September 1, 2009

Fall Cleaning-The Living Room/Family Room

While the powder room might get the most traffic per square foot, the living room is where we spend the bulk of our time.  It’s one of the two messiest rooms in our house and it gets the MOST traffic.  It’s the central hub of our home.  It’s where we hang out, play games, watch movies, compute, etc.

Get Rid of the Clutter

Admitedly, our living room doesn’t have a lot of clutter at this point.  We did a huge purge at the beginning of the year when we thought we were putting the house on the market.  We removed nearly every extraneous thing from the living room except for Littlebit’s trampoline.  We have since added Baby Bee’s swing and bouncy seat, but our clutter level is pretty low.  If yours isn’t, it’s time to tackle it.    I know it’s hard to consider. I freaked out while we were doing ours, but it really makes such a huge difference not only in how the room looks, but the time it takes to clean it up.  Less stuff means less for people to drag out and less for YOU to put away.  I like to declutter first off.  Really.    What’s in our living room?  Well, the couch, chair and ottoman (the ottoman is a storage ottoman from Ikea and it holds our extra couch covers), two end tables, two lamps, our entertainment  armoire and the bookcase from the hallway.  Plus the trampoline, the swing and the bouncer.  That’s it. No more.  If it can be neatly stored in what we have in the room, it can’t stay here.  That means uncluttered table tops and shelves too.  The eye likes white space/empty spaces.

Get into the details

Chances are good your family area gets cleaned a lot because it has to be, but if you’re like me you probably don’t do a detailed cleaning very often.  I know I don’t even bother to dust and I’ve already admitted to a cobweb problem (we might name our spiders.  No big deal), but since I’m trying to get the place tip-top clean, that means doing it all.  Again, start at the top and work towards the bottom. I start with having Big Daddy pull down the cobwebs and dust the ceiling fan (we have high, vaulted ceilings and there’s just no reasonable way for me to do that stuff).

Wash your window treatments if you can, or dust them/wipe them off if you can’t.  Make sure to dust/wipe off any wall decor.   Clean your windows and sills too, even if you know you’re going to have dirty little fingerprints on them in two minutes.

Wipe off switches and outlet covers and wash off your baseboards.  I use the handy, dandy pinesol and just do a quick wipe.  I also get my crevice tool out and vacuum along the baseboards as well.  And I move the funriture too.

Objects found the last time I moved the couch:

  • a bowl
  • a plastic cup
  • one pig, one camel, and a little table with an umbrella
  • the back to a long lost remove
  • the battery cover for the wii fit
  • a rosary (what?)
  • a book
  • various trash

Textiles

Mine get stinky.  I have a dog.  And Big Daddy.  We have the Ektorp sofa from Ikea.  I love this furniture.  It’s basically a big slip cover, but better and it’s all washable.  Mine is white.  Sounds crazy, but that means you can bleach the crap out of it. Prior to this, we had a traditional sofa and I would clean them as far as I could, including washing the cushion covers.  I make sure to wash my throws and pillow covers too.  Textiles trap odors, so wash them if you can.

If you can’t wash them, make sure to vacuum them off as far as you can and dig down into the cushions as well to remove things that don’t belong

Things Removed from the double recliner with a console, before it went out to the curb

  • A pair of underwear
  • a remote control
  • a hairbrush
  • 57 cents
  • hair ties
  • a book
  • three pens

And…the carpets.  Clean those too.  For $25 you can rent a rug doctor if you don’t own a carpet cleaner (well $25 plus cleaning solution).  If you have kids and pets, shampooing the carpets every now and then isn’t a bad idea.  Accidents happen and knowing your carpet was at least really clean at some point isn’t a bad thing and you might feel better about laying your baby on it.

It might seem like a lot to do, but again, broken into small bits it really doesn’t take long and the results are worth it.

Up next:  The Dining Room

Previously:

The Powder Room

The Foyer

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