A cluttered coffee table can make your living room feel chaotic, so it's important to keep it organized. You might have trouble finding your remote controls, mail or magazines in the midst of all the mess. If you can keep your coffee table organized, you will make your living room look neat and tidy while reducing the stress you might feel when searching for lost items in the clutter.
Keeping your coffee table organized isn't easy at first, so here are some tips to help you get started.
Decide What's Important
Coffee tables often get disorganized because we lose track of what really needs to be out in the open, all the time. The first step towards keeping your coffee table organized is to reduce the amount of stuff on it. For instance, do you really need last Sunday's newspaper? Are there better places for you to store your recent bills?
Start by throwing out or finding alternate uses for things that just seem to be hanging around, such as old magazines. Then find alternate storage spaces, such as a desk or file cabinet, for outgoing mail and other important things you can't afford to lose. Only keep things on your coffee table that you know you'll need and use, such as remotes that you don't use elsewhere in the house.
Add Storage Space to Your Coffee Table
Adding storage space to your coffee table will help you take up less space on the top while still keeping things accessible. Switching out a plain, boring coffee table for one with drawers will help you make better use of the same amount of floor space. Instead of strewing remotes, magazines or other items over the top of the coffee table, keep items you don't use every day stowed away in drawers. If you'd rather not buy a new coffee table, create storage space by placing crates or baskets underneath the coffee table.
For an upcycled chic look, repurpose an old steamer trunk as a coffee table. The fact that you need to clear off the top to open the trunk will give you a good motivation to keep it neat and organized.
Keep Your Coasters Together
Coasters are easy to lose in coffee table clutter. One way to keep your coffee table organized is to keep your coasters together. If you're a crafty person, it's easy to make your own coaster holder using wood and dowels, with a felt bottom to keep it from scratching.
Another crafty, recycled option is to make CD coasters. Simply take two old CDs or DVDs (free AOL CDs work great!) and glue the top sides together with craft glue. Glue four felt or acrylic bumpers to the bottom of the coaster. Now you can use a CD spindle to organize your coasters.
Use Fewer Remotes
Do you have one remote for your TV, another for your cable box, others for a DVD player, stereo, blu-ray, game system, and more? All these remotes can take up a lot of surface area on your coffee table, making it difficult to keep your coffee table organized. One way to remedy the problem is to buy or make a remote control caddy to hold all your remotes, which you can keep on top of your coffee table.
Perhaps a better method, however, is to get rid of some of your remotes. Purchase a universal remote, which you can program to control several different appliances. Even if the universal remote doesn't work with everything you own, just merging your TV, cable box and DVD player into one remote will help you save space and stay organized.
Organize Papers and Magazines
Keeping newspapers and magazines on your coffee table gives it a friendly look for guests, but not if they're haphazardly scattered around the table. Use a magazine rack to store your magazines in one place and keep your coffee table organized.
The easiest homemade magazine rack uses two pieces of plywood, 16 inches square. Using a jigsaw, cut a slot in each piece, six inches up from one side, that is eight inches long and as wide as the thickness of the plywood. Sand the cuts smooth so the plywood squares slide together, than coat each piece with clear, water-based polyurethane. The interlocking wood will form a sort of cradle to hold your magazines.
Don't Give Up
Once you've made a commitment to keeping your coffee table organized, don't give up on it. If you find that the clutter keeps coming back, set a specific day of the week to check over the coffee table and move anything that's in the wrong place. If you let your coffee table become a disaster area again, it will just be frustrating to clean; regular maintenance, on the other hand, is quick and painless.