Organise your living room

WE’RE fast approaching the holiday season when lots of people will be moving around, including those friends and family members who will come calling. Given that some of them will come unannounced, it’s always good to have some sort of semblance in your living/sitting room. Below are some tips which could help you do that.

1. Welcome the wastebasket

If trash tends to accumulate in the family room, adding a wastebasket might cut down on clutter. Few family rooms actually have a wastebasket in them; they’re not attractive and they can smell. Counteract this by choosing a can that fits your room’s decor. If you know food will be thrown away here, get one with a lid and some deodorising trash bags.

2. Keep flat surfaces clutter-free

Papers, books, brochures and magazines tend to accumulate on flat surfaces all around the house, and the family room is no different. A two-drawer lateral file is Morgenstern’s ideal recommendation — on average. If you don’t have the floor space, a stackable file cart will do.

3. Control out-of-control cords

There are several options for taming cords in the family room. The most attractive is the slim Cableyoyo. It neatly coils up to six feet of cord and comes with an adhesive backing that sticks onto nearly any surface. A cable caddy usually sticks onto a desktop (or behind the TV console) and has a space for several cables to clamp into. Your cords will still dangle freely, however, so a cable zipper, which encloses all the cables in a tube, might be the best bet.

4. Create a play zone

If toys are taking over your family room, it’s time to put them in timeout. Unused corners of a family room transform into great play areas because the walls serve to block encroaching clutter.

5. Coffee table functionality

If you have a coffee table (or forgot you had one because of the clutter) it’s time to reassess its organisational capacity.

6. Designate a game area

For a family that likes to play together, a game cabinet for board games and cards is both functional and fun. Creating a single game space will free up other areas of the room for storage.

7. Creatively display photos

If you have a lot of small, photo frames that tend to clutter your family room it’s time to take control by displaying them in new ways. Photo albums and collage frames are great options for storing lots of photos at once, and a digital photo frame is especially handy for those who don’t use film.

8. Take advantage of space behind the sofa

Organise extra blankets, pillows, candles in an accessible place — behind the sofa. It’s a great place to put a trunk, cabinet or low bookcase. Plus, it gives you another surface to put a lamp or show off some treasured objects.

9. Sort your movie collection

Multimedia like DVDs, videotapes and CDs are staples of the family room. Take 30 minutes to begin sorting your entire collection, making two piles: one for keeping and one for selling back or to be given away. Find a system that works for you.

10. Grow your house plants

It can be a jungle in the family room if you have a green thumb. Organise your plants with a cute plant stand or several decorative pots. Stands typically come in corner, pedestal and tiered configurations and some even have drawers so you can keep your fertiliser and watering can nearby.

11. Curb your collectible enthusiasm

Large collections display best when bits and pieces are shown at a time (think shadow boxes) and rotated to keep the decor fresh. Cut your displayed collection in half by putting half of the pieces into an appropriately sized container and storing it in a hall closet.

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