Monday, February 25, 2019

34 Weeks of Clean 2019! Week 8- The Living Room

I don't know about you but I for one am happy to be moving on from kitchens and dining rooms.  I tend to want to eat in those places! ;)  Hopefully by now yours are sparkling clean, a little less cluttered, AND are staying that way.  Let's remember, all the cleaning and tossing in the world will not help us if we do not work hard to keep it that way.  If we fail to put things where they belong, we achieve clutter.  If we buy more things to fill in spaces, we achieve clutter.  Make it your goal to not add back to your new spaces.  Just enjoy the void for a while.  You may be surprised at how good it feels.

So let's talk for a minute about where things belong.  We, meaning me mostly, have this motto in our house- everything has a home.  You can sometimes hear me chanting it when no one is listening.

True story.

Here's an hour out of our (former) life-

I see something laying around and it bugs me.  I pick it up, hand it to a child, and tell them to put it away.  A few minutes later I see the same item, this time laying in a new location.  I ask another child to put it away.  Later I find it again in a new location.  I will not even tell you how many times this may be repeated throughout a measly hour. Time for a family meeting. I ask, "Why do YOU ALL keep not putting this away where it belongs?!"  Guess what they said???  "We have no idea where it belongs!" 

Well, there 'ya have it.  No wonder things just migrated around some of my rooms.  But here's the thing- even I did not know where several things belonged.  How ridiculous.  So we seriously went around the house identifying things that no one seemed to know where they went and then identified their homes.  (The things, not the kids!)  Some were fairly easy, but some we struggled with. 

Let me give you some examples- the laptops, the ipad, the girls' pocketbooks, the get the idea.  If you cannot find a home for something, maybe you do not need said item!  Identify where things go and then keep them there when not in use!  If you walk around saying "everything has a home" long enough, they will get the idea.  Ask me how I know this.

OK, so this week we are on to the living room. 

The more formal one, that is.  Family rooms/dens are for another week, so some of you may actually have a week off.  Or you can use this time to catch up if you need to. (Kitchens anyone?) We won't judge!  (In other words, if you have two living areas, do the one less used this week or just pick one, and save the other for another assignment.)

Our living room is really not formal in this house, it is actually where we spend most of our day, outside of the kitchen.  Since our family room is actually downstairs, this is the room most casual visitors see when they come through our front door so I work hard to keep it pretty straightened.  For those who have been in my house since we moved her in September- yes, I have indeed changed it around a bit.  Well, three times I believe, but who is counting?  Other than my husband.  This time I think we finally have it the way I want it, other than trying to have the hard wood floor extended after taking that funny section of carpet out and adding a rug.  Baby steps.

Your assignment- Clear the clutter and DEEP clean!

  • Clear out your room as much as you can.  I would include lamps, any decorations, pillows, blankets, and small pieces of furniture.

  • Start up and work down, so for us that means ceiling fans and lights.  UGH!  For the record I have someone other than me who is not bothered by heights get on the ladder, not me.  Some chances are just not worth taking.
  • Wipe off all light switches- they are dirty!  Trust me!

  • Wax/dust furniture.  Not just the top like I assume most of us do weekly, but ALL OVER!  We actually used a wood cleaner as opposed to a wax or dusting spray to get the job done.  I figured after three months in storage, our stuff needed a major clean.
  • Wipe down all of the knick knacks you had on said furniture and try to put only half back! ;) Now is the time to get rid of the things that are just taking up space.  Look at it this way, the more you have sitting out, the more you have to dust each week.  Ask yourself, do I love this or is it just taking up space?  Let's try to surround ourselves with only the things we love!

  • Vacuum off your lamp shades.  I am amazed at how dusty they can get!
  • If you have leather furniture, now is a great time to really wipe it down.  We love ours, but just like other non-fabric surfaces, little fingers get it dirty. If you have cloth furniture, vacuum it.

  • Wash blankets and any throws you have laying around.  You can even take this time to switch one out for one in another part of the house.  Sometimes just a simple change can make you feel better about your space.  I do this frequently, depending on the season.  We admittedly have a plethora of quilts and blankets, but they get used around here! 

  • Pull the larger furniture out from the walls and wipe down all the baseboards.

  • Take vent covers off and wipe down or vacuum out. Intake vents especially get dusty.

  •  While the furniture is out from the walls, vacuum around the edges of the carpet.
-As as long as all the furniture is out from the walls, rearrange.  Oh, wait, that may be just me!  ;) Remember, this family has moved a lot.  Emphasis on A LOT!  So when we get to stay in one place say, for more than six months, we tend to get antsy and rearrange furniture. True story - when my oldest was about five and daddy was gone for a few months, I rearranged the living room. She stood in the middle of the room crying, "put it back, put it back, daddy won't like it!" Don't even ask how she reacted when I painted!  Luckily, she is now the Queen of Rearranging and I am happy to say did not cry once during this project!  As a matter of fact, I am pretty sure her recent experience with staging houses was right up her alley because I have given her so much practice.  You are most welcome, Ashton!
-If you move furniture around a lot, you need these Sliding Robot things!  We love them!

  • On to windows.  UGH!  We have large windows in our house, so a step-ladder was needed but I did get it done.  Start with the blinds then move on to the windows.  The larger wooden slat blinds are easier to clean, I must say.  I dust them weekly but this time I used a wood cleaner to deep clean.

  - Two quick tricks if you do have blinds- if it is easy to do, just take the blinds down, stick them in the bath tub, and bribe pay your kids to scrub them!  Tell them it is like pool fun, but better.

  - If you are too lazy to do that, just spray them down while still hanging, start from the top and scrub away.  Make sure that after you finish the blinds you raise them and clean the windows since they will now be gross, too! 

  - And about those curtains.  When is the last time yours were washed?  Fess up!  We have very few hanging for two reasons.  The biggest is because I refused to buy curtains to fit every window of every house we live in and I got used to doing without.  The second is because as much as I like the look, they do collect dust and are not the best for our oldest and her allergies.  Anywho- if you have them, take them down and wash them. You may even decide to leave them down for the season and let the light shine in!  Actually, we only have curtains in one room in our new house and I love it!

  • Lastly, give the room a good vacuum.  Now is an even better time to steam clean your carpets! We own a steam cleaner attachment for our vacuum, but if you do not, see if you can borrow one from a friend or rent one- many grocery stores even do this now.  Cleaning carpets twice a year is a good habit to get into and can extend the life of your carpets! If you have wood floors, sweep and mop.

Are you tired yet?  I am!  This year I did not have a helper other than the ceiling fan and regardless of the smaller space, this was not a quick project.  But as I sit here typing a recap I can look around and smile- it looks tidy, smells clean, and hopefully says WELCOME!

Your turn to work on those Living Rooms!  Can't wait to see what you do.  Make sure to leave us your pictures on our Family, Faith and Fridays Facebook page. We love seeing your progress and cheering you on!


Intro Week
Week 1- Holiday Decorations
Week 2-The Pantry
Week 3-Kitchen Cabinets and Drawers   

Week 4- Fridge, Freezer and Floors
Week 5- Recipes 
Week 6- The Stove and Loose Ends 
Week 7- The Dining Room

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