Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Tidy Home Tuesday: Week 2 - The Family Room

This week's assignment is the family room! 

If your family is anything like mine, then this is where you spend the majority of your time.  It houses the baby's toys, the dog's toys, as well as an unnecessarily large TV.  This is where we spend time together as a family, Jack plays, and Mark and I relax and enjoy some TV after the baby goes down for the night.  This is also our only living room.  Because it's the main room in our house clutter piles up quickly and it gets messy easily.  It is well past due for a deep clean! 

Here are some before shots:

Here is our assignment for the week:

Step 1:  De-clutter!

This is the same first step as last week and will be a continuing theme. 

 - Everything needs a home!  So start with that stack of mail or outdated magazines and work your way throughout the room.  Recycle any old magazines, newspapers, and junk mail that you have laying around.  Because our coffee table is the first flat surface you meet when you walk in our house, things tend to pile up there!

 - Now, find a home for all the junk that's laying around.  Random things can usually be found on the back of our furniture - discarded sweaters, and several different hats are usually sitting on top of the chair that my husband inhabits.  Whatever it is, find a home for it. 

 - If you're anything like me then you may have some "decorative storage baskets" a.k.a. "a place to put unnecessary crap".  It's time to dig through those and purge what you don't need.  Organize what you're keeping and make sure that your "decorative storage basket" is the right place for the item.  Donate, re-home, throw out accordingly.

Step 2:  Clean! 

Your family room should be more organized now so it's time to get it clean! 

 - Let's start with dusting.  Wipedown all of your flat surfaces with the proper cleanser and cloth.  Don't forget to move things out of the way to make sure you get all the dust and don't neglect behind things like the T.V. and under your DVD and DVR players.  We seem to collect a lot of dust around our electronics!  Also, make sure to wipe off lampshades, light bulbs, and your ceiling fan or other light fixtures.  Don't forget to tend to all of your knick-knacks that are sitting around collecting dust, as well as picture frames.

 - Clean your T.V. screen

 - Clean your walls and baseboards.  I feel like we're the only people that have this problem, but probably once a month I have to dust or wipedown our walls in random spots.  Dust bunnies collect and make them icky.  Does this happen to anyone else or do we just have disgusting amounts of dust in our family room?  Wipedown your baseboards to make sure they're not harboring any dirt or grime.

 - Let's move on to the windows and window treatments.  Clean your windows and window sills. 

          ~ If you're lucky enough to have curtains or some other sort of fabric treatment now would be a good time to take them down and wash them (or drop them off at the dry cleaner, I'm not sure exactly how that works). 

          ~ If you have nice wood or faux-wood blinds then you can probably just dust them or run a cloth over them to get them clean. 

          ~ If you are unlucky (as I am!) to have crappy, cheap plastic mini-blinds (ICK!) that have not been cleaned since you've moved in and maybe even long before that because they really are a pain in the tuchus to clean then you, like me, will probably spend several hours laboriously wiping down each individual slat with a cloth to take care of the years of dirt, dust, and grime which have accumulated.  There's just really no way around this and yes, it's a pain in the butt.  I swear, next time mine need cleaned, I'm just replacing them.  I had better start a fund for nicer blinds now.

24 hours later...

Still with me? 

 - Okay, it should be time to vacuum now.  Vacuum your floors or rugs and don't forget to move small furniture like your coffee table or end tables out of the way to get underneath.  Use your hose attachment to go around the outside of the room and get the edges where the carpet meets up with the baseboard.  Also, use the attachment to get behind and around the legs of heavier furniture like your T.V. stand and couch.

 - If you have wood floors, do whatever you do with wood floors.  I guess you would dry sweep and then mop like I do in the kitchen.

NOTE:  If you have both a living and a family room then your assignment for the week is to tackle both!  This is one situation where it's a benefit to have a small house :)

And here is my after:

See the blinds?  The ones with eleventy-million slats each?  Yeah, they're nice and clean now, but it took two days of really hard work!  On they upside, they do look worlds better than before I cleaned them.

What are your plans for keeping up with your living area?  Here are my goals: 

Daily Task:  Sort mail and do a 15 minute de-clutter before I go to bed at night

 - As soon as mail comes in the house sort through it and recycle envelopes and junk mail, shred necessary items, and handle other items accordingly.  I need to find a place to file paperwork that needs something done with it.  Maybe I'll put that in the office once I tackle that area.

 - Before I go to bed spend 15 minutes picking up the dog toys, baby toys, folding our throw blanket, and addressing any other things that are laying around.  That way, when we wake up the next morning we will come out to a nice clean family room! 

Weekly Task:  Dust and Vacuum

Bi-weekly Task:  Clean the windows

Alright everyone, let's see your family room before and afters!

You have until next Tuesday, November 30th to complete the assignment and blog about it (feel free to right click and save my "Tidy Home Tuesday" graphic to use in your post!). If you don't have a blog just leave a message in the comments about your progress!


  1. Well we had a busy week and I haven't gotten to this yet, so I am trying to get to it today! Our living room is big, with lots of places that make good pile-holders. :-/ More clutter. This will be a challenging week for me!

  2. I did a lot of cleaning when I rearranged the room - de-cluttering, dusting, vacuuming, sanitizing toys... it's already a mess again, but it looked good once.



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