I know how elated you’re feeling, now that Spring has finally given us a glimpse of what she has to offer this year! You’re ecstatic to open those windows and let the fresh air in, you’re kicking those hooligans of yours off the couch and away from electronic devices and sending them outside to play! You’re in the mood to entertain and can’t wait to call up your friends and—–WAIT! This is the point when you realize your home hasn’t had a deep clean in what feels like forever. After a long, drawn out winter season, we can use our lack of Vitamin D as an excuse for doing the bare minimum when it comes to house cleaning. Is that not why the famous term “spring cleaning” exists? 😉
Our low-energy levels and zero excitement towards cleaning and organizing is at the fault of those depressing snow clouds blocking out Mr. Golden Sun! Now, he’s shining right through our smudgy and fingerprinted windows, exposing the dust and pet hair covering every surface in the family room. The kitchen floors have never looked so spotted and crumb-filled. And the poor dining room table…Piled bills, grocery flyers that expired two weeks ago, last night’s folded laundry, and a random coffee mug that now seems to act as a centerpiece, since no one wants to take the journey to the dishwasher! Stay calm, we’re right there with you.
Whether the main goal is attacking dust, dirt and grime, or going to town on a cluttered room, the end goal is always the same – you want the space to look presentable and inviting. There are many things that can attract someone’s attention when walking around your home and you want to keep those attractions positive. We don’t want to have them spotting a mess here and clutter there. In this blog post, I will touch on my three “most used and abused rooms in the household’, and how to easily turn the space from drab to fab! Ok, so I totally tried to use this opportunity to sound like a host from an HGTV show, but in doing so I fibbed a little. I’ll take it back. Cleaning and organization is never easy, but it will be worth it! That doesn’t sound as cool, but at least it’s the truth. 😉
1. The Entranceway
A clean entranceway sets the initial mood when entering a home. When someone walks in for the first time, they usually develop an opinion quite quickly…in the first 15-20 seconds, approximately. There’s the obvious; wiping down the door and any windows surrounding it, vacuuming up that constant dirt that gets tracked in, etc. But there is also decluttering and sprucing up that can take place. A simple way to declutter the space is to keep the bare minimum stored there. Coats, shoes, keys, handbags, etc. – they are all necessities when coming and going. It’s so convenient to leave them at the front door when we enter and then have them waiting for us when we leave isn’t it? Try placing these items in a closet and out of sight, it really opens up the space and gives you the opportunity to add some practical décor.
Instead of a coat rack, replace it with a mirror. We should all see how we look before leaving the house anyway, especially on those crazy mornings, getting the kids off to school or running late for work. Like that time, I thought I was wearing a toque, when I had forgotten my son had pulled his tighty-whiteys over my head as we were playing super hero’s before heading out. The mirror saved me that day. Or how about adding a chair or bench with a side table? This works out great if you have a large foyer and no place to sit either yourself or your kids when putting on your footwear. It can also double as a time out station or a spot to sit and read your book while waiting on your teen that decided to stay out past their curfew 😉 Bonus! Something as simple as a free-standing house plant in a corner can really perk up the room as well. If you aren’t the greatest at keeping plants alive, like myself, go artificial. This is also great if you have kids or cats! As I have learned, real plants with real dirt, plus real kids or felines do not mix! If you’re lacking floor space, wall planters are a gorgeous accent and give off a serene, welcoming feel.
There are many ways to fine-tune your entranceway. It’s all about keeping it clean, and then determining what works for you in a practical and esthetic sense.
2. The Living Room
Ahhh, the most used room in the home, and with that, usually the most messy and chaotic. This is where we hang with the fam, entertain our in-laws on Sunday afternoons, take random naps, sit and have our dinner when you’re too tired to clean off the dining room table… I think you’re getting the picture. It’s very easy for this room to become a disaster and maintain its disaster status 6 ½ days of the week! But there’s a lot we can do to make it less chaotic and more welcoming.
You can start with small things like DVDs/BlueRays, video games, books and magazines. We all have them, but your guests don’t care to see your vast collection of Style at Home Magazine when your living room looks like an obstacle course, although, that oxymoron may crack them up. Something that works well for hiding these possessions are storage baskets/boxes. Whether you’re using them on a shelving unit, or underneath end tables, they look very stylish and can fit a good amount of your possessions in them.
Another great option for a space saver is also free-standing lamps! If you have an end table in your living room that never gets any use, other than being a base for a lamp to sit on, ditch it and replace it with a floor lamp. These lights add character to the room and are brighter than the average table lamp. What’s crazy is, these are so cheap! We all know how pricey a regular table lamp can be, and half the time you need to purchase the darn shade separately. Another bonus!
Finally, there is furniture out there with built-in storage and you most likely already own some! Most of the time we’re using this furniture to hoard junk, when we could be utilizing it to reduce clutter! We don’t need half of the things we shove in those drawers; we think we do or may one day, but we don’t, and we won’t. The trending Kon Mari method of decluttering would be to pull everything out and put it in a large pile. That way, you will get a glimpse at how many unwanted trinkets you have stored away. I bet you will have those drawers empty in no time and will be laughing at yourself for keeping 9 pens that no longer have ink, a deck of 43 cards instead of 52, dirty newspaper elastics and a stack of old receipts from purchases you made for Christmas 2012! Don’t feel bad, we’re creatures of habit, and we’re all guilty of the legendary junk drawer hoard…don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!
3. The Master Bedroom
I get stressed out just saying those three words! The reason being, there’s no easy, long term fix for this room. This is the one room where you will have to put your skills to the test! Like your “putting away clothes after pulling 6 outfits out of the closet, hating them all and deciding on the seventh” type skills, or your, “I’m too exhausted to bend over and grab my clothes off the floor after getting into my pajamas” type skills. I think you catch my drift; this is where self-discipline comes into play. You’re an adult and no one is going to tell you what to do, so you need to just do it! That was me trying to give you motivation when all I did was sound like a bad Nike commercial! But you know what I mean!
Ok, so I got the worst out of the way for this room, now the fun part! KIDDING AGAIN! This is going to be miserable, but if you want a clean ‘Master B’, you need to welcome the misery with open arms! Time to go through your wardrobe! If you’re at the point where opening your drawer means the drawer above it also opens, you have too many clothes. I should rephrase, too many clothes in your drawer, the statement “too many clothes” doesn’t make any sense in my books. Go through your dresser and closet and separate by season. Store away winter clothes in the summer, and vice-versa. While you’re taking the time to do this, get rid of items that are no longer wearable. This should free up ample amount of space, to keep you from using the top of your dresser or night stands for clothing storage.
My last piece of advice for a clean and decluttered space is to minimize the number of accessories in your master. Throw pillows are great, but you don’t need 7 of them, nor do you need a large perfume display on your dresser. This also makes bed making and dusting way easier. 😊
All in all, cleaning and decluttering isn’t always an enjoyable activity, but it is something that will always need to be done. The best way to look at it is that you’re getting something out of it…
…people may want to come back and visit you again! Haha!
Until next time,
Curb the clutter!