Your living room is the place that gets cluttered first because that’s where everyone wants to be. You love the togetherness, but you hate the mess! What to do?
Adding storage space to your living room can be as simple as:
- Choosing furniture with storage spaces built-in
- Adding shelving
- Placing baskets
- Creating niches
- Repurposing old furniture pieces
- Adding over-arm couch caddies
Corners are an especially handy place to build storage space since corners are usually wasted.
How Do I Create Storage in My Living Room?
Creating storage space in your living room doesn’t have to be expensive or difficult. It only takes a little thought and planning to maximize whatever space you have.
One of the easiest ways to add storage space to your living room is choosing multi-functional furniture. This allows you to solve two problems with one solution.
Storage Furniture Keeps Many Secrets
Many modern manufacturers understand the need to pack a lot of stuff into a little space. So, more and more furniture designs are aimed at multi-functionality.
Furniture with built-in storage includes:
Storage capacity varies with each type of furniture piece, but a careful selection of your furniture can give you quite a lot of storage space.
Sectionals Keep Blankets Handy
Sectional sofas are often built with a console-type divider. This space is perfect for storing small throw blankets.
The remote can also be kept here for easy access. Maybe even your current reading material can be stowed in the console for those few spare moments you have throughout the day.
Other sofas are made with drawers built into the bottom. These drawers line the lower portion of the sofa underneath the seat cushion.
While these drawers are shallow, they can hold a surprising number of small items that need to be kept handy.
This type of sofa can store:
- Games for family night
- Music media
Since these drawers virtually sit on the floor, you can load them down with whatever will fit inside. Just be sure to empty or remove the drawers before moving the sofa to avoid damaging your furniture.
Benches Are Multipurpose Furniture
A lot of small benches are hollow inside to allow for storage space. They also function as extra seating space, so you get maximum bang for your buck.
These benches can be used to store:
These are usually sturdy furniture pieces that can handle pretty much anything you throw at them, so there’s no end to the things you can store in a bench.
Some are made hollow inside for storing large items. Others are designed with drawers in the front for storing smaller items. Your storage needs will decide which type of bench is best for you.
Coffee Tables Offer Versatile Storage Options
Coffee tables take up a lot of floor space, so it’s only proper that they should house a lot of storage space.
Some coffee tables are made with a hollow interior for small items, while others are elaborate fold-out designs with many levels of storage.
Depending on how it is made, your coffee table can store anything from books to drinks. Even glass coffee tables can be used for storage.
Glass coffee tables often have at least two levels. The lower level can be used to store a matching book set such as encyclopedias or even firewood if you have a fireplace.
This style of storage will preserve a sophisticated look while giving you a place to put things out of the way.
End Tables Put an End To Clutter
End tables or side tables are also excellent storage spaces. Some end tables are built hollow with doors in front.
These are perfect for storing important but seldom used items such as:
- Photo albums
- Ancestry books
You probably need to be careful about the number and size of the items you store in these tables. They usually aren’t sturdy, and if you rearrange the furniture a lot, they’ll get shackled very quickly.
It’s always a good idea to empty storage furniture before attempting to relocate it.
Other end tables may have a storage drawer in them for small, lightweight items. These furniture pieces can solve a lot of storage issues for you while dressing up your living space.
Using a bookshelf as an end table is another way to add storage space. There are plenty of options for small bookshelves that can double as end tables.
Sofa Tables Can Hide A Lot of Stuff
A sofa table is a good way to keep your most used items handy but hidden. These tables can be placed behind the couch or between chairs.
The drawer can hold:
- Writing materials
The bottom shelf can keep baskets in order, while the top is reserved for decorative items.
Ottomans Offer Storage and Seating Solutions
While the primary function of an ottoman is allowing you to put your feet up in style, these furniture pieces are tri functional.
They can serve as extra seating space when needed, but they often have a hollow space inside them that serves as storage, too.
An ottoman is perfect for storing blankets, maybe even a pillow or two. These pieces can provide an amazing amount of storage for their size.
For example, if you roll blankets into a cylinder shape, you can store four to six blankets, or maybe even more in one ottoman, depending on blanket size.
This will keep your comfort items handy for those cozy evenings with the family while maintaining order in your relaxing space.
Media Furniture Can Take the Weight
Other furniture pieces not intended for seating often offer storage space as well. This is mostly open storage but may contain some closed storage options.
These pieces include:
- Entertainment centers
- Media cabinets
Most entertainment centers have storage spaces built into them. This may be in the form of open shelves or drawers. Some may even have a cabinet-type space with a door.
Quite often, an entertainment center will combine all three types of storage spaces.
Most have a place to store:
While there is a weight limit that these furniture pieces can safely support, they are likely to hold much more weight than seating furniture.
They are designed to support the weight of a television and DVR, so they are sturdier than, say, an end table.
Still, it may be a good idea to anchor these pieces to a wall if you intend to house many heavy items on them. Especially if a lot of heavy items sit high up on the cabinet, these pieces can get top-heavy and tip over.
Hutches Add Storage Space
While they typically show off dishes, hutches can also be used in living rooms. They are the perfect solution for showcasing all those little trinkets that look out of place anywhere else.
You can allow the compartments of your hutch to riot in glorious disorder, and it is somehow considered stylish.
All your little odd-and-ends that tend to get lost elsewhere can find a home in the hutch where they’ll be safe.
If your hutch has solid doors instead of glass, you can use it to hide all the useful but ugly things you need every day.
From books to important papers, it can be stored in the hutch where no one will ever see it.
Shelving Creates Massive Storage Space
If you have a lot of trinkets to show off, shelving may be the solution for you. Shelves are great for holding items that you don’t mind being visible but want to keep out of your way.
Shelving is also a great option for rooms that don’t have a lot of floor space available. When you can’t go out, you can always go up.
There are many different approaches to shelving, depending on your goals and the shape of your room.
- Cabinet shelving
- Built-in shelving
- Floating shelves
- Corner shelves
- Under-stair shelving
- Free-Standing Shelves
These types of shelves are different lengths and sizes, and their weight-bearing abilities vary as much as their designs.
Cabinet Shelves Hide Clutter Large and Small
Cabinet shelves are usually tall and allow for larger items to be stored inside. Since they sit on the floor, they can handle significant amounts of weight, but be sure they are placed securely so they won’t tip over.
You’ll probably want to store the heaviest items on the bottom so that the weight is evenly distributed.
You can store every blanket and pillow you own in these cabinets and simply shut the door on it. Books can be stored here without cluttering up your living space.
There’s no end to the things these cabinet shelves can hide. They can be the most helpful addition to your living room while maintaining a clean look.
Fauxdenzas Make A Massive Contribution to Storage
A fauxdenza is the equivalent of adding a row of cupboards to your living room. They work well when they are mounted closer to the bottom one-third of the wall.
They can contain as many or as few spaces as you like. They can be one large space or divided into sections.
The doors are placed on the front of the cabinet so that you can add a solid top for extra display space.
Surrounded by the proper wall art, the fauxdenza will look very much in place. These are unbeatable for holding large, bulky items that need to be out of sight.
From seasonal décor to bulky blankets, you can hide it all in the fauxdenza. You can even create a file cabinet-style cubby to keep bills and receipts off the table.
These may be extended along the length of the wall as storage needs may require.
Built-in Shelves Give You Limitless Options
If you’re a family of bookworms with enough books to start your library, built-in shelves may be your best bet.
You can add these to an existing wall with minimal trouble and expense. They can go floor-to-ceiling or halfway up the wall.
Build a series of long, open shelves, or you can split them up into many smaller spaces. The design is totally your call.
Books aren’t the only thing you can house here. You can also store:
- Decorative pieces
This may be the only storage piece you need since the roof is the limit. Note: Always build these shelves on an exterior wall since interior walls may not be strong enough to support the weight placed on them.
Floating Shelves Hold the Lightest Items
These are one or two small- to medium-sized shelves fixed to a wall apart from any other type of shelf. They can be placed at any height you choose.
These shelves are usually designed for holding knickknacks or maybe a small, lightweight book. They are used mostly for decorative purposes, but they can also help you get clutter off your tables and furniture.
These are perfect for that random candle or vase that doesn’t go with any of your other décor. On this shelf, with a carefully selected floral arrangement, it will look right at home.
Corner Shelves Make the Most of Space
Corner shelves are an excellent way to use space that gets mostly wasted. Corners are a necessary feature of room construction, but it’s hard to find a way to utilize that space efficiently.
Corner shelves are one way to do that. They work marvelously for small items such as:
They can be a single board shelf or a type of pigeon-holed shelf. Since they are designed to fit into a corner, their space is not unlimited. But they are a viable option for smaller storage needs.
Old Doors Make Cute Corner Shelves
If you’re handy with DIY crafts, this is a super cute variation of the corner shelf idea. Cut an old door in half and attach the two halves to the corner of the wall at 90* angles.
Cut half-moon shelves and install them at equal intervals down the length of the door. This provides you with about six corner shelves to store all your trinkets and treasures and leaves your floor space intact.
Niches Create an Interesting Look
Niches are a great way to break up the monotony of a wall while creating storage space at the same time.
Niches are usually recessed into an existing wall. Spaces of various dimensions are built into the wall to house different sized articles.
This preserves the structural integrity of the wall while utilizing the space to its maximum potential.
There is little limit to what can be stored in these niches. People who operate wood-burning fireplaces even store their wood in these niches.
Niches are probably more suited for interior walls than exterior walls. Niching an exterior wall could lead to insulation problems and loss of heat and cool air.
Over-The-Door Shelving Makes Use of Extra Space
Another space that is usually wasted is the space around doors. A great way to utilize this space is to build shelves over and around the doorframe.
This can be recessed or not. The shelves can reach to the floor or halfway down the wall. This would be a good way to show off art or decorative articles.
Books and games could be stored here. It would be the perfect showcase for collections such as:
Over-door shelving keeps you organized while displaying your prizes for the world to see. They’re also a great place to display photos of family and friends without clutter on every horizontal surface in your living room.
Window-Framing Shelves Can Add Storage Space
Like over-door shelving, you can frame a large window in your living room with small cubby holes. These are perfect for bookshelves.
Add a window seat, and you have the most gorgeous reading nook. The cubby holes can be painted to match the walls, making them blend in with everything else you’ve got going on in that room.
Under-Stair Shelves Are Unlimited Storage Spaces
If you have stairs in your house, the space under the stairs is a goldmine of storage. Usually, this space is wasted much like corners.
You can utilize under-stair spaces in two ways:
- Closed storage
- Open storage
You can allow the space to be closed in, while leaving an access panel, or you can build open shelves under the stairs.
If you choose to close it up, it can be used as a closet for:
- Extra chairs
Or, if you choose to leave it open and build shelves, it can be a perfect bookcase for the little people in your house.
The possibilities are endless for under-stair storage space if you take the time to think it through. Note: Be sure never to remove any structural support under the stairway for safety reasons.
Free-Standing Shelves Allow Portable Storage
Free-standing shelves are a great way to organize clutter without having to permanently build anything into place.
These shelves are usually about six feet high, so you have plenty of room to store things out of the way.
Since the shelves are not attached to the wall or floor, you can rearrange to your heart’s content with a minimum of trouble.
You will want to unload the shelves before you try to move them so they don’t get shackled.
Also, you will want to make sure they are standing on level flooring with the heaviest items on the bottom shelves, so they don’t get top-heavy and tip over.
Unconventional Storage Methods Offer Viable Options
If you aren’t a carpenter, or you don’t have the budget for a major living room remodel, there are still options available to increase your storage space.
Some of these options include:
- Couch caddies
- Vintage furniture
- Wooden crates
These options can help you get your living space organized and de-cluttered.
Couch Caddies Hold Your Favorite Items
These are pockets that hang over the arm of the couch or chair. They are perfect for keeping your remote close at hand.
You can even store your reading glasses or your charger cords in these caddies. Your car keys will always be in reach when you store them in your couch caddy.
Usually, they have multiple pockets for storing items, so you don’t have to worry about glasses getting scratched or cords getting tangled.
Baskets Add Flair to A Room
Baskets are a cute way to control the clutter. Whether you like wicker or wire baskets, these add a whimsical touch while keeping small items off the floor.
If you have multiple charger cords for electronic devices, baskets are an easy way to keep them all together.
Small blankets and even pillows can be kept in larger baskets. If you like to knit or crochet, your current work in progress can be stored in a basket beside your favorite chair.
Wire baskets make great magazine racks. Or you can line them and use them as an elegant wastebasket.
Baskets are also great receptacles for toys. This will keep your children’s toys in their favorite space without leaving them all over the floor.
Baskets can be tucked under a table and covered with a tablecloth to keep them out of sight.
Another way to use baskets is to assign a basket to each family member. When personal items get left lying around in the living room, they go into the owner’s basket.
When the basket is full, the owner must empty it to reclaim their possessions. This is a genius way to keep order in the living room.
Suitcases Make Great Storage Areas
A small suitcase or overnight case can be dressed up to use as a tabletop storage compartment. You don’t want to use your family size suitcase for this, but a small, thin-line case can create an elegant look with the right touch.
Small items such as magazines could be stored inside while the top could be covered with a doily or handkerchief and decorated with flowers.
It would also be an excellent storage case for movies or music media. It could double as a console for drinks.
You can even stack different sized suitcases to use as end tables. This will provide an amazing amount of storage for all those novels you want to keep close by.
Wooden Crates Can Provide Ample Storage
Wooden crates are stackable and can be painted to match your décor. They’re also adorable when left unpainted.
These are perfect for storing:
There is little you cannot store in a wooden crate. They even function well as a toybox for the kids or a place to store pet toys.
Repurposed Furniture Provides Elegant Storage
If vintage is your thing, you may enjoy using repurposed furniture for storage spaces.
Old wooden trunks are an excellent place to store extra linens for that sleeper sofa. They can be dressed up to serve as a coffee table while providing tons of storage space.
Old dressers can be repurposed to store drinks or other items. With a little work, they can be made into a sideboard.
An old chest of drawers can be mounted on the wall to use as a storage space for just about anything you can imagine. Or you can use one in the place of an end table.
The top is perfect for holding a lamp while all your clutter can go inside the drawers.
Repurposing old furniture is all the rage these days, so why not spruce up those old pieces to create extra storage space?
Ladders Add Hanging Storage Space
If you don’t mind your blankets and throws being out in the open, a ladder is an excellent way to keep them out of the way.
This is a neat idea for displaying heirloom quilts or blankets without them getting torn or dirty from use.
Of course, you won’t want a six-foot step ladder, but a wall-leaning ladder will do nicely. You can also hang plants from these ladders to keep them out of reach of little hands or pets.
Keep a close eye on any small children in the house so that they don’t try to climb the ladder. Since it is unattached to the wall it will flip over and could cause injury to a small child.
It’s probably a good idea to put it in a corner where it won’t get bumped accidentally since a falling ladder usually means someone gets hit on the head.
Pick the Storage Option That Is Right For You
Of course, your storage needs will depend on the size of your living room and the number of people in your home.
Perhaps, it is most workable, to begin with procuring furniture with maximum storage capacity and see how much storage space is still needed.
Your storage needs will change over time as you accumulate more stuff. Peruse these ideas and make your living room the calm, relaxing place it was meant to be.