Monday, March 23, 2009

Keeping it Clean: Part 2-The Living Room and Dining Area

One of the places that my husband and I easily spend most of our time in is the living room. Its the place where we study, watch movies or TV, eat dinner and just relax. With all the activity that happens in this room throughout one day, its no wonder keeping it clean can pose a huge challenge! However, I have come up with some rules for myself, just like I did in the kitchen and the pantry.

1. Keep the coffee table clear.
This is a problem we struggle with as the coffee table usually serves as the dumping ground for clutter and books. The two magazine racks on either end of our table (see picture) work great in helping to eliminate clutter. I keep a candle, a coffee-table book on the wonders of the world and our computers here- nothing else.

2. Put DVDs and books away when done using them. Currently, we do not have a bookshelf (since ours collapsed during the move!) so we are keeping all of our books in boxes for the moment. I have tried to organize the boxes as much as possible, however, so we can usually find what we're looking for without any trouble. This has been a challenge for us since we normally let them stack up over time on the coffee table!

Something that is not shown in the picture is a little junk box we bought some time ago. It holds all the things like remote controls, cameras, and other odds and ends. This gives us a place to put all those little items that would otherwise get lost as well as conceal them for a tidier look.

Adjacent to our living room is our dining room, which is MUCH bigger than our old apartment. So far, it has been significantly less cluttered, which is ironic considering there was much less space... Here's what it looks like all spiffy clean:

(note: that object in the left hand corner is Rob's telescope!)

1. Keep the table clear at all times.
Sitting down to do some work at it is fine, but I'm making it a rule that you can't leave anything on it. The reason for this is that over time the table gets cluttered and never cleared off with things like books, junk mail and odds and ends (not to mention my huge stash of coupons!). This creates a problem when we try and sit down for dinner or any other meal. Since I have instituted this, I am proud to say that it has remained clean and tidy, and as a result, we are eating less in the living room and more at the table!

2. Keep current magazines and/or newspapers on the end table. As you can see from the picture, we have a small end table near the entrance to the kitchen. Keeping the current magazines we are reading there is not only more attractive, but it helps us refrain from scattering them all over the place.

Stay tuned for more on bathrooms and bedrooms!

What does your dining room/living room look like? What things prevent you from keeping it clean? Share your tips and links here!

1 comment:

Emily said...

In the living room, I also have a basket for little odds and ends, like our Wii remotes, and I do my best to keep only a set of votive candles and two books (in which Ryan and my mom are published!) on the coffee table.

In the dining room, Ryan's school "stuff" would quickly overtake the entire area, so I made the drawers next to the desk his school area, and they house school supplies, notebooks, binders and his books. There is also a small basket on the floor by the desk to hold books that he is currently using and wants to have at hand.

Mail was another issue. I solved that problem by using our bamboo napkin holder as a "mail slot" and moved it to the kitchen table where it is more out of site. That has worked well for us.

Love the post and can't wait for the next one! I'm waiting to do a lot of the organization I have in mind til after the move, but I've really enjoyed your posts!

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