The living room is one of the busiest rooms in the house. It's also where the kids like to make the biggest messes. Even if you have a designated play room, toys will always find their way into the family room.
These four organization hacks will keep your living room tidy and your kids happy.
1. Give Kids a Place to Sit
I've found my fair share of action figures, dolls and cars wedged between couch cushion. We found that keeping the kids off the sofa helps keep the living room organized and comfortable while minimizing the wear and tear on the grown-up furniture.
We gave our kids their own places to sit. Feel free to get creative with this. Bean bag chairs and cushions are great options. These seating arrangements allow kids to play on the floor comfortably, which keeps toys and messy kids off the good furniture.
2. Hide Toys in Plain Sight
We're big fans of furniture that maximizes storage space. When we re-decorated the living room, we invested in industrial furniture with lots of cabinet space (like buffets with sliding doors) and shelving. This allowed us to store toys, books, art supplies and other kid-friendly items in plain sight without them being eyesores.
The great thing about this is that our kids could reach most of the cabinets and shelves, so they could put their own toys away – in their proper place – after they were done playing.
3. Use Ottomans and Cabinets for Storage
If shelves and buffets aren't your thing, you can use cabinets and ottomans for storage. Many of our friends now have an entire wall of cabinets in their living rooms, and they work well to keep things organized. Whether you prefer open shelves, closed cabinets or a combination of the two, there are cabinet solutions for every family and need.
We like storage ottomans because we can keep extra blankets or stuffed animals tucked away for movie night without taking up more space in the living room. Ottomans also give mom and dad a comfy place to kick up their feet.
4. Use Sofa Bookcases to Maximize Living Space
If you have a small living room, sofa bookcases may be the best way to stay organized without taking up too much room. Low bookshelves work great for this purpose. Simply add them around the perimeter of your sofa to add instant, organized storage.
We did this in our living room and it has been a game-changer. To keep the bookcases looking tidy, we stack books as normal and store little odds and ends in cute storage boxes that match our living room décor.
We've also seen some sofas that come with built-in storage shelves, but if a new piece of furniture isn't in your family budget, you can purchase bookshelves from big-box stores at reasonable prices.
Keeping a living room organized can be a challenge – with or without children – but these four hacks can help you keep things tidy without losing your sanity.