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Making the Living Room Livable

A busy pharmaceutical salesman needs help decluttering his chaotic living room.

Joe Muhlburger's 12 by 18-foot living room is so jam-packed with boxes, sports memorabilia and business materials, there is no room for him to relax, let alone walk around. Though he moved in six months ago, he became so overwhelmed with packing and placing his items that he just stopped.

Professional organizer Liz Witts is brought in to help Muhlburger create a sophisticated yet comfortable room. She plans to make that happen by first forcing him to sort through every single item and decide what should be kept, moved elsewhere in the house or tossed. That's the hardest part, especially since he's such a pack rat.

She also plans to add color with warm wall paint and accessories and multipurpose furniture that will maximize the room's space.

The couch and floor were covered in mounds of clutter, leaving scant room to maneuver about. The room also felt a little dreary and uninviting — the dark furniture pieces and natural lighting were too sharp of a contrast.

Another angle of the large living room shows a framed jersey leaning against the couch on the floor as well as Muhlburger's surfboards and skis (at left) amidst the rest of the mess.

Before the television shared floor space with boxes, the ironing board and other miscellaneous items.

A room that used to be hidden in clutter is now a neatly organized yet cozy living area fit for entertaining or relaxing.
The sitting area is now warm and welcoming. The couch, sporting a fresh camel-colored slipcover, has been pulled away from the wall to free up space. A new coffee table and rug make great accent pieces.

The surfboards are hung on the loft wall and his favorite jersey on the adjacent wall. New bamboo blinds in a rich brown color complement the color scheme that organizer Liz Witts has established.

An entertainment center with plenty of shelves for media storage and room above to display more memorabilia is incorporated into the new layout.

Makeover Information

Products from Hold Everything:

Madsen expandable shelves, Espresso
Robertson shelf
three CD inserts for Robertson shelf

Products from Payless Decor:

two bamboo blinds, E-Singapore Umber B

Products from Oriac:

Moby wall cabinet
repurposed CD rack

Products from SureFit:

sectional cover, wedge piece, Sand
sectional cover, recliner--three-seat section, Sand
sectional cover, recliner--two-seat section, Sand

Product from Smart Furniture:

storage unit in Cherry finish

Product from Brookstone:

wide folding shelves, Mahogany

Products from The Container Store:

four large Flip boxes, Blue
four large Flip boxes, Green
Flip Hook Rack, Espresso
three Our Jumbo Boxes
two medium shadow boxes
bamboo lattice boxes (two sets of two)
two small jute and canvas boxes
two medium jute and canvas boxes
two bamboo lattice magazine files
four Nickel display shelves, 9" square
24" Profile Shelf, Espresso
four 9" display cube shelves, Walnut
four Makati video baskets, Natural

Products from Lillian Vernon:

four Joe's Memories personalized leather photo albums, Camel
Walnut photo display shelf with three-foot ledges
Walnut photo display shelf with two-foot ledges
three single-opening frames, Walnut
two double-opening frames, Walnut
triple-opening frame, Walnut

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