10 (sneaky) things sabotaging your living space organization efforts

A good living space should get used regularly by your entire family. It’s a place to congregate, lounge, chat, read, and relax. Occasionally, it’s also a place to work!

Because of the popularity of the living space, good organization is key to maintaining a sense of tidiness.

Sometimes easier said than done, though!

If you’re struggling with keeping the order of your living room, here are 10 sneaky things that could be sabotaging your efforts.

The 10 sneaky things that are sabotaging your living room organization efforts

Don’t let these 10 things sabotage your living space organization efforts!

1 – Mail and paperwork

Somehow mail and paperwork get left all over the house – on the kitchen counter, on the dining room table, and on the coffee table in the living room. If this is an issue in your home, be sure to set up a proper drop zone for mail and paperwork (such as in the household command center) and keep it there.

However, if the mail and paperwork are consistently getting used while in the living space, consider making a home for it there so that it can be organized and put away efficiently.

>> Struggling with paperwork? Check out Household Paperwork Made Easy!

2 – Things not put away

Random items being left out – think shoes, handbags, jackets, etc. – cause clutter and chaos in the living space.

It could be as easy as implementing a system of taking at least one thing with you when you walk out of the room to be put away.

3 – Too much furniture

Too much furniture can be causing too much clutter and not enough usable free space to create a sense of organization.

Plus, how can you install a useful set of shelves when you have wall-to-wall couches?

4 – Craft items left out indefinitely

Sorry to call you out, crafters! Glitters, glues, yarns, and fabrics being left on couches, side tables, or even the floor of the living space make it pretty hard to stay organized.

With ongoing projects often taking days, weeks or months, these have a tendency to become more longer-term additions to the space than you may intend.

If crafts are common in the living space, be sure to get real and incorporate storage for it there as well.

5 – Over-decorating

Yes, there is a thing as too many throw pillows! You can also have too many trinkets, too many pictures on the wall, and too many vases on a shelf. It all adds to living room clutter.

When you go overboard with your decor, it just increases the number of things you have to organize and maintain. Who has time for that?

Make sure your living space has white space and air to breathe. Take things out until you feel comfortable.

Or, if that’s too hard, take a different approach. Remove everything from a section of the room (like your shelves) and place a tiny amount back and sit with it for a while. You might surprise yourself with how little you actually need in the room!

6 – Family members!

Including pets! They can easily be sabotaging your organization efforts by simply being unaware, or not caring (but let’s hope that’s not the case).

Help them understand your goals for the living space and how they can help keep it organized. The family members, that is, not the pets 😉

7 – No dedicated office

Without it, the couch is often an inviting space to sit with a laptop and work away – whether that be doing actual employed work or simply paying bills.

If the living space is consistently a makeshift office, think of ways you can incorporate it there on a more permanent basis.

8 – Treating the living space like a dining room

It’s hard to stay organized when you’re dragging plates, cups and cutlery into the mix.

Make a plan for this common occurrence so that it doesn’t destroy your hard organizing work. If there isn’t room for an entire dining setup, perhaps investing in a good serving tray that can be used to corral and then remove all the items in one go will help you stay on track.

9 – Lack of functional organization

Make the space work for you! Adding containers, baskets and shelves that become easy-to-access homes for all the things you might bring or have in the living space definitely helps.

>> Check out these free organizing container ideas.

10 – Bad habits

Are you simply being too lazy with it? One step of the organizing process is to organize, and the second is to build habits and routines that help to maintain it.

If you need help with building healthy organizing habits, join the Organize My Home membership!


Learn more here >>


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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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