath to stash books, photo albums or board games.
16. Cut Out The Clutter
The more you stay on top of keeping clutter at bay, the less likely things are going to pile up. That means being vigilant about the things you bring into your home. If you don’t need them or won’t use them, don’t take them home! Inside your house, reorganize often—marking your calendar monthly helps remind you to take stock. Get rid of those things you never use, things you have duplicates of and things you don’t want anymore. Then, make sure everything in your home has its own place.
17. Magazine Rack
Magazines tend to accumulate on flat surfaces like your coffee table and the breakfast bar. Keeping with the adage, “a place for everything and everything in its place,” give your magazines a specific place to live. Whether it’s a magazine rack on the wall or a big wicker basket on the floor, they’ll stay more organized if you keep them in a designated spot.
18. Vintage Trunks
Vintage furniture will fill a home with character and charm, and a vintage steamer trunk can be a beautiful—and functional—piece of furniture in your living room. Not only are they eye-catching, but they are also flat enough to work as a coffee table or end table, with tons of useful storage inside. Use a trunk as a console table by your entry, a chic room divider or stack a few to create a side table.
19. Big Bookshelves
If you’ve got the available wall space, a big, bold bookshelf on the floor will add tons of storage and create an impressive focal point in your living room. Display books, movies, mementos and knick knacks on higher shelves and organize items in attractive baskets and bins on lower shelves.
20. Clutter Catcher
It’s easier to keep organized if your living room isn’t cluttered. One way to get a handle on the clutter is to keep a large woven basket or vintage crate as a catch-all for all those things that don’t belong—books, magazines, shoes and all the other random things that end up where they shouldn’tt. When the clutter catcher gets full, empty it and put those things away.
21. Hollow Book
Storage boxes that look like vintage hardback books are a great solution for organizing small items in your living room. On a coffee table, it’s the perfect place to stash remote controls. On a bookshelf, they’re great for discreetly storing small items out of sight. And, on a desk, they’re an ideal place to keep receipts, bills or notes within easy reach.
22. Family Photos
If you’ve got lots of favorite photos to display, small frames and photo albums can quickly clutter up shelves and tabletops. Instead, create a gallery wall or hang a collage to keep tables clean and clear. A cluster of photos hung in color-coordinated frames or a photo collage printed on artist-quality canvas makes a bold statement, puts important memories on display and keeps your living room stylish and uncluttered.
23. Arrangement Matters
The way you arrange furniture and living room decor can make or break the look of the entire space. Begin by determining your focal point—a fireplace, television or work of art—then, design the layout of furniture around it. Room organization is important in determining the flow and functionality of your living room. Furniture that’s too spread out can make conversation and family gatherings awkward, while putting pieces too close together can make the space feel cramped and cluttered.
24. Nesting Tables
If your living room is short on space, furnish it with pieces that can be tucked away when they’re not in use. Nesting tables are perfect for when you need to save valuable space. They can be found in any number of styles to fit your decor, from traditional wood to industrial metal and everything in between. Create a three-tiered coffee table with a set of nesting tables or replace your side table with a nesting set to easily display your things while keeping your space uncluttered.
25. Corner Shelves
When it comes to organizing a living room, you’ll want to make use of available storage areas while still giving your room space to breathe. A great asset that’s too often ignored are the corners of your room. Corner shelves, either in a corner cabinet or hung directly on the wall, create the perfect place to display trinkets, organize books and movies or show off treasured family photos.
26. Couch Caddy
Use an armrest organizer to keep remote controls, electronic devices, books, magazines and other everyday items close by but clutter-free. Available in a variety of styles, sizes and materials, couch caddies simply slip over the arm of your sofa to provide easy access to your most commonly used items while keeping them neatly tucked away.
27. Storage Bench
Add valuable seating and storage space by incorporating a bench into your living room design. Placed across from the sofa or beneath a window, bench seating with storage underneath provides the perfect place to take a load off while adding space to organize blankets and pillows, seasonal items, movies, games and more.
28. Coffee Table Storage
If you’re short on space, choose your living room furniture thoughtfully by picking pieces that include options for storage. This is especially true of your coffee table. Look for a double-decker coffee table so you can use storage baskets, stack books or store decorative pieces on the lower level. Or, choose one that includes drawers for stashing magazine and kid’s art supplies when they’re not in use.
29. Rolling Entertainment
If you like to play games, are in the midst of knitting projects or working on another ongoing activity but don’t want to leave your parts and pieces out in the open, use a rolling utility cart to stay organized. Multiple shelves provide ample storage while casters make it easy to roll the cart into a closet and out of sight when not in use. This organization idea is perfect for a small home or apartment living room where space is tight.
30. Book Smart
Another easy and effective way to instantly spruce up your space is to organize your bookshelves. Grouping together books that are roughly the same height will instantly reduce clutter while mixing in decor items will break up lines add visual interest. Keep books standing straight up and down using bookends to avoid the messy appearance of your books leaning every which way. Or, lay a stack of books flat and top with a small decorative piece. Finally, edit your book collection and give your bookshelves some breathing room.
31. Get It Straight
A quick and simple way to make your space instantly feel more organized is to straighten everything out. From the pillows on your couch to the objects on your coffee table, items that are angled and askew tend to look messier than they really are. Line up and straighten stacks of books, make sure curtains and blinds are centered and straight and place area rugs in line with furniture for a streamlined look.
32. Open Concept
Open wood shelving and a light coffee table with varying levels makes it easy to see everything and display your favorite items, without having them all over the place. A chic natural wood provides a blank canvas to showcase some of your prized possessions without overpowering the space, while metal and glass keep clean lines front and center.
33. DIY Cable Box Cover
Hide unsightly cable boxes, routers and peripherals in plain sight by turning them into an eye-catching work of art. It’s easy to craft your own attractive cable box cover using decorative metal and wood. DIY a cover that disguises electronics, but still allows for ventilation and remote control access. Stacked on a console alongside books or next to framed photos on a shelf, you’ll never notice it’s not another decor item.
34. Double Duty
Because pets are family too, it’s not uncommon for pet bedding, toys, crates, cat trees and litter boxes to take up space in the living room and add to an unorganized appearance. To combat clutter, find pet-friendly pieces and storage solutions that also serve as functional furniture. A dog crate can easily be disguised as an end table, a modern-designed cat tree can double as living room wall decor, specially made litter boxes serve double duty as a planter for indoor trees and pet toys can be stashed inside a storage ottoman when not in use.
35. Storage Under The Stairs
Far too often, the space underneath stairs is left empty and unused. In many cases, that empty space is even drywalled over! Luckily, this area is prime real estate for storage and organization and there are lots of cool and clever ways to use it. Cut into the space to carve out a cozy reading nook, complete with a storage bench and bookshelves. Install built-in drawers or cabinet doors to discreetly store stuff out of sight. Or, turn that space into a safe space for the family pet to sleep instead of a crate.
36. Hang It Up
If floor space and tabletops are limited in your living room, ditch the traditional table and floor lamps and opt for hanging lamps and lights. Unlike harsh overhead lighting, hanging lamps provide the same soft glow and ambiance of a standard lamp and can be positioned exactly where you want your light. And, with a huge variety of options available, it’s easy to find one that fits perfectly into your living room design.
37. Coat Closet
A well-organized coat closet is essential to a clean and orderly living room. Maximize closet space with extra shelving, hooks, baskets and bins for storing odds-and-ends neatly out of sight. If you don’t have a closet built into your home, convert an armoire or wardrobe into an entryway closet for storing coats, hats and shoes.
38. Section It Off
Keep your living room orderly and uncluttered by designating activity zones within the space. Create a nook for reading, choose an area for the kids to play and designate seating areas for family and guests. Keep clutter to a minimum by storing and stashing items in their appropriate zones, close to where they’ll be used and within easy reach of putting away.
39. Cut Back On Extras
Declutter your space by displaying only your favorite knick-knacks and decorative items at a time. Choose a few key pieces and put the rest of your collection away. If you simply can’t part with any items in your collection, rotate them out seasonally to keep your space interesting and updated from time-to-time.
40. Charging Station
Rather than leave laptops, tablets and cell phones laying around the room on their chargers, upcycle a magazine rack into a handy charging station for all the family electronics. Run a single power strip of plugs to the magazine rack to keep cords neat and tangle-free. This clever organization hack works equally well with wall-mounted, free-standing or desktop magazine racks and can be customized to fit your living room space perfectly.
When it comes to organizing your living room, remember to incorporate solutions that keep your space clear of clutter, make use of all your available space, and always showcase your personality. Be sure to check out our top spring cleaning tips to start your living room organization off the right way—don’t be afraid to use them all year long.