Did you make a New Years Resolution to organize your house? Maybe you want to try and make your home life a little less stressful by de-cluttering? Well join me! One of my goals this year is to re-organize each room in my house and January I am focusing on Organize your Living Room. With two young children and a husband, so there is a lot of traffic in my living room, toys, Dungeons & Dragons accessories, mountains and mountains of artwork that arrive home from Kindergarten and Nursery School DAILY, planners, Thirty-One business stuff, knitting stuff, and toys, so many toys! Thus it is an intense journey and a daily battle to attempt to keep my living room clean and de-cluttered.
I believe Organize your Living Room comes down to three stages:
One of the first things I did was talk to my husband about rearranging our Living Room . I love our furniture, but it is large and I wanted to switch some stuff around. We have a very long living room, almost two rooms in one, and we use 2/3 of it as a TV room and 1/3 as a play area for the kids. Both of which are essential to the functioning of our house. Add on two full size couches, and a lot more furniture, space can be at a premium. We replaced a couch and moved stuff around and I love the result of how it looks!
I find Organize your Living Room has three parts, first re-arrange the furniture (if able and desired) to improve the functionality of the space. Secondly is de-cluttering, third is organization.
Step One: Rearrange
Survey your space and decide if you need to re-arrange the furniture to improve the functionality of the room. Run it by any roommates you have, that is just common courtesy.
A measuring tape is essential for this one
My mom came over one Friday while my husband was at work and we did some planning and measuring to see what would work. We had a big entertainment unit from IKEA and we decided to take it apart to help make the room flow better and switch it around. I used the top part of the entertainment unit as a cubby station in the hall to hold purses, lunch thermals, and the winter gear bin. In Canada it’s cold, so my kids have like 5 pairs of mitts, 3 hats, neck warmers, etc. Pretty much one for each of the different temperatures and what we are doing. The congestion by the front door in the morning as we get ready to leave is crazy. So I moved it down the hall to have them get ready there instead leaving the front door clear.
Switching the room around really helped it look like two distinctive rooms and kept the kids toys out of my TV area. Which to me is a big thing. At the end of the day I do not want to see the toys kids “forgot” to pick up before bed or have to maneuver the duplo minefield to get to my kitchen. Switching it around made that helpful.
Step Two: De-cluttering
Step two of organization, the de-cluttering part. Now this part really stinks. I hate de-cluttering. I know we have a lot of stuff, anyone who does crafts does! The trick in organizing it is hard. I don’t want to throw stuff out! All my kids artwork, yes there is a ton, but I don’t want to throw it out when they bring it home. This is all key to keep in mind when it comes to organizing.
First, unload all your shelves. Yup your house is going to look like a mess first. Go through it all and make three piles.
- Donate it – It is so easy to accumulate a lot of stuff. If you don’t use it often and are not attached to it, it is time to move on and pass it on to a new home that will give it more love. Each city/borough/area has a Buy Nothing or Free Cycle group on Facebook, pass it on and let someone else get some use out of it. Donate it to local groups, Salvation Army, or wherever. Cerebral Palsy calls me monthly to come and do pickups for donations at my house. I always say yes and have a bag going ready to donate to them.
- Garbage / recycle – If you haven’t used it in awhile, maybe it’s time to let it go. Ideally donate it to others as above but if not then put it in the garbage or even better recycle as much as you can and get it out of your house.
- Items to keep – These items need a HOME. Don’t just bung it in a drawer or shelf, you need to find a place for it to live. If you decide it needs to go in another room, take it there and find a designated space for it. Don’t just leave it there to deal with at another time. That won’t help anyone in the long run. If you want to keep it in this room then it is time to move on to the organizing step.
Step Three – Organizing
Next step is the actual organizing part. Before you get to this part it is a good idea to grab your bins before you start. As a Thirty-One consultant I took advantage of the specials this month to grab some Your Way Rectangles, Your Way Cubes, and Your Way Display Bins to make my shelves look more organized. I have designated ones for kids puzzles, games, DVD’s and more.
These bins are great to get the clutter out of sight, but still accessible My key one is my planner bin, I love my planner but it takes a lot of supplies, washi tape, stickers, pens, etc. It is also important to have it close to me as I do it on the couch while watching TV, so ensuring the Your Way Rectangles fit inside my coffee table was imperative to my living room organization.
I have an Ikea Lack Coffee Table, which I love. The storage compartment underneath is essential for me to hold all my planner supplies. I have two Your Way Rectangle’s in the table, one to hold all my planner accessories, another to hold DVD’s. It really helps the inside not seem as cluttered, and not as much falls over when my son climbs through it. For the top of my coffee table I decided to get a cute little Close to Home Caddy made from Natural Wood to hold the remotes. Adding a fun Mischief Managed quote from Harry Potter with a stag on it and I use it to keep the remotes handy so we never have to play the “find the remote” game.