There are many reasons to have a living room that always looks tidy and uncluttered. You'll be inspired to welcome people into your home more often, you'll be less likely to trip over that pair of shoes left laying around, and, most importantly, you'll feel instantly at ease when you want into a clean room.
1. Know where it goes and put it there. Whoever coined the phrase a place for everything and everything in its place should be knighted. It is one of the best, most practical statements ever! If everything has a home, it's so much easier to put stuff away.
2. Corral old magazines and newspapers ... but not for too long. Keep your magazines and newspapers stacked up in one place. And once you've flipped through them, take them directly to the recycling bin. I know, I know, it can be hard to part with that pile of old New Yorkers but, really, what are you saving them for?
3. Contain your media in an organized manner. CDs, records, DVDs, VHS tapes, 8-tracks ... whatever your media of choice, create a home for them and keep them there.
4. Baskets are your friends. Whether you're trying to contain all of the remote controls, magazines, or even shoes, a few baskets strategically placed around the room make can make tidying a breeze. Check out these 5 Great Grown-Up Baskets for Toy Storage for some inspiration.
5. Take off your hat and shoes ... and then put them away. I'm a big fan of kicking off my shoes the minute I get home. And then I take those shoes directly to the closet and put them away.
6. Create a mail center. I have a little organizer by my desk where all the bills go and then all the junk mail goes directly from front door to recycling bin. No piles allowed!
7. Invest in double duty furniture. One of the quickest ways to keep an organized and tidy living room is to make use of double duty furniture. Whether it's an ottoman that opens up to store blankets or a chest/coffee table for stowing away the kids' toys, make every piece of furniture work extra hard.
8. Vacuum and dust once a week. Vacuuming and dusting will force you to pick up errant items and put them back where they belong. It will also make the room feel so much cleaner.
9. Pick up all the clutter at the end of the day. This may seem like starting a new habit at first but once you get into the routine of it, it will help you maintain a cleaner home in very little time. Take a walk through the room as one of the last things you do at the end of the day, pick up everything that doesn't belong and put it all away.
10. Embrace minimalism. OK minimalism may not be for everyone but there's no denying that less is more. Many of our readers' favorite house tours feature homes that go the minimal route ... and that's partially because those homes always seem clean and organized.