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Living Room Clean Up!

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Next up in my mini cleaning series is the family living area.  This is the nemesis to my life, as it is constant disarray and my children like most are little tornadoes, spilling, destroying and otherwise creating chaos in our household. 
living family room clean up, quick clean up, quick family room clean up

Let’s get started.  First of all, the only tools I typically need are my hands, a 360 duster and a vacuum.

Step 1:  Pick up and organize (2-3 minutes)

  • I live by the rule that everything has its place and if it doesn’t, I have created one.  The square toy organizers are my favorite item ever.  They are in the kids rooms, the play room and of course our living room.  The toys are organized by type (trucks and cars, books, sons favorites, daughters favorites, dollies).  They also get 1-2 larger toys to keep out Emberlynn has the push car and the castle and Eyan has the Cars track.
  • Remotes in our house are in large supply and a favorite item to play with.  I have to have a central area to keep these, so I found this awesome organizer which also is easy to move away from tiny hands that like to hide things.  Bonus:  It spins!
  • My house is lived in, I like it this way, but that means that shoes are everywhere.  Sometimes I wear up to 10 different pairs a week and I take them off immediately when I come home to relax.  This basket is our catch all.  When it gets too full I carry it upstairs and put the shoes away.  Simple and easy!
  • ProTip:  Most items in our living room belong in other areas, so I keep a small laundry basket and just put those items in it as needed, then when I move to the rooms where those items belong, I take the basket and put those items away. 

living family room clean up, quick clean up, quick family room clean up

Step 2: Dust and Vacuum 

  • Allergies are crazy in the spring and summer for me, so it is critical that I keep up on dusting and vacuuming.  In between regular dusting I use a swiffer 360 duster (target brand actually) and quickly run it over all our dust collecting areas.  Remember that when you are dusting start at the highest points and move down.  ALWAYS dust first.  With all our areas this usually only takes me 2-3 minutes
  • Buy a good vacuum and one that fits your household needs.  As you can see I have 2 large hairy dogs, so a vacuum that was specifically for pets is key, also one that maneuvers well and is light is critical.  If you are fighting your vacuum, it is annoying and you will not want to do this.  I run a vacuum a few times a week in our high traffic areas.  I can vacuum my entire living room in under 2 minutes. 
living family room clean up, quick clean up, quick family room clean up

So here are the before and afters, which everyone seems to love.

living family room clean up, quick clean up, quick family room clean up

Pro Tips:

  • Start with organization first, give everything a place and the clean up will be easier.
  • Have your children help.  We are starting to teach our kids that only a few toys need to be out at a time and the others need to be put away.  It is not easy, but they are getting it.
  • Pick up your living room daily.  Literally remove all the clutter, it goes quick and you get quicker.  I pick up every night after the kids go to bed.  I do not dust or vacuum every night but I pick up and it makes the house feel cleaner and me feel better.  

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