A Fresh Start – Living Room

So, I mentioned yesterday that we were starting our big home organization blitz a la Tsh Oxenreider. The plan, from her book Organized Simplicity  is a 10 day approach to a simpler home. Day 1 we went through each room in our house and looked over all the surfaces for stuff that we could either give away or throw away, and yesterday we started in on the living room.

In general, we aren’t really clutter collectors (well..if I were perfectly honest, rather than letting it build up in our not-so-huge space, I just haul stuff that doesn’t belong to the basement, which will be another project unto it’s own…), so our initial sweep was not a ton of work, and initially, our living room didn’t really look all that cluttered. Well, except for the bookshelf…


The rest of the space wasn’t too bad, but this definitely needed some help. We took everything (I mean EVERYTHING!) out of the room, and gave it a top to bottom clean. As we were taking things out, we were pretty quick to put things in the “give” box if it wasn’t something we needed to hang on to. And yet, after it was all out…


..it looked like a lot. As we put things back in, we re-evaluated each item and whether or not it had a purpose in the room. A number of things (toys especially – we’re going to work on rotating our toy selection to keep things fresh and interesting), didn’t make the cut, and were either put in the give box, or moved to the basement (oh, the basement…), until we move on to the room they will actually belong in (which, in many cases, will be the basement, but hopefully a much more functional and usable space…right now it looks like a bad episode of Hoarders…).

And the end result? Well, I’m pretty pleased with it. The much-less cluttered shelf, especially.


We also took out all of the stuff that was in our coffee table/chest and moved our board games up into this room, rather than having to go downstairs and dig for them whenever we want to use them. Makes far more sense than storing random old music books and photography equipment that we didn’t need to access very often (or even remember was in there…like the Christmas music I searched the basement for this winter…)


I am really pleased with the over all result. It doesn’t look dramatically different, but it’s so nice to know that all of the drawers are empty of the random stuff they had been collecting, and holding only things that actually will be used in this space. Haydon seemed to like it too – he came in right away and noticed toys that had been there for awhile that he had overlooked prior to our de-clutter. And it just feels so much more restful!


Come and sit awhile?


Stick around? Tomorrow I’ll tackle our dining room, and St. James is going to put up some new shelving in the kitchen in anticipation of kitchen day(s) next week!

Do you have any home organization projects you’d like to tackle? What’s holding you back?

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3 Responses to A Fresh Start – Living Room

  1. Heather says:

    I’ve been wanting to do this to our house too (and don’t worry… our basement is a lot like yours… Erik and I will need to find a babysitter and tackle that one together one of these days….) I think this weekend will be our bedroom/clothes cleaning and organizing. But tomorrow I think I can handle doing the living room. Thanks for the shove to get me started!! Your living room looks like a lovely place for me to stop by and have a visit sometime!

  2. Laura says:

    I am so jealous of this. My house (and by house I mean tiny condo apartment) is the picture of cluttered. Nothing has a place. The area around our walls serve as storage as we simply have no storage.

    Sigh. We need to move. Desperately. But moving brings on stresses of its own.

    What is keeping me from organizing? Time. Space. Energy.

    • Rae says:

      I totally get the stuff-lined walls. Before we started the living room EVERY piece of furniture served as much as something to sit on as something hide the stuff in the corner behide it. I have definitely had moments where I’ve thought it would just be easier to move. Instead, we’re approaching each room as if we were moving in for the first time. I think it will be just as good at the end, without the cost and stress.

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