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You just moved a sweater to clear a spot on the couch and now you’re digging through the drawer searching for the television remote.
You’re a little annoyed as you look around and it hits you that your living room’s a mess. It’s a cluttered dump zone and you didn’t even realize it until just now.
Thanks to the entire family, EVERY SINGLE SURFACE has something on it.
The furniture’s covered with throws, coats, and scarves, and the tables are covered with dirty dishes and magazines.
Shoes and backpacks create a little obstacle course through the room, and who knows what’s stuffed in the drawers.
It’s overwhelming and you’re wondering how you’re going to muster the energy to get it cleared out.
You worked all day, came home, prepared dinner, cleaned the kitchen, and did the dishes. All you wanted to do was sit down and watch a show.
But NO! Now you have to tidy up the living room or it’s going to drive you nuts.
Here’s a systematic approach to help you declutter your entire living room quickly. Then you can sit down and enjoy that show.
How To Quickly Declutter Your Living Room
Living rooms seem to be a natural dump zone. Everybody walks in the door and starts shedding outerwear, shoes, and backpacks.
Then they grab a snack and sit down on the couch to watch their favorite show.
When the snack is gone and the show is over, the dirty dishes are left sitting on the coffee table and the shoes and backpacks on the floor.
Your living room just turned into that cluttered mess I described earlier. So much stuff that doesn’t actually belong in there.
Sitting there glaring at it isn’t going to make you feel any better, so you might as well declutter.
Scan The Flat Surfaces
Start with the flat surfaces in the room. This clutter is immediately obvious and easy to remove.
Scan the entire room and make some mental notes of everything that needs to be removed.
If your living room is anything like mine, you’ll be looking at cups, glasses, snack plates, shoes, jackets, and other miscellaneous clothing items from every person in your family. GRRR – the nerve.
Get Rid of Garbage
Throw away any obvious garbage including those dirty napkins and random post-it notes.
While you’re at it, pick up those old outdated magazines too, and throw them in the recycle bin.
Remove Dirty Dishes
Pick up all of those cups, glasses, and snack plates from the afternoon carnage.
Put them all in the sink or dishwasher.
Sort Remaining Surface Clutter
Before you get started with the rest of the clutter, grab an empty basket to help you gather everything up and save some trips to other rooms.
Separate everything into groups that make sense for you.
If you keep shoes and coats in a mudroom, group them all together so you can move them all at once.
If that stuff belongs in each person’s bedroom, then group it by each person so it can all be moved to the appropriate room.
Once you have all of the surface clutter grouped, load it in your basket and move it to the room it belongs in.
Scan all of your pillows and throw blankets to determine if you really need them all out.
Take one more look around at the flat surfaces to see if there is anything else that doesn’t belong there.
You’re only five minutes in and your living room is already looking much better. See how quickly you can declutter?
Since you’re already decluttering, you might as well take care of the hidden clutter too.
Hidden clutter is the clutter that is out of sight and out of mind. It isn’t really in the way, but it’s still clutter.
Declutter Media Cabinet And Shelves
Go through your media cabinet and get rid of any extra cords or cables that aren’t being used.
You really aren’t going to need any of those old coaxial cables or telephone cords that you’ve been hanging on to.
Get rid of any other random electronics accessories that you no longer need, including those remotes you don’t have matching components for.
Now check the shelves and sort through all of the old media.
Remove any old DVD’s that nobody watches anymore, CD’s nobody listens to anymore, and video games that nobody plays anymore. You can sell these on eBay, at a garage sale, or donate them all.
Go through any books and pull out the ones you probably won’t read again and donate those too.
Don’t forget about the board games that are missing pieces or the family outgrew years ago.
You’re only up to ten minutes at this point, and you’re almost done.
Clean Out Any Drawers
On to the drawers. The bottomless pit where random objects go to get lost for eternity.
I’m not even really sure where all of the crap comes from, but it all ends up in the drawers at my house.
Start by dumping everything out of the drawer onto a towel on top of the table so you can see it all.
Throw away any dead batteries, random post-it notes, broken or ruined coasters, rubber bands, and any other random crap that doesn’t belong there.
Keep only what belongs in the drawers.
I emptied a full end table drawer and ended up with a few coasters and a candle lighter that went back in.
None of the other stuff that was filling the drawer actually belonged there, or even in the living room for that matter.
Hidden clutter conquered and it only took you another 10 minutes, so why not finish the job and tackle Decor items.
Out Of Date Decor
Take one last look around the room and remove any out of style decor items or nick nacks that you just don’t like anymore.
Yes, it’s time to give up that 80’s lava lamp once and for all.
You can also include collectibles, artwork, or rugs that no longer fit the decorating direction you’re heading in.
You can either sell these or donate these items.
That was five more minutes, so now you’re at fifteen.
You did it!!! You quickly decluttered your entire living room.
Now that you’re all done, sit down and relax. Look around and enjoy your accomplishment.
Want to keep your living room this tidy, put your family on a daily ‘After Work/After School’ routine that includes putting things away once they walk through the door.
Share your transformations in the comments, and don’t forget to sign up for your free Home Decluttering Guide and our weekly newsletter.