Good morning & Happy Monday to all of you. The past few weeks, we have tackled the linen closet, your master bedroom, and the home office. I am so excited for this week’s organizing challenge, the living room. This is the space you gather as a family, where you put your feet up, play games, watch TV, and host guests. Which also means it should be a place you love, one that feels like home, and one that you can function in easily. After all, its the LIVING room. Here is a step by step guide to getting one well loved space organized from top to bottom so you can ENJOY every moment spent there.
- Gather 4 large bins or boxes to designate 4 areas, one for each of the following…
- GIVE/DONATE: items that you no longer need but are nice enough for others to use
- KEEP: items that belong in other rooms of your home
- KEEP: items that need to stay in the living room
- TRASH: items that need to be discarded (I like the extra large contractor bags for large projects like this one!)
Examples of living room items: Books (hardback books and ones that have not been read only), Blankets (limit to the size of the basket you intend to keep them in), remotes, games, TV and designated media items, DVDs, Toys
2. SORT all items into one of the above categories. EVERYTHING should be in a pile at the end of your sorting (empty all cabinets, baskets, shelves, drawers, ottomans, etc). Remember, you are not organizing at this point. Just placing every thing into piles. This should be a quick process – go with your gut, and move forward to the next item. There will be time for further debate on individual items later.
3. CLEAN. At this time, wipe down shelves, and sweep/vacuum/mop the area. Fluff the pillows. Vacuum the sofa and the seating areas. Wash blankets.
- Now that your items are divided into categories, we are going to focus solely on the Keep: items that belong in the living room category. All other items should be put away in other areas of home, discarded, or taken to a donation center.
- Group like items – remotes in one spot, magazines in ONE location, Books grouped together. Toys in one box, Games on one shelf.
- Set limits. You space determines the number of items you can have. For example, if all the toys don’t fit in the toy box, use it as an opportunity to sort through toys. Allow kids to pick their favorites and give away the rest.
- Baskets are your friend. I love these large baskets from Target for toy storage. They are big, hold a ton of toys, and still look nice in your space.
- Decoratively organize shelves to look pleasing to the eye. Less is More. Remember, every shelf, bin, basket does not have to be full.
- Create a place for everything, and label it so that the rest of the family can help you stay organized too!
- Most importantly, cut yourself some slack! Designate a basket in the room to be your “catch all.” You will know when it is time to sort it when it is full. OR if you have multiple family members, try creating a basket for each of them so that non-living room items can be quickly delegated to the proper person to be put away.
What do you think of your living room now? How does it feel to have another freshly organized space? I love hearing from you! And, if you like what you see, please share it with your friends. Next week, we head back to the master bedroom to tackle your closet.