The next areas that you need to work on might be quite simple. Living Room, Dining Room, Media Room. Now if you have a Living Room and a Family Room that means both of them. This is your opportunity to sort through things that you display in these rooms and decide if you really love them or not. Go through game drawers, movie collections, books, and other items that you keep in these types of rooms. Always remember the FUNCTION of the room. Keep that at the top of your mind as you sort through the stuff you have in the rooms.
Is the room inviting? Is this a room that people see when they first come in your house? If so, then think about the presentation that you show. First impressions mean so much.
I recently located a dance teacher of mine from back when I was 16. I was very excited to find out she had her studio close to where I teach Jazzercise sometimes. So one evening after class I stopped by the studio to just say hello and let her know that her teaching eventually led me to what I’m doing now. When I stopped, the studio was closed, so I looked through the windows. To my horror the first thing I saw was her desk. Reception style, but so piled with junk and shoes. It literally looked like they threw all the garbage in that area. I was very disappointed that someone who I looked up to could have such a poor first impression. It makes me think she’s not organized, and doesn’t care about the details. –KB
Choose quality over quantity of display items. Keep in mind that you still have to dust these little treasures that you keep out for people to see.
If you keep your magazines and reading material in this room. Go through and recycle what you have already read or if they are out of date. Magazines are notorious for hanging around the house long after the information in them is old.
To give you an idea of how periodicals can pile up… my grandfather kept every issue of a Saskatchewan farming magazine. Every single one. When my Mum cleaned out his house to move him into assisted living, she recycled an entire closet full of them. That’s two piles deep and eight piles wide, almost six feet tall, with a few more piles on the shelf above as well. Think about the weight of that! And the potential safety hazards! Yikes! -MK
Use this room for dining. Yes, sometimes they get used for a dumping zone especially when located close to the front door it’s easy to just set things there. So first of all remove anything that just doesn’t belong in this room. Either sort it into your boxes, or put it away in some other room of your organized house.
Then go through any storage furniture in this area. Do you have good dishes? Do you love them? Are you keeping any of them out of a sense of responsibility or guilt? If so, then they are taking up more space than just the physical space you see in the cabinet – they’re taking up space in your head and heart. We’re not suggesting you chuck Aunt Sophia’s crystal into the trash bin, but maybe see if there is another family member who would happily use the set. Or package the items up properly for archival purposes and store it way at the top of the shelves in the storage room. But get them out of your dining room.
If you have something that is a collectable make a decision if it’s worth you collecting it, or should you sell it to a true collector.
I have an antique tin cat. It’s a wind-up toy. I expect that it’s worth quite a bit of money. I don’t collect this type of thing (postage stamps for me) but there are many people who do. Is it worth my time holding on to it if I don’t intend to display it, or am I just hoarding it because it’s valuable. I have the same thing with a collector doll still in it’s packaging. I don’t collect them, so I’d rather sell it to someone who does and who will look after it properly. –KB
Sort through the linens for your dining room and let go of any that are stained or damaged. When you set your table for guests you want it to look crisp and clean.
Do you have a room where the family watches TV or movies? Go through drawers and cupboards in here and remove anything that doesn’t need to be in this room.
Organizing Tip – You don’t need to keep your movies with your TV. Here’s a great idea to use some space that might be sitting empty in that nice clean storage room. Space between rafters is always under-utilized. We installed small shelves so that we could house our rather large video collection. As the Video Tapes get replaced by DVD’s the amount of space required is much smaller. It’s like going to your own personal video store. –KB
If you have lots of movies, take a quick look through them and pull out any that you have decided you don’t really like, or perhaps the kids have outgrown. The same could be said for any console games that are outdated.
While you are doing the declutter here, take a moment to gather up all those snuggly blankets that you keep handy. Throw them in the washing machine. They will be all nice, clean, and soft next time you get all wrapped up in a movie.
There are other options for your CD’s now. One of the smartest inventions this decade brought us the I-Pod. You can take all the CD’s you’ve collected over the years, and get them on to your computer. Once there you can create a library for all your music. Using the I-Pod allows you to make playlists of certain types of music. When you do this, you can take all your current CD’s and archive them in the storage room.