The name says it all: living room. In this center space of the home, just about all of life's activities happen. Family members and friends eat-whether popcorn while watching a movie or a dinner to catch up on a favorite show. Drink-cocktails or hot cocoa, anyone? Relax-board game night! And they sleep-who hasn't napped on a particularly comfy sofa? With all of this taking place, the room risks becoming cluttered with the supplies and accessories these activities require. Keep your living room streamlined with these five storage ideas.

  1. Turn your staircase into a storage area-Make use of the empty space below your stairs for storage. Not only can you install shelves to hold books and other items, but you also can create an open space behind the shelves for items that do not get regularly used. Bins on lower shelves also make great storage spaces for shoes, purses, umbrellas and dog leashes, things you regularly grab on the way out the door.
  2. Get an entertainment center-While it may be tempting to simply hang a flat-screen TV on the wall , keep in mind what you use with the TV. Sure, CDs and movies can be digitally stored and accessed, but you still need spots for a cable box, modem and gaming systems. Use an entertainment center with closable doors to keep all eyes on the TV, not the many items surrounding it. There are a variety of options, from assembly-required furniture to custom-built cabinetry.
  3. Transform your staircase into a spot for Spot-Many a homeowner has created a den for their pup under the stairs, one with room for a bed, bowls, and bins filled with his toys. Add a gate to crate in a dog who gets too excited when company arrives, giving him time to calm down before greeting guests.
  4. Create a room divider/storage area-In an open great room that extends into a dining area, you can create separation while also adding storage. The shelves can extend extend up, leaving a display space for treasured items, or they can come up to about hip height and sit flush against a sofa, whichever you prefer. Just as with the other ideas mentioned, put bins and other containers to use storing like items. That way, you don't risk creating clutter.
  5. Add a set of floating shelves -Shelves don't only come in cases. You can add floating shelves to a wall to create storage that doubles as décor. Favorite books, framed photos and items that remind you of world travels can find a home on these shelves while also representing your life.
Bonus storage idea: While you don't exactly "store" humans, they do need a place to sit in the living room. Storage benches and ottomans do double duty by containing items and holding up humans. You are already taking up space with seating, so why not smartly use it as storage, too.

Tips for Keeping Clutter at Bay

  1. Use glass fronts sparingly. They can show off treasured items, but be sure to have plenty of fronts you can't see through available to hide messier-looking stuff.
  2. Vary heights. Whether books or framed photos or vases, different heights leave white space that helps to make an area look less packed.
  3. Embrace bins. As mentioned before, bins, boxes and other types of containers are a great way to keep certain items from view and also to keep them organized. Magazines, knitting tools, video game controllers, you name it, they can get grouped in a bin and stay out of sight.

If you need help making any of these living room storage ideas a reality, we would be more than happy to take on the tasks involved. We can even help brainstorm ideas if you need help with that, too.

Mr. Handyman can maintain your home to save you money. One call really does take care of everything on your to-do list. All Mr. Handyman franchises are Fully Insured with General Liability and Workers Compensation. Some services are subject to state and local licensing and may not be available in all locations. Make sure to stay on top of all your household repairs, improvements and maintenance needs and request service in your area.