D is for Den

Whether you call it the den or the family room, this area of your home is a great place to relax, enjoy downtime and hang out with family and friends. This multipurpose room is more than just a gathering place for people. It can also be a gathering place for stuff. With so many different activities taking place here, it may be hard to keep it organized and functioning as well as you would like. Here are a few ideas on how to make this space work for your family.

De-clutter – Since this room is frequently in the main flow of household traffic and is used so often, it is not uncommon to find that extra items have been left here as people come and go. These things accumulate but do not belong in there long term. Take time to sort and evaluate whether the things that are in your family room actually belong there. Also think through if you are holding onto some items that you no longer need or use. Our lives are constantly changing as well as our needs and likes. Ask yourself when the last time you watched that little kids DVD or if you are still interested in reading books from that particular series. Assess what is important to have in this room and what can be edited or stored somewhere else.

Develop zones – The family room is home to many activities. Think about what actions take place in this room and decide in which area of the room each of these takes place. You may have an entertainment area, a reading area, or a toy area. Once you have determined where each of these activities occurs, it is best to keep the items involved with those actions close by. This makes it convenient to get the supplies needed for an activity but also makes it easy to return them when you are done using them. The further away an item is stored from its area of use, the less likely it is to be returned. Storing the DVDs close to the TV or books and magazines near the reading area will go a long way towards keeping the space organized and clutter free.

Designate containers – Cabinets, shelves, baskets and bins are all great tools to corral the various items that need to be housed in your family room. When choosing how to store something think about whether you want it out, easily accessible and visual on a shelf, or whether it can be hidden behind a cabinet door. Keep in mind that once an item is out of sight or hidden behind something like a door or in a drawer, it becomes harder for some people to access, and they are also less likely to put it away. Using containers such as baskets or bins is a great way to keep similar things grouped together because they will also provide a way to get out and replace multiples at one time. For example, a single basket might be designated for all the game controllers or all the matchbox cars. When they are done being used, the multiples go into the basket and can be put away as a single unit.

Den. Family Room. No matter what you call the space your family hangs out in, you can make it an organized area designed to meet all of its functions and easy to maintain. © 2022 Beth Giles

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