How to declutter your living room – and start 2020 on a tidier note!

Promotional feature with Argos

You'd better watch out (that you don't trip over something); you'd better not cry (that it's so untidy). Yes, the living room is a mess and we probably don't need to tell you why.

Across the country, Christmas has thrown living rooms into chaos. Even if you haven't had a steady stream of visitors leaving cups and glasses high and low, you're probably tripping over piles of presents, including all the new games and gadgets Santa might have brought.

Thankfully, the clever elves at Argos have a series of smart solution to help you take control of the mess in your living room. Try just a few, and your wish for a clutter-free New Year should come true.

1. Be open to shelving

living room with couch and cushions

(Image credit: TBC)

Putting up shelves is one of those so-called 'simple tasks' that never gets done, so make it easy on yourself and buy a good-looking unit instead. Bookcases and open shelving are a versatile option for any room and great for displaying your favourite things. That said, it's a good idea to use shelves in combination with boxes and baskets that hide away the bits and bobs that are less decorative.

Our top pick is the Argos Loft Living range of storage units. The modular system comes in different sizes to suit your space, and the doors and shelves can be arranged in any combination, so you can get exactly the look you're after. Buy more than one, and you can even clip them together – don't worry, it's very easy to do.

Buy now: Loft Living 2 x 4 Storage Unit, £140, Argos Home

2. Make your furniture work harder

blue velvet ottoman

(Image credit: TBC)

Switching out your simple coffee table could be the only step you need to take to end your living room storage nightmare. We love the ottoman option. It's the ultimate triple threat in a living room – serving as a surface on which to place a tray of drinks or the remote, extra seating and a clutter hiding place, all in one.

The gorgeous Maisie from Argos can be used to stash away toys, excess cushions and throws and any other bric-a-brac you need to hide at short notice. Plus, its on-trend, blue-velvet finish complements pretty much any colour sofa – grey, brown leather or pink being our favourite combinations.

Buy now: Maisie Velvet Ottoman in Blue, £120, Argos Home

3. Zone a multifunctional living room

living room with grey walls and ladder

(Image credit: TBC)

Some living rooms have to work incredibly hard – serving not just as a space to relax, but also as a playroom, a home office, or a dining area. One way to ensure that clutter doesn't wander from one part of a room to another is to create very obvious zones using small but hard-working pieces of furniture.

This smart ladder desk takes up very little space thanks to its slanted design, yet has a drawer and shelves to contain all your paperwork and stationery in one neat little spot. You could even add a rug beneath to sector off the space more clearly.

Buy now: Ladder Office Desk in Concrete Effect, £65, Argos Home

4. Tame the technology

modena Door and Drawer with TV Unit

(Image credit: TBC)

5. Always have a basket (or three) on standby

rope storage baskets in grey and white

(Image credit: TBC)

If all else fails, keep a couple of pretty baskets in the corner of the room. Then, if you hear a knock at the door, you can instantly sweep up the dog leads or Lego or magazines that have been left lying around and no one will be the wiser. This grey-and-white rope basket is part of a matching set of three. Between them, they should offer more than enough storage to sweep up unruly living room clutter in an instant. Those fussy in-laws will never know!

Buy now: Set of 3 Rope Storage Baskets in Grey and White, £29.99, Argos Home

With this storage in tow, you should be on the way to achieving your #tidygoals in no time.

Amy Cutmore

Amy Cutmore is an experienced interiors editor and writer, who has worked on titles including Ideal Home, Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc, Real Homes, GardeningEtc, Top Ten Reviews and Country Life. And she's a winner of the PPA's Digital Content Leader of the Year. A homes journalist for two decades, she has a strong background in technology and appliances, and has a small portfolio of rental properties, so can offer advice to renters and rentees, alike.