New Year, New Home Challenge #4 - Living Room
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    Moderator aka AmyBob AmyBoz's Avatar
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    Default New Year, New Home Challenge #4 - Living Room

    Living rooms come in all shapes and sizes. Some of us have living rooms that are more like showrooms. It’s where the “nice stuff” is. My husband tells a funny story about how when he and his brothers and sister were kids, they weren’t allowed in the living room, and their grandmother would use a broom to even sweep over the vacuum track marks in the carpet.

    Others of us have living rooms that are just that. “Living” rooms. Mine is a bit of both. It’s where the piano is, so it’s where I teach piano lessons. It’s where the nice, large bookcase is, so it’s where my book collections are. It’s where the nice, framed pictures of family are and where my grandma’s antique washbasin is. It’s where the fireplace is (even though it doesn’t work) and if we were ever to entertain, it’s where we would sit and have thoughtful, intelligent discussions with our guests. The stuff is nice, but we have kids, so it’s also durable and strong.

    And…there are lots of nooks and crannies for storing “stuff.” Our coffee table has both cabinets and drawers. Grandma’s washbasin has three drawers and a cabinet. The end table has a drawer. The mantle, bookcase, and piano all create nice horizontal surfaces for dust and knick-knacks.

    Step One
    So, step one…empty everything out of everywhere the “stuff” and clutter can be hidden. Seriously. Empty EVERYTHING out. Have your three boxes or bags at hand: Keep, Sell/Donate, Rehome. Then, have a trash bag on hand: Toss. Place everything you pull out into one of those three boxes, or into the toss bag. Once you have gone through EVERYTHING, immediately take the toss bag outside to the garbage cans. Then, take the rehome box around your house and put everything back where it belongs. Items that you are selling or donating, put in your central location for those things and make commitment to yourself that they will be out of the house within the next few days. Finally, clean out the inside of the drawers, cabinets, etc., and then put back your keep items.

    Step Two
    This is a tough step for many people. I want you to really look at the stuff you have hanging around on your surfaces. Look at the pictures, first. Are they current? Are they pictures that you love to look at, and do so often? If you need to swap out some old pictures for some new ones, do it. Do you need to have ALL the pictures out that you have? Could you instead just have one of each person you want represented? Think in terms of keeping these frames clean and dust free. Wouldn’t it be nicer if you didn’t have as many out there to stay on top of?

    Now, look at your knick-knacks. Do you love them ALL? Do you look at them everyday? Do they enhance the quality of your life, or does the upkeep of them detract from your life by stealing seconds and minutes away when you have to clean them or move them around to make space for something else? If they are family items, perhaps there is someone else in your family who would enjoy them? If they are things that you don’t really look at anymore, could you perhaps sell or donate them so someone else could get some enjoyment out of them now that you don’t? If you know that you don’t use/enjoy them right now, but are hesitant to get rid of them, box them up and put them somewhere in the house where they aren’t in the way. There are many names for this, but some call it an emotional attachment box. Write the date on the box. Six months from now, think about the box. How often have you thought about it since it’s been put away? A lot? A little? Not at all? If it’s just a little or not at all, then, without opening the box, take it to the consignment shop or the Salvation Army or put it with your garage sale items, etc. You obviously don’t need them in your life, so it’s time to say goodbye.

    Once all of you knick-knack items have been dealt with, dust off the horizontal surfaces, clean them well, and then put back only those items that you love and really will enjoy.

    Step 3
    Is your furniture arranged in the best possible way for you? Is there ease of movement through your room? Is everything where it should be in order to most successfully display those items you’ve decided to keep? Do you have too much furniture?

    Start really taking stock of the setup of your furniture. First of all, if you have too much furniture crowding up the room, then get rid of some. Again, if it’s family furniture, see if someone else in the family wants it. If not, sell it, donate it, do something with it, but get it out of there. Furniture can be clutter just as much as a broken knick-knack is.

    Then, start moving things around. Play around with the set-up of the room. We had our living room set up a certain way for a year. Dh really didn’t like it, but I thought it was great. After we took our Christmas tree down this year, I said that we could set it up the way dh wanted it. I gotta be honest with you…I like it much better his way. We flow better through the room, and the kids and I actually hang out in there when we are waiting for dh to come home from work at night.

    Believe it or not, people…change can be good. Just because your living room has been the same for 20 years, doesn’t mean it has to stay that way forever!!!

    You have 2 weeks for this challenge. Do the steps one at a time. Don’t attempt to tackle all three in one day. It’s a big room. I don’t want anyone rushing through it. Don’t forget to take pictures, and feel free to take before and after pictures if you are going to be rearranging furniture.

    Also, any bits of advice or helpful tips or links you’d like to share…please do so! We’d love to hear what you’ve learned along the way!

    Good luck!!!
    Blog: http://amysreallife.com

    Amy
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    Always remember others may hate you, but those who hate you don't win unless you hate them. And then you destroy yourself."

  2. #2
    Moderator aka AmyBob AmyBoz's Avatar
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    Helloooo??? Helloooo??? Hellooo??? (Imagine my voice echoing off of the cavernous walls of the room that houses this thread.)

    Anyone? Is anyone cleaning their living rooms??? Anyone??? Are you all Martha Stewart's and you don't have to clean your houses?

    Sniff...sniff...no one loves my challenge anymore???
    Blog: http://amysreallife.com

    Amy
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    Always remember others may hate you, but those who hate you don't win unless you hate them. And then you destroy yourself."

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    Registered User Libby's Avatar
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    NO NO NO!!! NO "sniff sniff" I love your challenges!!

    I'm doing it but usually I'm behind on my postings I'm finding things to declutter and purge, trust me lil lady - I am the queen of clutter!

    But one thing...I thought the lil drawers that held the junk was considerered "organized" Its all nice and neat, in one drawer

    Hehehe - Im even looking up where I can take my 4 ft tall pile of magazines to be recycled!! Will that count as my 7 items alone? LOL

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    Registered User loveless82's Avatar
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    Hiya,

    So, here how I sort out my living room. On Monday I throw most everything that wasn't breakable on the floor in the middle of the room. Then I went thur it, making 3 piles ( like you suggested) I also had a trash bag. After make these piles, I then went thur the keep pile 3 more times and low it to just 7 items. Next I wipe down all areas where dust was laying and vacuum the room. Lastly I put all furniture and the all the items that keep back in they clean spots.
    As of now I have 4 boxes of things I'm for giving away and 2 trash bags.

  6. #5
    Moderator aka AmyBob AmyBoz's Avatar
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    Short, if you recycle that 4 ft pile of magazines, I'll count it as 14 things!

    Jenn, that is some awesome work you did in your living room! Good job!
    Blog: http://amysreallife.com

    Amy
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    Public School Teacher

    Debt:
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    Grocery Budget Challenge: $749.08/$800.00

    Always remember others may hate you, but those who hate you don't win unless you hate them. And then you destroy yourself."

  7. #6
    Moderator aka AmyBob AmyBoz's Avatar
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    So, we're moving into week 2! Anyone else have some living room decluttering/cleaning stories to share?
    Blog: http://amysreallife.com

    Amy
    Wife to
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    Debt:
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    Grocery Budget Challenge: $749.08/$800.00

    Always remember others may hate you, but those who hate you don't win unless you hate them. And then you destroy yourself."

  8. #7
    Registered User Libby's Avatar
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    Um, yeah - I do. The city has depots where I could take this pile of magazines and well they're open for public drop off during normal business hours. At night only certain locations that are too far away. So.....since I was peeved, I went grocery shopping and disovered tomoato and b'na boxes!! They're super strong and I have 5 loaded with the pile of magazines in the garage. Since I cant get to a depot in time, the collection people best be taking it on recycling day!! They're outta my living room!!! Woohoo!!!!!

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    Registered User Cricket1's Avatar
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    Actually, our livingroom is the smallest room in our house. We have dvd's neatly put in a drawer in our entertainment cabinet. We have a rug, a couch, and a loveseat. We have a fireplace with a mantle that has two pics and four knick knacks on it. That's it. I might try to rearrange some of our furniture, though.

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