Day 21 - Clutter Free Living / Family Room

It's Day 21 of the 31 Days to a Clutter Free Home series. Today we'll be tackling clutter in the Living / Family Room.

These are probably some clutter generators in this room:
1. DVDs/CDs
2. Decor items (photographs, trinkets, blankets, pillows, etc.)
3. Toys
4. Office / exercise paraphernalia
You may not have all of the above, but you probably have 1 or 2 of these areas that are issues for your family.

1. DVDs / CDs If you have a collection of DVDs or CDs, it is imperative that you come up with some sort of system to store them so they don't get damaged and so you can easily find one when you want it.

We no longer have a TV in our home (and we usually just listen to Pandora streaming online radio), so that pretty well takes care of this area for us. :) But for those of you who do have these items, here are some helpful ideas.

As usual, I'm a fan of closed storage. You very easily could just set all your DVDs / CDs on a bookshelf, being sure to alphabetize them by Title so it is easy to find the one you want. But I feel that would be too visually cluttered for me. (And too tempting for little kids to pull off the shelves...)

So...I would recommend sorting your movies into various categories (drama, comedy, kids, etc.) and then designate one storage box to each category, being sure to label it accordingly, and being sure to alphabetize them inside the box. Kind of like this...

You could similarly categorize your movies and store them in binders and label the binders. These decorative ones can be found on Amazon.

2. Decor items (photographs, trinkets, blankets, pillows, etc.) This is an area that can easily get out of control. I recommend stepping back and looking at your living area as if you're seeing it for the first time. Do you have one too many photographs or candles sitting around? Has the decorative tree in the corner seen better days? Are the patterns on your furniture and in your rug conflicting with each other?

You are not MARRIED to your belongings. If you don't like something anymore, DONATE it or THROW IT AWAY! If you think you want to get rid of something but have guilt about doing so, try taking it out and putting in storage in the attic or something for a year. If you haven't even thought about it all year when you find it up there again, it's probably safe to get rid of it!

This is what our great room used to look like:

And after several rounds of purging and redecorating, this is what it looks like today:

We got rid of conflicting patterns, lots and lots of trinkets, stowed the scrapbooks and blankets out of sight and got rid of the seldom used exercise equipment.

3. Toys. Limit the amount of toys that you keep in the living area. Consider banning all toys to kids' bedrooms or playrooms. And if you do keep toys in the living area, designate a spot for them such as a toy chest, cedar chest, storage ottoman, or bookshelf with categorized baskets, so they can be put away. We keep Levi's toys in a woven storage ottoman that we got from Garden Ridge for under $30. It is very easy for him to get them out and to clean up each night before bed. And the ottoman doubles as an end table between our loveseat and chair.

4. Office / exercise paraphernalia. If you're like me and live in a smallish house and prefer to keep your home office or exercise stuff in the living area so you can multi-task, brainstorm some way to make it seem less obvious. We wanted our home office in the living area but did not want our bills and bank statements sitting out on a desk for all to see and we didn't want to shove an unsightly metal filing cabinet in the corner either. So I decided to condense our home office into a computer armoire and now we can just close the doors when company comes.

See more about that project here. 

If you want to keep exercise equipment in there, consider hiding a ball or step behind the sofa when not in use or stash some hand weights in your coffee table drawer...anything you can do to make it less obvious.

Did I miss anything? Any other types of clutter taking over your living areas that you'd like me to address?

Check back tomorrow for more tips on creating a Clutter Free Home!

1 comment:

freshnewday said...

Love this before and after. I like the painted white mantel improvement also. Beautiful work!

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