Our living room (often called the family room) is the space where everything seems to happen. This is where you watch movies, play games and even might do homework. It is the space where you will find movies, magazines, books, toys, video games, blankets….the list really goes on and on.
Because it is the space where we really live, it can become messy and disorganized rather quickly. It is a good idea to keep this space cleaned and find a home for everything so that it is a welcoming space instead of one that may create more chaos and discomfort.
Before you begin, make sure that you print out this simple to follow checklist. Beneath that image, you will find additional instructions, which provide more detail on each step.
Clean the space. Before you begin, make sure that the items that don’t belong are removed and put away. This may include shoes, backpacks, extra toys, etc. Just don’t toss them into the room where they go, make sure you actually put them in their home, so you aren’t just creating more clutter in another space.
Consider finding new units to hold items. Locate baskets which can hold magazines. You might find an ottoman with a lid which can hold blankets or even toys (and then serves additional duty as seating or a place to rest your legs). The more little things you can add to hold the things you need, the less chance of clutter returning.
Visit each space that holds “stuff”. This will include any bookshelves, end tables and even entertainment units. Remove all books, magazines, movies, CDs, games, etc from each one. Wipe each one down thoroughly (including the electronics). Get rid of items you no longer use and set aside the items you wish to keep.
– movies, CDs and games still watched and/or played
– keepsakes (keep at a minimum – might consider rotating)
– books that you still want to read
– unread magazines
– toys that the kids like (another great item to rotate)
– old magazines that you have already read
– broken/damaged items including CDs, movies or even games
– toys that are damaged or missing parts
– toys, CDs, games, movies no longer needed/wanted
– do not allow guilt to force you to keep items
Return items to their home. Try to keep like items together. Sort the movies so that those you watch most frequently are most convenient to reach. Do the same with your books. Keep only a few items on your shelves as it will look less cluttered and makes it easier to dust to keep items clean. Try not to put too many items on your shelves, coffee or end tables as again, less clutter makes a room look cleaner.
You might want to consider swapping out 4 smaller frames for one larger collage frame. You might want to also rotate photos to go with the seasons (i.e. pull out the holiday photos in December, the family vacation photos in the summer, etc).
If you have any sort of a collection, try not to display every item at once. This again can make a space look cluttered and disorganized. Instead, rotate your pieces out and store those not on display.
Create a play space (if needed). If you have younger kids and keep toys in your family space, consider designating a corner of the room to that area. This is where the toys will go when not being used. You can use baskets or bins to hold smaller toys so that you can pick them up to keep them out of the middle of the floor.
Sweep/vacuum/dust. Now that your space is organized, you can clean the rest of the space and begin to enjoy it again as a family. I would take a minute to show everyone where things belong and then work together to ensure that things get returned to their proper space when they are not being used.