Organize Your Living Area [Mission #31]

Get Organized Mission #31: Organize Your Living Area

Welcome to Mission #31 of our 52 Get Organized Missions.

The living room can be the heart of a home – where you relax, where you enjoy conversation with friends, where the family ‘lives’ much of the time.

So if your living room is disorganized, chaotic or downright embarrassing – let’s fix that now. You’ll be amazed at the transformation you can achieve in just 30 minutes. Plus, you’ll find that having an organized living area reduces your stress.

Remember: you only need 30 minutes for the basic mission. Extended Options are below.

If you’re new, you might like to start here -> 52 Organizing Missions.

Get Organized Mission #31: Organize Your Living Area

Step 1: Clear the Clutter (10 Minutes)

The first thing to do is declutter your living area. Be ruthless!

If you think something may be useful to others, by all means donate it. But don’t let this slow you down or make you indecisive. Get clutter out of your living area, and quickly.

Not sure where to start? Look for:

  • Old newspapers or magazines
  • Tatty rugs, cushions and throws
  • Videotapes, CDs and DVDs no one plays any more
  • Unloved ornaments, vases and gifts
  • Tatty coasters
  • Photos and their frames – unless genuinely special
  • Dead plants
  • Knickknacks
  • Unused or ugly lamps
  • Excessive side tables.

Out it all goes!

Step 2: Put Things in Their Place (10 Minutes)

Next, put away things that don’t belong in your living area.

This includes:

  • Computers
  • Exercise equipment
  • Clothes
  • School backpacks, homework, etc
  • Purses and briefcases
  • Craft or hobby paraphernalia
  • Games consoles
  • Books, CDs and DVDs
  • Remotes.

If any of these things don’t already have a home elsewhere in your house, see if you can zone them off so they don’t dominate your living area.

For instance, if you keep your computer and files in the living room, allocate a small office area in a corner, rather than having stuff strewn across the coffee table, sofa and dining area.

Step 3: Refresh the Layout (10 Minutes)

Once you’ve cleared the clutter and put things away, you can look afresh at the layout of your living area.

Ideas you might consider are:

  • Having a reading nook with armchair, small table and standard lamp
  • Placing sofas and coffee table on a rug to zone off a conversation area
  • Positioning lamps to create ‘mood’ lighting
  • Bringing in a plant from the garden
  • Rearranging the artwork.

Just moving things around can really freshen up a room and give you a mood boost.

Dos & Don’ts

  • Don’t overthink every little choice, or you’ll end up in organizing limbo.
  • Do make quick decisions. You can always replace something if you really miss it (you probably won’t). You can always rearrange something if you don’t like it.

Extended Organizing Mission Options

Want to go beyond this 30-minute organizing mission?

  • Do this mission as a family.
    • In Step 1, give everyone a bag and make it a game to see who can fill their bag with the most clutter.
    • In Step 2, assign everyone a zone for putting things away.
    • In Step 3, play with ideas for a fresh layout together.
  • Consider which items of furniture no longer serve you. What needs to be discarded or upgraded?

Ready, Set, Go!

Remember – move quickly, act fast, don’t overthink.

Start The 30-Minute Timer

Before You Go: Check In!

Please add a comment to say you’ve completed this week’s Get Organized Mission and you’re keeping your commitment.

And see you back here next week!

Did You Know

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Click here to sign up for 52 Organizing Missions.

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16 thoughts on “Organize Your Living Area [Mission #31]

  1. linda says:

    i just found your site today february 15 2011. i really like what i have been reading. the tips are great. would love to get a organized book so i can stay on top of all my housework for a better organized home and life. please email me to let me know where and how i could get a book like that. thanks so much for a site this helpful.

  2. Joey says:

    I have been saving up for a new tv. Went and purchased it today so this mission was perfect. Done. Now the livingroom is clean and simple and the tv is awesome.

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