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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

15 days to a simpler home: day 4 - your living room

I think most people refer to the kitchen as the heart of their home, but not us! The heart of our home is definitely our living room (for some of you, it may be your family room).  This is where we spend time every single day.  We snuggle up and watch movies here, we play games in here, we spend time with friends and family in here, and I actually write a lot of these posts in here.  Since this room is used so often in our lives, it is really important that it is comfortable, easy to clean, and meets our needs.
One thing about living rooms is all the clutter that seems to end up in them.  It's nice to have keepsakes, and other items in this space, so that is why I like to have specific clutter zones.  These are places where clutter is kept in one specific space, and it's not a space that is used very often for other things.

These spaces in our living room are the bookshelves and mantel.  They work as clutter zones because, for the most part, they are just there for you to look at. We can display our books, treasures and other decorative items for everyday and the holidays.
It's the spaces that need to be used on a regular basis, like the coffee table, or end tables that I like to keep pretty clear.
Just like every other part of your house, make sure every item that belongs in the living room has a spot! For instance, we keep all of our remotes on the shelf of our coffee table.  We also keep a candle lighter with the remotes, so we can easily light the candles in this room.  Having candles lit just makes a space feel so cozy.
When every item has a specific place that it lives, it is very easy to straighten up during the day and before bed.  And, when your family members also know where everything goes, they can easily clean up too!

This next part was really hard for me for some reason, and actually took me years to do, but now I'm so glad we did!  Toss those DVD/CD cases, people! I only have one picture that shows how much room they took up.  See them on the bottom shelves of the bookcases?  And, now that we watch Netflix for most things, and it seems that everything is going the way of streaming, we just aren't going for DVDs much more anyway.
Put all of those DVDs into a binder and store it somewhere out of site.  We keep our binder in a drawer in the entertainment center, along with the video games and accessories.  While you're moving these discs from their cases to a binder, make sure you are paring down those that you never watch anymore.  We even had movies that still had the plastic wrap on them.
We only have a few video games, so we kept them in their cases, but if we had a ton, we would also put these in a binder.
One more item that we really like to have around is a blanket.  Since it's just the two of us, we can keep just one blanket on the back of the couch.
But, if you have a larger family, here's some inspiration for other ways to store blankets in this space:
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P.S. If you're looking for a basket like the one pictured above, I found one that is very similar to this for only $32 at Furniture Row! It's really nice looking, and is quite the steal for a basket that size!  Unfortunately, it is not available online.

The main goal in simplifying your living room is to make it very livable for your family.  This means having space to do life, and relax with little clutter that needs to be cleaned all the time.

Read the Other Posts in this Series:

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