The living room (or family room) should be a place where the family can gather and be comfortable and relaxed.
Often, with all the traffic that rushes through it, it becomes more of a “road hazard” than anything else.living_room

We tend to leave things lying around, such as mail, magazines, games, video cases, etc.
Often, the coffee table is even used as a dining table.

To get us started:

*Evaluate the situation. What’s working in this room? What’s driving you nuts? What changes would you like to make? What goals do you have for this room? How can you attain these goals? (And, are they attainable at all?)
Make sure the goals you set are realistic. Don’t set yourself up for failure.
It’s often good to make a series of goals; short, medium, and long-term.

Deal with clutter and misplaced items as you go. Keep a basket handy and place all items that need to go to another room (or be thrown out, donated) in it.
Take a little time each day (or several times a week) to deal with clutter as it happens. Don’t let it build up. The children can help with this too!
Even 10 minutes a day can make a huge difference.

*Do you need to remove clutter from your end tables or coffee table? What do you have on them/in them? Why is it there?

*Do you have storage issues? If so, try to think in terms of “decorative storage” and get creative! Usually items that need to be dealt with in this room are cd’s, dvd’s videos and books. You can use anything from store bought containers and baskets, to decorated boxes, or even furniture pieces (such as and old pie safe for dvd’s) to organize these items. An old cedar chest makes a great storage area for blankets, and can be used as a coffee table as well.
~If you have any creative solutions we’d love for you to share them with us in this thread!

*Stereo/TV/Entertainment center.
Do you need to tidy this area up? Do you have movies and video games everywhere?
Would making a movie inventory be something useful for your family?

Is your computer in this room? Take a few moments to organize your computer desk. Clean your keyboard. (Compressed air is great for dusting off/out your computer).
Wipe down your monitor screen. (I use a mixture of rubbing alcohol and water).

Do you need to dust off any books? Book cases? Shelves? Is it time to re-organize these shelves? Donate some unused books?

A few last tidbits to keep in mind…
~Deal with clutter as you go.
~Clean underneath everything! Furniture, tables, etc.
~Take the opportunity to listen to some music as you work!
~You can also light some scented candles or place some potpourri around to make your living area more relaxing and inviting.
~If you have a magazine holder in this room, take this opportunity to go through it. Organize. Discard/donate any magazines you no longer want. Make the ones you do want to keep more accessible, so you’ll actually look at them!
~Keep your lifestyle in mind! Every home is different. For instance, a home with pets or children will be organized, decorated and kept differently than a home without them.
~Magazines a problem? Tear out the pages you want to keep and make binders/idea books out of them. Recycle the rest.