12 Tricks for keeping your living room from looking like a disaster area!

After you’ve done the hard work of decluttering and organizing your living room, you’ll want to make sure you maintain that fresh, clean and tidy feel.

However, being the living room, that by definition makes it seemingly impossible to do. Without a good system in place, it can easily go from clean and organized to something that resembles a disaster area!

Use these tips and tricks to keep your living room tidy without needing a lot of time or causing a lot of stress.

tips and tricks to keep living room tidy

Tips to Keep Your Living Room Tidy

1. Never leave empty-handed

Get in the habit (yes, you and the entire family) of never leaving the living room without having something in hand to put away. That could be taking a cup to the sink, a book to the shelf, or shoes to a bedroom.

If there’s nothing to “put away”, this last-minute task could simply be folding a throw blanket or straightening up the remotes on the coffee table.

2. Give things a proper home

Are you constantly trying to convince yourself that your kid’s toys are going to magically find their way back to the playroom at the end of the day? Are you in denial that the living room is actually your husband’s primary workspace?

It’s time to get real about how your living room is used and give those purposes a space to live.

Otherwise, your husband’s laptop and notebooks will litter the coffee table, side table, or even the couch on a regular basis. With a proper home for these items in the living room, there will be fewer barriers to getting put away – and your living room stays tidier!

3. Add decorative storage for toys

These could be the toys that belong to fur babies as well! For pets, open-top baskets work well so they can grab and go. For children, it might be fun to use an ottoman with storage that blends in with the living room decor.

Alternatively, a wheeled toy box can be rolled out of view and into a closet at the end of the day (or before company arrives).

toy box on wheels keeping living room tidy
A toy box on wheels is great for kids playing in the living room. It can easily be carted off to another location at the end of the day.

4. Baskets, baskets, baskets!

We love baskets for keeping our living rooms tidy. They are the perfect vessels for cushions and blankets that would otherwise be cluttering the couch, and they give lots of little items (like remotes, coasters, and books) a sensible home to live.

A specific basket can act as your clutter catch-all throughout the day that can be cleared out in one swoop before heading off to bed.

Baskets are one of the methods that contribute to an effortlessly organized home.

5. Closed storage solutions where possible

Hidden storage options, such as entertainment units with drawers and doors, ease the ability to keep a living room organized and tidy because everything that lives there is not on display.

While we don’t recommend just shoving stuff into drawers and cabinets all the time, we do understand that sometimes the ability to hide things before company comes over can provide some peace of mind!

6. Consider drop zones on the way to the living room

Think about things that constantly get dragged into the living room but serve no purpose while there. Depending on your home’s layout, the living room might be the first stop after entering the front door.

A child might head straight to the couch after getting home from school, tossing his backpack and shoes in the process. You might drop your purse on an armchair.

Instead, make sure you set up convenient drop zones for such items so they aren’t cluttering up the living area every single day.

7. Have a place for magazines and books

Or better yet, make them part of the decor. Have a designated spot on an open shelf where you stack books and magazines.

Since books and magazines have a way of sprawling around a room, a nice, decorative basket also does the trick!

8. Focus on flat surfaces

If you can keep your flat surfaces clear and organized, the rest of your living room will look way less messy!

A lot of people recommend coffee tables that either have drawers or a 2nd level shelf. Adding your books, remotes, and other coffee table things to the 2nd shelf essentially hides visual clutter in plain sight.

keeping coffee table top clear
A coffee table with a 2nd level shelf is great to still have surface space but also be able to keep the top flat surface clear and tidy!

9. Don’t forget the dusting!

Vacuuming (or sweeping) alone has a way of freshening up a space. Depending on your lifestyle, your may only need to vacuum once or twice a week. If you have an adorable pet rabbit (aka fur factory) like me, you might need to vacuum once or twice a day!

A Roomba can help with this part of the cleaning.

However, don’t forget the dusting in this schedule. Even if your room isn’t particularly dusty, the act of removing and replacing items on shelves and entertainment units has a way of reclaiming a sense of order.

This is called “facing” in the retail world, and it really does make a difference!

10. Keep tissues or paper towels (or cleaning wipes) nearby

Minor drink spills and crumbs happen in the living room, so it makes sense to have tools to deal with these on hand. Also, how much easier is it to wipe down coffee tables and shelves when you don’t have to run off and find the wipes to do so in another room.

Strategically placed cleaning supplies is one of our favorite cleaning tips that save us time.

You can stay tuned in to your favorite show and clean the living room at the same time – maybe without even getting up!

11. Add a wastebasket

Wastebaskets aren’t popular in the living room, but perhaps they should be. Tissues, crumbs, and scraps of paper can instantly be tossed into a wastebasket instead of being strewn across the coffee table.

12. Delegate

You can’t do it all. Share the cleaning and upkeep with your family and your living room will continue to be a tidy, and well-used, oasis in your home.


What sort of tricks help you to keep your living room from looking like a disaster area?


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Welcome. I’m Sarah!


I’m the creator of Decluttering School (formerly known as Early Bird Mom), lover of organized spaces, encourager to women and mom to four boys. Click here to read more!

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