Your living room or family room is supposed to be the place in your home where people gather. However, if this space is constantly cluttered and uninviting, the people in your house might find somewhere less convenient to congregate (like your office), or, even worse, they’ll retreat to their bedrooms and start to act like strangers under the same roof. At the very least, you might be annoyed by tripping over shoes in the middle of the floor or having to pick up a pile of clutter and move it to an end table whenever you want to have a seat.
Your living room doesn’t have to be a constant source of stress, and rescuing it from the clutches of clutter doesn’t have to be an overwhelming chore. These five steps can help you to reclaim your living room and make it a relaxing and fun space for the people in your home.
- Identify what you and the other people in your home do in the space. Is your living room a place where you watch television, play board or video games, and read? Do you store blankets, books, and your butterfly collection in this room? What are your needs for this space?
- Remove items unrelated to the purposes of your living room. Kitchen items shouldn’t be stored in your living room, and neither should clothes that belong in your clothes or hallway closet.
- Have a place for everything. If your possessions don’t have a storage place, they will always be out of place. Find a home for all of your things that belong in this room, and remember to store things in the room where you use them. It’s easier to put things back into their storage place when you don’t have to stand up and walk across the room to do it.
- Keep decorative items in check. You probably have a lot of items stored in this space, so don’t let decorative items run amok. Only use decorative objects that you love with a passion and find truly inspiring.
- Create and follow maintenance routines to care for the living space. Set a timer for five minutes every night before bed to pick up around the room — return food items to the kitchen, put toys and items back in their storage space, and do whatever you need to do to make the room inviting for the next day. Weekly (or more often if necessary), run the vacuum cleaner, dust, and take care of more intense chores for the room. Seasonally, do the major cleaning responsibilities for the space — polish wood floors, clean vents and screens, etc. Weekly and seasonal chores should be scheduled on the calendar, same as all important events, and everyone in the home should participate in caring for the space.
You’ll have to invest some time initially in the room to get it up to your standards, but then it’s only five minutes an evening to keep it clutter free.