Welcome back to Clean Up the Clutter: Living and Family Room edition.
This week we are tackling the family living room. The hub of the home. The place where everyone hangs out, watches TV, and relaxes. Family rooms are one one of the hardest working rooms in a home. Because of this, it can get cluttered faster than any other area.
The key to a clutter-free living area is storage, storage, storage. Most family rooms have a TV, video game equipment, toys, pillows, throws, and reading material. These things all need a to have storage or else the everyday clutter will take over.
The Living & Family Room
The goal of a relaxing living area is to create a comfortable space where family and guests can relax. Having storage for everything in the living area is the key to achieving this.
The Fast Way to De-Clutter the Living Room
- Take 10 ~ Take 10 minutes to walk through the room and assess the needs. Then take 10 items and put them away. Put things in boxes or bags and go through them as time allows. It’s that easy.
The Thorough Way to De-Clutter the Living Room
This is a picture I took a while back of my living room. Notice the bowl on the coffee table, the trays under the coffee table, and the basket next to the chair. On any given day these all hold things that are in my living room. Without them, my small living room would get overwhelmed with clutter.
I have a funny story. I recently started to notice that my sofa smelled dusty. I vacuumed it. It still had that musty-dusty smell. Then, (and I can be really slow sometimes) I realized that I hadn’t really vacuumed under my sofa since we moved in a year ago last September. Learn from my mistakes. When de-cluttering a living room it might be a good idea to move the furniture and vacuum underneath. In my case, I also mopped the tile and, no big surprise here, the dusty smell went away.
1. Get Rid of the Excess
Because everyone in a family uses the family room, excess items will land here and stay. This is the time to remove the excess items and keep only the things that are used on a daily basis.
- Clear off flat surfaces such as table tops and mantles
- Return items that don’t belong back to their rightful homes
- Get rid of things that are outdated or no longer useful (old photos, knick-knacks, half-burned candles)
- Put away toys
2. Storage is the Key to De-Cluttering
Where families gather, so gathers their stuff. If you want your living area to be relaxing then you will need a place to store the things that tend to clutter the room. This means taking into consideration everyone who uses the room. Do the kids play video games? Is there a large collection of books, DVDs, and CDs? Where will everyone sit?
- Books & Magazines: If your family room is the primary space where you read books and magazines, then you will need some sort of bookcase. If space is limited, then look for creative solutions like end tables that have shelves. Another idea would be to hang shelves on the wall.
- TV, DVDs, and CDs: If you have a TV then chances are you have electronic components as well as a collection of DVDs and maybe some CDs. Flat screen TVs hang nicely on the wall and old dressers make great storage for all things TV related. Be creative, you don’t have to spend a fortune to have great TV storage.
- Video Games: Baskets are a great solution for video game controllers. Shelves work best for the actual games.
- Furniture: The main thing in most living areas is the furniture. Everyone needs a comfortable place to sit, and there should be room for guests. Edit out any pieces that are hogging useful space. In their place, think about adding storage pieces that can double as seating. Possibly a coffee table that can hold blankets, throws, or toys. End tables with drawers or shelves. Baskets for magazines and every day clutter.
- Remotes: If you’re like me then you probably have more than one remote for your TV. And, they tend to walk off from time to time. Remotes need to have a home, even if it is a bowl on the coffee table. I tend to like treasure boxes for storing remotes.
- Toys: Children like to bring their favorite toys into the living area. Have a small basket or box where they can keep a few favorites.
- Photos, Knick-Knacks, and Trinkets: There’s always room for special photos and momentos. Take advantage of wall space by adding shelves to display those special items.