In your home, the entertainment center is likely a prominent feature in your living room or family room. It is because of this that it is important to have it organized and functional. This isn’t just a place for your television to sit. In fact, it should work hard for you and be multifunctional. Don’t let it become a cluttered, chaotic mess. Instead, take the time to organize it and make it truly work for you and your family. These tips to organize an entertainment center will make you wonder why you waited so long to tackle the project!
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Your entertainment center should be just that: an entertainment center. The term has become so ubiquitous with TV stand that sometimes we forget to differentiate the two. Maximize the space in the area by using furniture that places your TV higher from the floor or mount it higher up on the wall. This allows you to utilize the entire space instead of having a ton of wasted space above the television.
Don’t limit yourself to traditional entertainment centers. Instead, choose pieces that make good use of the space and suit your needs. If you have the available space (and available cash) for one of those giant entertainment centers, like this beauty, that is awesome and you should snatch one up. If that just isn’t in the budget right now, find another piece of furniture that allows maximum storage for minimum budget. Dressers are excellent for this and can be purchased inexpensively at thrift stores all over. Another great option is a buffet, which is what we use because of the additional drawers.
If you already own an old CRT television version of an entertainment center, these can also be perfect. Set your flat screen on top and store board games in the old television spot. You can also add some beautiful cloth that matches your décor to hide the games from view. The easiest way to do this is to attach adhesive Velcro to the fabric and to the lip of the entertainment center to attach (and detach) the fabric easily.
Besides the obvious entertainment items such as your TV, DVD player, and gaming console you should also include other entertainment items in your entertainment center.
- DVD’s – The easiest way to store your discs is to actually remove them from their cases and organize them into storage binders. This will save you a ton of space on your movies.
- Board Games/Card Games – Use drawers or shelves to also store your board games and card games.
- Music – Don’t forget to include your stereo or speakers to plug your IPod into. If you still use cd’s (like yours truly), store these in binders like your DVD’s.
- Toys – Drawers or baskets on a shelf are great for late-night toy pick up.
What You Didn’t Think Of
Sometimes there are things you use frequently that are convenient to keep close by. These may not qualify as entertainment items but they are worth finding the space for. Right now, in our home, that item is diapers, wipes, and other diapering related items. Once our kids get older, however, we’ll find other useful items to keep handy. Here are some examples of useful items to organize in your entertainment center:
- Cleaning supplies (specifically paper towels and stain fighters that can be used immediately after a spill)
- Extra Lightbulbs, Batteries, and Pens
- Additional Gaming Controllers
- Glasses/Charger for a 3D Video System
Essentially anything that is convenient to have at your fingertips in the living room is an excellent item to put in a free drawer.
Some items, while not necessary, can make life easier if you have them. One item that I absolutely love is our mounted power strip. It is an absolute dream for a klutz like me. Sometimes you have to access the plugs and when it is mounted to your entertainment center, access is a breeze. No more pulling out furniture to reach a plug or risking breaking a cord by tugging it free (ahem… not that I’ve ever done that or anything…). Other tools that can make life and organization easier for you are:
- Zip Ties – These are an inexpensive solution to corralling cords. Do not zip them too tight though. You want to be able to cut them off easily later without risking damage to the cords.
- Cleaning Cloth and Solution – Televisions are not as easy to clean as they used to be. Somehow kids find a way to get smudges and fingerprints on even the highest placed television. It’s crazy. Make your life easier by keeping the specific cleaning cloth and cleaning solution near the TV.
The most important tip to remember when organizing your entertainment center is to make it work for you. You want all of your entertainment items in one place as well as additional storage to include easy access to the items you need on a regular basis. Let your entertainment center become the hub of your home, or at least your living room. When you’re done with the entertainment center, come back and check out the rest in the A to Z organization series.