Hopefully you all have started on Operation Year of Organziation and this month’s space to organize – the living room! If not, or if you have no earthly idea what I’m talking about, you can get all the details about this month’s project here.
In that post, I talked about what you should be doing this week to gear up for de-cluttering and organizing your living room so that it’s transformed into a space you love by the end of the month. I thought I’d break it down a bit more for you today to give you a better idea how to tackle it in small pieces, day by day.
For the next five days, concentrate on the following tasks:
Day One: Take pictures of your space from different angles. Go through the pictures and identify the problem areas. Where is the clutter? Where do things pile up? Where are things never seeming to stay put away? Write them down. Be realistic when doing this. For instance, I have a shoe problem in my living room. Mine get taken off and left close to the door. Every day. I could say, “I’ll just put those in my closet,” when reality is, that’s not going to happen. So, I need to make sure I incorporate a solution for my shoe problem.
Day Two: Spend 15-30 minutes going through all of your paper clutter – mail, magazines, kids’ papers from school. This shouldn’t take hours. If it’s not an immediate feeling of MUST KEEP, toss it! Whatever papers are taking up residence in your living room, clear them out. Any paper items you must keep, stack in a neat pile and set aside for next week. You will want to be thinking of an organization plan for these – I will give ideas for those next week. You can also find ideas on my Pinterest board.
Day Three: If you keep toys in your living room, spend 15-30 minutes sorting through the toys to narrow down the amount kept in the space. Any broken toys, toss ’em. Any toys your child has outgrown, put in a donation pile. Concentrate on cutting the amount of toys in half. If you like to use the exchange method (storing toys until halfway through the year when you switch them out with the toys that have been being played with), place half of the toys in your storage space. If you don’t use the exchange method, consider donating the half of the toys to a children’s home, homeless shelter, or places like The Salvation Army. Or you could even list them on places like Craigslist or Facebook buy/sell/trade pages to make a few extra dollars. Just like the paper clutter, this shouldn’t take hours either. Go with your initial gut reaction. If it doesn’t scream IT MUST BE KEPT BECAUSE I’M THEIR FAVORITE TOY IN THE WHOLE WORLD, it needs to go somewhere that’s no where near your living room.
Day Four: Spend time brainstorming ideas of storage solutions to help the items in your space be more organized. Follow along with my Pinterest board for ideas and solutions. The board is always being updated so keep checking back! It’s going to be a theme here, but go with your gut. We all love to spend hours browsing Pinterest for ideas and totaling up hours of wasted time, but the truth is, you almost always know within 30 seconds if it’s something that will work for you, that aesthetically pleases you, and if it’s truly something you would want. So, as much as I’d love to give you an excuse to waste time online, I’m not going to. Keep it quick. Again, 15-30 minutes is ideal for this. Only re-pin if it spoke to you right away AND CAN BE USED IN YOUR SPACE. I love gorgeous, built in cabinetry for books and entertainment systems. But it’s not anywhere near my budget right now. So why waste time pinning an idea like that when it won’t be utilized? This isn’t about creating our dream homes on million dollar budgets. It’s about making our homes work for us now.
Day Five: Write down your expectations and your vision for the space once completed. If you have a budget in mind for storage options, write it down as well. That’s something you’ll want to stick to throughout this process. For each of your trouble areas you wrote down on Day One, write a solution.
Next Monday, I’ll be back here with tips, tricks and solutions for organizing your living room and keeping the clutter at bay to get the most out of your space.
Don’t forget: the last week of the month, you’ll have the opportunity to link up your “After” picture and get a chance to win a gift card to The Home Depot courtesy of store #2205!