Jeffrey has had a knack for helping the organizationally and design challenged for as long as he can remember. It wasn't until after college that Jeffrey discovered that his "knack" was in fact a deep and inspiring passion to genuinely help others learn how to live more efficiently. As a leading expert in blending style and efficiency, he works with clients to transform their homes and offices into thoughtfully organized, stylish, and welcoming spaces. He has been a collaborator for the Katie Couric Show, Good Morning America, O Magazine, NBC, The New York Times, Apartment Therapy, and West Elm, among others.
As summer comes to a close, the time is upon us to shift our focus indoors. Specifically on spaces like the living room, where we will soon be spending many of our nights and weekends over the next six to eight months. For me, there's nothing like a clutter-free and comfy-cozy living room. A place where I can relax and zone out because I know that everything has its proper home and all I need to worry about is what I want to watch next on TV. Here are some of my favorite tips and simple solutions to keeping a living room family-friendly and clutter-free:
Look around the living room and spot the items that aren't in use or are distracting to the eye. Are there any piles or items that don't belong? Determine if it's necessary to keep these items in the living room, or if it's necessary to keep them at all.
For open shelf storage, consider using matching opaque baskets and bins to keep things looking uniform. While you're at it, limit the amount of knickknacks to only a couple extra-special pieces. For the regular living room visual clutter culprits—magazines, mail, remote controls, and coasters—find them a home instead of just placing them on the floor or tabletops.
Designate one area (possibly two if your space is larger) for a charging station. This will provide everyone with quick and easy access to charge their devices. And it will also keep cords and cables out of sight when not in use. Desktop charging stations aren't only for an office—they also work great in a living room. My personal favorite solution is to build a charging station into the drawer of your favorite side table.
Photo: Jeffrey Phillip
Invest in Double-Duty Furniture
Whether they're vintage or new, multi-purpose furniture pieces are helpful in any room of the home. In the living room, the coffee table/ottoman is a must-have double-duty item. Lift top coffee tables, or tables that provide additional storage, will help make it easier to keep the space looking spotless. They not only provide storage for everyday items (remotes, coasters, magazines...again, the visual clutter), but also keep things, like board games, handy so you can create more family time away from tech devices and the TV. This vintage soda crate (above) serves as a decorative coffee table and abundant storage area.
A simple solution for any room is to employ a tray; items always look neater when arranged on a tray. Try placing one on top of the ottoman, coffee table, or side table to corral those notorious living room clutter bugs mentioned before. It will make the room feel more pulled together and protect your furniture from wear and tear.
Photo: Jeffrey Phillip
Find Spaces for Hidden Storage
If a sofa skirt nicely hides what's underneath the sofa or if it sits low to the floor, use the space below to store magazines or books you're reading and small projects you're currently working on. By using a tray or a baking sheet, you can easily hide these items from view and pull them out when you want them. This is a perfect way to hide some visual clutter without impairing the function of the room or accessibility to frequently-used items.
These simple tips will ensure that your living room stays neat and tidy throughout the fall and winter seasons. What are some of your favorite ways to keep your living room family-friendly and clutter-free?