Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Charm in Chores: Living Room

Earlier this week, Husby had a day off work and we took that time to DEEP CLEAN the house. (It's so much easier when one of us can take a break to tend to baby and the other keep working, and vice versa.) Now, I don't use the term "deep clean" loosely. When I say deep clean, I mean chairs are taken out of the kitchen to mop, things are taken off of shelves to dust, closets are purged of junk and organized and the entire house smells of lemon.

Deep clean.

I know we all love having a sparkling clean home. For me, it gives me energy. If I wake up to a mess, my day is kind of similar. When I wake up to things in their places and no messes from the day before, I am pumped to get even more done. It's funny.

Now. How do I KEEP this home cleaned to my expectations without totally being overwhelmed and run ragged each day?

For me, it's a room by room, moment by moment process. Throughout a series of posts over the next few weeks, we will discuss different methods and tricks for keeping a tidy home.

Today let's talk about the Living Room. The room in which we live. The room where life happens.

I have a baby. A baby who loves to play. A baby who has a serious amount of toys to play with. Now, I'm not the type of Mom who keeps their baby and/or their toys locked in their room if they want to play. I have toys everywhere, but mainly in the living room. This stressed me out for a few weeks because at the end of the day, I lined up the bulky brightly colored toys under a table only to be tossed about the room the next day. I decided something HAD to be done about this, because I simply couldn't stand staring at Elmo's furry red face any longer. Or that baby basketball goal. Or that car. Or the hundreds of thousands of millions of little rattles and teethers and doodads and gizmos. Phew. Too many toys.

So, a few months ago I trekked to my favorite one-stop-shop, Target, and purchased a round, leather footstool. Ottoman, if you will. Now, we've needed an ottoman for a long time, so this was a two for one special. Not only did it provide rest for our weary feet, but it OPENS UP and lets me hide all of the baby toys!!!! Genius.

But then Christmas happened.

And Levi got a significant amount of new toys. Fun new toys that he is absolutely obsessed with.

So, last weekend, we trekked back to Target and purchased a larger, rectangle footstool to match the other. It fits perfectly under our buffet table when not being used for feet and it holds lots and lots of toys. A life saver and stress reducer, for sure.

At the end of the day, I gather up all of the Living Room Toys and throw them in their respective ottoman and viola: a mess-less room.

Also, throughout the day I keep a trash bag at hand. Whenever trash rears it's ugly head, off it goes to the garbage sack. Diapers, wrappers, wipes, junk mail...it all goes in the trash sack. Trash never has a chance to accumulate and overtake the room.

Before bed, I do a run-through of the entire room and gather up any glasses, cups, cereal bowls (Uh-Hrrmmm, Husby! *Cough*) and anything else that belongs in the sink and that way I'm not faced with a spoiled milk filled bowl in the morning. Because really, that would put anyone in a bad mood. Not a good way to start off the day, I guess you could say.

I make sure to vacuum at least once a week (some of you every other day-ers are probably gasping right about now). Vacuum lines make me happy and there is something so gratifying about dumping your vacuum bag and seeing everything you caught. (Um, it's also kind of gag-worthy, but gratifying nontheless.) Levi has an enormous blanket that he plays on every day, but with my little mover and shaker, he never stays on it for longer than 10 minutes, so I have to make sure the floors are clean. With the exception of drool.

As far as dusting goes in the Living Room, I do that once a week, too.

The Living Room is a tricky area, because it seems to be the "catch all" room. In my house, you can find the most random items in our living room at any given time. Maybe a stethoscope (more often an otoscope around here, though). Or some baby hiney paste. You may find some money stuck in my faux books or a bicycle seat. It's always a surprise, and if I don't stay on top of it, we could quickly be on the next episode of A&E's Hoarders.

And then I would just cry myself into an oblivion and flee the country.

So, this is how I deal with and manage our Living Room. And when it gets mundane, I dance while I dust, I prance while I vacuum and I sing like it's my job while I gather things up. There's nothing like busting out a new dance move while juggling Pledge and my dust rags! It sure gets my little guy laughing. :)

Next week, we'll talk about the kitchen!

22 comments:

  1. I'm totally with you in the "if I wake up to a mess, my day is kind of similar." I am always far more stressed, don't sleep as well, and so forth if the house isn't as tidy as I'd like it to be.

    ReplyDelete
  2. you have no idea, but this post is a blessing for me! I really need to "deep clean" my home! And in my case the stethoscope would be mine and so will be the tea mug. Its hard to be a doc and a good housewife :(

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh how neat!! What great advice! I love cleaning as well. And how clean the house is really effects how I act that day.

    ReplyDelete
  4. There is a website called flylady that really helped me out. She calls it a 'control journal' but I call it a cleaning binder. I talked about it on my blog late this past summer. But basically you have a morning, afternoon, and evening routine. You also have a daily activity, and a weekly 'zone mission' actvity. My morning routine is: swish/swipe toliet, bathroom countertops, and mirror, unload dishwasher, thaw any meat for dinner, take care of myself (wash face). My afternoon routine is light a candle, spray air freshener, fill sink with hot soapy water, start dinner. My evening routine is shine sink, countertops, and some other things. THen I have daily chores. Mon-grocery shop Tues-paper work (bills/clear off our home desk) clean purse. wed-free day (still do routine) thurs-clean car out-none grocery errands and my weeks goes on. (I only have one laundry day and that is Sunday) She has laundry everyday. Then you have zone missions-for a whole week-for example-you might work in the kitchen all week and then the master bedroom one whole week. YOu will be doing things like dust the ceiling fan and wipe down the light switches. Well if you want to know more about what I do check out that blog entry on my blog.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I wrote about it in August if you want to read it.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I also took a look at Flylady, but it just was really too detailed for me. I don't have kids, but my husband works two jobs and I work one busy job, so I just need to know the basics, not a schedule broken down into steps upon steps of how to clean every nook and cranny, ya know?! But I did use the inspiration from it to create a weekly and monthly calendar of cleaning tasks. One shows what we need to do every couple of weeks or so, i.e. wash sheets, wash bathroom rugs, etc. The weekly one shows me 1 or two small things, such as vacuuming and dusting, that I can do on certain days of the week so that the entire house stays "company-worthy" (something else Flylady taught me) everyday! It really got me motivated. Both calendars hang on the side of the fridge, which is a convenient place for both me and husband to see. I do think everyone needs their own routine though, but organization is key!

    Love your blog! :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. I have a trash sack too! It sits on the kitchen counter and is usually full by the end of day. I also have one in my car!! It helps SO much! We bought a HUGE toy chest for the living room, it's blue and red - I know!! But, it'll eventually go into the bedroom of my little babies and for people that don't care for my huge red and blue toy chest - Please don't hate, it has saved my sanity :-)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Good stuff. What's your favorite kind of cleaner, Whitney?

    ReplyDelete
  9. These are some good tips. I especially like the idea of the ottoman and keeping a trash bag handy. That is the main problem with my living room... the accumulation of junk. And when everything is picked up off the floor, it will time to vacuum. I particularly like the sound it makes when it picks up a whole bunch of stuff. So satisfying!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I love the ottoman idea! I am off to Target's website to find one I like! I always get anxiety looking around our living room and seeing my little one's toys. I was thinking about getting little bins, but I didn't want to have our living room look like a play room (even if it is)! I am looking forward to your cleaning posts! Thanks Whitney!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I've heard of Flylady, too, and have a lot of friends that employ her tips! I have yet to check her out, but any inspiration is good inspiration!

    This is great advice on how to curb the baby clutter. Our living room is full of baby toys, too ... but they're much bigger than they used to be and they don't fit inside anything, except a bedroom! Now I know why people have playrooms!! Oh well. They can be stashed in his nursery when company comes and then drug out again the next day. As long as there's a method to the madness, everything works out!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I agree with you...We deep clean every once and awhile, but I straighten up daily. I can't even go to sleep at night if my house is a mess! It's terrible! :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. I don't have baby/children messes to deal with, but I have 4 dogs. 4 inside dogs. So, I end up vacuuming just about everyday to suck up all the loose hair. Fortunately, we don't have any carpet, so they don't make too much of a stink. But, they are a big huge handful! I always make sure the kitchen and living room are tidy when I go to bed and tidy when I leave the house. I can't stand coming home or waking up to a mess.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I HAVE to go to bed with a "picked up" living room! I'll sleep much better. Clear mind and all. CAN'T WAIT to hear how you handle the kitchen!!

    ReplyDelete
  15. My house is a mess. I am excited to hear more about how you tackle your chores.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I also love a deeply clean house -- unfortuantely I don't know how to do a less than deeply clean house --- that is why right this minute -- IT IS DRIVING ME NUTS!!!!

    Also wanted to let you know that I'm hosting a great giveaway on my blog today for anyone who has a baby girl or is having a baby girl -- please send them over to enter!
    THANKS!

    in HIM -
    Mindy

    ReplyDelete
  17. Great tips! I'm looking forward to future posts about cleaning-I need them!

    ReplyDelete
  18. this is great! I'm trying to figure out new ways to keep our house clean. With our first baby girl coming in May, I think now is a good time to try and get somewhat organized!

    ReplyDelete
  19. A friend of mine has four boys and he told me something that I thought was REALLY valuable. All the boys' toys are kept in a big box, and whenever they get a new toy that doesn't fit in the box, they have to take something out of the box, which then goes to a charity shop or a toy drive or an orphanage or something for those who don't have even one toy, never mind a room full. He said it made the boys appreciate what they have, makes them 'rediscover' old toys, and makes them aware of other people and their needs. In addition, it keeps their home down to an organised chaos. Just thought it was a very good idea.

    ReplyDelete
  20. You know me ... I'm a neat freak! My house may not be spotless (no dust or dirt) but everything has to be in its place! Got that from my dad: "a place for everything and everything in its place". Sorry about D. I taught him better than that! That's what happened to him when he went to college. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  21. You have no idea what a perfect post this is for me! And at the perfect time!! Today I had a meltdown over the toys ( I have an 11 month old little girl). I realized I need to use the ottoman with storage that I already have for TOYS. :)

    By the way, I lovelovelove your blog! My husband is finishing residency--it's such a long road! I know you understand :)

    ReplyDelete
  22. I always love reading your blog and seeing your fabulous decor, so I cannot wait to see the rest of this cleaning series!

    I tried Flylady once and it was just all too much for me. I have a daily/weekly/monthly/seasonal list of Martha Stewart's posted on my blog. It's really helpful when I keep up wiht it!

    Also - Levi always has the most adorable outfits. I think you should start a link list or posts about where you buy his clothes. Finding cute boy stuff is so hard!

    ReplyDelete

May the Lord bless you and keep you safe today! Thanks for the comment, friends! :)

Related Posts with Thumbnails