Is the gathering area (a.k.a. family room, living room, den, great room) in your home chaotic and cluttered? If so, try the following prescription to create a calm, comfortable and orderly space you’ll love to relax in and entertain family and friends.
- Pin down the purpose(s) of your room. Is it your intention to use the family room as a place to watch a movie, curl up and read, play with the kids, take a short nap and gather with friends? Whether you have the foregoing functions in mind or something different, move objects unrelated to the purpose of your room (shoes, clothing and the ironing board) to other more appropriate quarters of your home.
- Specify the major categories of items to be kept in your family room. For example:
- Reading – books, magazines and newspapers
- Media – TV, VCR, DVD, stereo, videos, CD’s, DVD’s and remotes
- Toys – dolls, action figures and vehicles
- Games – board games, puzzles and cards
- Collections – photos, baseball paraphernalia, etc.
- Reading and gaming. Place a game table and chairs where you have a good light source, it makes a great spot for perusing the paper and playing board games. The same table top can also double as a place to set out snacks when you have friends over. Mount shelving or spot a bookcase on an adjacent wall to house books and gaming materials.
- Watching TV. Pick a good place to locate your TV and hide electronic gear in cabinetry if you don’t want to see it. Coordinate the arrangement of key seating pieces so you can readily see the screen (and take advantage of the view, if applicable). Position a magazine rack nearby and toss a throw over a plush armchair so you can cover up and catch a cat-nap when it’s chilly.
- Playing. Tuck toys into baskets or storage ottomans that blend with the aforementioned zones. These types of containers offer an ideal way to store distracting clutter and make the family room a welcoming adult space after the kids have drifted off to dreamland.
- Shoe boxes of the same size and color can be used to corral photos, letters, CD’s and more. Using multiple containers with the same color and symmetry will elevate the ordinary into an appealing collection.
- Fruit crates, baskets, and sturdy totes can be used to hold books, magazines and newspapers.
- Pottery, glass jars, and mugs are good holders for pens, clips, rubber bands, and push pins.
- Ice cube trays, muffin tins, box lids, and cutlery trays make great drawer organizers.
- Vintage luggage and picnic baskets stacked on top of each other work well as side tables and make for durable, attractive storage.
Stay tuned-the next addition of the Decluttering Blueprint will be released soon.