Quickie Clean Up: the Living/Family Room

Are you ready for today's Quickie Clean Up? Let's get started! This is for your living room and/or family room. I live in an older two story farm house and we only have a living room, so that is what has served as our family room as well. There are homes that have both living rooms or sitting rooms and family rooms where you have your television, book cases, bins for toys and so on. This clean up session will work for both.

1. Start up high. Dust down any cobwebs. This is a possible tool for getting to the higher places. Obviously if you have vaulted ceilings you will need something more professional for reaching those high corners.

2. Dust picture frames, pictures and other items hanging on the walls. This would also be a good time to clean mirrors. Microfiber cloths are great for picking up surface dust. They are readily available at many stores This is one option.

mirror

3. Look around the room between shoulder and waist height. Are there things out of place or things that need to be discarded; a candle nub on the fireplace mantle; a vase of flowers that has wilted on the piano? 

4. Dust at this level, not just the surface of the piano or bookshelves, but items also....clocks, book bindings, lamps, candle holders, etc.

5. Look at the other furniture in the room: chairs, couches, tables, coffee tables and so on. Is there anything that belongs somewhere else? Children's toys, that book you finished, DVD's the family was watching last night. Put things back in there appropriate places. If it doesn't have a place, make one or get rid of it.

6. Fold any throws or blankets in the room. Fluff and straighten the cushions and pillows in the room. 

7. Dust or wipe down the chairs, tables, TV stand and other large items like bookshelves. The type of material the furniture is made out of will determine the cleaners that you use. For most things regular dusting with the microfiber cloth will keep things clean. However, real wood surfaces benefit from occasional cleanings with products like Murphy's Oil Soap or other wood cleaners. If your items are made from some sort of strong acrylic or glass, a cleaner like Windex Multi-surface is a safe bet. But know your furniture. Leather couches can be wiped down with a damp cloth and will look fresh. Microsuede or other cloth can be vacuumed.

8. Now look at the floor. What is out of place? If this is a gathering place for the whole family and everyone contributes to the "mess" then everyone should help clean up. I know this is a never ending battle until your children move out, but it is worth it to keep trying to get them involved in the care and keeping of your home. Often a good method is to assign everyone a bin or basket. Throughout the day, their items can be placed in their baskets. At the end of the day or the week, they take their belongings back to their rooms. Here are some possible bins and other things for assigning each member of the family: milk crate,  decorative bin,     basket.           

(As you can see, I am not as adept as my daughter at putting in these links. I'll get there!)

9. Check over the floor for small items like lego pieces, bobby pins or fruit snacks, candies, changes and so on. Pick items up and place the non edibles in a small cup or dish to be redistributed later (the edibles should be pitched).

10. Vacuum.

Some will say to vacuum first and then do everything else as vacuuming can raise dust. If you have a decent vacuum, that doesn't explode dust every time you use it, and you change the bag regularly, you should be okay to vacuum last. I always feel that vacuuming finishes the project. 

Hope these steps will inspire you to do a little more spring cleaning this weekend. Next week our focus will be Easter so be sure to check in for more fun.