Organize & Energize Your Den

I hate to say it, but often your idea for redecorating your den is going to involve cleaning and decluttering it first.  You know what they say – “a place for everything and everything in its place”.  Unfortunately, it’s not as much fun as picking out paint, furniture and accessories for the den, but it’s a necessary evil – organization is the first step to any budget decorating solution.


If you’re going to declutter, you need a place to store those items.  Your first step is to ensure you have plenty of storage solutions for the room.  Baskets are always first and foremost for storage, they’re attractive and inexpensive.  If you can find one with a lid or cover, it’s an even better hiding place for clutter.  Use baskets to store:

  • Pet toys;
  • Magazines;
  • Books; and
  • Newspapers

Other storage solutions to consider include:

  • Decorative boxes for pens, papers, recipes and receipts;
  • Storage ottomans to pull double duty for seating and storage for children’s toys;
  • An antique dresser to store DVD’s, books and larger items.

One of the reasons your den needs such a major decluttering is you don’t have anywhere to put an item.  Nip that problem in the bud and invest in some stylish storage for the family room.


Go through your family room and just take out what’s not needed.  This includes:

  • Old magazines;
  • Junk mail
  • Outdated newspapers; and
  • Articles or recipes you may have ripped out of a magazine – nine times out of ten you can find it online anyway!

Any surface that has more than 3 – 5 items on it should have something removed.  Grouping accessories in odd numbers is a good rule of thumb for display.  Three in particular usually looks best except when displaying smaller items.  Any surface that has more than 3 items needs to be evaluated.  Consider removing items and using them in another room.


If you’re removing accessories, don’t move them to another room if they don’t fit in, it’s only moving your problem, not solving it.  If you don’t have a place for an item, consider putting together a box of yard sale items, a box for a consignment shop or a box to donate to your local thrift shop.

This has to be the most difficult part of the project.  What do you do when you have an accessory that has sentimental value but doesn’t fit in?  Give it to another member of the family, preferably one that doesn’t live nearby so it won’t be easy to return.  Let them know how cherished it is and that you want them to have it to remember Dear Aunt Sally in her glory days.  After all, isn’t that how you ended up with it anyway?

Bottom Line

If you’re working on clearing clutter, you may want to involve your spouse, he or she can be a bit more hard-hearted than you in the sentimental department.  Your declutter and organizing project may just be the pick-me-up your den needed, or the start of a great decorating project!