Organize & Clean

Why “Clearing the Coffee Table” is the New “Making the Bed”

published Apr 3, 2018
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(Image credit: Emma Fiala)

We all know the benefits of making the bed every morning. Along with tidying up your bedroom in a pinch, this neat ritual helps set an orderly tone for the rest of your day.

Clearing off your coffee table every day can be similar. As one Apartment Therapy reader put it: “Clearing off the coffee table is the making-the-bed of the living room!” Take a few minutes to clean up your coffee table each day, and you’ll enjoy a clearer mind and set the tone for a cleaner living room. Read ahead for a handful of foolproof ways to score a clutter-free coffee table in no time.

(Image credit: Pippa Drummond)

Here Are Three Ways to Do It:

1. Stay away from clutter catchalls

A cute decorative tray or basket on your coffee table may seem like a clever idea, but it actually might be standing in the way of a truly clutter-free coffee table. The truth is, clutter often creates more clutter—so when a group of small random items (loose change, writing utensils, and snail mail) ends up in one spot, you’re far more likely to throw other items into the mix and wind up with an attractive basket of junk. You’ll be much better off creating a storage spot away from your coffee table to store your daily miscellany.

2. Don’t use your tabletop for storage

If you absolutely must use your coffee table for storage, make sure it’s inside a built-in drawer and therefore hidden from plain sight. While a well-stacked group of magazines or hardcover books won’t totally obstruct your coffee tabletop, random piles of smaller stuff will make clearing off your table—and clearing your mind—a real chore every day. So instead of nicely organizing your daily miscellany on top of your coffee table, do yourself a favor and invest in a table with storage drawers or shelves so you can keep your tabletop clean and clutter-free.

3. Downsize your coffee table

Instead of trying to fit every little item you might want to have readily available on your coffee table, consider picking out a smaller table that only offers enough room for your essentials. That way you can make space for the stuff you really need to have close by—think: remote controls, the book you’re reading, and a place to set your coffee mug—without leaving much room for the unnecessary clutter you’ll have to clear off every day.