How to Use Storage Boxes for Organizing the Living Room

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A tidy home equals a tidy mind, or so the saying goes. It’s no wonder most people would assume that I have an already tidy mind by looking at my home. Quite the contrary. The reason why I work so hard at keeping my home minimal is because I have a tendency to be cluttered. It becomes obvious when one analyzes my lifestyle. I am always doing something. I am always trying to be better. I have multiple jobs, and do twenty different things in a day. In order to focus on all of that madness, I need a space that is completely barebones and highly organized.

I have shared before that the best way to stay tidy for me is to keep everything behind closed doors. But things aren’t just thrown willy-nilly into cabinets and drawers all the time. I shared last week how TokoDesign (gifted) helps us keep our kitchen drawer neat. I employ a similar tactic in our living room, where we have one media console. I employ storage boxes and cabinetry to organize my stuff. Inside the media cabinets, we hide a number of things, but keep it fashionably clean.

The biggest thing we hide are our white Sonos 5 speakers. (affiliate link) I despise tech for its wires and unsightly bulkiness, even though I love tech for all the things it allows us to do. It’s a necessary but ugly thing – so my one requirement for speakers was to be able to hide them. The small size fits perfectly in our Ikea Besta media console (we have the combination with white doors/Stelsviken/Stubbarp/High-Gloss/Beige combination with a glass top and without the legs on). The sleek appearance of Sonos displays beautifully, making it okay for me to leave the doors open when it is in use. I love how the white color option really matches our home’s Scandinavian style. My husband enjoys the sound quality of Sonos speakers, and it has been so nice adjusting the volume and playing music from Spotify using our cell-phones. I love playing music from the kitchen island while we cook meals together on the weekends. It also easily connects to our record player and projector via Wifi.

The second thing I hide are all of my notebooks and binders. I use Ikea’s White Tjena Magazine Files to keep non-white colored books hidden. I first saw this tactic used in the Kinfolk Home book. I loved the way you could keep cabinets and open shelving clean, while having my most-used recipe books at-hand at all times. The file boxes are very sturdy and have a notch at the end for easy movement and grabbing. These boxes are sold in beige and black as well, in case white doesn’t match your style. As for the collection of books that have white or black bindings, I display those openly within the cabinet. These books include our Kinfolk collection and Drift magazines.

In this console, we also hold some Ikea boxes from Ikea’s Kuggis collection. This collection has a number of white boxes in different sizes. I use them both in the living room and in the bathroom. One larger box holds my desk supplies, including pens, hard-drives, envelopes, stamps, and paintbrushes. A smaller box holds Mike’s cables and other tiny trinkets. These boxes come with lids and have a circular cut-out akin to the Magazine files, which makes grabbing and moving them quite convenient.

We placed the record player in the center of the console and hide the records in the middle cabinet. I specifically chose the middle cabinet because using the speakers require the left and right cabinets to be open. I couldn’t find a white container that was big enough to hold the records, so I did what I could and hid it where it can stay hidden. Along with it are the main power plug, the cables that power the speakers, Mike’s Switch console and charger, and his gaming controller. The unsightly things go in the cabinet that stays mostly closed.

I make it a point to keep the doors to our media console closed unless we are using our Sonos speakers. This makes it easy for me to “tidy” the space. In photographs, it makes the living room look polished at all times. When guests are over, the clutter stays out of the way. Even if we play music for dinner parties, the white boxes and magazine files give the living room a cohesive look. I know not everyone shares my neatnik tendencies, but for those who do, these are some of the ways I’ve learned to cope with messiness. I’d love to hear your own tips and tricks!