The living room is probably one of the places that you spend the most amount of
your time. Our living room is a place for us to watch television, a place that we
eat on occasion, and a playroom. I am sure that many of you make this room into
a multifunctional one. With all of these uses for the room you will find how easy it is to accumulate clutter. I hope that this section will help to minimize this.
If you are in a pinch though with company on the way, have a laundry basket handy.
Take all of the clutter and drop it in there, hiding this discreetly, until the
guest’s leave. Don’t let this sit in a closet too long though. Once your guest’s
have gone make sure that you put the belongings where they need to go. Hopefully,
after reading this section, you will have nothing to even put in that laundry basket.
Of course, that is wishful thinking, right?
- Sort through all of your magazines, books, and newspapers that you have lying around
in this room. Make sure that you dispose of the newspapers that aren’t current and
if you have read the magazines, recycle those as well. One great place to take them
is to the library or trade them with a friend who has a different subscription.
If there are particular articles in them that you want to keep then tear them out.
Take all of these articles and put them in an alphabetized expandable file. You
can use “G” for gardening, “C” for cooking, and “B” for baby and so on. This will
help reduce a lot of the clutter in your room. It will also make finding those special
articles easier because you will know right where to look.
If you have books that you no longer read you can also trade these with a friend,
put them in a box marked “garage sale”, or ask your library if they have any programs
where you can donate them for the organization. If all else fails, you can always take them to a Goodwill or Salvation Army. The idea is to rid yourself of clutter,
not to accumulate more, so make sure you don’t stop and look while you are dropping
them off.Take a look at your counter space. If you see items on it that you do not
use often, relocate them to a different area in your kitchen or basement. This will
free up some very valuable countertop space.
- Buy baskets to sit underneath taller tables that you can put the magazines you do
keep in them. This way they look a lot nicer then cluttering your coffee table with
them and they are still easily accessible.
- Take a look at your coffee table. Has this become the catch-all for all of your
bills and papers? It is time to clear this table off so it can be used for what
it is purposed. Make sure that you put all your bills into a basket designated for
bills. Organize these by the ones that need to be paid the soonest on top and work
your way back through the pile. Now take these upstairs and pay them- even if the
due date is a long way off. In the corner where the stamp would be located, write
the date for when the bill needs to be sent off and then set them all in your calendar station where you should have a slot for your bills to go. That takes care of a
task that is completely unrelated to your living room, but might save you a bundle
in late fees. Get rid of old advertisements and papers that are unnecessary clutter.
If there are papers that you do need to save make sure you file them in your filing
box/cabinet in the appropriate folder. Now that this table is clear, dust it off
and make sure it stays clear.
- Organize your movies and music. If you have a large music or movie collection this
can be a little tedious. I have an enormous music collection and I kept them in
compact disc organizers and got rid of the jewel cases for these discs. This eliminated
a lot of clutter for us because the case is really what takes up the most space.
If you have the time and patience you can alphabetize them and if you don’t simply
group your music or movies into different genres. For movies, for example, you could
have drama, horror, comedy, western, or children’s. With music you could have rock/alternative,
classical, rap/hip hop, Broadway, and Movie Music. Whatever makes it easier for
you to locate your movie/music should be the alternative you choose. If you find
blank videos, tapes, or compact discs that don’t have a label on them, play them
to figure out what they are. Once you have discovered this, clearly label them and
that will solve another mystery in your house.
- If you have a game or puzzle collection make sure that all the pieces are in the
boxes. There is no point in keeping a puzzle or game if they have important pieces
missing. This will reduce some of the clutter.
- If your children have toys that are in your living room, get a storage box to put
them in. I prefer the kind that are NOT clear because I can throw everything in
there and not have to look at when it is put away. If your child is anything like
mine they have lots of toys that have separate little pieces in them. Get small
organizers that are clear with easily removable lids on them to put each item with
all its pieces in it. You can give your child these one at a time and put each of
them away when they are done with them eliminating the search for the missing pieces
and all of the clutter at the bottom of the toy box.
- There is no need to have every single item and doodad out on display on your tables.
Pick a few well chosen items and put the rest of the stuff into storage. You can
alternate them and eliminate a cluttered situation. It will also bring attention
to the things that you do have on display.
- If you have a lot of picture frames that are cluttering up your tables there are
a couple of ways you can reduce this:
They have lots of neat flip books that you can purchase that you could set all of
the pictures in reducing the need for sixteen frames. You can also buy the small
metal picture displayers that have clips to hold them where you could fan out several
pictures for viewing.
Purchase a photo box and put all of your pictures in there. If you have a particular
photo you would like to share, you can just get out your photo box and share them
that way rather then taking up your valuable space.
Relocate them. Spread the pictures out into several rooms- use ledges, the bathroom,
bedrooms, and kitchen for other areas to put them in. Many families display their
picture collection in their hallway. By hanging them on the walls you reduce a lot
Every living room is different for each person as well as what the room might function
as. Try to look at your room with a friend or family member and ask them what they
see in the room that needs organizing. Plan your attack based on their observations
and look to books and friends for advice. The idea is to make this room livable
and not a room that you dread spending time in.
More ideas for organizing:
Places to look for kitchen organizers:
Home Comforts : The Art and Science of Keeping House
by Cherly Mendelson, Harry Bates
To me, this truly is the Bible for all the folk’s out there who aspire to be more
Organizing from the Inside Out
by Julie Morgenstern
This woman has been featured on Oprah as a goddess for home organization. Reading
her book will help you discover what type of organizer you are and how to tackle
your trouble spots. Be amazed at the fantastic advice she offers.
Organizing for Dummies
by Eileen Roth and Elizabeth Miles
The title says it all. It is for those of us who are just starting on the road to