Organizing the living room

Photo: Orin Zebest, Flickr

Summertime is finally happening! Soon New York will be in full swing, and a season of Concerts in the Park, dinner parties, and rooftop revelry will begin. If you’re planning on playing host this summer, it might be time to get to work organizing the living room! Make the most of your space when guests come over with these tips for organizing the living room:

  1. Play What Doesn’t Belong? Living rooms tend to accumulate clutter from other parts of the house. Take inventory, and remove anything that doesn’t belong in the common area. (Hint-Things that DON’T belong: toiletries, clothes, children’s toys, and dishes.)
  2. You’re Not a Library. Get rid of any magazines or newspapers that are no longer current. Saving them to read a certain article? Just tear it out, and recycle the rest.
  3. Let’s Get Real: You can only keep as much stuff as you have room for. If your shelves only have room for 50 books and DVD’s, then that’s how many you can keep. Stop overfilling – purge your collection, or put anything that doesn’t fit in storage.
  4. Tackle your tchotchkes and nix your knickknacks. The more you have, the more attention they distract from those few pieces you do want to highlight! Choose a few of your favorite items, and put the rest in storage.
  5. Planning Makes Perfect! Identify problem areas and find solutions. Whether it’s a persistent shoe pile in the corner or a mounting tower of mail on the coffee table, plan for the kind of clutter that always piles up. Buy a shoe rack for the hallway, or find a decorative basket for mail that you can place near your couch or chair.

Love organizing? We’ve got lots more de-cluttering and organizing advice in our Organize This: section, including a guide to organizing your jewelry collection (for those of you tired of untangling necklaces), and tips for tackling your home office desk!