No-Nonsense Ways to Attack Family Room Chaos
Whole House Organization Challenge: Week 8
When I was growing up the kitchen was the hub of the house. Whether large or small, it was where everyone congregated. There was no such thing as going to watch television in the living room.
Why? The living room was the only place in the home worthy of receiving “company“ without my mother being completely embarrassed by the way we kids had ransacked the rest of the home. LOL! I don’t care how strict of a parent you are, it’s tough to keep a house pristine with seven people running around inside of it.
We’re back on track with week eight of the whole house organization challenge. Today we’re heading to the family room.
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Nowadays home buyers conscientiously search for houses with dual living spaces. Smart. But that means there's now one more space to try to keep clean. Here are some no-nonsense ways to manage the one room of the home that serves the needs of multiple people all at once.
Setting Yourself Up for Family Room Organization Success
Enlist the Help of Others
Except in extreme cases, I am not a fan of organizing a room in piecemeal fashion over long periods of time. Many times the longer you drag out a problem the more difficult it is to see it through to the end. So for large decluttering jobs, I recommend selecting a group of reliable people to help you remove everything from the room except the furniture. This will make it easier to give the whole space a good cleaning.
Make a List of What Needs to Stay
Remember the worksheet above? Download and use it (when you subscribe to my newsletter here) to list all of the items in your family room that need a permanent home. It will save you a TON of time. Here are some items you might want to include:
- Children's art work
- CD's and DVD's (that is, if you simply cannot part with them)
- Gaming consoles and headsets
- Magazines and books
- Extra blankets
Edit, Edit, Edit
I love the way the children's artwork was included in the living space above. It actually looks really nice here. But notice that the homeowners didn't try to keep on display EVERY chef d'œuvre the child(ren) ever created. Therein lies a lesson: Keeping shared spaces neat often means editing down the family's belongings.
Before loading the room back in ask yourself:
- Is it necessary to keep all of those DVDs, VHS tapes, CD’s, records...8-tracks (just kidding)? Or, could these be sold or donated?
- Do I need to keep ALL of these magazines, or are there just select pages out of each that I like? If the latter is true, tear out the desired pages and place them in a binder labeled "Ideas", "Art" or "Inspiration".
- If there are VHS movies that you want to keep, why not consider converting these to CDs
REALTED POST: Organizational Tips for Living Spaces
Use Furniture with Ample Storage
Sleek glass television stands are beautiful to look at, but in small spaces everything needs to work hard- even the furniture. Look for chests and dressers that match your aesthetic and offer an opportunity to keep things out of sight. When you can't afford to have built-in units installed furniture storage pieces are great substitutes! They're also perfect for storing blankets, game consoles and headsets, and board games. The silver gilded chest above is what I use in my basement living space. I purchased is years ago, but I found some great alternatives at West Elm, here, and here.
Those are my practical tips for banishing the clutter in shared spaces. Since I use them in my own home, I can tell you honestly - they work. Do you think these suggestions are ones you can use in YOUR living room?
One more favor may I ask of you?
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