5 Things That Are Making Your Living Room Look Extra Messy

Because the living room is typically the place for family and friends to gather, it can sometimes be the messiest space in the house, as clutter and disorder can quickly seep in and ruin the design. If this is the case for you, you've probably experienced higher stress levels. However, there are also several other lesser-known unpleasant results that come with living in a disordered space.

According to Verywell Mind, a chaotic area could make it harder to focus on tasks. You may be inclined to procrastinate more often, as these tasks may be more challenging. While many don't consider this, a chaotic living environment could affect your relationship with a roommate or spouse that wants to live a more organized lifestyle. And, of course, clutter also has negative aesthetic consequences. In an effort to help you combat these unfortunate outcomes, we've gathered five of the most common things that could be making your living room appear extra messy, as well as ways to fix the problems.

Exposed cords behind the TV

One of the most common things that could make your space look unpleasant is exposed cords behind your television. Not only does this contribute to a messy space, but it could also make your living room a safety hazard for children and pets, per Homedit.

There are a number of ways to hide your cords; Perhaps the best way is by installing them behind the wall. However, if this isn't an option for you, you could try a raceway kit, which attaches to the wall and holds the cords inside, per HelloTech. For an easy fix, place a decorative element in front of the cords, like a stack of books. If your television is in an entertainment center, you could use cord clips to attach the wires to the table. Another solution is to zip-tie bunched-up cords, so they don't hit the floor. And you could always purchase a decorative box to hide your unsightly surge protector.

Clutter on the coffee table

Another common culprit is clutter, which usually gathers on the coffee table. Small items like TV remotes, coasters, and pens are typically placed here, and if they're not adequately corralled, your living room could appear disastrous. Perhaps the easiest way to make these items appear more purposeful is by placing them in a tray. According to Worthing Court, trays can make objects appear more organized. To create a decorative vignette, you could mix valuable items with ones used purely for decoration, like candles, plants, or stacked books. 

Additionally, an odd number of items will create a pleasing appearance, and this decorative tray could become the centerpiece of your room. If you don't want your remotes or other un-aesthetic items out in the open, you could place them inside decorative boxes. Up To Date Interiors recommends purchasing jewelry boxes or pencil holders, which could be placed directly on the coffee table or in the tray.

Too many throw pillows and blankets

While this may seem counterintuitive, many decorative throw pillows and blankets could make your space look worse. While the goal is usually to make the living room appear more cozy and inviting, sometimes it creates visual clutter that overwhelms. Because every couch is different, there isn't an exact number that decides you have too many pillows, per Kristina Wolf's House Of Design. However, you may be pushing it if you have more than six. Further, you have too many if you can't comfortably sit down without removing pillows. Three is a standard and safe number to use.

When it comes to blankets, usually one is enough, while extras could be stored in a closet or a large basket. Style By Emily Henderson says that you should be purposeful in placing your blanket on your couch or chair. It could be positioned in the corner, draped over the armrest, or laid on the back of the sofa and could be folded or organically thrown. The blanket could be placed on the seat or the back when styling a chair.

Excessive knickknacks

Next up is a large display of knickknacks, which can create a disordered look and collect lots of dust and dirt. It's vital to declutter these items often. To do this, begin by identifying whether or not an item contributes to your space's cluttered feel, as some knick knacks may actually benefit the appearance. To determine this, Times Union says that clutter does four things: it makes everyday life more challenging, doesn't have a designated place, doesn't bring you joy or serve a purpose, and is a hassle to maintain.

If an item checks off all these boxes, it should be donated or thrown away. Organized Sparkle provides some additional tips for pairing down your collections. If you're holding onto something because you believe it may have monetary value, look it up on eBay to make sure, and if it doesn't, donate it. Additionally, if you feel guilty about getting rid of things with sentimental value, you could take pictures of them and create a photo album. Or, make a memory box to store in another area of the home or hand them down to a beloved family member.

Unorganized bookcases or shelving units

Disorganization will make your living room appear extra messy, and the first step to organizing is decluttering. Once completed, you'll need to follow general guidelines on how to style your shelves or bookcases, so they don't contribute to an unpleasant appearance. One of the key elements every shelf needs is empty space, per The Manual. If your bookcase looks like it's about to collapse because it's filled with rows and rows of books, you may want to pair them down or move some to another room. To break up the monotony of books, you could add other pieces like framed photographs, baskets, or knick-knacks. And organizing your books according to a system, either by color, size, or genre, could make your living room feel more put together.

The Beauty Revival has some efficient advice when it comes to styling shelves. They say to begin with the top shelf and fill the middle with tall and short items, but keep the edges empty. Then, move down to the next shelf and create two groupings of items with negative space in the middle. You can continue this until all your shelves are decorated.