Jen Charron: Control Freak


Clutter Got You in a Flutter? Find Storage in Small Places

Making Your Living Room Livable

We have a small house. A semi with an unfinished basement.

That means that we spend a lot of our family time on our main floor, mostly in our little living room. Playing games. Building Lego. Racing Hot Wheels. Watching movies. Relaxing.

But the room is only big enough for a few pieces of furniture and can get cluttered with toys and stuff really quickly. So we’ve maximized storage everywhere we can in this room, tucking it in any available space. Here’s where we put it all:

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1. In the Couch
We recently bought this fab corner couch from Ikea. It has some really great features for a small space.

#1 = it has a pull-out unit that you simply slide out and in two seconds the whole couch turns into the size of double bed. Perfect for the three of us to stretch out and comfortably watch a movie together!

#2 = The other half of the couch flips up and has storage space for our blankets and extra pillows. Genius.

2. In the Ottoman
Ikea to the rescue again. We have this ottoman in the middle of the room. It is where we play games, where have races and, when a tray is set on it, it functions as our coffee table. Most importantly, the lid comes off to reveal hidden storage. We keep Lego, Lincoln Logs, DVDs and some toys in there.

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3. In the Side Table
We have a really fantastic side table. It has been in my husband’s family for a long time, he got it when he moved out and we’ve used it ever since we moved in together. It is made out of an old chicken incubator!! I love that it has a history, looks cool, is reused from something that would have likely been thrown away, and it is great storage!

Just flip down the little front door and you have access to what is essentially a big storage box. Now we use it for our family games so we have them right on hand whenever the moment arises for an impromptu round of Bingo or Checkers.

4. Under the TV Stand
We use another antique piece to hold our TV and components, again courtesy of my Mother-in-Law. I think it is supposed to be a dining room hutch. But it has found a great home with us in our living room. It has a little drawer for our remotes and other TV accoutrements.

And we found a basket (Yes… from Ikea!) that fits perfectly in the opening at the bottom. This basket holds the Kid’s fave, played with every day, toys. Each evening, we gather up the toys from around the main floor and toss them in this basket. And voila our little room is all tidy and ready to go for the next morning.

So take a look around your living space and see if there’s anywhere you can tuck a basket or hide some stuff. And I’d love to hear about how you hide away things in your living and/or family room!