Everyone wants a sparkling, organized home, but taking the time to sort everything out, wipe it all down and donate unused items is difficult. Learning how to motivate yourself and your family to maintain organization can be even more difficult. Of all the rooms in your home, you want your living room to feel neat and organized. It’s generally the first, or possibly the only room in your home that visitors will see. The cleanliness of your living room gives people an impression of your personality and overall tidiness.
Banish the pack-rats for a day
If you had children, they probably are part of the reason that your living room doesn’t stay tidy. They may get home from school, drop their backpack on the couch and leave their shoes in the hall. If you have teens who like to lounge and play x-box or tots who like to drag all their little cars in the living room, you may want to get rid of them for the day. Send them to Grandma’s house or another friend or relative. If they see you packing up things that belong to them, they may protest, so promise your family that you will not throw away their things without permission.
Sort and Store
After you have gathered trash bags and storage boxes, pull out everything from your living room storage areas. Discard trash, but store unused things in good condition. You may have shelves stuffed with children’s movies or books that haven’t been used in years, but that you would like to save for future generations. A great option is to rent a storage unit to store temporarily unneeded items that you aren’t ready to throw away, according to an expert of Extra Space Storage in Tucker, Georgia. This way, you can stash stuff for several months, then if no one misses the items, you can donate them guilt-free. Rented storage units are also good places to store seasonal items that you don’t want to keep in your living room all year round, like Christmas trees or other decorations.
Count Baby Steps
Getting the living room clean and organized can be overwhelming. Tell yourself that baby steps count. Even if you cannot organize the whole room in one day, each closet, drawer and bookshelf you tackle is one step closer to your goal. Wipe out everything that empty, and clean the baseboards, too. Every old box of magazines you get rid of will get you closer to a tidy living room!
If you have a lot of things to store, but not a lot of space, there are many different ways you can make the best use of your space. If you have a no shoe policy, consider getting a nice wooden shoe rack to place next to your front door so that your family won’t have a tenancy to sit down on the couch and leave their shoes in the middle of the living room. If you have extra books, baskets or movies that you don’t have room for on your bookshelves, add extra shelves to your walls at a higher level so that they can keep things organized but don’t get in the way of normal walking paths.
Make It Easy to Maintain
Make your organizational system simple. If it is complicated, you probably will not keep it up. Instead of alphabetizing your movies and games, just have one shelf for DVDs and one for games. If you have a play area in your living room, rather than organizing each type of toy into smaller containers just get a large plastic tub and dump all the toys into in. This way clean up is simple and you don’t have to micro-organize every time your toddler plays.
Don’t Go Back to Mess
After you have begun to make progress, you may wonder if you will be able to keep it up. The real work of organizing the home is having the day-to-day discipline to keep it up. Take a picture of the clean, organized area, and use it for inspiration when you are tempted to lazily stash messes away to deal with “later.” If you pick up stray shoes or toys every evening and put them in their place, your living room should never get to a point where you have to start all over.
Organizing and cleaning your living room takes a lot of time at first, but once you are done it is worth it. You will have a greater focus and feel happier at home. Plus your friends and family will be comfortable visiting you knowing that you keep a clean and tidy living space.