How to Organize a Living Room

A well-organized living room creates an inviting and functional space for relaxing and entertaining. With some planning and decluttering, you can transform your living room into a comfortable oasis. Follow these tips to learn how to organize your living room effectively.

Clear Out Clutter

The first step in organizing any room is decluttering. Go through your living room and remove anything you no longer need or use.

  • Get rid of unused items. Go through books, magazines, DVDs, knickknacks, and any other items that are just collecting dust. Donate, recycle, or sell these unused possessions.
  • Store items you use infrequently. Seasonal items, extra blankets, old photos, sports equipment, and other seldom-used items can be moved to other storage areas like the basement or garage. This clears out your living room.
  • Find new homes for misplaced items. Move any items that don’t belong in the living room like clothes, toys, paperwork, and electronics. Put things back in their designated spots.
  • Trash broken or worn out items. Toss anything that is damaged or no longer usable. Broken furniture, torn pillows, worn out rugs, and dead houseplants should be thrown out.

Decluttering your living room allows you to see what you actually use in the space. It also creates room to organize your belongings more efficiently.

Categorize and Group Similar Items

Once you’ve decluttered, you can more easily identify what you want to keep in your living room. Organize these items into categories and group similar things together.

  • Media. Store DVDs, video games, CDs, books, and magazines together in racks, shelves, or baskets. Arrange them neatly in alphabetical or genre order.
  • Blankets and pillows. Fold extra throws and blankets and place them in a chest or storage ottoman. Store out-of-season pillows there too.
  • Office supplies. Contain pens, paper, bills, etc. in desk drawers or a storage caddy on a shelf. Hide unattractive items behind doors.
  • Knickknacks and decor. Display framed photos, plants, sculptures, candles, and other decor items together on shelves, side tables, or the mantel. Arrange attractively.

Grouping like items makes your living room look more organized. It also helps you know where things belong when tidying up.

Utilize Furniture and Storage Solutions

Use furniture and storage containers to organize your categorized belongings. Furniture with storage built in can also help conceal clutter.

  • Bookcases. Install floor-to-ceiling bookshelves to store and display books, photos, decor, media, and collections. Use baskets or dividers to organize smaller items.
  • Storage ottomans. Ottomans with internal storage hide blankets, pillows, toys, or anything you want out of sight. Top them with a tray for remote controls.
  • Cabinets and shelves. Wall-mounted cabinets or shelving units give you space to organize media, office supplies, craft items, or barware. Use baskets to corral smaller items.
  • Coffee and side tables. Choose tables with drawers and shelves underneath to stash coasters, remotes, reading material. Use fabric bins to organize inside the shelves.
  • Media stands. These specialized cabinets neatly store DVDs, video games, stereo equipment, and more behind doors and in drawers. Install cord covers to conceal messy wires.

Furniture offers stylish ways to organize living room items while keeping spaces neat and tidy. Measure first so new furniture pieces fit comfortably in the space.

Design Zones for Specific Activities

Your living room likely houses distinct activities like watching TV, reading, crafting, etc. Create defined zones in your living room to optimize the space for each activity.

Entertainment Zone

  • Position TV, media stand, and seating to form a natural entertainment area.
  • Store related media, gaming consoles, stereo equipment neatly in the media stand.
  • Use a small side table or shelves near the TV to hold remotes, headphones, and other electronics.
  • Install sconces or directional lighting to illuminate this area for nighttime viewing.

Reading Nook

  • Place a comfortable chair with a floor lamp and side table in a quiet corner of the room.
  • Use a small bookcase or shelving unit nearby to store books, magazines, and reading glasses.
  • Lay an area rug underneath to define this cozy space.
  • Add pillows and a throw blanket for extra comfort.

Work Zone

  • Set up a desk near an outlet where you can spread out and complete paperwork.
  • Use desk organizers and drawers to store office supplies out of sight.
  • Place a bulletin board or dry erase calendar nearby to stay organized.
  • Add a comfortable desk chair and proper lighting.

Zoning your living room makes it more functional by grouping similar activities and their related supplies together.

Add Convenient Storage Solutions

Look for ways to incorporate storage into every area of your living room. Convenient, discrete storage solutions prevent everyday clutter from accumulating.

  • Entryway. Install a bench or coat hooks by the front door. Place a tray on a small table or console table to hold keys, sunglasses, and other items brought in from outside.
  • Media. Use cable clamps and ties to bundle loose wires behind TV stands and media consoles. Place remotes, chargers, and other small electronics in pretty containers or trays on side tables and shelves.
  • Writing desk. Equip your work zone with a desk caddy or organizer to neatly store pens, paper clips, stamps, and other desk supplies you use regularly. Place a small wastebasket underneath.
  • Furniture. Look for coffee tables, side tables, ottomans and benches that provide hidden storage space inside. Use fabric bins and trays to neatly organize items stored inside.

Take advantage of every storage solution your living room offers. Install organizational products like shelves, racks, bins, baskets and cordkeepers wherever you spot clutter accumulating.

Update Lighting for Functionality

Proper lighting serves both a functional and aesthetic purpose in your living room. Update lighting fixtures and add supplemental lamps where needed.

  • Install overhead fixtures that provide general ambient lighting for the entire room. Opt for energy-efficient LED bulbs.
  • Use floor and table lamps strategically throughout the room for reading nooks, workspaces and next to seating areas.
  • Add sconces on walls flanking the TV or above bookshelves for more directed task lighting.
  • Consider dimmers for overhead and hardwired lighting so you can control brightness and ambiance.
  • Layer lighting. Combine overhead, lamps, and accent lighting like picture lights for a warm, welcoming glow throughout the living room.

With adequate and adjustable lighting, your living room will be both functional for completing tasks and relaxing during leisure time.

Maintain with Regular tidying

An organized living room requires some regular maintenance to keep it looking neat. Get in the habit of quick daily and weekly tidying sessions.

  • Do a daily tidy. Straighten pillows, fold blankets, put away books and magazines, and collect any dishes left in the living room. This quick tidy only takes a few minutes.
  • Dust surfaces weekly. Run a dry microfiber cloth over tables, shelves, TV screens and other surfaces to remove dust and fingerprints.
  • Vacuum frequently. Vacuum high-traffic areas multiple times per week. Move furniture to reach hidden dirt and dust bunnies.
  • Clean deeper monthly. Clear shelves and surfaces entirely to clean underneath. Vacuum under furniture and launder pillow covers.
  • Restock supplies. Replenish office and cleaning supplies in the living room before they run out. Designate a spot for extra light bulbs and batteries.

Frequent light tidying keeps your organized living room looking its best. Set a reminder on your calendar to prompt you to tidy, dust, and vacuum on a regular basis.

How to Organize a Living Room

Organizing your living room effectively allows you to use the space for its intended purpose – relaxation and quality time with friends and family. Follow these key tips to create a clutter-free, functional, and inviting living room:

Declutter completely – Eliminate anything you don’t use or need from the living room. Donate, recycle or sell items if they no longer serve you.

Group like items together – Books, media, office supplies, decorative items and anything else you’re keeping should be stored neatly together.

Add functional furniture – Look for storage furniture like ottomans, cabinets, bookshelves, and media consoles that allow you to organize items while hiding clutter.

Create designated zones – Define separate areas for media, reading, working and conversation that contain just the items needed for those activities.

Incorporate discreet storage – Use baskets, trays, cord keepers, racks, hooks, and other organizers to contain clutter out of sight.

Optimize lighting – Layer ambient, task, and accent lighting to make the living room functional and inviting.

Maintain with regular tidying – Do quick tidying sessions daily or weekly so clutter doesn’t accumulate.

An organized living room promotes relaxation and enjoyment of the space. Declutter, strategically organize belongings, and do light tidying routinely to maintain the peaceful order.

Frequently Asked Questions About Organizing the Living Room

Organizing the living room can seem like an overwhelming task. Here are helpful answers to some frequently asked questions:

How do I know what to keep vs. what to toss or donate when decluttering the living room?

Go through all items in the living room and evaluate each one. Only keep items you need and realistically use in this space. If it’s broken, worn out or you simply have no use for it, toss it or donate it. Sentimental items can be rehomed to other areas like a bedroom dresser or photo album. When in doubt, if you haven’t used it in over a year, let it go.

Where should I store extra throws, blankets and pillows?

These bulky items take up a lot of space. Try storing them compressed under beds, on shelves in a closet, or inside storage ottomans and chests. Place seasonal items in underbed plastic containers or vacuum storage bags until needed. Utilize all vertical storage space first before taking up valuable living room real estate.

How do I organize and contain kids toys and activities in the living room?

Designate toy storage furniture like shelving units, canvas bins, toy chests and toy boxes to keep playtime clutter contained. Use fabric bins and baskets to hold arts supplies, games or other hobbies. Place toys in another area or bedroom when not in use. Have kids help clean up toys nightly before bed.

What’s the best way to conceal unsightly cords from electronics and media equipment?

Prevent a rat’s nest of cords from accumulating by organizing wires as much as possible. Coil up excess length and secure with velcro wraps or twist ties. Use cord covers on wires that must be visible like those connecting the TV and media stand. Adhesive cord holders also attach cords neatly to the wall or edges of furniture. Utilize surge protectors to contain plugs.

Where should I put everyday items brought into the living room like keys, bags and sunglasses?

Designate a spot near the main entryway for a drop zone to place these items as soon as you walk in. A small table, wall hooks or a basket/tray on a console table works well. Just be sure to empty the drop zone frequently. Never let it turn into a junk collecting area. Return items to where they belong around the house each evening.


A clean and organized living room makes leisure time at home so much more enjoyable. Follow the tips outlined here to group items, utilize storage solutions, define activity zones, incorporate lighting and maintain tidiness in the living room. With some elbow grease for the initial decluttering, you can transform your living room into a serene space for relaxing and entertaining guests. Just be sure to put belongings back in their organized homes each time. With regular quick tidying sessions, your living room will maintain its peaceful order.